To the Editor:
Iâ€™ve never had a problem with the idea of merit pay for teachers, just the way that it is too often distributed. In many institutions, monetary rewards are the outcome of obedience to administrators rather than excellence in teaching and scholarship.
With academic leadership increasingly falling into the hands of politically appointed micromanagers rather than serious well-qualified educators, this problem will only continue, posing a threat to academic excellence.
If administrators, trustees and legislative overseers are willing to acknowledge that they may not be the most competent arbiters of academic â€œmerit,â€ then a meritocracy may be able to work.
In an environment where petty martinets are in a position to make decisions about merit, excellence will be sacrificed at the altar of subservience. This is not good for education, or for the future of a well-educated America.
New York, June 18, 2007