"Congrats! You got teacher of the year!"

The Michigan Education Association has weighed in on the alleged teacher shortage in Detroit Public Schools.

“DPS’ teacher shortage is brought on in part by the district’s inability to recruit and pay high-quality teachers," the union says on its website.

ForThe Record says: Teacher unions in the state have fought efforts to implement merit pay, and worked hard to undermine a 2011 law increasing the rigor of teacher evaluations intended to identify high-quality teachers. Unions don’t want to identify their best teachers and have worked against paying them more.

When a 2010 federal program in effect forced schools to implement some form of “merit pay,” some unions negotiated contracts giving the highest-rated teacher an extra $1 to $3 dollars per year. Almost every school district in the state has unions which negotiate pay schedules based solely on degree-level and longevity.

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