Teachers unions, and the liberals that love them, got a pair of great headlines out of the USA Today this morning. “Teachers union initiates school reform plan” blares one and “Democrats, teachers unions now divided on many issues” claims the other. But if you click through either article prepare to be underwhelmed.
The first item reports that the 1.4 million member American Federation of Teachers announced today it is launching a new campaign “to help school systems try sustainable, innovative and collaborative reform projects developed by AFT teachers over the past several years.” Got that, the AFT is just now willing to explore school reform like “union-run charter schools” and “pay-for-performance plans.”
An just how committed is the AFT to this new reform campaign. Well according to Open Secrets AFT has given over $15 million to Democrats to kill real school reform in Congress over the past six years alone. And this new ‘reform’ campaign will get … $1 million. Pretty clear where their real priorities are.
The second USA Today article says Democrats and unions are “now divided on many issues” but it only identifies one: “paying teachers more if they raise test scores, teach in underserved areas or take on new responsibilities such as mentoring new teachers.”
That ‘or’ is key. It provides the loophole every union across the country will use to avoid real merit pay. Instead of actually rewarding teachers for better student test scores (what most Americans think of when they think of ‘merit pay’), unions will rig contracts to classify every little extra duty teachers take on as ‘merit pay’. No wonder Democrats adopted that amendment to their platform so easily.