Here is an episode of Teaching Outloud hosted by Stephen Hurley with the Canadian Education Association where I am a part of a discussion on teacher merit pay.
You can find Teaching Oultoud Episode 4 here.
Essentially I argue that merit pay for teachers not won't work but can't work. Ever.
Firstly, we have not agreed on what real learning and good teaching actually looks like. While some parents might line up to get their child into a classroom where students sit quietly in rows, raise their hand to speak, complete worksheets, and carry textbooks while the teacher is in obvious control at the front of the classroom with their laminated lesson plans, daily homework, weekly quizzes, monthly tests, I couldn't get my daughter out of such a classroom fast enough.
Secondly, merit pay is being sold hand-in-hand with standardized testing. The predominant method for policy makers to determine merit is via standardized tests scores. The problem here is that standardized testing is (wrongly) being sold as a window into classroom quality when the research shows that standardized testing best measures two things - affluence and test preparation.
Here's more on merit pay:
The failure of merit pay
Merit Pay and Privatization
Alberta Teachers Association Opposes Merit Pay
Canadian Teachers' Federation speaks out against merit pay
The ignorance of merit pay
The Folly of Merit Pay
Merit Pay video
Dan Pink on merit pay
Merit Pay: a 123 year old bad idea