Put your merit pay where your mouth is

The list of high-profile political leaders who talk about merit pay for teachers keeps growing. Gadfly has already noted that New York City's school chancellor Joel Klein is a supporter. Now we can add Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney to the list. He has laid out for legislative approval specific plans to incorporate teacher merit pay by next school year. The teacher unions are predictably unimpressed by Romney's ideas, but unlike California, where unions terminated Ahhnold's merit pay plan, the Bay State's chief appears ready for a fight. Will that be enough? If Massachusetts could actually get merit pay out of the legislature and into the classroom, it could be big. Josh Greenman of The Teaching Commission tells us that eight governors mentioned performance pay in their state of the state addresses this year, and another six have shown some interest in the idea. But all this "support" is for naught until someone finally makes merit pay a reality. Lace 'em up Mitt, Gadfly's in your corner.

"Romney wants teacher merit pay," by Maria Sacchetti and Tracy Jan, Boston Globe, September 22, 2005

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