Sunday, July 12, 2009

Quote of the Day: Obama and Merit Pay

As a candidate, President Obama signaled to teachers unions that he was open to the idea of linking teacher pay to student performance. Now, his administration is moving more aggressively to promote it.

Last week, Education Secretary Arne Duncan challenged the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union, to drop its opposition to merit pay. The union’s leadership says it’s willing to talk, but most of its rank and file want no part of it. As more and more Democrats in Congress line up behind the idea, they may have no choice.
NPR's "All Things Considered," in report by Claudia Sanchez (audio here, and hat tip to Charles Barone at Swift and Change Able.) The remark is a bit odd: there's certainly been no sense from the union leadership that they're "willing to talk" about linking pay to performance (witness the accusations at the NEA Convention that merit pay is tantamount to "union-busting,") and some evidence that the "rank and file" are far more open to such initiatives. Any thoughts out there?