Rep. Brian Bolduc (D-Auburn) insults every teacher, school administrator, and school board member in Maine

Rep. Brian Bolduc (D-Auburn) insults every teacher, school administrator, and school board member in Maine

April 7, 2009 Posted by Maine Heritage Policy Center - No Comments

During yesterday afternoon’s hearing on his bill to outlaw
performance-based pay systems. Rep. Brian Bolduc (D-Auburn) suggested that such
systems should be banned because “I think it’s too complicated an issue to
let local school departments figure out.”

So here you have one legislator, the only person speaking in favor of his bill,  suggesting that he
understands such pay systems well enough to know that they warrant being
outlawed, but that they are too complicated for the thousands of teachers,
administrators, and school board members across Maine to figure out.

His testimony, in which he suggests, despite evidence to the
contrary from around the nation, that performance-based systems “won’t improve
teacher quality, but will hinder it,” can be found on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ays0Dh0ZIBw. 

Watch for the part where he suggests that performance-based
pay “dehumanizes” the “bond development” and emotional nourishment” he thinks
are the keys to good teaching.

In response to a suggestion from the Committee that he was
undermining collective bargaining by forbidding districts from even negotiating
performance pay models, Rep Bolduc suggested that “any union that wants to
pursue merit pay is not in the spirit of equitability for teachers.  It is a contradiction for a teachers union to
want to pursue performance-based pay.”  Why?
Because, according to Bolduc, teacher quality is “impossible to quantify.” Not
hard to quantify, not challenging to quantify, but “impossible” to quantify.

By the way, Rep. Bolduc seems to think that collective bargaining
is about all teachers being paid the same, not the right of teachers to
collectively negotiate the terms of their pay and benefits.  The “tenure system is at the heart of collective
bargaining – that’s the goal,” he says.  Huh?

In any event, his response to questions from the committee
can be found on YouTube as well, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s04wh2qbeA

You can find my testimony online too, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmPPaqPlwts.  I took a question or two from the committee
as well, which can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwUG-S59PO0.

Aside from Bolduc, nobody spoke in favor of the bill. In opposition,
as the Sun Journal reported was “Maine’s Department of Education, the Maine
Heritage Policy Center and Maine’s superintendents and school board
associations.”

Even the MEA couldn’t bring itself to support an outright ban on performance-based pay.

Rep. Bolduc, reports the Sun Journal, is “looking for work
as a teacher.”

The work session on the bill is tomorrow afternoon.