Merit pay is component of new D.C. teachers contract

Washington, D.C., teachers have ratified a contract that includes a voluntary pay program based on student achievement and allows Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee to more easily fire teachers. The contract must still be approved by the D.C. Council, which is expected to do so. The new deal also gives teachers a 21.6% pay increase over five years -- raising the average teacher salary to $81,000.

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