Monday, January 23, 2012

Merit Pay for Reporters?

In an article that's largely a clarification of the nonsense that passes for news around here, a NY Times reporter still drops the ball in a large way. There is acknowledgement that the brouhaha over the evaluation system is not, in fact, over the system itself. The system, of course, is flawed in that it revolves around value-added, which has no basis of success either in research or practice. Personally, I'd hope a NY Times reporter would do enough research to know that, but here I'm asking for the moon.

A more fundamental error is the reporter's apparent ignorance that, since 2008, everyone but educators received an 8% plus increase over two years. Why does no reporter in NYC seem to know that? This leads to the outrageous contention, made by this reporter, that Bloomberg has offered substantial raises to teachers.

In fact, he's done no such thing. He's tossed 20 thousand dollars into the air and asked teachers to jump for it. The likelihood of getting it, for real live teachers, is remote at best. Principals tear out their hair every year when the annual budget cuts come out. How the hell are they supposed to meet Bloomberg's ever-shifting capricious demands when they haven't even got the means to run their schools? How is everyone supposed to perform the tunes demanded by our corporate overlords when are schools are run-down, crumbling, overcrowded, and class sizes are capacity or higher?

All due respect, it really behooves education reporters to be well-informed, particularly if they have the audacity to say, or even imply unknowingly, that teachers ought to be judged on so-called merit.
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