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View Diary: Why Unions? Labor 101 (269 comments)

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  •  Merit Pay per teachers (5+ / 0-)

    This is a hugely controversial issue nationwide.  Teachers are taking a lot of crap for it.  On our end we just cannot see where the application will be truly based on merit, and there are huge metric problems.  The states and districts where this has become the norm usually base the merit pay, at least in some small part, on the results of standardized tests.  Think about this.  I teach about 8th graders US History.  They take a standardized test in May.  We get those results back with a breakdown based on race, gender, etc. as per No Child Left Behind.  In most teacher merit pay plans, my salary would increase based on improvement on those test scores.  Whose test scores?  The 130 kids I taught in 2006 who are now Freshmen taking another standardized test over a completely different curriculum?  Or maybe a whole new set of 130 8th graders in a new class with a wholke different make-up?  Do you see how that is not fair?  

    The other aspect oft he equation is administrator evaluations.  OK.  Who gets the best reviews?  You guessed it.  The best ass kissers in the school.  If you piss off an administrator, it is no longer just a write up on your record, it is food off your table.

    Some have suggested having members evaluate each other.  Bullshit!  Number one, it pits member against member.  Number two, it sets up a system where the teachers give each other a great review regardless of how shitty the teacher did because they fear a bad review in return if they give one.  It's lose-lose.  

    I know there are shitty teachers out there.  The great myth is that teachers with tenure can't be fired.  That depends on the contract negotiated with the school district, but that is usually not the case.  What it takes to fire a tenured teacher is a documented record of miscues outlined in the bargaining agreement.  If the administrators are willing to do the work, any teacher who is bad can be terminated, just like in a ny union.  Plain and simple- if adminisrators follow the contract, they can do it without a stupid system of merit pay.

    •  I used to think it was obvious (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kraant

      which teachers were the good teachers and which were not.  I no longer think that.  Administrators, students, parents, other teachers, and test scores are all going to give you a different result...

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