Thursday, September 28, 2006

U of O editorial

Merit pay for teachers should be abandoned
In Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron Saxton's campaign against incumbent Gov. Ted Kulongoski, he has made education a key issue of his platform.

Saxton, a former Portland school board chairman, supports the notion of merit pay, which is when teacher salaries are determined by students' performance on Oregon's standardized tests administered in grades 3-12. Giving a teacher an incentive to primarily prepare students for standardized tests will result in much narrower curricula. Those incentives will also reduce necessary opportunities for students to explore important topics that standardized tests do not cover.

Perhaps if the tests covered subjects other than the unimportant stuff like reading, writing and arithmetic and instead focused on what was really being taught then the liberals would be more pleased...

Fisting is a:

(a) fun thing to do
(b) safe alternative to sex
(c) the thing that your gym teacher did to you that we don't talk about
(d) all of the above

The objections to paying the different amounts to the teacher of the year and the child molestor of the year vary. This editorial starts by blasting "standardized tests" and then voices the Union complaint of

"Teacher unions also opposed the plan because its evaluations were subjective and were not based on objective data," the OSBA site states."

So which is it? You don't like the rigidity of standardization or you don't like the subjective nature of the performance metrics? (for those of you who went to public school it can't be both at the same time)


Anonymous said...

teachers should get extra pay for teaching in those poor schools where low scores are the norm, and less pay in schools where rich parents have there kids coached to get high scores.

Anonymous said...

Communist mentality of the unions speaks loudly when they continue to push for same pay for everybody, regardless of results.

Who is the idiot that allowed Gov't workers (the only lifetime job left in America) to get into unions?

John Eyler said...

Great observation Daniel.

Unions are a monopoly that need to be treated as such with anti-trust enforcement.

Anonymous said...

Sorry off the subject for a min. Thought everyone would love to read this article:

U.S.-Mexico border fence may harm animal migration

A plan to fence off a third of the U.S. border to stop illegal immigration from Mexico may harm migration routes used by animals including rare birds and jaguars, environmentalists and U.S. authorities warn.

The House of Representatives passed a bill this month authorizing the construction of about 700 miles (1,120km) of double fencing along the 2,000-mile (3,200-km) border, which was crossed by more than one million illegal immigrants last year.

The proposal, which the Senate is expected to vote on in coming days, seeks to build continuous barriers separated by an access road for patrol vehicles on long stretches of the border in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

Environmentalists and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wardens say the barrier would disrupt the migration of scores of species from jaguars to hawks and humming birds along a wildlife corridor linking northern Mexico and the U.S. southwest known as the "Sky Islands."

The chain of 40 mountain ranges links the northern range of tropical species such as the jaguar and the parrot in the Mexican Sierra Madre Mountains, and the southern limit of temperate animals such as the black bear and the Mexican wolf in the U.S. Rocky Mountains.

"Bisecting the area with an impermeable barrier such as a double reinforced wall or fence could really have a devastating effect on these species," said Matt Skroch, a wildlife biologist and executive director of the environmental non-profit group Sky Island Alliance in Tucson, Arizona.

"If they build it, we could really say goodbye to the future of jaguars in the United States," he added.

Bobkatt said...

Lesser minds continue to throw money at the education system. The results are an ever increasing demand for alternative schools and vouchers and lower test scores and students less able to compete in the real world. Now in Oregon they want to make it mandatory that all children go to preschool and Head Start which will futher cripple our state budget. We need a completely different approach that does not come from those who are most concerned with protecting their personal interests. Please listen to Dan Carlin to find an approach that is unique and uses common sense. Listen top show #66.

terry said...

I always scored very high (90th percentile or higher) on standardized tests, and while I support the concept of merit pay, I would have been ticked off if a crummy teacher got a raise because of my test scores.

And while throwing money at problems is often a very bad move, the children of the rich are getting ahead not on their own merit, but on the basis of a lot of coaching and tutoring.

The old quaint idea of a meritocracy is being supplanted by a moneyocracy.

Bryan Saxton said...


