It's interesting that three of the four people here to speak on behalf of the Luna bills also spoke at the JFAC hearing a few weeks ago, while all the speakers who've opposed the bill so far are new. But there is one new person here to speak for the Luna bills: Melaleuca's Frank VanderSloot, who has taken out full-page Idaho ads in newspapers the past two Sundays to support Luna's bills and slam the Idaho Education Association.
VanderSloot of Idaho Falls introduced himself as the father of 14 children who've attended Idaho schools. He talked about education strictly as a business enterprise, bringing a big chart that touts Melaleuca's growth during the recession. He said measurement and pay for performance have been the keys to his success, but that “people who have never been measured are fearful.” He opined that the “anger, threats, and anguish” against the bill are just beginning and will only get worse. “Please have the courage to pass this bill for our kids,” he said.
In his ads and again today, VanderSloot doesn't seem to recognize that the Luna bill's pay for performance component is one of the only ones in which the IEA had any input.
Sen. Dean Mortimer (R-Idaho Falls) asked VanderSloot whether technology is a key component of preparation for Melaleuca's would-be employees. He said there's no shortage of warehouse jobs, but some positions that need more technical skills are going unfilled.
Sen. Edgar Malepeai (D-Pocatello) asked, “Would you agree with me that the pay for performance of your staff dealing with a product you sell on the market would be different than a classroom of 35 students with diverse backgrounds and learning styles?” VanderSloot said there are differences, but the principles of measurement still hold up.