The failed Katie Couric experiment.pdf

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					A4 — Wednesday, May 11, 2011                                                                                                                                           THE DAILY RECORD, Wooster, Ohio

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      Views from the state
    Developing a fair system for compensating
teachers based on merit requires thought and
care, but it’s hardly the impossible task some
    Evaluating performance is not a radical con-
cept and the vast majority of Americans in all
sorts of jobs and professions work and succeed in
a merit-based system. Only the minority whose
jobs are not dependent on performance view
such a system with alarm.
    It is they who enjoy pay scales that reward
longevity and credentials, regardless of effective-
ness, who are trying to derail efforts at reform
by pointing out the imperfections of current
job-performance measures. They would do more
good for education by helping create something
                                                                              The failed Katie Couric experiment
                                                                                WASHINGTON — CBS                                                         Simply put it is an every-two-   who made a name for herself
    Ohio’s current effort toward merit evalu-                                 has only itself to blame. In a                                           years business. Most local sta-    as a personable morning show
ation of teachers is the so-called value-added                                star system that rivals any-                                             tions have a tough time paying     host whose extracurricular
                                                                              thing Hollywood had in the                                               the freight the nets demand to     gigs included trying standup
measurement: statistics showing how much                                      old days, it decided five years                                          meet their obligations to their    comedy.
individual students progress on standardized                                  ago to hire personable Katie                                             superstars like Couric. Cut-         Couric is a competent host
measures over the course of a year. They                                      Couric to the prestigious post                                           backs at CBS, NBC and ABC          for those sorts of things. To her
                                                                              of nightly news anchor at the                                            have been substantial.             credit she is quite capable of
apply only to students in fourth through                                      prodigious salary of $15 mil-                                              The days when owning a           conducting a good interview
eighth grade — those who have taken state                                     lion annually.                                                           television station was a license   and she has some reportorial
reading and math proficiency tests for more                                     The result was predictable —      evening news staffers from           to print money are long gone,      experience having once been
                                                                              continued third place ratings       the very start resented the          and the outsized salaries that     a Pentagon correspondent.
than a year — and are aggregated to deter-                                    in a business where even “rip       humongous contract Couric            even local anchors make and        Although Today is billed as a
mine whether a school’s students have, over-                                  and readers” on TV, unlike          had signed with very little past     national correspondents have       news operation it has become
                                                                              their old radio counterparts,       news experience at that level.       been paid are unsustainable.       more of a variety show.
all, achieved as much progress as expected                                    not only have to sound author-        All this has culminated with       Moreover they have very little       There is a huge difference
for a year.                                                                   itative but also must look the      Couric recently stepping down        to do with experience.             in the skill needed there and
    Schools and districts see their state ratings                             part. Television is an enter-       as CBS Evening News anchor             Print reporters with years of    fronting for a major national
                                                                              tainment medium pure and            to be replaced by Scott Pelley       expertise long have smarted        news operation. In that cov-
bumped up or down based on whether they met,                                  simple and appearance often         starting June 6. Starting in Sep-    over the discrepancy in pay        eted role, Couric is the face
exceeded or fell short of expectations.                                       means more than the words           tember, Couric will instead do       between them and television        of a celebrated operation
    Gov. John Kasich wants the data to be used                                the anchor stars are being fed      a one-hour daily talk show on        correspondents at the nation-      that has faded considerably
                                                                              through their earpieces.            ABC for a reported $20 mil-          al level who make far more         since her highly touted hiring.
to evaluate individual teachers. ...                                            Obviously, viewers didn’t         lion. That should make view-         for a few seconds of air time      Her predecessor Dan Rather
    Teachers unions typically fear that prin-                                 take the former Today Show          ers across the nation deliri-        daily and often are treated        stayed too long and the situa-
cipals, given the authority to evaluate teach-                                co-host seriously enough with       ously happy considering there        like movie stars by those they     tion became somewhat nasty.
                                                                              her mop-headed, girl-next-          aren’t enough of those around.       cover.                               The bottom line of all this is
ers on merit, will play favorites and slight                                  door look. Decking her out in       Right.                                 Movie mogul Jack War-            Katie Couric has been drasti-
those they don’t like. While bad supervisors                                  a black dress and pearls didn’t       Broadcast news at the net-         ner once was asked what he         cally overpaid and would have
will appear from time to time, the problem                                    do the trick.                       work and big market level is         thought about Ronald Rea-          been so even if she had led
                                                                                She also suffers in compari-      a dicey business these days          gan for president. He report-      CBS back to the days when it
shouldn’t be exaggerated. As noted above,                                     son to ABC’s Diane Sawyer, a        with affiliates of the main nets     edly replied that he really saw    was the most respected news
most Americans work and thrive in a merit-                                    mature beauty with a boatload       struggling to keep up the rev-       Jimmy Stewart as president         operation in the broadcast
based system. In a work setting in which                                      of political experience and an      enues needed to pay the bills        and Reagan as his best friend.     industry. That much money
                                                                              air of quiet, friendly, cool com-   and make the owners and                CBS, the network of Edward       reinforces assessments that
supervisors know they will be judged on the                                   petence who looks and sounds        stockholders happy in the            R. Murrow and Walter               broadcast television is really
performance of their subordinates, supervi-                                   like she knows what she is          years between elections when         Cronkite, might have consid-       just Hollywood in disguise.
sors have every incentive to fairly reward the                                talking about.                      the huge amounts from the            ered other alternatives before       Dan K. Thomasson can
                                                                                What’s more, it has been          sale of political advertising fill   leaving such a venerable news      be reached by email at
productive, nurture the promising and weed                                    reported that other CBS             their coffers.                       operation in the hands of one
out the ineffective.
                         The Columbus Dispatch                                Letters to the editor
                 Guidelines for letters                                       Something                          spoke of an approaching hos-
                                                                                                                 tile attack against the Pentagon
                                                                                                                 but, incredibly, ordered a mili-
                                                                                                                                                        The community support was
                                                                                                                                                       amazing. Thank you all.
                                                                                                                                                                      Megan Turske
                                                                                                                                                                                          ment, who spent time after
                                                                                                                                                                                          the hours it took to put out
                                                                                                                                                                                          the fire, to salvage our few
   Letters must include the writer’s street address and
 telephone number for verification. Letters cannot exceed                     is rotten in                       tary stand-down. Ms. Gallop
                                                                                                                 asks why neither air defenses
                                                                                                                                                                         Big Prairie      belongings from our second
                                                                                                                                                                                          story apartment.
 400 words. Editing may be necessary, but ideas will not be
 altered. Send to: Letters to the Editor, 212 E. Liberty St.,
 P.O. Box 918, Wooster 44691, or e-mail letters@the-daily-
                                                                              the U.S.                           nor alarm warnings were
                                                                                                                 implemented in and around the         So grateful                          They also took our beloved
                                                                                                                                                                                          family dog Tyson, to be bur-

