This story popped up in my Flipboard education list the other day and, much as I tried, I couldn’t resist fueling the click bait and reading.
I knew what to expect from the source and the author and I wasn’t disappointed.
Started back in the Mike Harris days, the Sunshine List was an opportunity for the government to highlight those in the public service who earned more than $100,000. The government has a history of the list going all the way back to 1996. Yes, the last century.
Back then, $100,000 seemed like an almost obscene amount of money and the common thought was that it was an attempt to shame those who were on the list.
As any reasonable thinking person knows, inflation makes numbers like this almost meaningless unless put into context. My first house was a shade over $50,000 and it recently sold for almost $200,000. I shudder when I look at the pricing of houses in the GTA where a million dollars is becoming the norm.
Sadly, this list makes no mention of this. Using this resource from the Bank of Canada, $100,000 in 1996 is calculated to be $157,661.75 Even that doesn’t help you if you’re looking a million dollars for a house. It did bring back a comment my elementary school principal made about comparing apples to oranges.
Of course, the comments were opened on the article (now since closed) and that initially brought out those who were firmly onside with the message of the author with their insensitive tone. Recently, some educators tried to jump in and bring some context to things. Was that why the comments were closed?
Of course, the article was focussed solely on educator salaries even though they’re not the only ones making that kind of money in the province. But, I guess you need to play to your audience.
I’m sure that the offer for the author to enter the profession and make the big bucks still is there. It would just require a two years Education degree and a police check, assuming that there was already an acquisition of the skills to get into the program in the first place. The Ontario English Curriculum does include many opportunities to write or speak about opinion. Of course, it also includes the need to cite resources and fact check.
I feel badly having clicked through and read the article. It just doesn’t hold the muster that is required for fair, balanced, and honest reporting.
The release of the Sunshine List was covered in a number of other places and so I did some looking to see if teachers were bashed in other places. Sadly, the biggest focus seems to be on doctors and others in the medical profession that are going above and beyond in their duties at this time.
Personally, I think that the purpose of this list has run its course. Adjustment for inflation would be a start if the decision is to continue with it. I honestly don’t see a purpose at all except to provide fodder for a single opinion article with no fact checking or followup.