July 17, 2007

Performance pay fairy tales

A long time ago in a galaxy far away, a governor promised to raise teacher pay, if only it would be based on performance. Let us evaluate teachers based on what they do and what their students do, he said, and the keys to the kingdom will be yours, as will the goose that lays the golden egg, the loom that makes the future, the magic lamp, and a yellow hybrid Hummer that gets more than 16 miles to the gallon. Cross our heart, stick a needle in my eye, and all that.

The teachers figured they couldn't get turnip from the legislature otherwise and said, "Sure, Governor, as long as we get a seat at the table when we make this performance-pay plan." Because the governor was a Good Man, a man who smiled, and in addition to having threads that actually had threads, also was a hoopy frood who really knew where his towel was, the People believed.

So it was said in the land of Oz, or at least a land that was only a little north of Oz, or maybe somewhat south and a lot east of Oz. And lo! the think-tanky types were happy. Happy reporters wrote happy articles. The legislature smiled. The sun shone. A rainbow came to celebrate the event.

Uh-oh.  You know what causes rainbows, don't you?

Right after the rainbow, budget cuts came.

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Posted in Education policy on July 17, 2007 11:40 AM |