I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Friday, May 27, 2011

Reformy Logic

I really do mean it when I say that many in the corporate reform movement appear not to have thought their arguments through. For example: I took another look at "Restructuring Teacher Pay to Reward Excellence" from the National Council on Teacher Quality, and found this:

As painful as the recession has been on
school districts, it provides a useful
opportunity to reexamine how money is spent. 
When negotiating new teacher contracts, most districts, no doubt, are focusing discussions on averting
wage freezes and massive layoffs. But prudent districts—those looking for long-term solutions to budget
problems as well as those seeking to more fairly compensate the most effective teachers—are reconsidering
the traditional salary schedule, which rewards teachers for years of experience and graduate credits. 
More than a half century ago, districts developed teacher salary schedules, embedding the incentives for both
experience and education as a response to real inequities in pay. Previously, higher salaries had been reserved for principals’ favorites, high school teachers rather than their elementary counterparts and males instead of females. But today, one can make the case that the current approach to teacher compensation has outlived its usefulness. For example, accountability systems discourage principals from making salary choices that are not in a school’s best interest and anti-discrimination laws protect teachers against unjust compensation decisions. 
Most significantly, the salary schedule, as currently defined, does not consider teacher effectiveness, making it
inherently unfair to talented teachers. It has also led to “wage compression,” meaning that teachers with the
most aptitude earn no more than teachers with the lowest aptitude, rendering teaching an unattractive career
choice for talented college graduates.1
OK, the recession will decrease school revenues. So schools should look at getting rid of salary guides or modifying them as a way to save money.


The only way that would work is if the teacher makes LESS over his or her entire career, right? I mean, you wouldn't want a teacher to make MORE if revenues are down, wouldn't you?
Despite comparable starting and ending salaries, teachers
in Detroit, Boston and Columbus earn significantly more
during their careers than teachers in Broward, Pittsburgh
and Northside because they do not have to wait until the
end of their careers to receive a competitive salary. (p. 7)
So, in a time of decreasing revenues, NCTQ wants to raise the total payroll of teachers. Because the recession is giving us an opportunity to do so, as revenues are down. Or something; it's confusing...

By the way, NCTQ doesn't really give any practical strategies for how a district would implement their plan. Would you make the veterans take a pay cut? Good luck with that. They suggest eliminating masters bonuses; yes, after your staff has put in all those hours earning degrees, let's get rid of any reward for doing so - that'll raise morale...

Again: these people don't work in schools, so they don't know what's going on. I'm left to wonder: does the ABA release a lot of policy papers on public lawyer employment by written by people who aren't lawyers? Does the AMA support non-doctors and ONLY non-doctors making compensation policies for their members who are public servants?

Hey, but those are REAL professionals...

1 comment:

thinker said...

I know it's hard to understand if you have not been taught. It is called "doublethink" and you learn it along with its close and personal friend "newspeak." It refers to an interesting way of ignoring inconvenient facts that get in the way of what big brother wants you to believe...that pesky logic and reasoning has got to go I tell you!