Last Tuesday and Wednesday, the merit pay debate continued when the Speaker of the House held a press conference on the issue, but refused to allow OEA Vice-President Becky Felts to sit in the audience.
For years, when a conference has been held, non-members of the press have always been allowed to sit in on the conferences--so why the big secrecy? For more information on the conference check out our statement at http://www.okea.org/News/oeapr/081407pr.htm.
In response to the issue, OEA was asked to appear on Fox 25's morning news--which we did at 6:45am. After discussing the issue, Fox played a portion of it back to the Speaker where I'd responded to how insulting a blog entry was that said "To encourage people to perform their best, it helps to give them a reason to. When they know there’s a bonus or a bigger paycheck for a job well done, they’re more likely to go the extra mile. "
To say that we aren't motivated "to go the extra mile" is not only insulting and degrading, but shows a lack of understanding about the great Oklahoma teachers who are ranked 7th in the nation in teacher quality.
The Speaker stated on morning television that he was a teacher. (He taught economics at the college level as an adjunct professor.) I believe the 47,000 k-12 teachers in our state question whether the Speaker really understands what it's like to be in the classroom when he makes insinuations that we'd work harder if you dangled a carrot in front of our faces.