Kasich wants schools to develop bonus programs

Gov. John Kasich said Monday that his upcoming education bill will give school districts the ability to design programs that pay bonuses to teachers for high student performance.
Associated Press
Jan 15, 2013


Speaking to reporters after a separate bill-signing, the Republican governor said the legislation is "not just a simple funding bill" and contains a host of heavy policy concepts — including groundwork for future teacher bonus programs.

"I'm a big believer that you can pay people more who do excellent jobs," Kasich said. "I would rather have it come from the bottom up than from the top down because if it can come from the bottom up, then we can get agreement within the districts with the school boards, the teachers, and everybody else — but it's absolutely something I think makes a lot of sense."

He expects to unveil the highly anticipated legislation before the end of the month. The bill he signed Monday establishes new A-through-F grades for school districts and buildings that will replace the current rankings from Academic Emergency to Excellent with Distinction. The new system will be phased in as Ohio rises to meet higher performance standards.

Some teachers and their unions have opposed performance-based pay systems that Kasich supports, arguing that whether students do well in school can depend on factors outside a teacher's control.

A sweeping collective bargaining law that Ohio voters turned back in 2011 included what would have been the first mandatory performance-based pay system in the nation. It was among the elements that most rankled the public.

The handful of states that have tried performance-based pay programs have often had trouble finding a way to offer pay raises to everyone and merit pay to only some.

Kasich pointed to the Cleveland Schools Plan, approved last year with bipartisan backing, which includes something similar. The governor emphasized that his bill would allow districts to develop the details of bonus programs themselves.

"There will be things in that bill that I believe can empower local districts to make decisions like that," he said.

Besides bonuses, Kasich said he hopes to incorporate some of the online education innovations of Google Labs' Sebastian Thrun into his future proposals. The governor said he met with Thrun earlier Monday and was impressed with his ideas.

"He has some ideas about some things we can do with remediation, some things we can do with AP (Advanced Placement) courses," Kasich said. "I've embraced Sebastian. We are going to work aggressively with him."

Kasich said he supports getting businesses "fully integrated with the education system." That includes allowing students to earn course credit for activities related to their future profession and more exposure for future teachers in how to incorporate real-world experiences into their classroom activities.

Also on Monday, members of the State Board of Education re-elected Debe Terhar as their president, and she created an accountability committee that will provide policy direction to the Ohio Department of Education as it implements the new A-through-F ranking system and other elements of the new law.




I can just see it now--a teacher who has several grades getting the same "bad" student over and over again filing a law suit. Kasich better be careful with this.

The Big Dog's back

Really kassick?


Yes Big Dog, really. Heaven forbid we reward those who go above and beyond.


He's late to the game, again. Merit pay was part of HB 153, adopted in 2011. Where has this guy been? Don't answer that.

His hatred of educators borders on psychotic. He tries to get the retirement system to hand over cash to the Lehman black hole, gets mad when they don't, then proceeds to take it out on them when he becomes governor. What a peach.

His usurpation of local control in education sure complements his funding cuts. So what that communities set the pay scale by electing people to a board of education, right? Just like when he raised taxes on every town by cutting funds to local governments he'll expect the locals to pay for his performance-based horse manure. It appears that he'll fixate on exacting the pound of flesh he failed to get when SB5 got shoved back in his face instead of job creation. Obfuscation and distraction, smoke and mirrors.


Well said, wetsu, well said. Wait 'til the public records come out of which teachers got bonus pay and how much. Then we'll really see the sh** hit the fan. This will tear schools and communities to shreds. No one becomes a teacher for the money. If they are, they are mathematically challenged, especially today with the cost of education, licensing, and continuing education that is required.


