A good friend of mine sent me some interesting ideas about how he'd like to see the B.C. Education System restructured for teachers:
- My understanding is that B.C. teachers make anywhere from the low $40,000s to the mid $60,000s. Not a bad wage, but if the top teachers were to make somewhere in the mid $70,000s, or more, I wouldn't be opposed because teachers provide a very valuable service -- that being to prepare future generations to run and/or contribute to our country (and the world).
- However I don't agree with the current definition of "top teacher." I believe that teachers should be rewarded based on merit, not on seniority or how many years they've completed in school or whether they have a post-graduate degree. Rather, there should be some objective measurement (such as how their students perform on standardized exams) and their promotions/salaries based on that. If some teachers continually produce inferior students (i.e. their students continually do poorly on the standardized exams) then those teachers should be fired and replaced with ones that are able to get results. If teachers are producing students who continually score above 90% on provincial exams, then those
teachers should be paid 75K or even more (heck, I'd back teachers making 100K if they were producing top-notch students).
Me again. Interesting thoughts, yes? I happen to agree with them wholeheartedly. In fact, I believe such a merit-based system has successfully been applied in some school districts in the U.S. Surely the better teachers would be very much in support of such a plan.
Unfortunately, the B.C. Teachers Socialist Party (aka the BCTF) would never agree to this. Concepts like "excellence", "accountability", and "responsibility" are absolutely foreign to their ultra-socialist doctrine. This is so sad for several reasons:
- In no truly professional profession do years of service and educational background have any direct bearing on wages. Instead wages are based on merit, hard work, and capability.
- If there was more of an incentive on Striving for Excellence then those teachers who succeeded the most would be better rewarded - on so many levels. Yet those who just chose to treat their work like a "government job", though do a decent job, would still make a decent salary. And those who were failing their students would be fired.
- The students, our province, and our society would absolutely benefit from such a system.
I am interested in comments from teachers and non-teachers alike about this idea.