The Dog’s Bollocks

Truth is like a dog’s bollocks – pretty obvious if you care to look.

Leadership more cost effective than merit pay for teachers

I was startled out of my radio alarm reverie this morning by Federal Education Minister Julie Bishop announcing that performance pay makes teachers better and our kids get a better education, and it’s time we treated them like professionals, or something equally vacuous in that head girl, teacher’s pet kind of way she has. {insert preferred deity/ism} help us if HowardCo are re-elected. Hopefully she’d be replaced by someone with a less ‘faith-based’ sound-bite vision of education – like with someone who has a clue.

The Legal Soapbox has an interesting post about the difficulty of performance appraisals in the corporate workplace and how they actually undermine the effectiveness of an organisation if done poorly without clear criteria and processes. Whether or not it is inspired by the current MSM flurry on merit pay for teachers is hard to say as schools are not mentioned. But, if it’s hard to make it work in a corporation, with clear goals, objectives, processes and chain of command, how in the hell is it likely to be successful in schools? If it goes wrong the outcome will be a further degraded public education system, but isn’t that the goal anyway?

My favorite quote:

It has always seemed to me that if your manager is competent, you don’t need to have a performance review. You have an idea of how you are performing and what your duties are. You know whether you are likely to progress and that your work is appreciated.

My sentiments exactly. A school without effective leadership cannot be successful. Great schools invariably have great leadership which inspires everyone to do their best. Good leadership is a hundred times more effective than ineffectual, demoralising half-baked merit pay schemes, and a darn sight cheaper. There must be economists out there who appreciate the value of more return for less investment. Invest in improving the principal class and the rest will follow.

Filed under: Economics, Education, Politics

3 Responses

  1. Legal Eagle says:

    I didn’t have teaching in mind when I was writing my post (despite being a lecturer) but I think your post is bang on.

    This whole performance review for teachers stuff is rubbish – even more rubbish than it is for someone in a corporation. Why? Because in part the measurement of outcomes depends not on your performance, but on the performance of others (ie, your class). And there’s only so much you can do, no matter how throughly and enthusiastically a teacher you are – in the end, how your students do is ultimately up to them.

    Rant over.

  2. […] has a great post on workplace “performance reviews“, while Slim Bollocks suggests that good workplace leadership obviates any need for a formal performance review system or “merit pay” […]

  3. thatsrightnate says:

    Why limit it to teachers? Let’s pay cops for how many speeding tickets they write and firemen for how many fires they put out. I’d feel a lot more confident knowing my doctor only paid if I survived my operation at a county hospital.

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The Dog’s Bollocks

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