• 52°

Education secretary challenges NEA on teacher pay

WASHINGTON (AP) ó Education Secretary Arne Duncan challenged members of the National Education Association Thursday to stop resisting the idea of linking teacher pay to student achievement.
It was Duncan’s first speech at the union’s annual meeting, a gathering at which President Barack Obama was booed when he mentioned the idea of performance pay last year.
“I came here today to challenge you to think differently about the role of unions in public education,” Duncan told the 2.7 million-member union in San Diego.
“It’s not enough to focus only on issues like job security, tenure, compensation, and evaluation,” he said in a speech distributed by the Education Department. “You must become full partners and leaders in education reform. You must be willing to change.”
Unions are an important part of the Democrats’ political base of support. Duncan, even as he challenged NEA members, promised to include teachers in his decision-making.
“We’re asking Congress for more money to develop compensation programs with you and for you, not to you,” Duncan said.
Duncan described how, as CEO of Chicago public schools, he negotiated a performance pay program with the Chicago Teachers Union, which is part of the 1.4 million-member American Federation of Teachers, the other national teachers’ union.
The program is still very small; it will be in only about 40 of Chicago’s more than 600 public schools next fall.
The Chicago program started with federal dollars from the Teacher Incentive Fund, which the administration is trying to drastically expand. The administration wants Congress to boost spending on the program from $97 million this year to $717 million next year.
But Obama may face resistance. Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, a member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, challenged Duncan at a hearing last month on whether there is any evidence of performance pay having improved student achievement.
Critics worry that pay might be based mostly on test scores, even though tests can be flawed, and all subjects are not tested. Some states prohibit student test scores from being used to evaluate teachers.
Duncan said Thursday that test scores should never be the driving force.
“But to remove student achievement entirely from evaluation is illogical and indefensible,” he said.
Duncan has made a series of speeches to promote Obama’s priorities, though Thursday’s was the first where he faced a potentially hostile crowd.
He told charter school supporters last week they should do a better job of closing bad schools and opening good ones. Last month, he urged the nation’s governors to agree on common, internationally measured academic standards for students.

Comments

Comments closed.

Education

RSS superintendent talks district’s future, strategic plan survey

News

Complaints and fines pile up against unpermitted landfill in southwest Rowan County

College

Catawba baseball: Crowd comes out to say goodbye to Newman Park

Lifestyle

History is a great teacher: Farming has helped shape Rowan County

Business

‘A safe place for them’: Timeless Wigs and Marvelous Things celebrates fifth anniversary

China Grove

County will hear request for more tree houses, hobbit-style homes in China Grove

Coronavirus

Livingstone College partners with Health Department to administer 500 Pfizer vaccinations

Education

‘Elite and it shows’: Staff at Partners in Learning at Novant celebrate news of national accreditation

Business

Biz Roundup: Food Lion earns Energy Star award for 20th consecutive year

Columns

Ester Marsh: What body type are you?

Nation/World

The queen says goodbye to Philip, continues her reign alone

Nation/World

Worldwide COVID-19 death toll tops a staggering 3 million

Nation/World

US, China agree to cooperate on climate crisis with urgency

Nation/World

Sikh community calls for gun reforms after FedEx shooting

High School

North Rowan romps into second round of football playoffs

Nation/World

FBI had interviewed former FedEx employee who killed eight

Crime

Gastonia man sentenced for crash into restaurant that killed his daughter, daughter-in-law

Nation/World

Some call for charges after video of police shooting 13-year-old in Chicago

Business

State unemployment rate falls to 5.2% in March

Coronavirus

NASCAR approach to virus vaccine varies greatly

News

Judge rejects Cherokee challenge against new casino in Kings Mountain

Elections

Jackson tops NC Senate fundraising; Walker coffers also full

Local

Kiwanis Pancake Festival serves thousands of flapjacks for charity

Coronavirus

Rowan remains in state’s middle, yellow tier for COVID-19 community spread