Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pay Our Teachers More...

...but don't pay them for excellent performance!

Via NewsAlert comes this WSJ story:

The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) was started by Bill Gates, Michael Dell and other technology titans concerned about the declining performance of American students in math and science. The public-private partnership funds efforts to increase the number of students taking advanced placement courses in those subjects. But thanks to the Washington Education Association, a teachers union, the initiative's recent efforts in Washington state have been torpedoed.

Earlier this month NMSI announced that a $13.2 million grant slated for Washington state was being scrapped. Why? The contract ran afoul of the union's collective bargaining agreement. NMSI wanted to compensate teachers directly and include extra pay based on how well students performed on AP exams. But under the teacher contracts, the union is the exclusive agent for negotiating teacher pay and union officials refused to compromise. They were willing to turn away free money for their teacher members rather than abide this kind of merit pay.

Are you one of those who still thinks unions are in the business of taking care of their members (despite all evidence to the contrary), or can you accept that unions, like all other special interest groups, are just about power?

No comments: