Who Knew He Could Sing?

By Alyson Klein — May 01, 2008 1 min read
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Alyson Klein attended a conference on performance pay yesterday and didn’t expect to hear the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee sing a sample of a jazz standard.

“You gotta give a little, take a little....”

Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., serenaded attendees at the American Federation of Teachers’ conference. Miller, right, gave a speech on NCLB reauthorization, which is stalled, in which he reiterated his support for including some form of performance pay in the renewed version of the law.

He wasn’t specific on any details, although he said any pay for performance must be developed with teachers and unions. But the clear signal of his little song—the chorus of " The Glory of Love” as performed by Benny Goodman and Bette Midler, among others—is that unions may have to compromise with lawmakers on this sensitive issue. The National Education Association and the AFT shot down the performance pay provisions in Rep. Miller’s draft bill, released last fall

Miller also reiterated his support for using multiple measures—indicators beyond standardized tests—to measure student performance under the law. For someone who just a few years ago seemed pretty skeptical of multiple measures, Miller was enthusiastic, noting that colleges “are asking for portfolios” from applicants, not just test scores.

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