Column on Teacher Pay in Crosscut

Dick Startz, a professor of economics at the University of Washington,wrote an article for Crosscut today in which he proposes higher pay for teachers, but only after they accept evaluation.

The article is instructive in how it demonstrates the misinformation about teacher evaluations and the naivete of academics. The professor bought ALL of the education reform lies about the absence of any performance evaluations for teachers - and blaming the teachers' unions for that absence. He also failed to notice the strong anti-tax sentiment among voters. His plan seems to suggest that if the teachers first subject them selves to a pointless review then the community will suddenly double their pay. There is no evidence to support this view.

Big surprise, the professor has a book coming out soon: "Profit of Education".


dan dempsey said…
Board Meeting from 9-15-2010 is now up HERE
suep. said…
Is it possible that Crosscut's exclusively pro-reformite views on education are in any way influenced by the financial support it gets from the pro-charter, pro-high-stakes- testing, "teacher-evaluation" obsessed Bill Gates?

from the Gates Foundation web grant site:

Crosscut Public Media
Date: April 2010
Purpose: for general operating support
Amount: $400,000
Term: 1 year and 11 months
Topic: Not available
Region Served: North America, Global
Program: Foundation
Grantee Location: Seattle, Washington
Grantee Web site:

-- s.p.
wseadawg said…
An Economist? Wow, you don't say!! Pseudo science from a pseudo intellectual. About 95% of economists have been dead wrong about the economy for decades. None can tell an economic bubble from a rock until it explodes in their face. This guy sounds like just one more of Friedman's widgets in the pile.
wseadawg said…
Evaluation schemes won't attract and keep great people in front of the class unless positive evaluations bring meaningful financial rewards.

Wow! What a presumption to start with. So all our current teachers suck because they aren't being financially rewarded? I think I and many fellow parents of children who have had excellent and outstanding teachers for our kids would take exception to such wholly and completely ignorant statements right off the bat.

But education won't be changed much because there aren't very many incompetent teachers.

Whoa Now! Hold the phone! Can you repeat that 100 times so some on this blog can absorb it?

Evaluations without rewards are largely useless.

Okay, back to everyone being a rat in a Skinner box. Got it. Next?

Teacher evaluation makes sense only when linked to meaningful financial rewards. Without increased teacher salaries linked to performance, teacher evaluations generate much sound and fury - but little real change.

Okay, Dick. Just keep repeating it and it will morph into a fact. Not so fast tiger! Performance pay schemes also cause corruption, dishonesty, and little things like Global Financial Meltdowns, on occasion.

But thanks for concluding that a) Our current teachers aren't the best and the brightest, and suck, because their pay scale is so low, and b) until they are paid, treated, and rewarded like yuppies, well, they won't be yuppies and our kids will be doomed to middle class lives, like most people, whereas with Great teachers, our kids will turn out great, because we, the parents and the community cannot compete with the influence and affect of the classroom teacher. It's all their doing. We're just little crumb-scrapers in our kids academic lives.

Sure Dick. Whatever you say.
dan dempsey said…
You said from UW....

Really UW .. hummmm.

Hope he knows more than this section of UW education experts.
dan dempsey said…
These reform ed boosters need to get a clue. WA DC voters figured out this fraud, which expert reform education planners perpetrated. MJG's incoherence is no longer defensible.
wsnorth said…
I just don't understand the recent round(s?) of teacher bashing. There are some SPS teachers who could improve, as at most places. What I've most often thought is why would such great teachers want to work for such a screwed up organization?!
Teachermom said…
I often think that, too. But then I go to work.
wsnorth said…
Thanks for what you do. Please keep going (to work). All of you, please!
Anonymous said…
How to get good teachers? Easy, make it harder to be a teacher by raising the college requirements to be a teacher. Too easy to qualify for the College of Education.

Easier to pay more $ too. Ditch the NEA which spends as much $ on politics as actual education. They don't hold themselves or their members accountable for poor performance. That puts more money in the teachers pockets and into the classroom

Easy to evaluate a teacher too. Create a tool that will measure each student as to what they learned in the class. If 95% of the students haven't grasped the information at a c level, the teacher is held accountable by being put on probation. Happens again and teacher is fired. A teacher that can't teach isn't doing their job. NO excuses. However, teacher must also get his classroom back. Teachers can discipline students, no lawsuits, no whinning parents. They can get kids that don't do the work out of their classrooms. Can't teach someone that doesn't want to learn

Hold teachers, parents and students accountable. That's it.
Anonymous said…
Charlie Mas said…

You're kidding, right?

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