A few weeks ago, the New York Times published an editorial saying that teachers needed more carrots and sticks to make them work harder and produce higher test scores. The assumption is that they are not working hard now (a Gates-Scholastic survey in the spring said the typical teacher works an 11-hour day now); and that waving a bonus in front of them would raise student test scores (even though merit pay has never worked, even with a bonus of $15,000 for doing so); and that the threat of firing might move the needle (even though it is the kids who need to “produce,” and threats don’t produce better education).
Today the Times blames the Chicago teachers’ strike on the teachers and suggests it is all the fault of their leader, Karen Lewis, who is enjoying a power play. He thinks the teachers should accept evaluation based on student scores because everyone else is doing it.
But let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.
Maybe he didn’t have time to read the research that shows this method is junk science.
Maybe the Times missed the story about the strike having been authorized by more than 90% of the union’s membership.
Maybe the editorialist didn’t hear about classes of more than 40 children.
Maybe he didn’t know about the schools with no art teachers, no library, no social worker.
Maybe he was absent that day.