It's clear that North Carolina governor Pat McCrory still doesn't get it. In today's Charlotte Observer, he once again is pushing that same old tried and failed thinking that for some reason he just can't let go: merit pay for teachers. He doesn't realize that it has been tried, and it does not work. In fact, North Carolina even had merit pay bonuses for test scores throughout the early part of the 2000's and it was dropped when the budget shortfalls started. I would send him a copy of Daniel Pink's book Drive and the Vanderbilt Merit Pay Study if I felt he would read it, but sadly, like our entire North Carolina Legislature, ideology rules over reason every single time. For once, I would like to see a politician in our state capital and sit down and look at the facts, and maybe even read a book or a genuine research study rather than an ALEC written bill or some think tank report.
Governor McCroy, and many others in our state political leadership just don't get this from the Vanderbilt Study:
"Offering teachers incentives of up to $15,000 to improve test scores produced no discernible differences in in academic performance..." Washington Post, "Teacher Bonuses Not Linked to Better Student Performance Study Finds"
Daniel Pink's book would also make a great addition to the governor's reading list as well as a few Alfie Kohn and Dan Ariely books. It appears even our governor doesn't understand teacher motivations. Yes, it's true that teachers and educators haven't gotten pay raises for the past few years. Teachers just want fair compensation for the work they do. Most that I know, aren't motivated by money, and our governor just doesn't understand that because perhaps his motivation is driven by that.
Governor McCroy does need to look at finding pay raises for all educators and not in the form of "performance pay" either. It simply will not work, unless you're looking for a way to be cheap and perhaps keep from giving all educators a raise. Let's hope that's not what the governor is trying to do. So far, there's no test alone that determines the quality of a teacher or educator. Defining teacher and educator effectiveness is just too complex to reduce to some kind of numerical rating system. At worst, Governor McCroy's selectively giving raises by merit pay, to beginning teachers, and only to science and math, shows that he still doesn't value all of our educators. He still doesn't get it and apparently can't even think and act for himself because these are the same tired ideas that politicians have been pushing for years.