Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Opus 2015-4: Election 2016: Jeb on Education, part 1 of 3

The 2016 election is already in the news.  Certain moderate Republicans are being pushed by the media.  You hear them constantly referring to Mitt Romney, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush.  While I would concede that any of them will be better than Hillary they have areas that make them “hold your nose and vote” candidates for me.

Today I want to look at Jeb Bush in light of his commitment to education.  Florida under his watch was one of the few states to see improved test scores.  I will give him that.  He supported some types of school choice and was in favor of raising standards.  I am on board that ship.

We parted company on the issue of merit pay for teachers.  He is in favor of merit pay.  I think it would be a disaster.  This is from memory, so it may not be exact but Jeb Bush has been a long time advocate of merit pay in education.  It is one of those ideas which seems good but when you look at the entire picture it falls apart.  The big issue is, how do you decide a teacher is doing a good job?  Do you let the students decide?  They tend to like the teachers that give them parties and lots of fun.  Administrators?  They are on the upward career path and want teachers that will do what they are told and make them look good. 

Some people come down to testing as a means of determining how good a job a teacher is doing.  Again, it sounds good, but doesn’t work.  How do you measure improvement and compare students and classes?  I have five classes.  All are different.  Most of my failing students are in one class.  I have another class in which most are getting “A’s”.  When I give a quiz, the class of failing students have large numbers of students who either miss every question or leave the paper totally blank.  Is it the teacher’s fault that a student walks in the first day with no ability to read and write and no interest in learning?  How do you measure the “improvement” of that class with a group that have their eyes on college?  In large schools the better students tend to be given to certain teachers.  Of course they look well.

Merit pay does not work.

To be continued...

homo unius libri


  1. I don't know that I totally agree with you, but I see your points. Still, I've also seen what pay-by-years-os-service amounts to, also. Often, horrible teachers with seniority make far more money that younger, excellent teachers. Sadly, those younger ones sometimes just get tired of the unfairness and low pay and move on to other fields of employment.

    1. If you never disagreed I would worry about both of us.

      I know I have seen excellent young teachers be replaced because they were missing a piece of paper in their documentation. I have also seen older teachers that I respected leave and retire early because they are tied of fighting the system.

      Grace and peace.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.