Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

[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

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

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.