Obama's education plan | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Obama's education plan

Posted By on Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 8:14 AM

It's coming today. Merit pay. Charter schools. Better pre-school.

Obama notes that it's possible to craft merit pay plans with teacher involvement, something lacking in the top-down implementation in LR a few years back. No mention of accountability provisions on some of the other ideas.

Here's coverage. It is a pile of cliches, though cliches the business community loves. If you want a stark example of the worth of merit pay, check corporate America. The princes of Wall Street really earned their billions, didn't they? Compensation of a mass job corps with generally similar duties must have some dependable base compensation level to attract good candidates. It doesn't mean you can't provide special incentives -- for more education, extra duty, quantifiable results that fairly measure apples against apples. But you just can't decouple the teacher work force from general pay scales entirely in any fair and coherent fashion. And charter schools, "laboratories of innovation." Some yes. Others laboratories of incompetence and greed. Still others havens for students who were going to succeed anyway to avoid communities their parents wish to avoid. Obama at least said he favored shutting down those that don't work. The problem is that there's no entry standard for these schools. Say you want to start a charter school and that's good enough for those bought off on the concept.

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