Education — May 10, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Michelle Rhee’s corporatist StudentsFirst group trying to portray merit-based pay bills as “rewarding excellent teachers”



The move by Michigan Republicans to tie teacher pay to their students scores on statewide tests is being portrayed by the corporatist, anti-teachers’ union group StudentsFirst as a system to “reward excellent teachers”. The recently sent out a deceptive email encouraging people sign a petition to support these bills which are simply an effort to depress teacher salaries even further.

Have you ever had an extraordinary teacher whose impact on students is truly life-changing? Do you know how Michigan rewards these excellent teachers – teachers who give their students the best chance possible at a successful future? We don’t reward them at all!

We have a chance to change this backwards system right now. A promising bill has been proposed in the state legislature that will make sure teachers get paid for their performance in the classroom. This is critical if we want to recruit and retain talented individuals so that Michigan kids have the best possible teachers.

Please sign the petition to reward excellent teachers with increased pay!

The bill being discussed would require schools to develop their own new teacher compensation systems that focus on teacher quality. Performance in the classroom would be the primary factor for new teachers when it comes to salaries and bonuses; years on the job or number of advanced degrees earned would no longer be the dominant criteria. Existing teachers, however, would be permitted to remain on the current compensation system.

We cannot continue to pay teachers the same whether they just show up for work or dedicate their lives to making sure that kids learn. This is demoralizing to hard-working, great teachers.

If you agree – that we must reward teachers for their impact on students – click the link below!

Thank you for helping to make sure every Michigan child has a great teacher!

Deb Shaughnessy
Michigan Outreach Director, StudentsFirst

P.S. For more information or to find out how to get involved in this important issue, please contact me at or (517) 490-3910.

Deb Shaughnessy is a former far-right conservative State Representative who was ousted by Democrat Theresa Abed in 2012 despite outspending Abed by a factor of two. The fact that she ended up on the payroll of Michelle Rhee’s anti-teachers union group is not surprising.

If you know of anyone who might see this deceptive effort to portray this legislation as anything other than a “Race to the Bottom” for teachers, please disabuse them of that notion. There is absolutely nothing in that legislation that will increase the pay of “excellent” teachers (yes, I’ve read them.) It’s simply a way to deny teachers raises if their students’ standardized test scores don’t improve. This legislation, coming during a time when Michigan Republicans are stripping billions of dollars out of the School Aid Fund, is an insult to educators and public schools.

You might even give Deb a call and tell her how you feel about it.