Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Daily News Inspired by Merit Pay Fairy

Since Newark teachers ratified a contract full of unspecified bonuses for evaluations that don't exist, the Daily News editorial board thinks we ought to do the same thing. You know, we should be paid like professional athletes. This is not a new argument. I've been hearing it for years. Except, of course, that no one, ever, has remotely suggested we be paid on any such scale.

Blogger Jersey Jazzman has been consistently brilliant on this issue, and wrote a fairly definitive history describing its various incarnations and failures. Regrettably, the Daily News editorial board either hasn't heard, or more likely doesn't wish to hear about them. They'd prefer to interview some defeated ex-union chief who no longer believes seniority ought to mean anything for working people.

For some reason, a lot of people out there actually believe that folks on the Daily News editorial board, the ones who consistently support things like junk-science VAM, actually care more about kids than we do. After all, all we do is spend every working hour of our lives teaching them, watching them, caring for them. What the hell do we know about kids?

I think Lily Tomlin said, "No matter how cynical you get, it's hard to keep up." And every day, I marvel when I read about the latest untested or failed nonsense that's come down the pike, and how we must enact it right now. I kind of expect this from newspaper editorial boards.

What really disappoints me is when union leaders stand behind it, calling it innovative and worthwhile. I'm particularly irked when they call real teachers liars for opposing such nonsense. In this case, it is the New Caucus that opposes the junk sci-contract, and Jersey Jazzman has posted their position in its entirety.

The danger of nonsense like this contract is that it can spread like a cancer. It's no accident that Bill Gates' boy Arne Duncan has imposed crap evaluation on most of the country, and I don't doubt the man who stated Katrina was the best thing to happen to education in New Orleans would love to see us have contracts just like this one. Chris Christie and Eli Broad love it. That's just one reason for us not to.

Here's another--real working teachers need a raise, not a tip. Remember that when they tell you you can make "up to" whatever. Because the other side is you can also make "as little as" whatever.  A one time payment of "up to $20,000" for a degree approved by the likes of Chris Christie is no substitute for actual credit for education. We ought to encourage teachers to get more education, not have them spin the Wheel of Fortune to find out how much it's worth.

Is that what pro athletes do? If so, I've yet to hear about it.
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