Brown & Dr Gibbons On Teachers Pay Incentives

January 13, 2014

Shadow Minister for Education Walton Brown said that Education Minister Dr. Grant Gibbons’s “call for pay incentives for teachers” isn’t something he can support, while Dr. Gibbons said he has “not called for or necessarily endorsed pay incentives for teachers.”

Mr Brown said, “As Shadow Minister for Education, I will continue to support policies and strategies to improve public education and student performance. Education Minister Gibbons’s call for pay incentives for teachers is not one of them. In fact, it is doubtful Minister Gibbons even discussed this matter with senior Ministry staff as I am certain he would have been told it is an unwise thing to endorse.

“While performance bonuses may have merit in the business domain the Minister is most familiar with, much of the research on payment incentives for teachers shows it is fraught with problem, such as the fudging of student results, teachers fighting for the ‘best’ students and in some cases, outright fraud.

“The research has shown that performance pay will not improve teaching or learning; it will not attract strong teachers; it will lead to more standardized testing and test preparation at considerable cost in time, money and learning. As a result of such problems, pay incentive programmes in New York City and California were long abandoned.

“The Progressive Labour Party is committed to teacher training, on-going and relevant professional development, excellent leadership and adequately resourced schools as critical components in our efforts to improve student performance,” concluded Mr Brown.

In response, Minister of Education & Economic Development, Dr Grant Gibbons said: “I wish to clarify for the public and Shadow Minister that I have not called for or necessarily endorsed pay incentives for teachers.

“In fact, the issue was not raised by the Junior Minister, Leah Scott, JP, MP or myself during the interview. My response came as a result of a question put forward by the reporter.

“During our interview, we discussed the importance of improving the quality of teaching – an issue that was highlighted by Professor Hopkins in his 2007 Report on the Bermuda public school system.

“In the interview, I indicated there are a number of tools that can be used to raise the overall quality of teaching in our school system. Tools areas such as professional development, higher standards for recruitment and raising the bar on teaching qualifications were discussed.

“I do find it very interesting that the Shadow Minister is firmly opposed to pay incentives when in fact it was the former Government in 2008 that inserted a specific clause [25B] in the Education Act 1996, which calls for performance recognition including the financial awards to teachers, principals and schools.”

“We are committed to improving our public schools and will continue to consult with the public, parents and key stakeholders on how we can improve education. Pay incentives and other programmes are ideas we are prepared to consider in consultation with the relevant groups,” concluded Dr. Gibbons.

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Comments (23)

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  1. campervan says:

    The “progressive labour” party had 14 YEARS in power to be socially responsible and tackle the appalling education available in the public system. They failed miserably.
    They have a leader who derides, insults and vilifies the gay community.
    What kind of a “progressive” party is this supposed to be?
    Because it sure ain’t progressive behaviour.

    • Dockyard Lackey says:

      Mr Brown of the previous government saying this could lead to fudging of results and even fraud???? One of the best examples of outright irony I have ever heard.

  2. sonso says:

    lol booya brown!

  3. Bermuda boy says:

    Brown, leave it to those that know what they are doing.

    • Shannon Tankard says:

      Well all I can say is that the middle school system was a flop from way back. This was a known fact before they implemented it here. Yet it was still put into place. Everyone keeps trying/saying to fix it. It needs to be scrapped period. Stop trying to give the rusted out car a new paint job.

    • Robert says:

      Grant is the same minister of ED. Who brought us the defunct middle school system. I hope his light is shining a little brighter this time around.

      • LOL (original TM*) says:

        Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought it was Gerald Simmons that was the minister of education at the time? Also the decision was supported by the PLP.

        I am looking for a link to read about the switch and the history of that time.

  4. Kangoocar says:

    Thank you Min Gibbons for once again exposing the plp for their malfeasance!!! Nothing has changed in the plp since they lost the last election!! They were liars then and they are even bigger liars now!! Nice try Walton, it really would be appreciated when the day comes that the plp stop trying to win power at all costs!!! The plp will never regain power until they learn to be honest and actually be part of the solution!!!! So, no worries there, about them winning any election anytime soon!!!!

