Teacher Merit Pay Used to Sell ‘Issue 2' in Ohio

By Sean Cavanagh — October 05, 2011 1 min read
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The battle over efforts to repeal an Ohio law that puts limits on the collective bargaining powers of teachers and other public workers is well underway. The controversial law, backed by Republican Gov. John Kasich and opposed by many Democrats and by teachers’ unions, was approved earlier this year, and a ballot item to repeal the measure, known as Issue 2, will go before voters Nov. 8.

Backers of the law apparently are betting that one of its provisions—the creation of a merit-pay system for teachers—will prove popular with the public, judging from a recently released ad.

Will this prove to be a smart selling point? Poll results released last year found that a strong majority of Americans favor merit pay for teachers, and the ideas has grown over time. A more recent survey also indicated support for the idea, though basing pay on student test scores was less popular than judging educators on some other factors, such as experience.

A “yes” vote, by the way, is a vote in favor of keeping the law. Here’s the clip, put forward by Building a Better Ohio, a group which supports Issue 2:

Opponents of the measure say teachers and other public employees are being unfairly singled out for Ohio’s state and local budget woes. They’ve put out a bunch of ads and videos to try to drive home their point. For a sample, see this montage by We Are Ohio. One teacher says the law—originally known as Senate Bill 5—will end up “destroying the middle class.”

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A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.