Skip to comments.The Law's the Law – Except When It Says Great Teachers Get Merit Pay
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 Gentiles salary in 2015-16 was $47,065, or roughly $15,000 below the average for Michigan schoolteachers. Thats 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 employees 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 states largest school districts, using Freedom of Information Act requests to get documents describing a districts 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 wasnt surprised public school districts are ignoring the law.
Thats their standard operating procedure, Naeyaert said. They tend to ignore the law whenever they dont agree with it. The penalty for breaking the law is negligible.
Naeyaert said the state could consider withholding state funds from districts that dont comply with the state law.
Whatever will get their attention, Naeyaert said.
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?
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.
Give us school choice. Let the education dollars follow the kid to the school he and his parents choose.
I’ve seen the so-called “merit” evaluations, and they are a joke.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.