Chariho School Parents’ Forum

May 12, 2007

Can it get any more obvious than this?

Filed under: Budget,National,State-wide,Unions — Editor @ 8:31 am

I think this story illustraits the illogical opposition to teacher performance pay.   The report is worth the read.

Teachers Unions and Teaching Quality

Teachers union researcher Mike Antonucci yesterday posted some interesting findings surrounding the report written by eighteen award-winning teachers, calling for a fresh perspective on performance pay (click here for the full report). Antonucci takes a look at one of the report’s authors, Nancy Flanagan:

She is a recently retired 31-year teaching veteran, 1993 Michigan Teacher of the Year, and worked for two years with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and as a consultant with the Michigan Education Association.

Despite her awards and her long-standing professional relationship with the Michigan Education Association, Flanagan’s participation in a nuanced endorsement of performance pay has caused her union to roll up the welcome mat. As she told The Washington Post:

My state union, the Michigan Education Association, called to tell me that I will not be allowed to present at workshops and conferences in the future (something I’ve been doing for decade). I am officially persona non grata with the MEA.

If union foot-dragging on education reform weren’t clear enough from its shunning a Teacher of the Year, The Paducah Sun in Kentucky has more. A Suneditorial (subscription required) yesterday wrote up research by Illinois reporter Scott Reeder (whose Hidden Costs of Tenure website offers a treasure trove of information on how hard it is to get rid of a bad tenured teacher in his state) indicating that a common teachers union defense of tenure protection doesn’t hold up:

The teachers’ unions contend that the profession is self-selecting — that is, underqualified teachers leave the classroom before reaching tenure. But Reeder points to a North Carolina study that concluded: Teachers who left the profession early actually scored higher on teacher licensure exams than teachers who stayed in teaching. And a Harvard University College of Education study concluded: “Teachers with high IQs were more likely to leave teaching at the end of each year of service than those with low scores.”

That last paragraph sounds cold but some teachers do feel frustraition working in a system that rewards mediocrity and incompetence at the same rate as excellence. 

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