Education Secretary Arne Duncan has brushed off a call for his resignation from the National Education Association.
The NEA adopted the resolution last week at its representative assembly in Denver, where the air was charged with anger and members buzzed with frustration at Duncan and other education reformers — especially their emphasis on high-stakes testing.
The resolution blamed Duncan for a “failed education agenda” consisting of policies that “undermine public schools and colleges, the teaching education professionals, and education unions.
But Duncan couldn’t be baited.
“Secretary Duncan looks forward to continuing to work with NEA and its new leadership,” spokeswoman Dorie Nolt said over the weekend. And at a White House press briefing Monday, during which Duncan outlined a plan to ensure all students have access to highly effective teachers, Duncan said he was “trying to stay out of local union politics.”
“We’ve had a very good working relationship with NEA in the past,” he said and congratulated President-elect Lily Eskelsen García on her win.
Duncan also noted that the president of the other major teachers union, the American Federation of Teachers, was joining him Monday for the rollout of the teacher equity proposal. He said had NEA members not been at their convention, “I think they would have stood with us on this” today, too. The AFT is not expected to consider a resolution calling on Duncan to step down at their convention, which starts Friday.
In the week after the NEA membership call for Duncan's ouster, AFT President Randi Weingarten is helping Duncan and the Obama administration in their efforts to make sure that every child in every zip code has access to an "effective teacher".
Of course those of you out there who understand reformy speak know that "access to an effective teacher" means giving states and districts the power to fire teachers they consider "ineffective".
Given that the mechanisms for measuring so-called teacher effectiveness are half-baked at best (i.e, the Voodoo VAM, the Danielson rubric), by joining Duncan in his "Teacher Equity Project, Weingarten is giving aid and comfort to the enemies of teachers who wish to fire them and replace them with cheaper (and younger) hires.
No wonder the AFT isn't expected to consider a resolution calling for Duncan's firing.
Weingarten's on his team.
UPDATED - 3:45 PM: Education Week reported Weingarten's response to the NEA's call for Duncan's ouster:
When asked whether the AFT joined the NEA in calling for Duncan's resignation, Weingarten said, "I understand the sentiment." She pointed to the letter she sent to the Secretary immediately after his commentary on the Vergara decision.
Yeah, that's telling them, Randi.
Like they give a shit about the letter you sent over the Vergara decision.
You know that they care about?
When a large teachers union stops joining them for the reformy programs like the "Teacher Equity Project" and calls Arne Duncan what he is - the Secretary of Education Privatization - at every opportunity they get.
Sending strongly-worded letters doesn't cut it when you're undercutting whatever sentiments you put into them by standing with Duncan at his events and failing to put all the pressure you can on getting him fired.
Randi does not represent teachers. She is out for her herself. No wonder our work conditions are completely toxic.ReplyDelete
I have a tag called "It's All About Randi" which I created when she pushed the little kid off the stage in order to grab the microphone and babble on about something at a D.C. civil rights rally.Delete
There are few people in public life who are as blatant in their self-centered toxicity as Randi Weingarten - and yet the AFT members haven't made any moves to force her out, just as UFT members didn't do it either.
I agree this is a sad day for unionism. When the once conservative NEA takes stronger positions than the AFT something is very lacking in leadership of the AFT! Al Shanker would be turning over in his grave if he was aware of Randi's sell-out!ReplyDelete
As I wrote to Arthur Goldstein earlier on Twitter, this is symbolic of so much that Weingarten stands with Duncan at some reformy function calling for "Teacher Excellence" even as the NEA calls for Duncan's ass to be fired.Delete
She needs to be removed immediately, she is a disgusting turncoat.ReplyDelete
I agree, she should be removed immediately. Alas, it ain't happenin'.Delete
What about a class action suit? Surely that would gather momentum. She is pretty much as hated as Bloomberg was.ReplyDelete
Surely does not have the respect of the rank and file.
Randi spent very little time in the classroom. It is sad to have sn individual who is not an educator leading the AFT and constantly selling out the membership. She left a mess behind in the city and now has done it nationwide. People need to be reminded that Randi was barely in the classroom and should not be dictating education policy.ReplyDelete
Fire Duncan and the problem remains. Repeal NCLB, RttT and 20 US Code 7861.ReplyDelete
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