May 17, 2008

Comparing the Presidential Candidates

EDUCATORS WANT TO KNOW: Will our next president support teacher pay based on students’ performance on standardized tests?

We hope not, but Senator John McCain recently said of teachers: "We should reward the best of them with merit pay."

NEA knows that pay for student test scores (also known as "merit pay") is the wrong way to compensate educators because it does nothing to improve the practice of teaching in the classroom.

There is a better way.

NEA is advocating for a $40,000 starting salary for all pre-K-12 teachers and incentives for teachers who decide to learn new skills or take on additional duties like mentoring. NEA is committed to teacher quality, and we support alternative pay systems that are bargained and agreed to at the local level.

In the May issue of NEA Today, we have a comprehensive 2008 Presidential Candidate Comparison with a range of issues that affect you as an educator. We invite you to review the facts to see where the candidates really stand. NEA encourages all members to take part in helping to elect a pro-public education president. Visit to see how you can get involved.

Teachers and school employees work hard every day to help students learn and succeed. And teachers and support professionals deserve respect and the very best from our political leaders.

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