Friday, July 1, 2011

Why Incentive Pay for Teachers is a Trojan Horse

The same people who have been promoting incentive and merit pay for teachers are also those who want cuts in taxes and government.  The two will never go together, and proponents of the incentive approach know it.

On June 24th, newly-elected Oklahoma State Supt. of Schools, Janet Barresi cast the tie-breaking vote that, among other things, ended one of the best National Board Certification incentive programs in the United States.

According to the Oklahoma Education Associations website "The NBCT program has made a significant impact in Oklahoma. Oklahoma ranks 9th in the nation for the percentage of NBCTs. As a result of this achievement, Oklahoma also ranks in the top ten nationwide for teacher quality and high standards, according to Education Week's Quality Counts report."

The same Republican-controlled Oklahoma State Legislature and Republican governor who can't seem to cut enough taxes, issues one press release after another that presumes that there just isn't enough money to go around.

So, the game is: Offer lower salaries in exchange for incentives.  Cut taxes and then say "we're broke, we have to cut".  First thing, cut teacher incentives.  Achieve the result of lowering teacher pay without any politician taking blame for doing so.

Our Republican State Superintendent agrees, and chooses to take away a nationally-recognized incentive program as one of her very first budgeting acts in office.

Tell me again who is in favor of merit pay and incentives?

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