Posted on November 18, 2009. Filed under: News And Politics... |

I have a problem with this for two reasons.  First, here we go again with rewarding bad behavior and punishing good behavior.  When I got a second job waitressing nights to earn extra money, I didn’t have to pool my tips, and that’s the way I liked it.  I was a great waitress and my great tips reflected that.  I would have had a problem sharing my hard-earned tips with waitresses who were less than acceptable at their job.  Same thing here.  You have great teachers who are instrumental in producing great students who excel, yet they are told they can’t keep their bonuses and have to share with their colleagues who don’t deserve any of it and who didn’t wotrk for it.  This isn’t fair!  Where is the incentive to doing a great job?  This is what our government is doing as well.  It just doesn’t make any sense, and is doomed to fail and will result in disaster.  The teachers who perform well will not do the same next year as there will be no reason to go above and beyond if they have to share it with those who contributed nothing.  This will only lead to underperforming teachers and underperforming students.  In the Obama age, everyone wants a handout.
The other issue I have with this is why are students being rewarded with $100 to pass a test in school?  They should attend school and work hard as it will benefit them down the road.  That’s the best reward anyone could ask for or even hope for.  Where is it written that you have to bribe kids to go to school and pass a test?  States are finding it difficult as it is to find the money to pave city and town roads, funnel money into bettering communities, etc., yet they find the money to pay kids $100 to go to school and pass a test.  They have no problem with increasing our taxes every year, though.  When will people be held responsible for their actions and become responsible citizens without feeling the need to be bribed into doing it?  Is it me or is this insane?!!!
Union blocks teacher bonuses
By Edward Mason  |   Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Grinchlike union bosses are blocking at least 200 of Boston’s best teachers from pocketing bonuses for their classroom heroics in a puzzling move that gets a failing grade from education experts.

The Boston Teachers Union staunchly opposes a performance bonus plan for top teachers – launched at the John D. O’Bryant School in 2008 and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates and Exxon Mobil foundations – insisting the dough be divvied up among all of a school’s teachers, good and bad.

“It’s insanity,” said Jim Stergios, executive director of the nonpartisan Pioneer Institute. “They’re less concerned about promoting the interest of individual members than maintaining control over their members.”

The incentive program pays Advanced Placement teachers $100 bonuses for each student who passes the test, and up to $3,000 a year for meeting other goals. Students also can also receive $100 for passing.

“(The union) is standing in the way of innovation,” school Superintendent Carol R. Johnson told the Herald. “I think we have to realize we can’t do business as usual. . . . We have to be willing to make changes and give kids the opportunities they need.”

The program also pays for after-school study sessions for AP classes, which can count toward college credit and which some universities use to evaluate applicants.

The incentive program – part of a series of innovations Boston Public Schools wants to roll out – includes drawing outside money to the city’s cash-strapped schools to boost academic performance.

Union head Richard Stutman bristled at criticism he doesn’t have his members’ interest at heart. “We’re not taking money away from teachers,” Stutman claimed.

He also objected to the suggestions his union is a foe of school reform, insisting he backs the incentive program – so long as the bonus goes to all teachers, not just AP instructors.

“There’s no one solely responsible for the development of these students,” Stutman said. “They should all share in the money.”

But by thwarting performance bonuses, the union is hurting students, argued Morton Orlov, president of the Massachusetts Math and Science Initiative at MassINSIGHT, the business-backed group that administers the bonuses.

Orlov said the 10 state schools that accept the bonuses saw a 39 percent increase in students who passed the AP exam.

“You can think of this as smart money,” Orlov said.

Ligia Noriega, headmaster at the Excel High in South Boston, wants the bonus program at her school.

“These incentives push people to work a little bit harder,” Noriega said. “We have to start thinking outside the box.”


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