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Stand by Me: What Teachers Really Think About Unions, Merit Pay and Other Professional Matters

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Abstract:

Public school teachers say they love their work and are confident in their ability to reach most students. But a majority feels that they are unfairly being held accountable when so much that affects learning is beyond their control. They acknowledge that some teachers shouldn't be teaching, but see unions and tenure as necessary protection against school politics and unfounded accusations by parents and students. Teachers are receptive to "merit pay" for those who work harder or in the most challenging schools, but not based on test scores or the subject they teach.