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Musings Before Duncan's Speech

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Rumor has it that EdSec Arne Duncan's big speech today before some delegates here at the National Education Association's Representative Assembly will focus on performance-based pay.

That will hardly be news for those who have been following the Obama team. After all, Obama has mentioned that two years running before this very group of educators. We also know that the NEA's resolutions do not endorse any type of incentive pay other than bonuses for teachers who earn national-board certification, so President Dennis Van Roekel isn't going to be able to go much beyond that.

Delegates are a different story, and their reactions will be interesting to watch. These are state and local folks, and they are free to experiment how they want with pay, even if it bucks the national union (just ask Denver).

Personally, I hope we'll hear more about the teacher distribution and evaluation assurances in the stimulus bill. There's been nary a peep from the Education Department about these since it released the initial stimulus guidance to the states.

It's possible, I suppose, that we'll get a few more details on whether the applications for the federal Teacher Incentive Fund will explicitly state that performance-pay programs must include student-achievement data and be collectively bargained, two hot-button issues for the teachers' union. But I'm not holding my breath.

Over at Flypaper, Mike Petrilli outlines what we definitely WON'T hear from Duncan.

1 Comment

Politics, politics, politics. The real determining factor will happen between sessions out in the hallways.

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