Earlier this week, USA Today published the results of a recent survey of 10,000 teachers in which only 16% believed that linking student performance and teacher pay was "absolutely essential" or "very important" in retaining good teachers, down from 28% in 2010. Barely half of the teachers felt like the policy would make any difference at all, down from 65% in 2010. Only 26% believed the tests were an “accurate reflection of student achievement.”
The survey was conducted by the educational publisher Scholastic, and was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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Sadly, the number of teachers who thought that higher pay was necessary to retain good teachers also declined from 86% in 2010 to 75% in the recent survey. This does not necessarily mean that they have given up on decent wages. Rather, it probably reflects their own insecurity about the economy and the fact that most have taken pay cuts over the past three years, either actual or de facto through wage freezes, but nonetheless continued to teach because the job prospects elsewhere were so dismal.