Liberals and liberal interest groups have been very effective in spinning pernicious myths about Republicans and public education. I’ve tried to expose some of the myths here, here and here. Now I’m glad to see others are doing the same.
In an op-ed in this morning’s News and Observer, Phil Kirk, former chair of the Public School Forum, did a good job of dispelling a number of prominent myths regarding spending, teacher pay and class size. Kirk however saved his best for last:
It is true that the Republicans are moving away from paying teachers based on longevity, degrees and certifications. Now that they have dramatically improved the base salaries in addition to reducing the number of years it takes for a teacher to reach the top of the pay scale, they are looking for ways to reward performance, leadership, extra work. I have been unable to find credible research that says the “old way” of paying based on degrees and seat time was effective.
So Republicans have dramatically increased teacher compensation (and will continue to do so), offered more parental choice and options for students, stressed the importance of reading, given additional funding for STEM programs, reduced class size and increased funding for technology and textbooks.
Does all that and more justify the political rhetoric that Republicans don’t care to fund education?
Well said. And welcome to the fight.