The House Education Committee passed a bill today (HB4625) that would institute merit pay for new teachers or for those wanting to opt into the merit pay system. The bill would become law when the Michigan Council on Educator Effectiveness, whose members are all appointed by Republicans, put out their final teacher evaluation tool. That group has been meeting for 18 months and their tool is past due. The House Education Committee seems fine with using the evaluation tool to determine pay even before it has been finished, let alone tested for validity or reliability.
The bill’s only educational based supporters are the extreme right wing groups Student First (Michelle Rhee’s group) and Great Lakes Education Project (Dick DeVos’ group). The groups against it include the State Board of Education, the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principal’s Association, the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals, the Michigan Association of School Administrators, the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators, the American Federation of Teachers-Michigan, the Michigan Education Association, and the group Michigan Parents for Schools. In other words, all the groups who actually work with students oppose it.
Michigan Republicans made it a goal to “support Michigan teachers” this year. I think kids would use the term “epic fail” to describe how they are coming on that one. What they are succeeding in is being the most vain (excessive belief in one’s own abilities)legislative body in Michigan’s history.