Should teachers be paid according to how much their students learn?


Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Teachers should be paid according to how much their students learn.

Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Sample Essay:

Some communities have decided to base evaluations of teachers on students’ test scores. It’s these evaluations that determine how much teachers will be paid. I don’t think this is a very good idea for several reasons.

First of all, if teachers’ salaries are going to be based on how much students learn, then some teachers will start to teach their students only what they need to get high test scores. This means that students will miss out on a lot of education that can’t be measured on a test.

For instance, one of the best methods to help students understand a subject is encouraging them to discuss it. A common practice is to divide the class into groups, have each group discuss the subject, and then have them report back to the whole class. This kind of shared learning can lead to a fuller understanding. It also teaches students how to discuss and debate ideas. However, it doesn’t supply facts to show off on a test.

Another problem with basing teachers’ salaries on how much their students learn is that teachers may ignore students who have learning difficulties. Some students learn more slowly than others and need more personal attention. If a teacher is worried about tests, he may feel he has to push the majority of the students to cram facts. That effort will take all his time. He won’t be able to help the less able students.

It’s true there are teachers who “burn out” after many years teaching and just don’t care how much their students learn. Basing their salaries on their students’ test scores may improve their efforts. However, it’s not fair for the majority of teachers. They deserve and need to be judged by other criteria.