Friday, May 22, 2009
Apparently, merit pay is not going to save the world after all. It appears that it is not the way of the world, and that the overwhelming majority of working people don't actually get it. It also appears there are unintended consequences, but didn't we already know that?
I mean, if you're offering me ten thousand bucks for a ninety-percent passing rate, what are the chances some of my less productive students won't suddenly have flashes of genius that alter my worldview immediately? Is there anyone who really thinks that young music teacher who's been meeting the principal at the Comfort Inn on Tuesday afternoons isn't going to be rewarded?
Here's the thing, though--no one's actually offered ten grand, as far as I know. It's more like three grand. I once read an article by a merit pay supporter suggesting it ought to be the price of a used car. Personally, if I'm going to whore myself out, I'd like to be highly compensated, thank you very much.
The thing is--I'm not in this to whore myself out, and anyone who is is probably too stupid to teach in the first place. This is a great job, an exciting job, a job where I meet people I'm thrilled to know. If you don't feel that way, consider teaching ESL like me. You'll meet people from all over the world.
In any case, even if I were in it for the money, my big mouth (evident all over the blog) would preclude my receiving any. Anyone who tells you big cash payouts won't corrupt people is naive or lying. Sure, we didn't go into this to get rich. But we do have families, and we do need to support ourselves.
So please, Barack Obama, Randi Weingarten, Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee, and all the various and sundry muckety-mucks who have a hand in the future of education, keep this in mind--
We need to be paid. If we wanted tips, we'd be working at the diner.
Thanks to Magical Mystical Teacher