Friday, October 19, 2007

Turning Over In Their Graves

Those "terrible" union folks who fought to give us social security and pensions and health insurance, whose pressure on FDR helped save capitalism by distributing income and little more equally (something a dose of would save this country from the economic brink now) are spinning in their graves over the capitualation of the UFT to merit pay.
from nyceducator
Kathryn S. Wylde is clueless if she thinks there aren't already a critical mass of professional educators trying to do their best in some pretty crappy conditions (like crumbling rat, roach and mold-infested school buildings, like severely overcrowded schools, like schools with 100 degree temperatures and no air conditioning in summer and 100 degree temperatures from the steam heat in fall, spring and winter, like class size problems, etc..)
one of a million other reasons merit pay won't work, from madisonteachers
MERIT PAY WON'T WORK IN SCHOOLS, a paper by Adam Urbanski was discussed in EDUCATION WEEK, January 15, 1999. Urbanski is quoted as saying, "Anyone who promotes merit pay MUST BELIEVE THAT TEACHERS ARE BEST MOTIVATED BY FINANCIAL INCENTIVES. They assume that teachers could do a better job, but they are holding back because there is not enough in it for them. WRONG." Urbanski continues, "The WORST THING ABOUT TYING PAY TO PERFORMANCE in education is that it leads to HARMFUL PRACTICE for the very students that it purports to help. Children's learning suffers when TEACHERS ARE FORCED TO WORRY MORE ABOUT TEST SCORES THAN ABOUT REAL LEARNING."
Urbanski says that, "merit pay WON'T make our classrooms less crowded, WON'T make our schools safer, WON'T get parents more involved in their children's schoolwork, WON'T end social promotions, WON'T lead to higher behavioral and academic standards, and it certainly WON'T improve teaching or pupil learning...that merit pay would encourage divisive competition in a profession that requires cooperation and teamwork...that students learn best when teachers collaborate - not when teachers are forced to compete for money... (and finally, what we all know and can't control) that children's learning is also affected by circumstances related to their home environment, health care, nutrition, and other factors". Urbanski says that, "THERE IS NO CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT MERIT PAY HAS RESULTED IN IMPROVED STUDENT LEARNING IN ANY SCHOOL OR SCHOOL DISTRICT!"

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