I would like to address the recently raised issue about paying teachers on merit, put forth by Kevin Falcon, a B.C. Liberal Party leadership candidate. Three things come to mind.
First, in the past few years a lesson that some politicians have learned is that one of three things can guarantee you will have people looking at you – don’t open your mouth in public, or start a lie circulating about your opponent(s), or say something outrageous. Space does not permit me to give examples of these from recent elections in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Suffice it to say these tactics have one aim: to raise the candidate into the public eye. Name recognition – even negative (but the onus is on your opponents to prove it – leading to even more potential to smear) – gets you at least on the road.
Second, as a teacher, good classroom management is imperative. In any class there is always a power struggle between students and teacher and in order to teach effectively and get a class to learn, a teacher must always maintain the reins of power. Students displaying inappropriate behaviour are the contenders for power. If a teacher is unable to redirect or dissuade the student from that behaviour, the status of that student in the eyes of his or her peers will be enlarged – and power will shift from the teacher to that inappropriately behaving student.
Third, I remember in one of my university psychology classes learning about some studies that had been done on animals relative to behavioural transference. Given a stimulus to which the animal would naturally respond – like food – if the experimenter placed the stimulus too far out of reach, or restrained the animal in some way, then the behaviour would be unnaturally directed towards something else. Sometimes behaviour became “obsessive compulsive” and even self-destructive.
I won’t even talk about how outrageous the idea is. It doesn’t warrant respectful discussion and should not be given respectability by anyone talking about it. He, and it, should simply be ignored.