The second round of the House of Representatives interim study on merit pay was held with 3 of the four morning participants agreeing on the importance of professional development in the creation of any incentive based plan.
On behalf of the nearly 40,000 members of the Oklahoma Education Association, executive directors Joel Robison, Dr. Dottie Caldwell, and I represented OEA's position on the subject. http://www.okea.org/LPO/Pay/index.htm. Many thought we would be totally opposed to any proposal, but the OEA has always been the leader in looking at enhancements to the salary schedule. You can't ignore OEA's leadership in this area: we were instrumental in getting the National Board process started in Oklahoma, National Board Certified Teachers developed the OEA Accomplished Teacher Project that was presented to OBEC leaders, and we have supported a number of areas that enhances teacher pay that makes a difference in the effectiveness of our teachers as well as documented student success.
After our presentation, Education Minnesota presented a program that strongly supported the concepts of what our presentation was about. EM's presentation was followed by Granger Meador, a Bartlesville teacher, who also talked about the importance of professional development and making all teachers the best they can be.
What appeared to be unified presentations included remarks from Keith Ballard, Executive Director of the OSSBA, as well as a variety of administrative representatives who were all discussing the importance of funding, teacher buy-in, local control, professional development, and getting teachers to the regional average in pay.
We received positive reaction from many of the legislators who appreciated our input and thanked us for being open to presenting the OEA position. Many of the legislators were encouraged by the OEA presentation and we look forward to continued discussions with our elected representatives.