Call to arms

Teachers union, which have defended the "single salary schedule" like the Rock of Gibraltar, are beginning to sign on to "combat pay", i.e. bonuses for teaching in high-poverty schools. Both the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the Bay State's AFT chapter recently announced their support for this form of "differential" pay. AFT Massachusetts president Thomas J. Gosnell said, "I don't see how [students in high-poverty schools] can get better services if there are not incentives for teachers to provide additional time and programs for the students." Unfortunately, the unions still oppose merit pay, which ties teacher salaries to student achievement. Nor do they support extra cash for teaching a high-need subject, such as math or science. So much for incentives. Still, cracks are starting to show in the union's armor, and sooner or later the entire single salary schedule is likely to crumble.

"Extra pay urged at poorest schools," by Maria Sacchetti, Boston Globe, November 30, 2006

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