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Signs at a rally. Solidarity in foreground, stop the war on workers in background.
  • Advanced Placement teachers in Lee, Massachusetts, returned merit pay, writing:
    As a union, we strongly oppose “merit pay” on both philosophical and ethical grounds. First, the notion of “merit pay” suggests that high achieving students are more worthy of a teacher’s time and effort than average achieving students or those who struggle. Refusing to accept the “merit pay” has allowed us to put the money back into our departments to enhance the learning of all our students. We will buy much-needed items, such as supplies, textbooks, and technology, and also fund field trips and SAT preparation classes for students lacking the means to pay for them themselves.

    Second, “merit pay” for certain teachers of certain students in certain classes is inequitable to professional educators. In our view, it is a way to undermine union efforts to ensure fair and equal pay for equal work, education, and experience. Before students arrive in an A.P. class in 11th or 12th grade, they have already been in school for at least 10 years. It is faulty logic to assume that the efforts of one A.P. teacher were the only cause of high scores. Earlier teachers, parents, and community members all help contribute to the success of our students.

    Bravo.
  • Robert Reich: Fear is why workers in red states vote against their economic self-interest.
  • Let's just say that education has not been an area of progressive strength for the Obama administration:
    Stevens said her group was “troubled by what we’ve seen so far” from the Obama Education Department, citing a 2011 Harvard Business Review essay by Joanne Weiss, Secretary Arne Duncan’s then-chief of staff, which stated that “the adoption of common standards and shared assessments means that education entrepreneurs will enjoy national markets where the best products can be taken to scale.”

    Stevens argued that the essay suggested Weiss, who had led Obama’s Race to the Top program, “was so excited about Common Core not necessarily because of its impact on students, but because of the opportunities it opened up for the marketplace, and for for-profit companies that could quickly scale and take advantage of a national market.”

  • Poor kids shouldn't just be told to go to college so they can make more money. Learning is also a good thing.
  • This may be the one time Matt Yglesias has been correct about anything related to corporate education policy: Michelle Rhee's Twitter Q&A did not go well. For Rhee, anyway. More here.

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