Sunday, January 15, 2012

Daugaard: Vangard Of Old Guard

The Yankton Press & Dakotan reports that Governor Duagaard promoted his merit pay and STEM uber alles plan "[a]rmed with a PowerPoint presentation."  PowerPoint was hardly new when I put together my first deck in 1997.  Granted, many still use PowerPoint to good effect regularly, but Duagaard's use seems symbolic of the rather large disconnect between his proposal and current research.

The Governor said,
“Right now, all teachers are paid as if they are average,” Daugaard stated. “You can have teachers who entered in the same year with the same academic credentials, and they will be paid the same, even if teacher A is very good and teacher B is average. That’s not encouraging to teacher A.”
This YouTube video highlighting the work of Daniel Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us illustrates that merit pay of the kind the Governor is proposing works only for jobs that rely on mechanical movement.

Instead, people in jobs that require event rudimentary thinking skills are motivated by autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

The Governor's plan removes all autonomy; every major decision is being made in Pierre not in classrooms.  The testing regime does not check mastery; instead the tests and the materials designed to teach to the tests seek to raise the bottom not challenge the top.  Finally, my job has a purpose: make the kids better when they walk out the door than they walked in.  There's nothing Daugaard can do to increase my sense of purpose.

Governor Daugaard is selling his plan with old tools and relying on old motivators that will produce the same old results.  In fact, the only new things the plan will produce are unnecessary frustrations.

(HT An Inland Voyage for YouTube video)


caheidelberger said...

From the YP&D photo, it also appeared that Governor Daugaard was presenting the slideshow to the audience on his laptop computer. What, couldn't get the projector to work?

LK said...

The caption says that he was at the P&D office, so I suppose it was a conversation with Kelly Hertz and a couple of reporters. I'll cut him a break on that one.

John de La Salle said...

Thanks for finding and posting Pink's work, Drive. Anyone who's worked for the military, education, non-profit, or a government intuitively knows this. Yet it's great to see explained for the masses and backed by empirical peer-reviewed evidence.

Think about it for a a minute. Is there anyone thinking military doctors (etc., fill in any government or non-profit employee) stay for the pay? Yet apparently our business schools are filled with one-dimensional thinkers. It's unfortunate that our governor adopting the wrong thinking. We deserve better. Our students deserve better.