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The Law's the Law Except When It Says Great Teachers Get Merit Pay
Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 1/15/2017 | Tom Gantert

Posted on 01/20/2017 5:04:17 AM PST by MichCapCon

Here are two facts that seem unrelated but may not be.

First, Michigan public school administrators around the state say they face a shortage of qualified science teachers.

Second, Paula Gentile, a Belleville High School teacher, was awarded the 2016 “Teacher of Promise” designation by the Michigan Science Teachers Association.

Yet Gentile’s salary in 2015-16 was $47,065, or roughly $15,000 below the average for Michigan schoolteachers. That’s because teacher pay at the Van Buren School District, which employs her, is set by a single union-negotiated pay scale that counts only an employee’s years of service and number of academic credentials earned.

But in Michigan, highly effective teachers like Gentile are supposed to have another way to boost their compensation.

Under a state law that went in effect in 2010, a public school must "implement and maintain a method of compensation for its teachers and school administrators that includes job performance and job accomplishments as a significant factor in determining compensation and additional compensation."

But many school districts have failed to set up a system to pay their best teachers more.

Michigan Capitol Confidential surveyed several of the state’s largest school districts, using Freedom of Information Act requests to get documents describing a district’s merit pay system.

Many districts said they do not have a merit pay system — seven years after the law went into effect. The list so far includes school districts in Lansing, Waterford, Walled Lake, Utica and Traverse City. In those districts, even teachers who are recognized by outside groups, such as Paula Gentile, can expect no merit pay.

In the coming weeks, Michigan Capitol Confidential will report on the merit pay systems of specific districts.

Gary Naeyaert, executive director of the Great Lakes Education Project, said he wasn’t surprised public school districts are ignoring the law.

“That’s their standard operating procedure,” Naeyaert said. “They tend to ignore the law whenever they don’t agree with it. The penalty for breaking the law is negligible.”

Naeyaert said the state could consider withholding state funds from districts that don’t comply with the state law.

“Whatever will get their attention,” Naeyaert said.

TOPICS: Education

1 posted on 01/20/2017 5:04:17 AM PST by MichCapCon
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To: MichCapCon

The teachers also vote with their feet.

The one thing teachers’ unions accomplish is ensure mediocre teaching.

I wonder — can unions can be disbanded by the voters?


2 posted on 01/20/2017 5:09:19 AM PST by freedumb2003 (obozo: not just the worst president in American history - worst *American* in American history (turf)
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To: MichCapCon

“The law’s the law”?

There is no “law”.

There is only Power.

The government chooses where to exercise power and where to let things slide. Now, perhaps in the Trump era this will change, but the on-going paradigm in America is that there are so many laws that everyone is guilty of something and can be punished at any time. Conversely, if you are “important” then no laws need concern you.

3 posted on 01/20/2017 5:26:25 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (Abortion is what slavery was: immoral but not illegal. Not yet.)
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To: MichCapCon

Give us school choice. Let the education dollars follow the kid to the school he and his parents choose.

4 posted on 01/20/2017 5:38:06 AM PST by Principled (OMG I'm so tired of all this winning....)
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To: MichCapCon

I’ve seen the so-called “merit” evaluations, and they are a joke.

5 posted on 01/20/2017 6:06:24 AM PST by xzins (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.)
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