Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Agreeing with Obama on Teacher Pay and Charter Schools

I don’t think Hell has frozen over or pigs are flying, but someone better check just to make sure…President Barack Obama and I actually agree on something.

Obama gave a speech on education yesterday that has the teacher’s unions breaking pencils. Personally, I thought there were some good things and some bad things about the speech, but there were definitely two ideas I support.

First is merit pay for teachers. I know seems like a common sense concept, pay people based on performance, but this is something the teachers unions have been fighting for years. In general unions hate the idea of performance-based paychecks. They believe once you have a job you are entitled to keep it and pay is based on seniority. In fact unions generally try to isolate and de-motivate anyone who tries to excel or out perform others. Everyone is equal and does equal work in a union.

The second idea I support; charter schools. Obama spoke highly of charter schools. Now he won’t go all out and support school choice, but he will acknowledge charter schools work. This also is bad news for teachers unions. Why? Competition. The teachers unions hate competing for students and tax dollars.

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