Teacher incentive pay -- not charter schools -- is worth trying, House Education chairman says

03/12/2012 08:32 AM

Rather than allowing charter schools in Kentucky, House Education Chairman Carl Rolllins said he’d like to see “incentive pay” used to attract the best teachers to struggling schools.

“The way we reward teachers for doing a good job — and the longer they stay — is they get the better students. What we really need to do is find a way to get the better teachers to the students who need them the most,” Rollins, a Democrat from Midway, said on Pure Politics last week.

Rollins made a pitch for his bill to redo the teacher evaluation system so that it includes student input and teachers grading each other instead of just the principals observing teachers once every three years.

But he also said “incentive pay” to attract the best teachers to the classes with struggling students also would help.

“If they would teach the students who need them the most, be willing to move and do that, then yes, they should get additional pay. There should be some compensation for being willing to go outside the normal reward system,” Rollins said.

Also, the legislature is once again considering a bill that would allow some students to enroll in technical colleges as an alternative to regular classes. That bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Jack Westwood has come up short the previous four sessions. Find out what Rollins says about it at 5:00 of the video:

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He has covered politics for more than 10 years, including 7 years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Follow Ryan on Twitter @cn2Alessi. Ryan can be reached at 502-792-1135 or ryan.alessi@twcnews.com.


  • Paul Hosse wrote on March 12, 2012 09:23 AM :

    So, what Rollins is saying is that if you pay teachers more, they will do their jobs right? Are we going to continue to “teach to tests” rather than teach critical thinking skills? Sure sounds like it.

  • waybert17 wrote on March 12, 2012 11:57 AM :

    Why not have both? Why should we limit ourselves to one option…when trying to improve the education of Kentucky children?

  • Bill Huff wrote on March 12, 2012 01:05 PM :

    Ky teachers average salary around $40,000 annually compared to Superintendent’s avg salary of $120,000 and PVA avg annual salary of $104,000.

    Comparing a student’s financial and work commitment to becoming a qualified/certified Ky teacher is horrendous compared to what a student who elects to become a candidate for a PVA. A PVA candidate only has to attain a minimum age and be a resident of the county.

    In 2012 PVA’s salaries contain a “stipend” of $4,280 dollars for just being “alive”.

    Superintendents must go through extensive training and expense as a student wanting to be a teacher.

    However, superintendents annual salaries average about $120,000 annually and there are 174 of’em. It seems in a cost conscious environment such as Ky’s government, their numbers should be reduced from 174 to 17 and majority of their job duties and responsibilities be given to “principals”. In addition reducing superintendents number to 17 regions and providing “principals” most of thier past duties and responsibilities would be consistent with reducing 120 PVA’s to 17 regional PVA’s, saving taxpayers significant tax dollars, annually!

  • Jon Ryker wrote on March 12, 2012 01:07 PM :

    This is utter nonsense. Treat this like every other endeavor we undertake. Put the honus on administration for providing the necessary leadership to deliver academic performance from the students, as measured by valuable tests like the ACT, not the useless and invalid state ones. Free them up to hire whomever they like to teach (reduce or eliminate state certification process)in order to reach these academic targets for graduates of the school. Free them up to pay these teachers however they like, within budget. Then, hold them accountable if in a reasonable amount of time, acheivement is insufficient. Give parents through vouchers the freedom to vote with their feet. This is just like we handle everything else, from cars to computers to electricians to doctors. Education should be no different. Put the accountability on the management, and let the customers and teachers vote with their feet by going to other schools if they feel the need.

  • Bruce Layne wrote on March 12, 2012 02:19 PM :

    We have a problem with education, not only in Kentucky, but nationwide. Kentucky has performed near the bottom of the educational heap, and as national educational achievement slipped, Kentucky slipped too, maintaining our consistent bottom 10% of educational performance.

    It hasn’t always been this way. A couple of generations ago, US education was among the best in the world. We knew how to educate students, but now we don’t. We’ve lost a skill we once had.

    I think our educational problems are complex and systemic, but the solutions can’t be all that difficult considering we were once doing a very good job of educating our students.

    Watch the documentary Waiting For Superman for some clues to how we can restore educational excellence. The conclusions are based on common sense, proven with real world results, and they’re the opposite of the conclusions of our House Education Chairman, Carl Rollins.

    I saw a video last week of teachers discussing how to best teach Marxist beliefs to children, given the constraints of curricula that required a close adherence to structured lessons in mathematics, reading comprehension, etc. They pointed to a South American socialist revolution in universities that was led by students who were first hand witnesses to their high school teachers striking, and they concluded that their own organization and activism was the best way to teach children Marxist principles.

    I saw a video a year ago of retiring NEA union lawyer Bob Chanin, who was honored and greatly applauded for saying that it’s not about educating kids, it’s about power… the power that flows from millions of dollars of union dues.


    If our education system is composed of educators with a passion for educating, we’ll have good education. If it’s led by union organizers with a passion for collectivist bargaining, well… education is going to take a back seat to that.

    The next time you’re driving up to the Capital Building in Frankfort, take a look to your left and notice by far the largest lobbyist building on Capital Avenue. Yep, it’s the teacher’s union, KEA. The KEA is the state arm of the NEA, as evidenced in the preceding video.

What do you have to say?


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