Lance Izumi in Sacramento Bee: Should Teachers Be Paid Like Rock Stars?

Lance Izumi, Koret Senior Fellow in Education and Senior Director of PRI’s Center for Education, was asked by the Sacramento Bee for his comments on a statement by California gubernatorial candidate John Cox that teacher should be “paid like rock stars and baseball players.”  Read his comments below and click on the link to read the full article.

John Cox wants teachers ‘paid like rock stars and baseball players.’ Why they back his opponent.

By Alexei Koseff

It’s a position that might make an educator’s ears perk up.

I want to see our teachers paid like rock stars and baseball players.

Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox has offered up variations of the line throughout his campaign — during interviews, on a debate stage, in a tweet. He said it reflects his appreciation for the “heart, soul and love” his mother poured into teaching in the Chicago public school system.

But it often comes with an addendum — “based on merit” — that, if Cox is elected, puts him on a collision course with the teachers unions that dominate education policymaking in Sacramento.

Merit pay, which typically means basing teachers’ salaries or bonuses on their students’ performance, is one of a suite of market-based approaches to schooling that Cox, a businessman from San Diego County, has embraced.

. . . (M)erit pay remains a key tenet in conservative orthodoxy on improving public education.

Lance Izumi, senior director of the Center for Education at the Pacific Research Institute, a free-market think tank, said the goal is to get schools competing not just for students, but also the best teachers. He believes merit pay would be particularly attractive to young people, who “want to be rewarded for their efforts,” and could help attract more of them to the profession as California faces a teacher shortage.

Despite national assessment scores that generally rank California in the bottom ten states for reading and math among 4th and 8th graders, Republicans have not embraced education as a political priority.

“Republicans are really missing a cross-cutting issue here where they can appeal in a bipartisan way and cross-culturally,” Izumi said . . .


Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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