I think you got objective and subjective mixed up.

Scottiebill said...

A good many years ago the schools and their teachers were to be looked up to and they did an excellent job of educating the kids. But, since the teachers' unions came into being in, I believe, 1979, they have gone downhill so badly that they are nothing more than government run and funded day care centers with the teachers reduced to automatons in the classrooms. They are paid based on tenure, with little attention being given to merit. They are teaching their own brand of political correctness without regard to the parents' wishes or beliefs.

Statistics are showing that something like 40% of the high school graduates are incapable of reading beyond the 5th grade and cannot write a coherent sentence. Emphasis in the schools is not on education, but on reporting any parent who has the audacity to discipline his own children, to dare to teach them whatever their religious beliefs they might have, or not have, and many other factors too numerous to list here. Misbehavior by some students in the classrooms is tolerated because the teachers no longer have the authority, nor the capability, nor the desire to face down these delinquents. If they were to discipline these young thugs, the AmINOCLU would insert their noses into the situation and the teachers would get reprimanded and possibly fired and the trouble-makers would be back in class with no consequences levied on them at all.

Colleges are also reporting that many of their students cannot read or write effectively for their age groups. Athletes with scholarships at colleges and universities get passes in their classes as long as they perform well on the field. The coaches and athletic directors seem to be after the professors to pass these under-performing in their academics so they are eligible to play on Saturday.

The educational system today needs to be completely overhauled from top to bottom, starting with kicking out the teachers' unions that have systematically ruining the schools and the teachers themselves.

gus miller said...

Anonymous (1.) said...
"teachers should get extra pay for teaching in those poor schools where low scores are the norm,"

That concept is called "Combat Pay" and supposedly rewards teachers for teaching in disadvantaged neighborhoods "where low scores are the norm". Portland already has a full cadre of certified teachers in those "combat zone schools". What is the logic of giving "combat pay" to the same teachers who show they are incapable of raising test scores in those schools?

It would be more logical to establish a "value added" merit pay system in those schools. Test students in reading, writing and math at the start and finish of the school year. Teachers whose students substantially increased test scores by year end would qualify for Merit Pay Bonuses.

The best teachers would be attracted to low scoring schools as students there would have the potential to gain more than students who start the school year with high scores.

The U of O editorial puts forth a "red herring" argument that gives a false picture of what effective merit pay systems should be. They are echoing the same "red herring arguments" public school representatives and employee unions have been using to deny reforms such as merit pay for years.

Bryan Saxton said...


I think you don't know what a red herring argument is.

Red Herring

gus miller said...

Your Red Herring assumes incorrectly BS, though would be a better example of a fallacious argument in the Merit Pay editorial.

Bryan Saxton said...

I think straw man would be closer, however there is no fallicy in this argument; just a difference of opinion.

gus miller said...

"A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue. The basic idea is to "win" an argument by leading attention away from the argument and to another topic."

You threw a Red Herring B.S., when you diverted the discussion away from the subject of Merit Pay.

Bryan Saxton said...


If you are referring to my earlier post about subjectivity and objectivity being a red herring, then you are wrong. I'm not arguing for the Emerald. My assertion was merely made to point out an error in Daniel's argument, which I don't altogether disagree with. As for your earlier post: I don't know what community college you dropped out of, but you definately need to brush up on your study of argumentative falacies.

gus miller said...


I hold a BBA from The University of Minnesota. Perhaps your resume will cross my desk some day.

Thank you for the preliminary information provided Blogger back in March, 2006.

Bryan Saxton
Age: 20
Astrological Sign: Capricorn
Zodiac Year: Ox
Industry: Publishing
Occupation: News Reporter for the Oregon Daily Emerald
Location: Eugene : Oregon : United States
About Me
I am a student at the University of Oregon. I hope to graduate with an exceptional GPA in four years and go on to law school

Bryan Saxton said...

University of Minnesota? You would have been better off getting one of those degrees they advertize on TV, because you are obviously not using it well.

But thanks for reminding me I need to update my profile.