Paying Teachers Based on Student Performance


Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

Teachers should be paid according to how well their students perform.

Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.


Lately, some Korean politicians have been trying to change the laws so that teachers’ salaries are connected to their students’ performances, a policy that is called the merit pay system. I think, however, this is not a wise thing to do. Teachers’ salaries should not be determined by how well their students do in class.

One problem with this proposal is that some classes are simply bad or do not care about anything. No matter how hard a teacher tries, the students do not improve. I have seen classes like this before. One time, my class had a science teacher who was really good and tried his best. However, the majority of the students in my class did not care about school at all. No matter what my teacher tried, the students did not respond to him. If teachers get paid by how well their students perform, teachers like my science teacher would receive a low salary despite doing their best. This seems very unfair to me.

In addition, in order to improve the performance of their students, some teachers are likely to give them grades they do not deserve. [Supporting details] Teachers receiving merit pay will feel pressure to give students large numbers of A’s and B’s since, if they give low grades—even to bad students—their salaries will decrease. So schools will begin seeing severe grade inflation. This is not desirable for either the teachers or the students. The teachers will be trying to protect their jobs; the students will be receiving grades they did not earn. Nobody can win in a situation like this.

I am strongly against deciding teachers’ salaries based upon the performance of their students. Some classes do not improve even if the teacher does his or her best. Teachers will also feel tempted to give students grades higher than they deserve. Merit pay would definitely cause more problems in schools than it would solve.

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