We’re Teachers And We’re Insulted By People Asking Us To Do Our Job


    Do not think about, write about or deal with  human behavior without determining the effects of incentives.

      Wherein we see the feeble union response to a scientific study.

Union dismisses study touting teacher pay based on student performance
Aedan Helmer, QMI Agency

OTTAWA — A study recommending teachers be paid based on student achievement instead of tenure is being roundly dismissed by the Ontario teachers’ union.

The Fraser Institute study says the current system is "stuck in a time warp," and the public policy think-tank warns that among teachers, "excellence goes unrewarded (while) mediocrity goes unaddressed."

The controversial study, authored by senior fellow Vicki Alger, argues for an incentive-based pay structure — where teachers may receive bonuses tied to student test scores, or salary increases based on student achievement — taking the place of the current system, where teachers are paid on a scale based on tenure and credentials.

"The evidence suggests that incentive pay programs, when properly designed and implemented, improve student performance even among the most disadvantaged student populations, and are more cost-effective than across-the-board pay raises and class-size reductions," said Alger, who considered 10 models from around the world where teacher incentive pay has yielded impressive results.

But Ontario Teachers’ Federation (OTF) president Rian McLaughlin dismissed the study’s findings, saying the case studies are drawn from "obscure" locales — from Chile to India to Little Rock, Ark. — and that there is "no evidence" that such a system would work in Canada.


    What’s he gonna say? Great idea. We’ll replace the current system with one in which you need to work. Now, all you have to do is keep breathing and get “merit” increases. Good enough for government work.

The OTF also took issue with the suggestion that educators could learn something from the business world, where performance bonuses and merit-based pay are the norm.

"Other professions attract and retain talented people with incentive pay based on job performance, so it would seem reasonable for the teaching profession, with its huge impact on children and society, to follow suit," Fraser Institute director Deani Van Pelt said.

McLaughlin fired back, saying, "We don’t see education as being a business. It’s not a corporate body that produces workers for somebody’s business.


   If any public enterprise were a business, it would not be in business long because of its inefficiency and ineffectiveness.

"It reduces the profession to a clinical and oversimplified activity. It likens it to Pavlov’s Dog, but teachers are not simply motivated by what’s going in their wallet," McLaughlin said, adding the study overlooks critical aspects of the classroom experience, and fails to consider issues like child poverty, mental illness and parent engagement.

McLaughlin said there is also legitimate concern that teachers would be motivated to "teach to the test" — rigging lesson plans to focus on improving standardized test scores, rather than fundamental learning. Alger argues there is evidence to the contrary.

"Teachers respond to incentives by changing the way they teach," Alger said. "They are aware of their own effectiveness and even highly effective teachers want to improve, for themselves and their students."


     It’s sad, but predictable. The Ontario Teacher’s Pension Fund is running out of money. Pass it on.

Government Job or Respect–Which’ll It Be?
Cheerio and ttfn,
Grant Coulson, Ph.D.
Author, “Days of Songs and Mirrors: A Jacobite in the ‘45.”
Cui Bono–Cherchez les Contingencies


One Response to “We’re Teachers And We’re Insulted By People Asking Us To Do Our Job”

  1. Darlianto Says:

    Reblogged this on My MAD Monologue and commented:
    simply like the title! the most common thing happen here, in my country, especially at educational institutions where “the haves” rule everything.

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