NEA Marshalls Forces Against Teacher-Pay Proposals

September 24, 2007 1 min read

This morning, NEA President Reg Weaver and other NEA staff members explained the union’s stance on NCLB reauthorization to a dozen or so education writers. They outlined what the union doesn’t like about growth models, teacher-pay provisions, and other issues addressed in the House education committee’s discussion draft.

Much of the policy discussion had been covered in documents previously released by the NEA. (See here, here, and here.) But the political discussion was news to me.

At the end, Weaver was asked whether the NEA would bend in its opposition to merit pay and pay for performance linked to students’ test scores or whether those ideas were deal breakers, Weaver didn’t hesitate. “Deal breaker,” he said.

Other things of note, NEA is working with other unions to oppose the teacher-pay measures on the grounds that they would violate local unions’ right to collective bargaining. “This would be a very dangerous precedent,” said Karen White, NEA’s director of campaigns and elections.

And White added that union is working hard to win over freshmen Democrats. On the House Education and Labor Committee, five out of the 10 first-term Democrats won close races. In fact, their margin of victory was less than the number of NEA members in their districts.

“When you win by less votes than the number of our members in your district, you’re going to pay attention,” White said.

A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.