LETTER: Framingham Teachers Union Concerned School Committee Member Pascual Advocating For Merit Pay

FRAMINGHAM – In reading the evaluation of the superintendent by the Framingham School committee, the Framingham Teachers Association Executive Committee has serious concerns about one School Committee members’s comments that appear to support merit based pay.

In her comments in OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT, Gloria Pascual states, “Create a system and timeframe that allows for you to evaluate all of the bargaining contracts well in advance and working with School Committee to ensure we are holding everyone accountable to the agreement and advocate for more accountability measures that rewards those that perform well.”

How does one judge “perform well”?

In the private sector, bonuses are typically based on financial gain or on increase value of stocks. This would mean that there is a pot of money that was made to then support bonuses.

Public schools are not a for profit enterprise. To have a pot of money to support merit pay, money would have to be withheld in the budget. Teachers would then be competing with each other for this pot of money. Teachers would be competing with each other for their raises. This would change the culture of professional collaboration that teachers across the district enjoy and which provides a more equitable delivery of instruction to students.

But by what measure are you going to base success? Do we use our high stakes testing, MCAS, to determine success? Does that mean that only teachers who teach subjects that have a high stakes test are able to participate in this competition for money?

Non-English, non-Math & non-Science teachers as well as Pre-K through grade 2, along with nurses, counselors, social workers, who support our children’s emotional & physical well being would have no control over whether or not they receive merit pay. Also, Math, Science and English teachers as well as teachers in grades 3-5 are now judged essentially on how well they teach to the tests.

This is not in the best interest of students in developing a love of continued learning.

The FTA leadership certainly hopes that Ms. Pascual is not advocating for a merit based system which will create an environment of competition for raises and foster a culture of inequity, not just for teachers, but for students.

Framingham Teachers Association

Executive Committee

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

Leave a Reply