Thursday, 29 November 2007

The Folly of Merit Pay - by Alfie Kohn

Linked here is a really interesting article by Alfie Kohn entitled: The Folly of Merit Pay. The upshot of which is a very compelling argument that "pay-for-performance plans are reliably unsuccessful, if not counterproductive".

While the article is aimed mostly at these types pay schemes in relation to the teaching profession - the arguments are generic across all occupations.

I particularly like the following paragraph:
"Educational policymakers might be forgiven their shortsightedness if they were just proposing to raise teachers' salaries across the board—or, perhaps, to compensate them appropriately for more responsibilities or for additional training. Instead, though, many are turning to some version of "pay for performance." Here, myopia is complicated by amnesia: For more than a century, such plans have been implemented, then abandoned, then implemented in a different form, then abandoned again. The idea never seems to work, but proponents of merit pay never seem to learn. "

1 comment:

Richard_Cranium said...

Alfie also submits that students should not be made to do any homework. Doesnt like grades or test scores either. Most of his beliefs center around the concept that dont reward or classify or rate, the cream of the crop will rise to the top anyway. Interresting concept that I just can't accept, especially when my business is paying people to do work that I can not do myself. I think that doing well and getting financial rewards goes a lot further than a pat on the back and an attaboy.