Alexander Statement on President Obama’s Announcement of Support for Merit Pay for Teachers

Posted on March 10, 2009

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), a former U.S. secretary of education, today made the following statement in response to President Obama’s announcement that he will expand successful performance-pay models and rewards for effective teachers by increasing federal support for such programs in school districts nationwide: “Nothing is more important or more difficult than finding fair ways to pay the best teachers more for teaching well. The President and Secretary Duncan are on exactly the right track on this and deserve the nation’s support.” When Senator Alexander was governor in 1983, Tennessee became the first state to pay teachers more for teaching well. Ultimately, 10,000 Tennessee teachers joined a career ladder for “master teachers,” for which they received higher pay as well as 10- and 11-month contracts.