The current big NY political news is of course to do with the Shelly Silver bust.
But fuck that noise.
This morning I was at a union meeting. Our NYSUT rep, who will be at the table for us this year, gave a bleak but accurate assessment of what all this Andrew Cuomo State of the State Speech bullshit actually means: paraphrasing, "he wants to end collective bargaining for public employees, like they did in Wisconsin and Michigan."
The NYSUT response is to the point.
Here is the biggest bit of bullshit in Cuomo's address:
We are going to continue the transformation of our system and reward performance by creating a teacher excellence fund. It is going to be the first statewide teacher performance bonus program that actually rewards performance for teachers and incentivizes teachers who perform well. Teachers who are rated highly effective on their evaluations, which is the highest statewide rank, would be eligible to receive $20,000 as a bonus, in performance pay, which is on average 27% of their salaries. You want teachers who can perform and do perform? Then incentivize performance with a performance bonus and pay them like the professionals they are.
(Apart from the lawsuit...)
On its face, this is incredibly offensive -- and bizarre.
The people who make the best teachers are quite obviously not the kind of people who are most powerfully motivated by a desire to make more money.
No good teacher tries to teach better specifically in order to earn a cash "bonus."
The very definition of a terrible teacher would be someone flogging kids to get better test scores in order to make more money.
It's really not that complicated.