May 17, 2016

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors can score from anywhere on the court. He’s been in the league seven years. Should he get the same salary as a journeyman, backup player who’s a 14-year veteran? Absurd, right?

But look how we pay teachers. The longer a teacher has been in the system, regardless of student success, the bigger the salary. Curry gets paid for performance. But not teachers.

In the private sector, pay is usually linked to performance. Doctors, lawyers and accountants don’t all get the same pay. A world class physics professor can make more than an English professor. Retail employees often earn commissions on sales. Even steelworkers are paid production bonuses.

Conservative reformers reject everybody gets the same teacher raises in favor of pay for performance. So do the voters in our survey, with 52% backing raises based on student success and teacher performance, 24% supporting raises based on experience and 18% for across-the-board raises.

The people get the need for reform.

Will legislators?

Or will they cling to the status quo they inherited? In the words of Ronald Reagan, Status quo, you know, is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in’.”