Contact: Brian Washington
August 19, 2007
Democrats Running for
President Reject Using Test Scores To Pay Teachers
Candidates Continue To Call for Major Changes to 'No Child Left Behind'
WASHINGTON -- Democrats running for President reject any mandatory pay-for-performance schemes as part of the reauthorization of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The candidates also reject any plan to tie teacher pay to student test scores. The candidates stated their opposition to merit pay during a nationally televised debate in Des Moines, Iowa, where they also called for universal pre-school and an overhaul of the No Child Left Behind Act.
NEA President Reg Weaver believes the Democratic candidates for president show they understand what it takes to create great public schools for every child. The following statement can be attributed to Weaver:
"The Democratic Presidential candidates have the right instincts on merit pay. Pay for performance -- so-called merit pay -- undermines the collegial relationship among teachers, and there is no scientific evidence to show that merit pay plans improve student academic achievement.
"The 3.2 million members of the National Education Association hope the positions of the candidates are heard loud and clear by their party's Congressional leadership.
"Democratic leaders in the US House of Representatives have said publicly that they intend to include pay for performance as an element of a reauthorized No Child Left Behind Act. NEA will oppose any legislative proposal that mandates implementation of a pay for performance plan.
"Teachers are underpaid, and NEA believes America should establish a minimum pay for public school teachers of $40,000, reward teachers who become nationally board certified, and provide additional pay to educators who teach in high poverty schools."
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The National Education
Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization,
representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education
faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired
educators and students preparing to become teachers