Barack H. Obama got his job with serious political help from teachers unions…..
In a sit-down with teachers…..
The President and Education Secretary Donavan have found their efforts at trying to change the American Education system aren’t making teachers better teachers…They have taken teaching time and natives AWAY from teachers…
On the political side of things?
Both mens efforts have made the teacher unions so made that they are openly in revolt against the President’s Federal Education programs and their anchor on extensive testing requirements for teachers and students….
President Obama sat down this week for lunch at the White House with Education Secretary Arne Duncan and four teachers to talk about education, teaching and school reform. What the teachers said to Obama is explained in the following post by Justin Minkel, the 2007 Arkansas Teacher of the Year, a board member of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year, and a member of the Center for Teaching Quality’s Collaboratory….
The last thing in the piece ……
If we want students to innovate, collaborate, and solve real-world problems, we need to make it possible for teachers to do those same things.
The systems we create for teachers have a profound impact on the classrooms we design for students. Teachers have long been seen as consumers of policy, professional development, curriculum, and research, when we should be partners in creating it.
The working conditions that matter most to teachers in Generation X and Y have to do with intangibles like autonomy, collaboration time, and the potential for innovation. Scripted curricula, test prep, and micro-management are anathema to that kind of school culture, and they have a devastating effect on both teacher recruitment and retention.
The hopeful news is that we can create the conditions for excellence in lower-income schools. They exist where I teach: Jones Elementary, a school with 99% poverty and virtually 0 percent teacher turnover.
Every year, we receive students who come in angry, disrespectful, and ashamed of their struggle to learn. These same students become thoughtful scholars and compassionate human beings once their needs are met and their trust in teachers has been earned.
There’s nothing wrong with the kids. There is plenty wrong with the system—but none of it is inevitable…..
Here’s the Union part…..
Teachers unions have turned on Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and the Obama administration, creating a major divide in the Democratic Party coalition.
The largest teachers union in the country, the National Education Association (NEA), called for Duncan to resign at its convention on July 4, arguing his policies on testing have failed the nation’s schools.
Tensions between Duncan and the unions had been building for some time.
The administration’s Race to the Top program, which has provided $4.35 billion to states, incentivized changes that unions strongly oppose. One of the most controversial policies backed by Duncan is using students’ improvement on standardized tests to help evaluate teachers and make pay and tenure decisions.
“Our members are frustrated and angry,” said NEA president Dennis Van Roekel. “Number one is the toxic testing. There is too much.”