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HR Management

Sulphur Springs Teachers


Five, ten, fifteen, twenty [fade out].


Two years ago Sulphur Springs Elementary School in Tampa received an F rating under


Florida’s school grading system.


It always says [inaudible].


The school district responded by bringing in a new principal, Christi Buell, who replaced 29 out


of 43 teachers, more than 60 percent of her staff.


It was a very dire situation. We were told that the school could potentially be closed down.


Very nice [inaudible].


Buell managed to bring in fresh blood, in part by utilizing the district’s merit pay program, which


pays teachers more when their students pull better grades.


Performance incentives do make a difference. It helps to attract the teachers to your school.


What word do you think that is, Michael?

But it also motivates them to do their very best.


It was a “ah.” Now it’s a —


HR Management: Clip 14 McGraw-Hill — Page 2


O [fade out].


Teachers can earn $5,000 extra if their students are among those who show the most


improvement on test scores within the school year. Fourth grade writing teacher Donna


Calderoni [phonetic] got a merit pay bonus last year.


Because that’s what you’ve got to convey to the reader.


A teacher incentive pay is the cure. It is a positive at the end of a year of hard work, absolutely.


But does it lead to brighter students? There are critics of merit pay who say there’s little research


proving it works, it is hard to administer fairly, and it can create ill will among teachers.


If a compensation system creates competition between individual teachers in the building, that is


not good for the students.


The criticisms haven’t stopped President Obama from embracing the idea.


Too many supporters of my party have resisted the idea of rewarding excellence in teaching with


extra pay, even though we know it can make a difference in the classroom.


Please set the continental plates [fade out].


There’s no question that teacher incentive pay is a controversial thing, okay?


MaryEllen Elia is the Superintendent of the Hillsborough School District, which includes


Sulphur Springs Elementary. Her district has received a $100 million grant from the Bill &


Melinda Gates Foundation, in part to study and fine tune the effectiveness of the


pay-for-performance approach.


HR Management: Clip 14 McGraw-Hill — Page 3


We’re committed to make sure that we get the program right, that it’s fair, that it’s equitable.


In fact, it appears to have worked here. That F Sulphur Springs Elementary School got two years


ago became a B this school year.


Ultimately what we’re shooting for is student success, and if the money helps us get there, then


it’s a great motivator.


One, two, three.


Three people said yes.




This is what I need:

Video: Sulphur Springs Teachers: (or read Script)

The Discussion topics are based on the video presented below. Watch the video and read the video script provided. Answer the questions below.

Discussion Questions

1.    What are some of the most significant benefits of Pay for Performance System?

2.    Pay for Performance also has its list of challenges. What are the main areas of concern with the implementation of a Pay for Performance System?

Support your response with information from the textbook or other academic source.

Video: Sulphur Springs Teachers: McGraw Hill. Retrieved from



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