More than three years ago, we recognized Springfield Schools Superintendent Norm Ridder for stressing the value of a very controversial educational tool: merit pay for teachers.
We also have credited his chutzpa for suggesting a specific plan: higher pay for teachers who agree to work for designated time periods in poorer schools and do it well.
Though his suggestions have not yet led to action, they show the superintendent believes in performance-for-pay.
So why is his own raise based on a factor unrelated to performance?
Many critics of "teaching to the test" howl when they hear talk of compensation based on that singular and somewhat arbitrary benchmark. But is it wise to have no specific link between student scores and superintendent pay?
Is it smart to not even mention them in those lengthy checklists used to evaluate a district’s top official?
Should student scores be disassociated to that degree?
It’s time for a fresh look at why and how pay raises come for superintendents.