ABC Turns To Union Official For Unbiased View of Merit Pay

By December 20, 2006General

Thanks to Ken Shepherd of the Business and Media Institute for teeing up this doozy from ABC. Seems they did a story on December 18 on an experiment with merit pay in the Houston school system, where — gulp! — teachers would be paid more if their students scored higher on standardized tests. Perish the thought, we know.

Well, along the way, ABC decided to interview a Houston teacher, one Andrew Dewey. For his part, Dewey pooh-poohed the concept of merit pay saying, “It makes the teachers forget the curriculum,” focusing instead on passing the tests. Yeah, you wouldn’t want that.

Regardless of how you feel about the issue (we think maybe standards and metrics ain’t so bad, but then we’re manufacturers), ABC reporter Gigi Stone forgot to mention that Dewey is Vice-President of the Houston Federation of Teachers, the group that’s been leading the charge against merit pay in all its forms. Either ABC didn’t know or didn’t care. Either way, it’s just sloppy journalism.

Guess ABC doesn’t think merit pay for teachers is a great idea. We’d understand if they didn’t think merit pay for journalists is too great, either.