                                                                                                                                                       for help
                                                                                                                 Pentagon. One wonders why.                                               ied. Those men went above                                                                  Editor:                              Look at the trillions of dollars                                       and beyond the call of duty,
                                                                                Recently the FBI opened          we are in debt, they plan on rais-                                       and I thank you all. Out of
                                                                              up many thousands of pages
                                                                              of history onto a website
                                                                              referred to as “the vault,”
                                                                                                                 ing the debt ceiling.We must call
                                                                                                                 congress and tell them, no way,
                                                                                                                 we live within our budget and
                                                                                                                                                       after fire                         one horrible tragedy came
                                                                                                                                                                                          a million wonderful things,
                                                                                                                                                                                          and myself and my family are
                                                                              which gives us insight to many so must they.We have seen no              Editor:                            truly blessed to live in com-
                                                                              files with little known facts      improvement from one admin-             I would like to thank the        munities with such a generous
                                                                              that have until now been pri-      istration to the next, unless we      communities of Apple Creek         spirit.
                                                                              vate events of the 20 century.     demand it. It doesn’t take long       and Wooster for the outpour-         Once again, from the bottom
                                                                                Missing was any mention of the to call your congress critters, so      ing of love and support our        of my heart, I thank you.
                                                                              Oklahoma City bombing,TWA’s please put that responsibility on            family received when our                            Elizabeth Ondo
                                                                              flight 800, when evidence has      your daily calendar, and start        home was destroyed by fire                             Apple Creek
                                                                              shown the FBI was instrumental calling, Let your voice be heard,         on March 20.
                                                                              in the cover-up of pertinent facts make a difference.                      I have never seen such kind-
                                                                              in those two cases.                  Times are tough out there           ness, and was overwhelmed
                                                                                Also missing was any men-
                                                                              tion of 9-11. Evidence by
                                                                                                                 folks, and I see them getting
                                                                                                                 much worse. I have a plan
                                                                                                                                                       with people donating items,
                                                                                                                                                       spending their time and            Thanks,
                                                                                                                                                                                          Brush, for
                                                                              many groups have proven that to cut our debt, email me                   energy to provide us with
                                                                              parts of our government were       and I will send it to you at:         the essentials needed to start
                                                                              involved in the killing of thou-                  over. I would especially like
                                                                              sands of our own people during
                                                                              9-11. There was no plane that
                                                                              hit the Pentagon, probably a
                                                                                                                                   Virginia Brooks
                                                                                                                                                       to thank the Armstrong Fam-
                                                                                                                                                       ily, the Bradford Family, the
                                                                                                                                                       Orrville Christian and Mis-
                                                                                                                                                                                          great years
                                                                              missile, since no engine or body
                                                                              parts were ever found. Some-        Thanks for                           sionary Alliance, Premier
                                                                                                                                                       Bank, Apple Creek Elemen-
                                                                                                                                                                                            Thank you, Wooster Brush,

                                                                                                                  yard sale
                                                                              one needs to take responsibility                                         tary, the Red Cross, and the       for more than 45 years of
                                                                              for this horrendous crime.                                               employees and patrons of           wonderful employment and so
                                                                                Army Spec. April Gallop,                                               Wooster Natural Foods.             many special memories.
                                                                              survivor of 9-11, says she saw
                                                                              no plane in Pentagon rubble.
                                                                              She has filed a federal lawsuit
                                                                                                                  support                                If not for their generosity
                                                                                                                                                       my family would have been
                                                                                                                                                       devastated by this loss. Lastly,
                                                                                                                                                                                            I was fortunate to be a part
                                                                                                                                                                                          of your incredible 160 years.
                                                                                                                                                                                          Here’s to many more to come.
                                                                              against Vice President Dick        Editor:                               I would like to thank the                              Pat Gerber
                                                                              Cheney, former Defense Sec-          A huge thank you to every-          Apple Creek Fire Depart-                                  Wooster
                                                                              retary Donald Rumsfeld and         one who came out for and/or
                                                                              Gen. Richard Meyers, vows not donated to the Yard Sale for
                                                                              to back down, she demands          Leukemia on Saturday, April             Poll question at
                                                                              Justice.                           30, in Big Prairie. The sale was
                                                                                Norman Pineta testified to       a complete success and more               Do you think Medicare should be privatized?
                                                                              the now-disbanded 9-11 com-        than $300 was raised for the              Visit The Daily Record website to participate in a weekly
                                                                              mission that Cheney, on duty       Leukemia & Lymphoma Soci-               interactive poll.
                                                                              during the attacks, urgently       ety.

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