Ideology Is Important:
This morning on KERA, Shelley Kofler interviewed Texas (state) Senator Florence Shapiro about education and budgets.
Half way into the 4 minute clip the Senator from Plano says:
… best and brightest teachers have no incentive to do their very best work if they are getting the same pay in school as the worst teacher in the school … — 01:30~
Seems quite to the point. It pledges allegiance to “incentive” and education. It puts education into the box of chocolate called commerce. One morsel is stuffed with capital, another with incentives. Hmm so yummy. That box is wrapped in bright red republican ribbon of punishment, speckled just lightly with the glint of reward.
So the very best and brightest educators do this because of the money? Those that excel at teaching do so because of the incentive structure of the company of educators called school. So how did we arrive at this utopian dystopia in which those of talent need to be motivated with money. Sounds like coaxing raccoons out of trees with something shiny. Only the lazy, dying or hungry fall for that glitter.
This model suggests that the best teachers are driven by something outside them. Something like lipstick, or cuff links. This skill they exhibit is prompted by that thing outside called money. They don’t want to be cheated, by being regarded the same by those people in accounting and the bank as their lesser colleagues.
Who is this Republican Thinkerer, this keeper of the torch of knowledge? She is a political power in Texas. She was an educator and advertiser. In advertising she built a powerhouse firm employing a handful of people billing about a million dollars. Quite the exemplar of incentive insight & imagination.
Actually, just another example of irony.