Ok, so maybe we didn't solve it...but at dinner tonight my husband came up with an interesting option for "merit pay" for teachers and I thought I'd offer it up for discussion here... I was discussing the fact that it was disheartening that as a teacher, I could work for 30 years and not receive and not have any sort of "advancement" based on my skills and achievement other than a small pay increase that comes for every teacher for simply showing up to work and not beating the children. He commented that the problem was that the tier system wasn't based on merit, but rather on time...and I responded that merit-pay is tricky though, because you have to answer all the questions like: What is it based on? Who determines it? How much do you get and for what skills? Etc. etc. I just didn't see it working. He smiled and said that I had been living with someone going through a merit based system that had working for hundreds of years...the military rank system...and why couldn't something like that work in education. It was, in my opinion, and intriguing thought. Every teacher begins as a 2nd Lieutenant (forgive me, I'm using Air Force Officer rank because thats what I'm familiar with...) by doing little more than showing up...receiving adequate progress reports etc. they can be promoted to 1st LT. in a year or two...perhaps receiving a certain number of hours of additional education they can become "Captain," and so on and so on. I thought it was a really interesting concepts I had never heard anyone bring up before...obviously, I haven't put a ton of thought into it as we just got back from dinner an hour ago but... What do people here think?