Liberal leadership hopeful Kevin Falcon states in an interview with the Globe and Mail that he would implement merit-based pay for teachers if he becomes the next premier of BC. Susan Lambert, president of the BCTF says, “It’s a destructive idea that doesn’t bode well for public education.”
Merit pay for teachers isn’t a new idea. It’s been a huge topic of discussion (and has been implemented in some districts) in the US over the past few years. Results vary and seem to be open to interpretation.
I haven’t seen any information about how he hopes to implement this, or what the criteria will be for rewarding teachers, so it’s hard to tell if he’s serious about this, or simply campaigning.
Parent groups will probably like the concept, and the teacher’s union will likely continue to denounce the idea. School districts and Trustees have to be open-minded about new ideas and first ask, “Is this concept in the best interest of children?”
Ensuring that we have the best possible teachers in classrooms should arguably be the main priority of school districts. There are many ways to do that. Would a merit-based system help or hinder the process?
It wouldn’t be my first choice, though I am in favour of recognizing exceptional people in our schools, in a positive and supportive way.