Debatepedia has developed the world’s most extensive article on the pros and cons of merit pay for teachers. The article draws over 30 pro and con arguments and quotations from over 20 of the most outstanding editorials, opinion pieces, essays, and political statements on the issue. And, it structures these arguments and quotations in Debatepedia’s unique pro/con “logic tree” structure. The structure helps separate the primary sub-debates (and arguments and counter-arguments) in this debate, which are represented by some of the following questions: Does merit-based pay improve education? Does it improve the quality of teaching by incentivizing hard work? Does it help attract and retain quality teachers? Does it help weed out bad teachers? Does merit pay distract teachers? Does it create undesirable competition between teachers? Does it discourage teachers from going to needy schools? Can teacher merit be successfully measured? Or does varying student performance get in the way? Is merit pay fairer to teachers? Does it fall pray to principal cronyism? Does it encourage teachers to cheat? Does the market demonstrate the importance of pay for performance? If teachers should be paid more in general, is merit pay the best way to do it? What do past examples of merit pay around the world demonstrate? Debatepedia’s community has outlined the pros and con arguments and quotations that fit within and respond to the above sub-debate questions, making it truly the most comprehensive breakdown of the debate available.
President Obama has repeatedly stated his support for merit pay for teachers. Yet, with many priorities on his plate, it would appear that the debate will continue for some time, and even after any policy decisions are made, the debate is likely to continue for years to come, in the United States and abroad. For this reason, Debatepedia’s pro/con structure is particularly valuable in helping walk citizens and decision-makers through the many arguments and quotations so that they can effectively deliberate, make decisions, and make the policy that will guide education in the 21st century.
Debatepedia is a wiki encyclopedia of pros and con arguments and quotations. It is essentially “the Wikipedia of pros and cons”. Started in 2006 by Brooks Lindsay and William Wnekowicz out of Georgetown University, Debatepedia subsequently merged with the International Debate Education Association in 2007. IDEA is a 501c3 non-profit piloted initially by the Open Society Institute in 1999. While IDEA promotes debate in all of its forms around the world, Debatepedia fits within its mission to expand a new industry in journalism – what it calls the “in-depth journalism of public debates”.
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