On this past Wednesday’s show of BC Almanac, Niels Veldhuis from the Fraser Institute was the guest and he was speaking about merit pay for teachers (if the CBC link is broken, leave a comment and I can probably post a new link). Once again I was infuriated by the Fraser Institute’s interest in this topic. There are so many flaws with the argument that it makes my head spin. I think Veldhuis’ main points were as follows:
Last week Kevin Falcon went on record with adding merit pay for teachers as part of his platform for his leadership bid. Seeing as it comes from Falcon, it’s no surprise that I have a few issues with his ideas. To begin with, I don’t know Falcon’s motives for merit pay. Is it to save money, to get better teaching, or something else? From the reports I’ve seen summarized, research has shown that merit pay does nothing to improve teaching or learning.
I was livid after hearing Peter Cowley in today’s broadcast of Grading Teachers on The Current. There are so many problems with his argument it is difficult to know where to begin. Standardized tests are universally panned in research, and in fact they are not “better than nothing.” Standardized tests, amongst other things, leads to “teaching to the test.” The UK had massive problems with this in the nineties, where up to a month or more of classtime was spent solely in prepping students for a standardized test.