MS Education Superintendent talks about White House merit teacher pay plan

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi's Superintendent of Education says a White House plan to reward high performing teachers with higher pay is a good idea in theory, but may not be so practical. Just days ago, President Obama unveiled an initiative that uses teacher merit pay to help improve the nation's education system..

State Education Superintendent Hank Bounds was the guest speaker at Sunday's dedication ceremony for the new D'Iberville High School. In an interview afterwards, Bounds said the pay incentive could help to retain teachers, however, the question is how to implement such a program.

"I think that we should recognize our best and brightest and those that do the best job moving the needle in student performance," said Bounds. "The problem is it's difficult to measure, so it's sort of the devil is in the details. That's while I absolutely agree with his thoughts in principle, when you get down to doing it, trying to figure out how you apply dollars to performance, that's where the difficulty lies."

Bounds says the state really needs incentives that would attract more people to enter the teaching profession since there are about 2,500 vacancies across Mississippi right now.

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