Sunday, April 10, 2011

Politicians Don't Get It: Merit Pay Won't Work

In response to those politicians in Florida and elsewhere who have pushed their merit pay bills through in the face of research that says it won’t work, and also in the face of many experienced educators who tell them the same, I post Daniel Pink’s TED video “The Surprising Science of Motivation.” I suspect it is just as Pink says:
“What worries me as we stand here in the rubble of the economic collapse is that too many organizations are making their decisions, their policies about talent and people based on assumptions that are outdated, unexamined, and rooted in folklore more than science.”
The idea of merit pay and pay for performance will not work. It will not improve education, and in the end, we can only hope it does not cause major damage to public education. Perhaps though, that is the ultimate goal any way. With the public education system in shambles due to bad education policy, there is no option but privatize. Then again, maybe this whole push for merit pay is indicative of who and what we truly idolize in this country:  we think the answer to all our problems lie in free markets and business. We forget that our current economic mess was caused by that which we idolize.

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