No Child Left Behind, President Bush’s signature education law, expires this month, and everyone wants to weigh in on version 2.0. The National Education Association, for example, is angry about (among other things) the proposed revision to NCLB that would give new bonuses to teachers but tie them to student performance on tests. NEA President Reg Weaver complained about the proposal in Friday’s USA TODAY:
Federal mandates that tie compensation to test scores can’t substitute for a working environment high on trust and meaningful work. And it can’t replace a perverse pay scale where teacher wages have fallen 12% since 1993 compared with workers with similar education and skills.
But Weaver doesn’t tell the full story. Just by adding context, New York education advocate Jerry Moore put together a piece-by-piece takedown of the NEA’s complaints. A sampling here:
In this case, the NEA is talking only about salaries. But people don’t work for just a salary. They work for a total compensation package that includes health insurance, pension benefits and more. The NEA never wants to talk about total compensation. There’s a reason for that … When you look at total compensation rather than just wages, teachers have been doing better, not worse, than similarly educated workers. But don’t expect the NEA to tell you that.