Your Voice: Teachers and garage sales
Aug 15, 2014 | 3266 views | 5 5 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alternative thoughts on teacher pay


Several weeks ago, Scott Hurban, a local teacher, suggested that our schools adopt a system of merit pay. There is, of course, a seductive appeal to the notion of paying people according to how well they perform. After all, that is how we pay salesmen and farmworkers.

There have been hundreds of performance pay experiments over the past few decades, but almost none continue. Why is that?

A recent RAND Corp. study of New York’s merit pay program found “no substantial impact on teacher, student, or school performance.” The largest and most comprehensive study of merit pay was conducted by Vanderbilt University’s National Center on Performance Incentives. Their conclusion was that there was “no impact on sixth to eighth graders (and) minimal impact on fifth graders.”

Scott’s plan would base merit pay on three things. He writes: “50 percent on classroom performance as observed by (the) administration.” Do administrators have enough time to do this? Could they fairly distribute extra pay according to effectiveness among teachers of P.E., Drama, Chemistry, Auto Shop, English I and Typing?

Such a system, based on subjective judgments rather than objective standards, would inevitably draw charges of being arbitrary and capricious. Any system of incentives, public or private, that was not viewed as fair and impartial would have no effect on behavior.

According to Scott’s plan, another 15 percent of pay would be determined by a student survey — a popularity contest. This would also be a subjective judgment, probably determined by many factors unrelated to academics.

Years of Effective Schools research has found that the best schools are those that have strong leadership, a cohesive staff and a shared sense of mission. How would merit pay, which is designed to incite competition, interact with these characteristics of high-performing schools?

Mickey McGuire, Tracy

Garage sale etiquette


What fun it is to go to garage sales. The fun of getting something old or something you have been looking for but is no longer available on the market.

But not taking down your signs is very disrespectful to others. How disappointing it is to see a sign and you drive down and there is no sale, as it was the weekend before. Of course, some of the signs are so small, you can’t read the dates, if any are on there.

So for you and others, take down your signs when you are done. It is a courtesy for others. If you can take some of the tape off, that would also be nice, as some of the poles in Tracy look awful from all the masking and duct tape.

Have respect and consideration for others who are going to have a garage sale or for those who are going to the garage sales.

Brenda Alves, Tracy

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August 31, 2014

I am a nurse that is proud to work for Sutter Tracy and support CNA. I would just like to clarify a lot of misinformation given by other nurses. I hope that with our great bargaining team alongside the hospitals administration team we can finally come together and as Dr. Laura Schlessinger would say "now go do the right thing"

1.) Every Registered Nurse had the right to vote, if they had higher priorities than voting that is also their right. The ballet had yes/no and no name was marked. We believe in a fair and equal vote and contract. You can ask several depts that crossed, no repercussions occurred for these nurses to continue with their beliefs.

2.) Do not worry for one second that the intent was to "financially cripple" the institution, they have strike insurance, which allows for 3 fully funded, paid for strikes. So the insurance paid for your free sack lunch.

3.) I call free food a nice gesture. Sutter Tracy Hospital provides free food to the doctors 365 days a year and hospital (as well as ancillary) staff get a free Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner every year, which is very appreciated.

4.) I participated in this strike on my own free time and free will, no strike fu
August 17, 2014
Mick, strictly frum lookin at yer classroom performance over th years before ya thankfully retired, I can completely understand why ya would not support th idea of performance based pay fer teachers.

No, since ya don't like th way I type ya don't have ta read this or respond. In fact I would just as soon not hear anymore frum ya.
August 17, 2014
Respect and consideration are not part of human nature. The removing of signs will never change. Same goes for people who take there dogs to the park and let them run free when the signs posted clearly state NO dogs off leash. Same goes for city employees who take city vehicles home and hide out thinking no one is noticing. Nothing is enforced in Tracy so there will be no change. Rude people will continue to leave signs up, let dogs roam free, and city workers stealing from tax payers will never stop because there is no enforcement in the city of Tracy.
August 19, 2014
Not only city employees driving city owned vehicles

after hours, but I see their teenagers driving them.
August 19, 2014
Ever hear of YouTube?

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