Jeff the Great votes 'Yes' on 60

If you are an Oregonian you should know that there is a ballot measure in this years election that proposes the end of seniority based pay in favor of performance based pay for teachers in the Oregon public school system. It's called ballot measure 60.

I'm voting yes on this ballot measure because I have a sister who is a phenomenal teacher and I think she should be paid for her outstanding performance. Why should she, as a 3 year veteran, be paid less than a 15 year vet with a 'tenure' attitude towards their work?

Unfortunately, the various teachers unions are brainwashing my sister and her fellow teachers. They are lying to them by saying the ballot measure requires pay based on student test scores. They act as if they have my sisters best interest at heart, when in reality they are for nothing but the status-quo.

Instead of arguing with the teachers unions and pointing out their lies, I'll just let you read the full text of the ballot measure and let you decide for yourself:
Section 1. Teacher pay raises and job security shall be based on job performance.

(a) After the effective date of this 2008 Act, pay raises for public school teachers shall be based upon each teacher’s classroom performance and not related or connected to his or her seniority. If a school district reduces its teaching staff, the district shall retain the teachers who are most qualified to teach the specific subjects, which they will be assigned to teach. A determination as to which teacher is most qualified shall be based upon each teacher’s past classroom experience successfully teaching the specific subject(s) or class, as well his or her as academic training in the relevant subject matter.

(b) This 2008 Act shall be called the “Kids First Act” and shall supersede any previously existing law, rule, or policy with which it conflicts. This Act shall not be implemented in a manner so as to violate or impair the obligation of any contract in existence as of the effective date of this Act, but shall govern later extensions to those contracts and new contracts entered into after the effective date of this Act.

Anywhere in there does it say test scores? In fact, it doesn't even define what performance is. Some say that's bad, I argue its a great thing. This way principals and superintendents get to decide what good performance is.

You know, kinda like how your company and boss does for you if you don't work in the unionized public sector.

I challenged my sister this. I said that if she is okay with seniority based pay, a structure that her union pays millions to defend, then she should have seniority based grading in her classroom.

Older kids get "A's" since they've been around longer and the youngest kids get "F's." Just as fair as their teachers salary.

-Jeff the Great

P.S. Barack Obama supports performance based pay for public school teachers...I'm just say'n.


Anonymous said...

You're a communist, Jeff - obviously. The fact that you don't support teachers - ALL teachers, no matter what - and that you are willing to put their jobs in harm's way with a poorly written measure that wouldn't pass for a technical writing midterm is proof that you don't care about children, teachers or the longevity of the union.

Okay, just kidding. I voted 'yes' on 60, too. Good choice, way to go. It's time to turn the education system upside down. Literally and completely.

Dwayne said...

Saw your post on twitter.
So.... how do they judge "performance?" Feels a little slippery to me.

Jmartens said...


If you work for someone else, how does your boss judge "performance?"

Do shareholders of public companies write a corporate 'law' on how a middle managers performance should be measured?

My boss doesn't have a written guideline from the shareholders. He can't just give me a raise cause I've been there a few years.

He has to judge for himself how I performed. He talks to my coworkers, he analyzes my deliverables. He makes a judgment call.

I imagine principals and superintendents could do the same.

Anonymous said...

I imagine principals and superintendents SHOULD do the same.

What makes teachers so terminally unique that they can't be assessed, appraised and held accountable like any other profession, as determined in specific context by the people who are responsible for ensuring the "business" is successful?

And don't even get me started on the need to assess the principals and superintendents, too. Turning the system upside-down means turning the WHOLE system.

We can only hope.

Kristin said...

Oh Brother! (No pun intended!) I do see your point but what I fear and many teachers fear is that our principals will base our pay on our students performance. The fact that the bill is written so vaguely leaves ALOT of room for question. I may have a different view on it if it were written more specifically.

Anonymous said...

It's not fair to the teachers. For example students achieve vastly different when you compare low income to high income communities. Everything from the amount of time the parents work wtih the children, the degree which parents care about grades, to the resources available. Too much of it is out of the teachers' hands and to punish them for that is ignorant. Students achieve the most when they have caring supportive families.

Richard Martens said...

I voted against this measure because I have a daughter that is a fantastic teacher and I don't want her to become a classroom robot that is focused solely on test scores. Yeah, I know the measure doesn't use that word but we know that is where this takes us. That said, I am generally in favor of some sort of process of evaluating performance and applying it to raises, etc. And, there are methods to do that such as forced rankings combined a teacher's position on the pay scale to produce variable percentage increases.

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