January 5, 2011 by readlisaread
This post is about a “regional” issue, but it’s one that affects teachers everywhere, and for that matter, everyone with a stake in educating children.
In a press release, Liberal leadership candidate Kevin Falcon announced an idea he would like to put into policy, should he be elected party leader and/or Premier of BC. The full article is here, but the thrust of it is this: Mr. Falcon (is it ironic he carries the name of a bird of prey?) suggests that our education system would be SO much better if “good teachers got paid more than mediocre teachers”. He went on to say that if a teacher received a lower pay rate, based on their students’ achievement, then they would seek out a higher paid (ie, Better) teacher to ask for guidance and mentoring.
Now, I’m assuming that most people can see the problems with this model, and a rant from me isn’t really necessary. Anyone who understands the basics of behaviourism knows that rewards only work for certain behaviours, and extrinsic motivation is the least reliable. Add to that that there is no consideration being given to socio-economic status, ESL population, and a myriad of other factors that teachers know affect test scores, including the construction of the tests themselves. Despite applause from the Fraser Institute, I can’t imagine the majority of people walking around can’t see the flaws in this plan, but my question for Mr. Falcon is this:
What the hell were you thinking? We know the Liberals love to hate teachers, and your predecessor Mr. Campbell did all that he could to encourage the public to pay for a “better” education for their children in Private school– like he did–but seriously, Kevin, do you still hate your grade 9 math teacher that much? Let it go, man, he might have been an ineffective teacher, there are some of those, despite what you might think about us protecting our “brothers and sisters”, effective teachers that are just as uncomfortable as you seem to be with the idea that there are people teaching our kids who should have chosen a different career.
But let me also ask you this…. Would you likewise support Merit Pay for Politicians? Let’s base it on the popular vote, or maybe the popularity polls….or hey! Let’s ask the Opposition what they think you should get paid! What do you think of that idea, Kevin? Hello, Kevin? Kev?