Sorry to borrow a tired Obama campaign metaphor, but the President's recent speech on education did add another powerful voice to the wave of interest for alternative/merit pay (or strategic compensation) as we are calling it at the Classical Academy. Karin Piper, an active charter school proponent and observer adds her voice in a post titled Bring On Merit Pay! at her charter school examiner. As we have written here, here, here, here, and here, the charter school community is leading the way on teacher pay innovation. The traditional public school system is locked, glued, strapped, and immobilized in every other way by the slavish teacher union devotion to equity. Merit pay isn't a quick fix, but those who dismiss it prematurely are stuck defending a system that's demonstrably broken.
We appreciate that larger systems such as Denver Public Schools and Jeffco are experimenting with merit pay, but even their best or promised efforts are still deeply compromised by the existing union power structure. To truly test merit pay in public education takes a charter school. As Karin says, bring it on!