The Kansas City Star (Sunday) - - OPINION -

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.

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