merit based pay

Posted by Daniela Elza on Aug 06 2011

Heard a guy from the Fraser Institute on CBC the other day. He was trying to convince us that merit based pay is one of the tools in The Watcher’s tool box to make teachers better, more effective and more efficient.

How do you think we will do that Mr. Fraser Institute Guy? In under a minute I imagined a whole load of scenarios of how that system can go wrong and turn sour. To figure out how to implement that will be the challenge, would’t it?

Mr. Metric Fraser Institute Dude was unflinching at any reasonable question posed. He was sure as a cucumber. No matter what question he was asked the answer was certain, and the same (with the words shuffled around a bit): Again, the research shows…

(But this tool man did not speak, or think, like a researcher. He sounded too familiar… He… sounds like a politician.)

The radio host tried different questions to dislodge, perhaps shift, Mr. Man from the Fraser Institute and his metric we-test-the-students-to-find-out-how-the-teachers-are-doing answers. The host tried to perhaps induce some much needed meditation and some real thought on the issue….People called in with comments and questions prompting complexity, veering away from oversimplification. But, our man from the Fraser Institute would not have any of that. He held tight to his “metric” barometers, which apparently he pulls out of his tool box. I was hoping for a moment of… hesitation, for a moment of… acknowledging the complexity of the issue. But everything was ordered and simple in the Fraser Institute mindset that day…

So I thought I might offer some Dr. Seuss advice for this magic tool box.

“Oh, the jobs people work at! Out west, near Hawtch-Hawtch, there’s a Hawtch-Hawtcher Bee-Watcher. His job is to watch… is to keep both his eyes on the lazy town bee. A bee that is watched will work harder, you see.

Well…he watched and he watched. But, in spite of his watch, that bee didn’t work any harder. Not mawtch. So then somebody said, ‘Our old bee-watching man just isn’t bee-watching as hard as he can. He ought to be watched by another Hawtch-Hawtcher! The thing that we need is a Bee-Watcher -Watcher!’ Well… The Bee-Watcher-Watcher watched the
Bee-Watcher. He didn’t watch well.

So another Hawtch-Hawtcher had to come in as a Watch-Watcher-Watcher! And today all the Hawtchers who live in
Hawtch-Hawtch are watching on Watch-Watcher-Watchering-Watch, Watch-Watching the Watcher who’s watching that bee. You’re not a Hawtch-Watcher.

You’re lucky, you see.”

(from Did I ever tell you how lucky you are? by Dr. Seuss)

There was something I wanted to ask Mr. Fraser Institute Tool… I wanted to ask one more question before the radio show was over…
I wanted to ask this Watcher from Hawtch Hawtch Fraser Hawtch Watcher Institute…

Do you, sir, get merit based pay? And how did you measure it?

2 Responses to “merit based pay”

  1. Nicole T. Says:

    Dr. D.Elza…

    I am preparing a letter bomb to be sent to the nerve of that Mr. Fraserinstitutemeritmanisapooh.

    Please advise…

  2. Daniela Elza Says:

    I think we need to go after the pay, and merit basing it. Would that render Fraser Institute meritless?

    Or perhaps see where they get their pay from. Perhaps that is in the same “tool box” that they get their ideas from. :-)

    too bad…