The following blog post was submitted by an Ontario elementary school teacher.
All professionals are supposed to be hired based on merit. Why? When professionals are hired based on merit we ensure that they are non-partisan, and possess the ability to complete their job. Furthermore, we – as taxpayers – can be confident that the most competent individual has been hired for the position.
Let’s acknowledge the very important job that teachers are hired to do.
This may come as news to some, but teachers actually work for the tax payers, and their paycheques come from the school boards, not the unions. Teacher’s paycheques are funded by the taxpayers, and therefore, it is the public that should vote on merit based hiring and compensation.
Can you even imagine a fair system in place?
What would it look like?
How would it function?
We know that when hiring a public servant based on merit we can’t just look at seniority or experience. We must examine the applicant’s skill set, necessary knowledge, additional qualifications, past work performance appraisals, as well as years of certified experience.
What if there was a point system in place? One that examined all aspects and sought out all the checks and balances of fair hiring within education. Imagine a system where each individual being hired was interviewed with a checklist by each school board.
Merit Based Hiring Point System
|Skill Set (Based on Professional Portfolio)||/10|
|Necessary Knowledge (Interview Questions)||/10|
|Additional Qualifications (Pertaining to Position)||/10|
|Past Work Performance Appraisals||/10|
|Years of Certified Experience (1 point per year)||/10|
|Total Merit Based Hiring Points||/50|
Now let’s imagine a world where teachers were compensated on merit. What would that look like? Well, after the dust of the unions running through the streets settled, I think most would agree that teachers, like everyone else, require a liveable wage. What if teachers were paid that liveable wage and then rewarded with a performance bonus? What if that performance bonus wasn’t just tied to experience or EQAO test scores? What if teachers were rewarded for being excellent teachers, and going above and beyond? Could we use another point system?
Annual Teacher Performance Point System
|EQAO (0.2 points per student that has shown **% academic growth) – Maximum of 4 points||
|Extra Curricular coaching or teams (1 point per team or extra activity) – Maximum of 4 points||
|Participation of 20 hours in a Professional Learning Community or Workshop – 2 points||
|AQ Course Completion (2 points per course) – Maximum of 4 points)||
|Principal Feedback and Evaluation (2, 3 or 4 points based on observations, staff participation, positive feedback and evaluations) – Maximum of 4 points||
|Parent (Student) Feedback Questionnaire (0.1 points from each positive rating from survey monkey questionnaire completed by high school students and elementary school parents at the end of the school year. (maximum of 2 points)
$400 to $500 per point – Maximum of $8,000- $10,000
** to be determined
Are these charts or ideas perfect? No, there is certainly room for improvement, but it does get the conversation going. These charts outline a rough idea for merit based hiring and compensation. Teaching is a calling, and stellar teachers strive to complete all of the above throughout their professional careers. Since we know that the quality of a teacher is one of the most significant factors affecting a student’s academic achievement, let’s demand that only the very best teachers are teaching our students. Let’s celebrate the dedicated teachers and motivate the ones that have become stagnant in their positions. Let’s light the fire of fairness and motivation for all teachers through a fair, non discriminatory system. Let’s eliminate Regulation 274, a system that rewards only seniority, and ensure that all teachers are hired and paid fairly.
Our kids deserve the best, and taxpayers deserve results.