To the Editor:
I originally thought that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California was really reasonable when he spoke on the issues. But his latest initiative to get after the teachers because they are an “interest group” is really off the wall (“School Groups in ‘Dogfight’ With California Governor,” March 30, 2005).
There will always be disputes about funding, whether it’s for education or anything else, but the governor’s other ideas put him in the recall category.
Merit pay, for example, has as much positive research behind it as apricots once had for curing cancer (read the literature).
The only time teachers are appreciated is when they do something spectacular. As a group, they are maligned all the time. The fact is that they act as an interest group because governors like Mr. Schwarzenegger want to show the public how tough they can be by standing up to the dreaded union. The teachers’ unions’ main problem is that they are not outspoken enough when governors like Mr. Schwarzenegger propose such bizarre policies.
When Gov. Schwarzenegger campaigns for a referendum to improve public education through merit pay, which has never worked and would cost a zillion dollars to administer fairly, and by reducing pensions and doing away with tenure, he’s just playing a game of “I’ll show you.”
Boy, was I flimflammed by this guy. It must be because I like his movies. He always seemed to be on the side of justice. Holy cow, was I fooled. He turned out to be the “teacher terminator.”