Adam Bourne is one of five candidates running for the State Board of Education in District 1 against incumbent Matthew Brown.  This district includes a large portion of Mobile County, and all of Baldwin, Escambia, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw and Butler counties.  (Full disclosure, I have contributed to Adam’s campaign because he is willing to speak out against efforts in Montgomery to cripple public education, instead of defending them.)

There is now a 51-page bill making its rounds in Montgomery that sources say the super majority leadership plans to introduce in the next legislative session that begins in February.  I have yet to talk to an educator who isn’t very concerned about it.  It has been described as “a monster” and “horrible.”

To my knowledge, Adam is the first candidate to call attention to this legislation and to raise concerns.  Here is a media advisory I got from him today (Dec. 21).

MEDIA ADVISORY – Adam Bourne for State Board of Education, District 1

Please see the attached draft of Sen. Marsh’s performance pay bill.

“I am deeply concerned about the ‘RAISE Act of 2016,’ said Adam Bourne, a Chickasaw city councilman and candidate for State Board of Education, District 1.

“This bill would create an entirely new bureaucracy, diverting resources from the classroom,” said Bourne.

“The bill would also take data collection from our state’s children to the extreme, permanently labeling children too early in life,” Bourne further explained.

​”A certain amount of testing is needed for accountability, but this bill would take testing to an unhealthy level,” said Bourne.

“If the legislature pursues this bill, it needs to include performance pay for legislators, where legislators don’t get paid unless the state education system as a whole meets certain benchmarks.

I am calling on the legislature to make that change to this bill. It is only fair,” said Bourne. “After all, the politicians calling the shots need to be at least as accountable as the teachers in the classroom.”

​For further comment, please contact Adam Bourne at 251-654-8951 or by email at​

For one thing, the bill sets up a system of “merit” pay which has never been shown to work in education.  It has been researched time and time again.  At the heart of the matter is that educators are not motivated by money.  How many teachers do you know who became teachers because they wanted to get rich?
This is once again the model of “run schools like a business” which simply does not hold water.
Check out this video of Jamie Vollmer, a one time businessman who no longer preaches that schools should be run like a business.
The state department of education has spent a great deal of effort for two years trying to come up with a good teacher evaluation program.  This legislation will totally wipe out this effort.
Really good schools have stable faculties who have truly become a team.  Everyone is on the same page.  Collaboration is a big deal.  But start making every teacher look at every child as a profit center and this disappears.
And if all that matters is how a child scores on a test, guess what the teacher teaches?  The test?  So instead of moving in the right direction, this legislation forces us in the wrong direction.
Another part of the bill is about creating a statewide longitudinal data system.  How many millions of dollars will this cost?  How much paperwork will it create for teachers and administrators?
Once again we have folks in Montgomery who want to impose unfunded mandates, create more bureaucracy and paperwork and take away resources and manpower that can be better used to help students.