Newark Students are the Losers – Again

Newark, New Jersey schools were just awful.  So awful the district was going to be taken over, about 10 years ago, by the state.  Once upon a time the Newark School District was given a chance, and $200 million dollars from philanthropic sources, to develop a merit pay plan that would improve the district, facing a state takeover.

Nat Malkin and RJ Markus have the story in

Did it work? It’s impossible to say definitively, but Newark made progress.

Without the energy, or attention, that opened the door to merit pay, Newark’s district and union leadership have abandoned the possibility of refining and improving a system that considered student outcomes first in favor of guaranteeing outcomes for teachers.

Teacher union officials (the ones who negotiate the contracts for the Newark, New Jersey school district) have won an unthinkable victory, getting rid of merit pay when it no longer suits their purposes.   It is to be hoped school administrators and philanthropists have learned a lesson here.