Thursday, January 09, 2014

Student Lobbyist Andy Cuomo Is a Moron

Well, perhaps that's strong language, but the Andrew "I am the government" Cuomo is floating a merit pay scheme of "up to" $20,000 for the best teachers. Personally, I'm not persuaded Governor Cuomo would know a good teacher if one were beating him over the head. Nonetheless, were that to happen, it probably wouldn't change anything.  For one thing, the governor can't be bothered to do basic research. Merit pay has been around for a hundred years, and it has never worked.

For another thing, "up to" $20,000 means a number somewhere between zero and $20,000. While there are reports that a lot of teachers around NY State have been rated "highly effective" based on junk science VAM, that's no assurance formulas can't or won't be revised so as to not pay out.

Newark, for example, adopted a merit pay scheme. 190 of Newark's 3200 teachers got bonuses. That's fewer than 10%. Of course, 80% of Newark teachers chose not to give up tenure in order to participate. And those teachers, being smarter, were more likely to have been rated highly effective. Personally, I would question the competence of any teacher who gave up anything to be thrown upon the tender mercies of Chris Christie. It appears there's a whole bunch of money in Newark, but it does not appear the teachers are going to be receiving it.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has come out and stated flatly that he does not believe in merit pay. Perhaps the mayor actually reads the research. Perhaps the mayor knows that any teacher who's holding back waiting for merit pay is incompetent and ought to be fired. I can't really say why the mayor believes this, but it's certainly refreshing to see a rational opinion in City Hall, rather than fanatical ideology based on whatever came out of Bill Gates' hind quarters this morning.

And here's the truth--city teachers have been without a compensation increase for five years now. We aren't looking for a tip.

We want the same raise that NYPD and FDNY got, and I don't know a single non-E4E teacher who says otherwise.
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