It is ridiculous to me that we, the people, are even having this discussion. All jobs/professions should be paid based on merit and performance. Experience should lead to better performance. Education should lead to better performance. But that fact it that you can’t take that for granted. Just because someone has been doing a job for 20 years doesn’t mean they are better at it than someone who has been at it for only 10 or 15…
The National Post gets in right in this editorial:
Objections to merit pay nearly always revolve around two basic assertions: (1) that teaching is too complex a craft to be successfully measured; and (2) that students vary too much from classroom to classroom, school to school, and year to year, for there to exist any fair method of comparing teachers.
But is teaching really more complex than, say, the practice of law and medicine? In both fields, it is common for professionals to be held accountable for their work performance. The same is true of engineering, stockbrokering, sales and any one of a hundred other occupations.
One thing that the NP says in this article I’m not 100% in agreement with:
Teachers unions once resisted school reforms in Alberta, too. But over the past 20 years, those changes have helped make that province a world-leader in student achievement, especially in mathematics and science. And now that the reforms are in place, most teachers have dropped their objections — if they still ever remember what they are.
Alberta allows principals to control their schools’ budgets and hiring decisions. In most cities, there are also open boundaries that permit students to attend any school they wish, if space permits. Then the province pays a per capita grant according to the number of students there are in each school. In this way, the money follows the student, so schools are compelled to be sensitive to parents’ and students desires and more accountable for their teachers’ performance.
What I don’t see is that the Calgary Board of Education has taken the opportunity to open the system up as much as Edmonton has done… The freedom to choose schools and the “money following the student” is happening there, not in Calgary…