To all comments that are negative toward teachers:
Teachers are not the ones asking for merit pay, they are the ones that are being told that in order to get any type of value, they need to achieve certain goals. This value will be in the aspect of financial compensation. Sounds like a great idea, and every salesman in the country would love this type of goal.
Problem: Teachers are not allowed to do many things in order to achieve their necessary goal thanks to parents who feel they know better, and often run to lawyers to save their rear. If given the chance, most of your teachers prefer to do their job for the monies they are offered..leave it at that.
For all of you that state...well in my profession. Stop doing that. In your profession you know what goes on. Out of your profession you know very little. As a teacher in Florida, there is more negative political goings on than there is positive.
If the public does not wise up soon, the Jeb Bush system of Education will be here, and then you will worry about your wonderful child's education, as it will be run like a business.
And just as those salesmen learn on the sales floor, if things are not working, then you find a new way to do it. The teachers are loud as they are trying to let the legislature know that change is needed, just not in the ignorant manner they are going about it.
Merit pay does not work...find a new system.