SEATTLE — “Don’t worry, I don’t work on commission,” Best Buy employees explain with the same detached sincerity that pick-up artists use to convince their victims they are, in fact, not rapists. Best Buy hoped that by removing the financial incentive for employees to sell products, it would help alleviate the “hard sells” and pushy sales tactics that consumers have been complaining about for years. Of course this idea was wildly successful and no one has been pressured to buy a useless warranty or criminally overpriced accessory since then. In fact, by slowly transforming Best Buy into a seedy black market ruled by a mercenary underclass and removing any financial incentive for employees to even bother being knowledgeable about their job, Best Buy is poised to die out faster than uninsured baby boomers.
Now the Seattle Public School Board wants to apply the same successful business model to education.
By selling lesson plans and creative learning materials on teacherspayteachers.com, Seattle teacher Kristine Nannani was able to make over half of the median yearly salary for K-12 instructors. Sensing that an educator might be receiving too much compensation for their zealous work ethic and honed skill sets, Seattle school districts swooped in to put an end to this obviously unethical situation. “If teachers wanted to make money they should have learned how to esoterically move large sums of other people’s money around, not provide the educational foundation for tomorrow’s future voters and leaders,” quoted everyone not involved in education.
Certainly educators should be slightly more altruistic in their career goals than an expendable retail burnout, but financial comfort — not luxury — is a pivotal aspect for a profession that routinely demands a $500 out of pocket reinvestment in school supplies. Not to mention that financial incentives are one of the best ways to attract decent teachers to high-poverty or high-crime areas. Is it so unreasonable that Chicago Teachers are demanding a 30% increase for danger pay when Chicago gets an average of 666 crimes per square mile? That’s not even factoring the not-insignificant risk that one of their plucky prepubescent pupils might parlay a potential professor into a post-employed predator pedophile. The risk of either getting shot or seduced by one of American’s dangerously sexy children is great enough that caring, intelligent people are being soured on the idea of a teaching career altogether.
School officials in almost every state are also trying to tie a teacher’s salary to how well their students do on Standardized Tests. Don’t worry: teachers won’t make any extra money by teaching kids how to be well-spoken, informed on current events, able to detect bias in arguments, competent to function mathematically with their own finances, or how to conduct proper research. You can look forward to spending more money on making sure students can properly memorize a bunch of non-related context-less facts.