Carol Platt Liebau: Romney the Reformer

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Romney the Reformer

Chalk one up for Mitt Romney -- he's a brave man, indeed.

Romney has proposed the unthinkable -- actually (gasp!) basing some teacher rewards on merit. Among other features, his plan would make teachers with good evaluations eligible for bonuses, and would divorce teacher evaluation from the collective bargaining process, while instituting criteria statewide for assessing teacher performance.

Predictably, the teachers union is crying foul, calling the plan "inequitable, divisive, and ineffective." What's inequitable is the refusal to reward outstanding teachers in a manner proportionate to their contributions. And there's no way to tell if it's ineffective 'til it's been tried (and are things really so good that we should be erring on the side of maintaining the status quo?).

As for "divisive," well, yes. Any plan that rewards excellence is going to "divide" the excellent from the mediocre or subpar. Now explain why that's a bad thing.

Many teachers express indignation that their profession doesn't receive the "status" accruing to other lines of work. My sense is that if teachers want the "respect" that some other professions receive, then they need to subject themselves to the risks and rewards of doctors, lawyers and businessmen: The risk of failure and firing for the incompetent, with the rewards of lucre and acclaim for the outstanding.


Blogger stackja1945 said...

Best get best.

12:04 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

Should be, stack, but is not when the union is involved.

4:39 AM  

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