Incentive and reward systems comprise the foundation of a well-functioning society. In most professions, there is some kind of financial motivation for good performance, as well as negative consequences for poor performance. While some instances of “cheating” may occur on a small scale, the reward/consequence system has generally worked well as a motivator.
For example, many athletes and athletic coaches have reward systems factored into their contracts. Coach Rick Pitino will receive a $425,000 bonus for leading Louisville to the NCAA National Championship game. There is also a “Performance-Based-Pay” program in the NFL where players can earn additional pay based on their performance during a season. For all (ten of) you NHL fans, there is an entire list of performance based bonus items that could be included in a player’s contract. It includes everything from goals scored, to league rankings, to winning the Stanley Cup. These sorts of incentives create a more fun, competitive sports atmosphere, while encouraging athletes to perform at their best.
For the justification of Bush foundation policy analyst Alexis Franz to be found credible, Louisville’s head basketball coach, Rick Pitino, would have had to change the score somehow. But Franz, whose salary is paid for by the folks who make money off the tests the adults cheated on in Atlanta, says this:
There will always be those who cheat the system, take advantage of others’ hard work, or lie in order to gain something they think they deserve. While the situation in Atlanta is unfortunate, I don’t think it’s a reason to shy away from accountability systems entirely, or to paint a reward/consequence structure in a bad light.
Besides, if it’s good enough for Coach Pitino, it should be good enough for the rest of us too.
Pitino, inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on the day Louisville won the national title, has never erased any scores. To use his contract – which was based on actual wins and not Pearson’s flimsy, benign percentages that had nothing to do with real success – is absurd.
Is this really how Jeb Bush feels when he speaks to legislatures across the nation to sell Pearson’s test-as-the-end-all system?
And they buy it?
A level of denial that’s never been witnessed before in a society with spoken language must be present for Bush’s Kool-Aid to be consumed. Now we’ve really got a willing suspension of disbelief.