British Columbia Liberal leadership candidate Kevin Falcon’s proposal to introduce merit pay for teachers has become a point of contention for the party, the Globe and Mail reports.
George Abbott, a former education minister who is also contesting the leadership, in a race to replace premier Gordon Campbell, called the idea a “trick shot piece” taken “from the American experience” that “may not be applicable to our experience.”
Falcon defended his plan arguing that good teachers need to be rewarded. “It is actually the teacher at the front of the classroom that is the best determinant of student outcomes,” he said.
Another leadership candidate, Christy Clark, has also weighed in on the debate, stating that whatever the merits of the proposal the government has to take into account the potential for conflict in the education sector. “How many days are you willing to have the teachers go out on strike?” she asked.
The president of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation called the plan “a destructive idea.”