MEA: Merit Pay Works!

(But only when raising money for lobbying)

The Michigan Education Association opposes bonus pay for teachers who excel at improving student performance, but supports a merit system for teachers who excel at raising money for MEA politicking.

Here are the details: A recent study based on some math teachers in Nashville, Tenn., failed to show three years of merit-based pay had any effect on student achievement. The MEA and its parent organization, the National Education Association, were quick to use the limited experiment’s results to reinforce their argument that teachers should be paid like assembly-line workers. 

The MEA, however, sings a different tune when it comes to its own revenue raising efforts. In a training manual titled “PAC Attack,” the union promotes an incentive-based program to reward members depending on how much they raise for its Political Action Committee. Specifically, a pot of $25,000 is divided between union locals with the most members who give to the PAC, and to ones with highest average donation. 

When it comes to those things that really matter to the union, apparently merit rewards are worthwhile.