Sunday, March 23, 2008

Not the greatest morale booster

It may be hard to see, but the first headline is "UUSD layoffs to be announced tonight". Just to the right of that story is, "Mendocino County Office of Education's Tichinin gets a $4,000 raise". Ouch. While I'm watching good teachers (seriously, Ukiah will be worse off if the lay-offs stick) wonder where they will be working next year, the Super of Mendocino County (Paul Tichinin) and the Super of Ukiah Unified (Lois Nash) are going to get nice fat raises. The excuse is the usual, Tichinin complains that he is underpaid for his position. Note to Paul, so are we. Oh yeah, and we don't make mid-six figures like both Supers do.

Not the best management move, taking a raise while the rank-and-file are getting culled. I'm wishing more and more that schools were run much more like businesses and less like entitlement factories for people that feel like they deserve something they have yet to work for. I've been reading quite a bit from former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, and I'm starting to really change my method of thinking regarding public education. Merit pay is a good thing, period. I work harder than some of the teachers on my campus. As Welch stated, why wouldn't you throw the money at the guys that get the job done and represent the company in an outstanding light? Wouldn't you rather retain and gain than alienate the employee into leaving or under preforming?

And don't give me the "Merit pay will pit teachers against teachers and bring morale down". Bullshit. Paying lazy ass teachers that don't work as hard to perfect their teaching brings morale down. Telling meritorious teachers that they are on the same level as crappy teachers brings morale down. These excuses for mediocrity are starting to irritate me. Consider me on the merit pay bandwagon. No, I'm not going to advocate for the idiotic "pay = test scores" routine. And merit pay won't work at all unless the administration were competent, which my school is.

Anyway, a good CEO would say that they are willing to freeze their salary until the district becomes more solvent financially. I wonder if our upper echelon will do the right thing.
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