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Questioning The Validity Of Teacher Pay Polling

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Whenever ever I see polls about teachers like the one on CNN this morning I’m always leery of the wording the poll question takes. There were two: (1) “Should teacher pay be based on quality of work?” and (2) Should teacher pay be based on a standardized scale for all teachers.” The problem with asking the second question is like any query using the word “standard.” The first question works perfectly if teachers have control over their environment. In reality though teachers are more susceptible to conditions outside their control i.e. class sizes, more and more politically driven budgetary concerns, economic conditions, and on and on. That’s why it continually gets driven toward the standard end. Right now across the country communities are demonstrating their lack of value in education through their elected representatives’ continuous propensity to make it the first thing they target in budget cuts. Perhaps when value is shown through actions the first question can finally be the yard stick everyone desires.

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