cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
If this can be made workable on a uniform and well-defined basis, I am absolutely in favor of rewarding those teachers who exceed the requirements. I've listened to what passes for both sides of the argument, and it seems there are ways in which this could be accomplished without creating a subterfuge where all students suddenly become "above average" as was the case in the fabled Lake Wobegone.
On the other hand, I think there also needs to be a mechanism for identifying and dealing with those teachers who do not measure up. When I listen to teachers, it seems that many feel they are burdened by carrying those who simply, for whatever reason, do not carry their own load. The true professionals have no time for those who should've never been licensed, or for those who have somehow lost sight of the goal of the professional teacher.
By the same token, I would favor merit pay for administrators; and I would like to see those who do not meet the requirements sent packing. I do understand that there are any number of "administrators" who are really administrators in name only, and who actually impede the organizations which they administer.
Bonus, or merit pay, programs in business can be well or poorly structured. If everyone receives a bonus, then where is the stimulus for performance above the standard. If the deadwood isn't cleared periodically, then where is the stimulus for the higher performers, as well as for those new to the business or profession who are seeking their personal direction in what often is the first full-time occupational setting in which they've worked.
The public sector should be no different from the private sector, unions or no unions. If unions condone the mediocre performer, they are really working to the detriment of their solid members, and that is not correct no matter the venue - public or private. I know that unions are rewarded based upon the total number of members, but they really need to take an honest accounting of their own goals and professionalism, and shed those members who simply are not good for either the union or the employer. Maybe I am living in something other than the "real" world, but wouldn't it be nice if unions were run in that manner, also?
Not everyone is a good performer and that holds true in virtually every workplace to which I've ever been exposed. The larger the organization, the more room that is created for deadwood. In contrast in the smaller organizations, fewer are the 'hiding places' for the deadwood. Larger organizations typically have the wherewithal to shelter those who don't perform as they should, while small organizations seldom have that luxury.
Having said that, would this be as good for a Germantown School District as for a Milwaukee Public School system? I think so; and, possibly it would be better since personnel issues can be more demoralizing and disrupting in the smaller system or organization.