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ASK THE EXPERTS

Setting the record straight

POSTED: February 24, 2010 4:00 a.m.

In (Real story on Gov. Perdue’s performance pay for teachers, Feb. 17, 2010), we at the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE), felt compelled to set the record straight for your readership. Rep. Amos Amerson’s contention that we spread “pay myths” is incorrect.

  

However, we do admit that in one of our legislative hotlines, inaccurate information was posted regarding the governor’s plan eliminating a minimum state salary schedule.

  

That was inadvertently based on speculation of what the new salary schedule would entail. This oversight was corrected in subsequent hotlines for our members and the public. Our full testimony on this issue will be published on our Web site at www.gae.org.

  

However, additional comments made in the article were incorrect because they simply stopped short of what we’ve actually said, which is verifiable in our hotlines.

  

For example, that teachers will no longer be paid for advanced degrees is correct, if they choose to opt into the new plan and that is what we’ve communicated.

  

Next, his contention that the Teacher Effectiveness Measure will be based on student achievement and class keys is false. We didn’t stop there as he intimated. Our official postings show that we fully explained about 50 percent being based on student achievement and remaining 50 percent being based on a yet to be determined measurement.

  

Finally, he said that we said the governor’s survey was sent to select group of teachers. We said the questions did not go into detail about the plan. In fact, we are asking that the governor re-distribute the survey with the full details so educators can make a fully informed choice.

  

In conclusion, GAE has a proud history of being sought out by lawmakers and media alike because of our due diligence and attention to detail and facts.

  

We work hard on behalf of our members, the education community and the public to ferret out the details and hidden agendas of, often times, complex legislation, so citizens are able to make informed intelligent decisions.

  

However, we do have those who twist and omit our words for their own agendas.

  

We certainly hope this was not the intention or case here.

  

Jeff Hubbard

president, Georgia Association of Educators

  

Kevin Pearson

GAE Communications and Marketing

 

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