Gov. Schwarzenegger’s plan for incentive pay for teachers in schools with a lot of low-income students is “an issue that is pro-teacher and, more importantly, pro kid,” writes Dan Weintraub in the Sacramento Bee. “Not only pro-kid but pro-poor-kid.” But the governor doesn’t know how to sell it.
Everyone knows that our poorest kids tend to clump in schools that depend too much on inexperienced teachers, many of whom are still trying to find their way in the profession. We have good, experienced teachers who would teach in these schools if they were rewarded financially for their trouble – just as in every other profession, where the toughest-to-fill jobs normally earn higher pay. So who or what is standing in the way of the students who need better teachers getting those teachers?
The teachers unions.
The unions have blocked higher pay for teachers with hard-to-find skills or teachers who work with hard-to-teach students.
The governor could “expose the terrible bargain the Democrats in the Legislature have made with the teachers unions, to the detriment of the people they claim to represent,” Weintraub writes. But Schwarzenegger hasn’t “connected the dots.”