It's amazing to me how politicians don't get it. You can't tie teacher pay to test scores. It's just a bad idea. Bush didn't understand and neither does Obama.
If teacher pay is tied to student test scores several things will happen as a result.
1) The best teachers will avoid the worst schools.
2) Teachers and districts will teach to the test. Since when should we strive for mediocrity?
3) Increased "competition" between teachers will result in less collegial exchanges. The free exchange of information, ideas and best practices is essential to creating a climate of academic optimism where the students can not only learn but excel.
I love competition and never back down from a challenge, but this is one idea that everyone should drop.
Test Scores do not measure how much a student has learned, they just measure the minimum.