There are so many things that play into student achievement, and many are beyond the control of any teacher. Hence, Kasich's idea makes as much sense as rewarding dentists for the number of cavities their patients get. It's a well-meant idea, but only someone who is absolutely clueless about Education would suggest it. Here's a prediction: teachers who work in affluent districts with students whose parents are doctors and lawyers, who begin teaching their children to read and participate in the arts at age 2 are going to earn more bonuses than teachers who work in urban districts in which the average parent is a 17-year-old HS dropout with a child who hasn't learned the alphabet or how to hold a crayon before the first day of kindergarten.

looking around

Maybe we should apply this to our elected officials, no high grades no pay....


It's long overdue, but, they've insulated themselves and are bulletproof. Can you imagine what kind of grade they would get? Meanwhile, they laugh at us.


I LOVE this idea. Either get to work and do your job or you don't get paid. Ever see a boss who would pay you for NOT doing your job? I would love to find a way to withhold the Senate and House paychecks until they get their acts together. Wouldn't that make them do their jobs. With a little caveat that states: when you work, we will pay you. Until then, your paycheck is being withheld. Show us some actual WORK and progress and you will get paid for it. Otherwise, it sucks to be you. (The people of your State)


@ wired,
maybe the city of sandusky should apply this to ard also?


All you Republicans who voted him into office...

...Sounds like your taxes are going up.

nosey rosey

How about just fixing the unconstitutionality of how schools are funded so that they quit coming at me with levies every 3 months. I already give more than my fair share.



Where do you think the state will get their money to fund schools? From you in taxes. Pay it locally, where you have a vote, or pay it through taxation by the state where you have no say.

Which poison do your prefer?

nosey rosey

I don't want greed school systems to come at me with levies every 3 months. I want the state to fix the system so that all schools are funded fairly and are forced to live within their means. I understand I will still be taxed, but not as much.


Would the bonus money come from retirement money you would love to take from the teachers/unions/ etc. ?


What Looking Around said.


Yea, right, teachers like most publicly employed bureaucrats have no idea how to milk the system. LOL.

Even though Mr. Kasich is attempting to put some accountability into a corrupt system, it still largely amounts to "feel good" political nonsense.

The problem with public employee bureaucracies is that it's all a quantity "get-'em-out-the-door" numbers game, results and quality count for little and there's almost a total lack of accountability.

The greater the amount of bureaucratic failure, the more the public employees and their politico allies focus on lack of taxpayer funding as the issue.

It's become a self-perpetuating system: More failure = more money.

Not-to-worry, if one does poorly in school, the Progressives have taught a whole generation that they are blameless and that the State will provide.

Surprising that schools aren’t educating students on how to apply for welfare, food stamps, public housing and an Obama phone.


My wife teaches in a highly-ranked school system and none of the stuff you mention takes place. And accountability from a politician? A former Wall St. boy no less? Contango, I respect your views, but, I need to know the last time you stepped foot into a public school.


wetsu writes:

"My wife teaches in a highly-ranked school system and none of the stuff you mention takes place."

I'm assuming it's not Sandusky, Cleveland or school systems in mostly lower socio-economic areas with high drop out rates.

If so, your statement speaks for itself and stands alone.

My father worked for the Sandusky School System and has great and tragic stories of waste, fraud and financial abuse.

Wall St. connections? What better way to garner capital? And name me a politician who doesn't have connections.


I'm not suggesting that there isn't waste, fraud and abuse my friend. I still reside on planet Earth and occasionally need to come back down to it. If you recall, did your father see more occurrences of the problems you mentioned committed by faculty/staff or by administration?


This will just cause infighting in the Education System which is what he wants.

Divide and conquer.


That sounds right luvblues2 ,he wants to break up the union.




Kasich is pointing at Big Dog and saying (fill in the blanks).

I do admire Big Dog for effort which is often misguided. At the least Big Dog gets involved in online debates. Give Big Dog an A- for effort.

There are some master debaters here on the SR site. I feel that Big Dog is not one of them.

The Big Dog's back

Wetsu said it well. No need for me to further comment.

Dr. Information

I like this idea. Go Kasich.