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Cheers — To Jim Hammond

In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune cheers ... state Sen. Jim Hammond, R- Coeur d'Alene. Nearly two years ago, he voted for the Luna laws. But Hammond now agrees schools Superintendent Tom Luna's badly flawed plan for distributing nearly $39 million in merit teacher pay ought to be scrapped. "I would like to see it go to the base, and let the teachers negotiate with their local school boards for it," Hammond told the Spokesman-Review's Betsy Russell. "Because I think it's disingenuous giving merit pay to people that don't deserve it. I don't want to do that to teachers." Luna's laws distribute bonuses largely on how well a school performed on the Idaho Standards Achievement Test. If a teacher works in a school that tests well, it doesn't matter if she's a superstar or a slacker. She gets the same bonus. Likewise, a truly exceptional teacher working in a school that doesn't perform gets zilch. Full column here.

Question: I have a hard time cheering anyone who originally supported the Luna Laws. How about you?

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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