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Obama Lauds Prince George's Teachers Pay Plan

Maria Glod, the Post's sharp-eyed education reporter, noted that Democratic candidate Barack Obama brought up Prince George's County in his speech in Dayton yesterday. Obama praised the county for a pay-for-performance pilot program that rewards teachers for improving student performance.

According to the transcript, Obama said:

"And when our teachers succeed in making a real difference in our children's lives, we should reward them for it by finding new ways to increase teachers' pay across the board -- (applause) -- and to find ways to increase teachers' pay that are developed with teachers, not imposed on them. We can do this. From Prince George's County in Maryland to Denver, Colorado, we're seeing teachers and school boards coming together to design performance pay plans."

Both Obama and his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain, will be campaigning in Virginia today. Obama will appear at a Norfolk high school and McCain with his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, at a Fairfax park.

By Phyllis Jordan  |  September 10, 2008; 6:49 AM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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The corollary to pay-for-performance should be fired-for-nonperformance. Without the stick, the carrot isn't going to be enough to motivate lousy teachers when they get COLAs and periodic raises anyway.

Posted by: Baltimoron | September 10, 2008 12:40 AM | Report abuse

There can be lots of different reasons why good teachers are good, and bad teachers are bad, natural ability, personality, motivation, enthusiasm etc. I support pay for performance.

I know nothing about teacher union contracts, but I suspect it is difficult to fire teachers. The corollary to [EXTRA] pay for performance is not to fire for non performance, but to reduce pay. If the unions are prepared to accept the principle of extra pay for superior performance, on what basis would they oppose reduced pay for inferior performance?

And, if these standards are to apply to teachers, then they should also apply to the people who hire teachers. Every time I hear/read a story about substandard teachers the first question that comes to mind is, who hired them? If there are a lot of substandard teachers, there are also a lot of people hiring substandard teachers

Posted by: Count Bobulescu | September 10, 2008 1:14 AM | Report abuse

I like that Obama is focusing on education. I am not thrilled that he wants to teach sex ed in kindergarten? That cant be right? But at least he doesnt have a nasty drinking habit like Bush.Bush,Cheney, and Now Palin all have DUI associated with them

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Sex ed starting in kindergarten does not mean 5 year olds will be learning about the birds and the bees. The idea is that you teach kids, starting at a very young age, to understand and respect themselves and their bodies. For kindergarten, this would mainly be about self esteem and understanding that there are certain body parts that other people should not be touching.

Posted by: mdcam | September 10, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

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