I happened to listen to the radio last week when LPOSD Superintendent Shawn Woodward was interviewed by talk show host/former LPOSD school board chair Steve Youngdahl on the topic of the upcoming levy. It was a love fest, basically an hour’s worth of LPOSD infomercial by the two of them, presented without an opposing view. That was particularly odd, because in previous years the station had always made sure there was an opponent’s view.
The word used like a mantra by both of them was “competitive.” As in, LPOSD needed this levy to ensure competitive salaries with other districts so we could be competitive in academic performance.
But how exactly do higher salaries improve teacher performance? Do teachers decide to put forth less effort if they don’t get more money?
Also, Woodward claims that LPOSD’s academic performance is top notch. If that is so, aren’t teachers doing a great job at the salaries they’re being paid now? Which, I read, have been raised by the Legislature for four consecutive years with a fifth to come, whether there is a levy or not. Or are teachers leaving in droves to make more elsewhere?
We have no answers to those questions, only Woodward’s and Youngdahl’s declaration that more money funneled to schools is the key to better teachers and therefore outstanding students.
It would have been nice to have someone from the charter school there to explain how their students do so well without levy money and much lower teacher and administrator salaries.