Don't Look For the Union Label...

...because you won't find it in Gigi Stone's December 18 "World News" story on teacher merit pay. (Or her write-up at

Stone, to her credit, did explain that teachers unions oppose merit pay for teachers because, well, they want more money for all teachers, regardless of how crappy a job they do. Okay, she didn't put it in those words exactly, but, let's face it, that's the reason teachers unions are against merit pay.

So why did Stone insist on presenting the vice-president of the Houston Federation of Teachers as merely a teacher who was concerned that the art of public school classroom instruction under incentive pay would devolve in a race to the bottom, an effort at merely "teaching to the test" or "drill and kill?

Story here.

And here's the best part:

Stone included a teacher who favors merit pay, but later added that other “teachers in Houston caution merit pay puts too much emphasis on test scores.” A clip of history teacher Andrew Dewey followed, as he charged that “it makes the teachers forget the curriculum” and forsake high standards in order to focus intensely on passing standardized tests.

Although just seconds earlier Stone told viewers that “the country’s powerful teachers’ unions oppose merit pay” because “they want to raise salaries across the board,” Stone neglected to mention that Dewey currently serves as vice-president of the Houston Federation of Teachers (HFT), a local affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and a member of the AFL-CIO.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is a writer living in New Carrollton, Md.