There’s a big fight brewing over merit pay in Oregon, where an anti-union activist is taking on the teachers’ unions by campaigning for a 2008 ballot initiative that would link teacher raises to “classroom performance.” Read more about that here.
Voters in Oregon nixed a similar proposal when it was on the ballot in 2000. But it’s eight years later, and merit pay has become a much bigger education reform topic and has spread to states like Texas and Minnesota. Merit pay is even being talked about on the presidential campaign trail. Read my earlier posts here and here.
The results from previous ballot initiatives show that issues that face strong opposition from teachers often fail. There’s little doubt that Oregon teachers will get help, in terms of money and volunteers, from the National Education Association—a formidable political force.