It is time for teachers to be compensated based on merit

It was so depressing to read (in the July 9 News Transcript article “School Board Announces Contract With Teachers”) that the system still relies on a mere two irrelevant factors – seniority and college degrees – to determine teachers’ pay. (I’m thankful that continuing education seminars that don’t lead to an advanced degree don’t nick taxpayers).

Why don’t boards of education factor in merit, based mainly on students’ test scores, but also dropout rates in high schools?

Oh yes, the education mafia will rely on their usual pathetic excuses – that home life and parental involvement and financial status are more important factors than what goes on in the classroom.

Manalapan-Engl ishtown Education Association President Ken Weber is angry that the details of the contract were published before being formally adopted by the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District Board of Education. I’m angry that only percent increases were published, and none of the actual pay levels for seniority and college degrees.

The News Transcript would be performing a great public service if all salary levels were published, in the form of a table, from a first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree to whatever the upper seniority limit is with a Ph.D.

I challenge Weber to prove that advanced degrees improve teaching ability, especially in grade schools, which in turn gets reflected in higher test scores. While I hope that there aren’t any Ph.D. degrees wasted in any grammar schools, out of curiosity I would like to know how that degree would increase the salary?

While the politically correct crowd champions diversity, the whole education model is flawed from that point of view. It assumes that all students are equally alert at an arbitrary starting time, that standard desks are optimal for all students, that a standard environment (e.g., silence vs. background music, lighting) promotes optimal learning, that textbooks are optimal for learning, etc.

I predict that the Internet will end this nonsense.

Students, using laptop computers, will learn at their individual optimum rate, from online electronic textbooks that are easily updated, and from outstanding teachers who lecture via the Internet videos.

With luck, the need for brickand mortar school buildings will be greatly reduced, and so will the number of teachers. Then, the various greedy, cancerous teachers unions will go into permanent remission and our tax bills will be greatly reduced.
Raymond Kostanty