Many of them are highly skilled, engaged, and enthusiastic. There is that bunch in the middle – some are learning and improving, some are slacking a bit. And there are teachers who should find a line of work that is not so crucial to our families and our nation.
It’s not surprising. If you look at any group of employees you will find a mix of talent. But here’s something that concerns me: in the business world, where survival depends on real-world results, managers are selected, compensated, promoted and released based on their talent and contributions to the organization’s success. Successful businesses use this natural, competitive human resource development process to improve their performance on an ongoing basis.
Unlike business professionals, teachers are paid based on years of service and college credits, without regard for their teaching skill and success with students. Why? Is success in business more important than success in education? Is it too difficult to evaluate the performance level of teachers, compared to business managers? Do teachers not have the same proven motivations that all other humans do?
It surprises me that good teachers are so willing to have their earnings reduced to the lowest common denominator. I can understand that a hundred guys installing widgets on an assembly line are pretty interchangeable, and the only way to distinguish them is reliability and loyalty. But education is much more complex, and teacher performance is much more variable. It seems wrong that the top performers are held to the earning power of their weakest counterparts, who just happen to have the same tenure and step level. Wrong for those teachers who overachieve, wrong for the professionals who choose a different career where their talent and effort is rewarded, and wrong for our nation at a time when we are searching for ways to leverage our educational results.
If I owned an NFL team and chose to pay my players the same, based on their years on the roster but disregarding individual talent and contributions to the “W” column, how many games would I win? How long would I survive against the competitive teams?
The concept of “fairness” is a top priority of Democrats, the party in power. The teacher’s unions are rigidly supportive of the Democrats, and vice-versa. I can’t think of anything less fair than everyone being paid the same, regardless of their talent and contributions to success.
Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side
Maggies’ Farm – Bob Dylan