For the last three weeks the NEA and most of the news coverage (for example here) have been referring to the merit pay provisions in George Miller’s NCLB plan as “mandatory,” but on Friday the Center on American Progress think tank put out a fact sheet claiming that the requirements are voluntary (and that Miller is not against collective bargaining). Who’s right? It’s hard to say. After all, NCLB itself could be described as voluntary -- states don’t have to take the money and implement its rules -- but in reality it’s not that way (states need the money). Still, it looks like there’s more wiggle room and protections for teachers and local contracts in there than has been advertised (or reported).
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