Sunday, March 15, 2009

Teachers Pay

A recent article about bonus money (in addition to salaries) being paid to school principals, assistant principals, and teachers is a disturbing aspect of the current public education system. Don’t get me wrong, I believe teachers should receive a reasonable salary for the important work they are or should be doing to prepare students for the world. This is related to my dissatisfaction with the Federal Teachers Incentive Fund and the process of providing a merit-pay system for the biggest gains in attendance and test scores. This involves amounts from $2,500 to $10,000 depending on position. I am sure there are plenty of excellent teachers that are doing excellent jobs, but what happened to doing the job you are hired to do at the salary provided for the position. If you are not performing or doing the job properly then you should be fired, as it should be in any business or industry. The public school system has many problems and this is evident by the number of students that manage to graduate without being able to speak properly or have a reasonable knowledge of math or history. The public school system has deteriorated over the years. The problem would appear to be related to teaching ability and I don’t feel using money in such a manner is the proper way to solve the problem. There is the additional problem related to a lot of parents not taking a strong enough interest in their children and school, but the answer to that problem is evasive. Teachers should not have to be enticed with bonus money in order to fulfill their responsibilities. They should be replaced with individuals interested in preparing students for the difficult world they are about to enter. Salaries that I have seen published for principals and assistant principals appear to be very reasonable amounts and it should be automatic to replace those individuals if their schools are not performing.