Another warning about the dangerous side effects of high-stakes testing surfaced, when a plan to pay teachers on the basis of their students' scores was offered, making student student test scores very high stakes for teachers. A schoolmaster noted that under these conditions, "a teacher knows that his whole professional status depends on the results he produces and he is really turned into a machine for producing these results; that is, I think unaccompanied by any substantial gain to the whole cause of education." This concern about testing students to judge a teacher's worth first surfaced in the year 1887, but is as fresh as recent headlines about pay-for-performance in Denver, Colorado; Houston, Texas; Florida; Minnesota and Iowa.
The idea of merit pay is not a new, ground-breaking idea that will save education. Sadly, it is yet another bad idea that has been recylced over and over again. 123 years ago, it was clearly established that the cons of merit pay clearly out-weighted the pros - and so it was rightfully abandoned.
And yet, here we are. ugh