In a recent cn|2 Politics interview, Kentucky House Education chairman Carl Rollins advocated the use of incentive pay for teachers as a way to attract good teachers to struggling schools and student while at the same time counting out any positive effect charter schools may have.
Why not explore both?
Well, Rollins argues that public charter schools do not have a positive effect on existing public schools. This is one of many myths about charter schools and I would urge all legislators to read the Bluegrass Institute report “Fears Versus Facts About School Choice” – specifically the section about the market place incentives brought about by school choice.
Another advantage of market competition that charter schools and voucher systems emulate involves bringing new “suppliers” into the market. As with competitive markets, new schools can open in new locations or existing schools can expand. Thus, students in poorly performing schools do not remain trapped in failing institutions because of limited space in better schools. Poorly performing schools get replaced by others providing superior educational services. Also, just like in the marketplace, public schools must compete with charter-school and voucher options, thus improving the incentives for public schools to satisfy families and students.
Real education reform is needed in Kentucky. Incentive and merit based pay are both concepts worth pursuing but given the state of education in Kentucky, my question is this: Is there any harm in giving parents choice as well?