Sunday, December 16, 2007

How One NYC School Rejected Merit Pay plus a Meeting

Some schools that rejected merit pay want to hear about others. Maybe even get a meeting together. Or just attend the NYCORE meeting mentioned below (I will try to attend and report back.) If you know of schools that voted it down let us know and we'll pass it on.

Kudos to Sam Coleman and his colleagues for taking action and having an impact.

Email to NYCORE listserve from Sam Coleman:

To everyone who responded to my request for advice/information about fighting merit pay [see ed notes posts here and here], I took a lot of the ideas and comments that I received and wrote up a little leaflet. I put it in all the mail boxes at my school on Monday. I got a lot of positive feedback. This led to a meeting on Tuesday and about half the faculty showed up.

Folks got really fired up and not only vowed to vote against it but wanted to get in touch with other schools who rejected it and try to organize with them to make some public noise.

The vote was today and it was about 80% against, with almost a full turnout!

So, thanks again to all who responded and if people are interested or have ideas or are already doing something to make noise about this issue, let me know.


p.s. I heard that 20% of the schools offered the merit pay option have rejected it. That's about 40 schools. It would be great to get our hands on that list. . .

Sam also sent this along about the NYCORE meeting on merit pay tomorrow:
NYCoRE’s Justice Not Just Tests Working Group will be meeting on Monday, December 17 at 5:30 at Pless Hall, 2nd Floor Anderson Room

At this meeting we will be discussing the bonus/merit pay issue, and planning our next move.
Our group has spent a couple of weeks thinking about and researching this contentious issue. We are discussing questions such as:

Will merit pay pit teachers against each other?
How will it effect special education and ELL students?
Will it promote cheating among teacher?
Will test prep become even more of a priority?

Please join us and bring your own questions, ideas and information. forward this message widely. For more information, contact info@nycore. org


  1. We've also started to compile information on merit pay.

    You can view it here:

    Check the "Merit Pay Articles" section and "Rumors and Innuendos" for an informal list of schools that have voted against merit pay.

  2. Thanks for all of the posts!

    We've also started to compile information here:

    Check the "Rumors and Innuendos" page for an informal list of schools that have voted down merit pay.

  3. Good stuff Geoff. There are reporters who have some interest in this debate so it may break out in the mainstream press. Let's keep the ball rolling.

  4. Word has come that the Franklin K Lane faculty voted against merit pay.

  5. As good as this news is: Teachers that seem to get the bigger idea here. In our most recent edition on the UFT newspaper and websites our union is busy touting the 85% who have passed merit pay. How does our Union not get that the story here is why would 100's of teachers vote down an opportunity for more $ without really having to do anything all that different from what I'm sure they're already doing? They seem unwilling as usual to even entertain the possibility that anyone thinks differently then themselves. Instead they subtly twist their own reporting to make merit pay sound like a huge success with no teacher dissent, as if teachers can't do the math and realize that 15% no votes = 100's of no's from those directly in the deepest trenches. Sadly though it tends to seem as if my Elementary colleges can't do the math and simply don't care or turn a blind eye to often. Good luck to all those schools that voted yes, thanks for selling Unionism down the drain. And a great big g-d help you to the 15%. I'm sure Bloom/Wein/Klein is cooking up a wonderful bon voyage surprise for you before they exit. These people don't like to lose and repercussions will be coming.


  6. Ednotes, didn't I hear that now Franklin K. Lane is closing? I think someone on some blog was speculating as to whether or not that would happen. As predicted, perhaps the punishment following turning down the merit pay proposal (since that's really what it is) for the Lane staff was just closing it down....??

  7. I'm not sure of the sequence but it sounded like Lane turned down merit pay after being told they were closing but if anyone out there knows more put it out there.

    Are school closings based on political factors? Absolutely! But my guess it has more to do with other factors. The wild card here is role the UFT plays. They are bragging they were able to stop some closings. Maybe they are the ones protecting their Unity base in certain schools or maybe the collaboration runs even deeper than that.


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