NEA: 'no confidence' in Race to the Top

By a slim margin, National Education Association delegates voted “no confidence” in the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top, reports Stephen Sawchuk in Ed Week’s Teacher Beat.  Delegates also opposed using competitive grants in reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind).

It was a symbolic slam on the Obama administration. But as with NEA President Dennis Van Roekel’s keynote speech, it stopped short of actually calling out the U.S. president, a supporter of the program. And the debate over the item provided the clearest picture yet of both the internal and external difficulties the NEA faces pushing against an education agenda promoted by a Democratic administration, rather than a Republican one.

The union isn’t willing to say that it opposes the education policies of President Barack Obama, Sawchuk notes.

For the NEA, Barack Obama is quickly becoming the equivalent of Voldemort: He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

While some state and local affiliates have signed on to Race to the Top, opponents are very angry.  One “no confidence” backer said:  “The Race to the Top is a gun with bullets in it to take out teachers, public education, and the union itself.”

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Comments

  1. “The Race to the Top is a gun with bullets in it to take out teachers, public education, and the union itself.”

    This sounds dreamy, but he or she forgot the schools of ed.

    I believe teachers and public education can and will survive quite nicely without unions. Teachers need to step away from the muzzle and let the unions take the shot.

  2. I believe teachers and public education can and will survive quite nicely without unions. Teachers need to step away from the muzzle and let the unions take the shot.

    So you’re willing for excellent teachers to be fired for giving a bad grade to a school board member’s child? Without recourse? If you think that won’t happen, you’re a fool. Then again, anyone who thinks that getting rid of unions is a good thing is a fool by definition.

  3. Mike, Millions of people across the US of A go to work everyday without the benefit of a union. Somehow most of us manage to keep our jobs and even do them responsibly. The argument that public school teachers need extra job protection is asinine. Teachers currently alter grades under political pressure. Ever hear of grade inflation?

    Our current system is broken beyond repair. The pubic (you know those folks who actually pay the bills?) have reached a tipping point with regards to unions and their selfish money grubbing.

    Unless teachers accept the new reality they’re going to find themselves unemployed and bitter. Oh, wait, perhaps that’s where you are already.

  4. Stacy–

    You’re more than welcome to try your hand at teaching without union support.

    Let’s see how long you last.

  5. joycem, I do teach without union support. I’ve lasted five years so far. But, then, I’m good at my job.

  6. If the NEA has no confidence in it, maybe it IS a good thing!

  7. Stacy, I’m sure you’re a good teacher, but I don’t believe that has much to do with holding onto your job.

    I certainly would have been fired on numerous occasions if it hadn’t been for the union.

    And because of the union, I’ll retire with 90% of my income which is in the high 80’s.

    So, based on self-interest, the union has done a fine job.

    But based on a larger view of what needs to be done to move forward, the union is education’s worst enemy.

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