Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ohio Issue 2 and "Bernie Madoff Merit Pay"

Yeah:  We can all agree with that.
Yesterday the Viall household got a slick political brochure in the mail, supporting a "yes" vote on Issue 2.  That's the referendum vote related to Senate Bill 5.

It was a pretty cool ad:  all about merit pay and "rewarding good teachers" and even threw in a little bit of cleavage--a bid to appeal to the "horny vote," I suppose.

Supporters of Issue 2 and Senate Bill 5, of course, hope to baboozle you with a little boobage.  They want you to believe the law is designed to REWARD Ohio educators for superior performance. 

What they don't want you to do is look past the attractive model--because the history of "merit pay" hasn't been very good.

A decade ago, for example, the State of Ohio began promising "great teachers" bonuses if they went through an arduous process and won "National Board Certification."  Some of the best and the brightest applied; but only a fraction of those who submitted materials won this prestigous award. 

Then they settled back to collect their $25,000 bonuses, paid over ten years.

Unfortunately, the State soon ran into budget problems.  So?  The boys up in Columbus announced that the money wasn't there and the bonus part of the plan would have to be scrapped.  That's what we call "Bernie Madoff Merit Pay."

Think it can't happen again?  Of course it can. 

Texas just gutted it's entire merit pay plan, citing deficit issues.  Funds for "rewarding" the great teachers were slashed from $392 million to $40 million, headed for zero soon.  New York City had a $56 million dollar merit pay plan; but when no one could offer proof that merit pay actually improved schools, that plan was scrapped.  Atlanta and Washington, D. C. public schools bet heavily on merit pay to "improve" test scores and ended up with rampant cheating, instead.

If you vote "yes" on Issue 2, because you don't want to pay higher taxes, that makes sense and if that's your sole focus you have every right.

Don't be a boob.
Vote "No" on Issue 2.
 That still doesn't change the real focus and intent of Senate Bill 5:  to deny bargaining power to every public school teacher in the state--including the very best--and every cop, fireman and social worker, too.

It's not a law Republican legislators passed to help the average worker--and if you vote "yes" because you think it is, you've been badly fooled.  You've been mesmerized by the two boobs and now you've voted like a boob.

Governor Kasich is NO friend to teachers--or probation officers--or highway workers--or any other working stiff in the state.  He might keep taxes low and he's a friend to powerful business interests, for sure.  He's a former former Lehman Brothers executive, after all.

That doesn't mean you can believe him when he promises, "The check is in the mail."


  1. LOL!!! The "horny vote", I love it!! I personally cannot stand receiving the lopsided ads in the mail telling me to vote this way or that. What I would love is a side by side comparison from someone who is not partial. I need to start reading now upon each and every issue very carefully before I vote.

  2. I was searching the internet to become more informed on this issue and your article offered no help. Most of this article was based on biased claims bashing the other side and when it came down to defending yourself, you offered nothing to back it up. You said the bill would deny bargaining power but failed to describe why this is important and what the consequences would be, positive or negative. How/Why will this affect social workers, cops or fireman? The only examples you offered were from teachers. I am neither for or against this issue but you did a poor job of explaining yourself.