Title: Gove says teachers deserve more pay
Date Published: 3-27-14
On Wednesday, thousands of schools across England and Wales closed, and in response, teachers formed and joined picket lines regarding their pay, conditions, and pension. 12 School Reporters interviewed the Education Secretary Michael Gove regarding these protests. Gove responded that teachers deserve to be paid more. The primary reason for increasing educators’ wages is that more is demanded of the teachers just as more is demanded of today’s students entering the workforce.
But, this article highlighted more on another motive for increasing teachers’ wages: student loans. Teachers have student loans to pay just like other professionals in the workforce, but teachers pay off those loans at a slower rate than others with higher earning jobs. He said that the government plans to implement a system of “performance-related pay” for teacher. Other options included lengthening the school day, changing exam procedures, and other possible adjustments to school functionality in general. Gove closed this part of the interview by saying that state schools are, in some aspects, better than their privatized counterparts. Then, the interview got weird, like things apparently do in the UK.
Apparently, “quickfire Q&A” means ‘ we are actually done talking about important things now, and we just want to ask you about your life,’ which is just strange. But, here are fun facts about the Secretary of Education: He identifies himself with Horatio from Hamlet; his worst childhood memory was having acne; his guilty pleasure television show is Game of Thrones; and his first kiss was a girl named Kay. Then, more weird happens. Gove apparently performed an abridged version of the Wham Rap! for his… fans. The Education Secretary rapped, and I don’t understand why.
So, just briefly, back to the important stuff. Increasing teacher’s wages, at least in the United States, has been a topic of discussion amongst the public for some time now. There are many a meme comparing our education system to those of mainland European countries such as Switzerland. There are good reasons for increasing teacher’s pay, but, as most students have seen at least once or twice in their school career, many teachers will play games and do personal things while students are assigned busy work. Inexplicably, some people don’t like that (see here). Performance-based pay would solve this problem, but then you run into problems with teachers’ unions and the political cruelties that could occur within, say, the math department of “x” School. Maybe the department head just doesn’t like “y” teacher, so they get paid less regardless of his/her actual performance.
Despite potential problems, this could inspire thoughts in the US to increase teacher’s wages. Since the US and the UK are very similar countries, and they are cooperative and whatnot, changes in the UK could inspire changes in the US. I would hazard to guess that, probably in the long-term, teachers start getting some reward for training the future of the world from a young age. Gove thinks they deserve it, so why don’t they get it?
And, about that last part of the interview, what? Is that just another example of the ‘two drink minimum’ idea in the UK’s government, or is that just how they aim to get celebrity information in the UK. I would have figured that teachers being out of jobs would be the high point of the interview, but no. Actually, it’s where Michael Gove lips have been. I love British things, but damn it.