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[Susan notes: It seems especially egregious that on Labor Day the Post Courier sees fit to pronounce what 'good teachers' should be able to do, adding the homily that people in any profession have to learn to set priorities and manage time.





P. L. Thomas offers something thePost Courier editorial board, like such boards around the country, fail to consider: research. Editors say any damn thing they want, never letting research get in the way.]

Submitted to Post and Courier but not published
09/02/2013

To the editor


Re: Good plan for teacher merit pay(Sept. 2, 2013)





It is careless and irresponsible journalism to continue to endorse education reform that has no support in research. That support, then, is directly harming the purposes of schools, the children who attend them, and the larger society. Merit pay does not work; it doesn't work in education and has never worked in business. We have over 100 years of experiments in merit pay in education, all have failed and many show merit pay does harm.





Linking teacher pay to test scores has an equally negative track record. Often called "value added methods," VAM forces the worst possible behaviors by teachers--avoiding teaching high-needs students, competing with fellow teachers, using their students as tools of their own financial gain.





By supporting both policies, the P&C continues a long line of flawed education reform endorsements that call into question the journalistic integrity and motive of this newspaper that should be serving the public good along South Carolina's coast.

P. L. Thomas


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