    • Indepedent says:

      @ Kangoocar,

      I long for the day you drive that Kangoocar off a cliff!

      If you like truth, wouldn’t you call the OBA liars as well? They have broken promises they made, so does that make them liars as well?

      • Kangoocar says:

        Independent, that’s not very nice?? If I drove my kangoocar off a cliff, I would lose my 60% no claims discount on my vehicle insurance! why would you wish that on me???
        I will rise above your nastiness and help you! The difference between the OBA and the plp is quite simple,
        When the plp speaks and lies, it is done to hoodwink the sheeple such as yourself! When the OBA change their minds it is simple because they have found that due too the shear lies that was told to everybody by the plp when in power that everything is just fine with our finances, they have now had to alter what they have said after looking under the hood!!! The plp agenda is very simple, say what ever they can to get re elected, doesn’t matter whether it is true or not?? The OBA has only changed direction for the betterment of all of us!! Hope that helps????

  5. James Herald says:


    • Robert says:

      Yeah yeah yeah !!!!

      • Robert says:

        And blah blah blah !!!

        • Robert says:

          Those dummies from court street, or north hamilton as its now called, couldn’t think their way through the alphabet, right ?!!!

          • ABM says:

            Dude, would give you a ringer when and if you ever come through the block!! Come round the road and say that ish and see what happens to you!

  6. Sandy says:

    Truth, honesty and integrity is something the OBA and their blind followers know nothing about.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Blind followers on both sides have a problem with that. Let’s not pretend it’s one sided.

      • ABM says:

        Couldn’t have said that any better than you just stated!

      • Indepedent says:

        @ Sandy,

        You should listen to Mike Hind, he knows what he is talking about when it comes to blind followers/groupies lmao.

        Hi Mike:)

    • hmmm says:

      Sandy, why don’t you read the whole article.

  7. theothersidebda says:

    If all’s it takes is a little money to cause teachers to fudge grades and outright fraud, then they shouldn’t be teachers. In fact, not sure they should even work in any capacity that shapes the minds of future generations. I’m pretty sure money is not the primary motivator of a true teacher, so I’m not convinced bonuses are the answer. However, don’t insult a true teacher by implying that this would give rise to greed and fraud.

    I don’t commit fraud in my attempt to get a bigger bonus at my job; I work harder and try to help others around me work smarter so that the overall company can succeed and me with it.

  8. spilt milk says:

    Its not the teachers fault students are not interested in there education its the students and parents who are to blame for failing grade. They have teacher insentives in the states and what they are finding is teachers knowing pay is tied to grades are marking failing students with better test scores to save there paychecks. Its a big problem in places like atlanta and florida right now. No.2 pencil so its easy to make changes. We need to get off the U.S.’s d!&k.. better school systems are out there.. ie. Canada, England, Switzerland. Americans dont even like there own system so why do we need it?? We used to have an advantage getting out of highschool at 16-17….

  9. Malachi says:

    Bermudian teachers are generally paid very well and to suggest that they should get incentive pay is ridiculous. I would like to believe that those who studied to become teachers did so because they had a strong desire to teach, a great incentive in itself.

    I strongly believe that the problem these days lies more in the home than in the classroom. There are so many of our children who live in home environments which are simply not conducive to learning. Many parents don’t have the time for their children and many don’t even have the ability to help them. But they send their children off to school where the teacher, in many cases is the closest example of a parent the child will know.

    The poor teachers, having to act as social workers, surely must be overwhelmed.

    But, we insist that the teachers bear the full responsibilty for our children’s education.

    It is time that parents be held responsible

    You ever notice that we need a license to drive, a license to have a business, a license to have a dog! But anybody can have a baby with no questions asked!