The problem there, up until recently, has been that you can’t really do much research on a thing that doesn’t exist yet. So, for example, how does Ravitch know already that merit pay will turn teachers against each other?
Back to journalism and elephants: Just now, in fact, merit pay systems are up and running in a few major districts. Our own Dallas school district may even have the most comprehensive and sophisticated merit pay system in the country, a direct legacy of the tenure here of former Dallas school Superintendent Mike Miles.
This year is the first when we have had two years to compare in order to spot trends. But in most of its recent coverage of what is called the “Teacher Excellence Initiative” or TEI (merit pay) system here, The Dallas Morning News has focused only on the criticism of the system brought forward by the teachers unions.