In a surprising pre-Budget u-turn, Prime Minister John Key has announced the Government will drop its policy of incrementally introducing performance pay for teachers and, instead, introduce it for ministers.
“Listening to Hekia Parata fluff her way through her spin lines on the teacher cuts, I had a kind of epiphany” said Key.
“Any fool can see that performance pay for teachers doesn’t make sense – it’s not like the country is overflowing with wannabe teachers, so where are you going to find replacements for your low-quality teachers?”
“If you want more qualified teachers, up the pay, attract better candidates.”
“That’s without mentioning the obvious problems with performance pay – its inherent unfairness, the nonsense of assuming teachers are wholly in control of their students’ achievement and just need to ‘work harder’ to lift results, its inherent racism, the incentive it gives teachers to ‘teach to the test’.”
“No country in the world with a better education than ours has performance pay and its corollary national standards.”
“The only reason you would introduce national standards and performance pay would be to break the teachers union so you could reduce teachers’ wages, which are the biggest cost in education.”
“I mean, you could do that if all you cared about was cutting some spending to fill the $2 billion hole you had carved in the government’s books with tax cuts. But if you wanted better education, no way.”
“Ministers, on the other hand, are perfect candidates for performance pay. They set their own goals and make a hell of a racket promising that they will achieve them.”
“So, let’s have a look:
Judith Collins promised to crush boy-racers’ cars. Three years later, no cars crushed.
Anne Tolley promised that National Standards would lift achievement. Three years later, no result.
Tim Groser, has become special envoy for stalling trade talks – he’s only meant to do that at climate change talks!
Kate Wilkinson, please. We give her a gold star just for finding her way to the office.
Steven Joyce’s idea of economic development is cutting dirty deals with casinos to increase problem gambling in return for a white elephant convention centre.
Speaking of white elephants, did I hear Brownlee that other day say that $5 a litre petrol is irrelevant to his plans to spend $14b on extravagant, unnecessary highways.
Hekia Parata’s cutting the frontline – teachers – breaking our promise not to do so.
Tony Ryall’s cutting the frontline – prescription medicine – breaking our promise not to do so.
David Carter cut the frontline – biosecurity officers – breaking our promise not to do so, and its now trying to close the gate after the horse has bolted.
Paula Bennett has overseen a 70,000 increase in the number of beneficiaries and still has no jobs policy.
Tariana Turia took money from working social welfare programmes and have it to corrupt organisations and gangs.
John Banks… Yeah, well.
Murray McCully turned the most loyal government agency into the most leaky.
And the rest basically haven’t done anything. Don’t think there will be any performance bonuses there.”
“And as for the economic dream team. I reckon Bill, Steven, and me would end up owing New Zealand about ten billion in growth we promised but didn’t deliver.”
“Now, that would be a way to free up some money for the frontline” the Prime Minister concluded.