Friday, July 8, 2011

Merit Pay and the Radical SB5 Agenda: Cowboy Kasich

What's the Difference?

Although John Kasich won the Governorship of Ohio by a mere 70,000 votes, he and his Radical Republican cronies are blazing a trail to oblivion.  Although I am proud to say I didn't vote for him!  I have always considered myself a a right-leaning independent. However, Kasich's agenda has me and many other independents heading squarely into the Democratic camp.

Senate Bill 5 is nothing less than union busting. While it squarely attacks anyone and everyone who is affiliated with Ohio public employees, it unfairly targets educators. While most of SB5 will be heading to the November ballot, it is imperative we look at one issue that will make or break public education.  It is called MERIT PAY.

Merit Pay has a warm and fuzzy sound to it.  Everyone should get paid on their efforts and ability to help kids. Kids take a test, and teachers get paid accordingly. Good teachers get rewarded and bad teachers get fired or quit.  Sounds easy enough right? But most teachers do not go into education for the money. They go into education to help make the world a better place. This is something that Kasich (a former Lehman Brothers fat cat) and his Republican cronies just don't get. Please don't send public education the way of Lehman Brothers!

The Merit Pay argument is based on a basic fallacy.  The current system is not broken.  Longevity pay is written into every school district's master agreement. There is a basic assumption that a teacher should get better with each year. That, the more experience a teacher has, the more able that teacher will be able to help kids. This guarantees that a teacher will be able to afford the state mandated masters degree, and even allows teachers to do crazy things like buy cars and houses since there is a reliable source of income.
(Outhwaite Public Housing, Cleveland, Ohio)
 Public Education could very well be the country's greatest social experiment. Thomas Jefferson would have it no other way because he realized that our democracy was founded on a well-educated population. That an educated population will be able to embrace the freedoms of a nation such as ours.  "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." (as cited in Padover, 1939, p. 89) Kasich and the Radical Republican agenda would have voters believe that the schools are failing. This is not true. And I can honestly say that teachers who work in urban areas hold a special place in society's heart. To think that these educators work with children who are often under-privileged, and children who are over-exposed to a world of crime and violence is not much less than missionary work. That is not to mention that many of these educators have to park their cars inside barb wire fences, walk through metal detectors, and work with children who receive free breakfast and free lunch. Those teachers are one of the only positive influences in that child's life.

Kasich would have you believe that his political contributors such as Dave Brennan of White Hat Management would have the answer with charter schools. Although statistics suggest that most charter schools are failing to serve the children. But Brennan has gained the Republican's ear because he is dishing out campaign contributions and buying votes.

I would implore every reader to vote against SB5 this November.  Please spread the word! 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Merit pay cannot be the main compensation vehicle when you are dealing with people. You can't evaluate someone's pay/performance solely on the outcome of some other human being. You can when you are producing something, servicing something, creating something, etc. that the employee is responsible for. That is why coaches are not paid based on their records or given bonuses based on their records. Who would ever coach the Browns? Who would teach in the Cleveland schools? You are right. They just don't get it. Now it is getting interesting that they are going after the performance of lawyers. When does it stop? Am I going to have to call Columbus to go to the bathroom?