NJEA and RTTTJanuary 7, 2010
More NJEA/RTTT Fall-OutJanuary 7, 2010
The Wall Street Journal argues that RTTT guidelines are effectively rewarding unions that refuse to sign off on states’ applications. States without union support (Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey) lose points for lack of buy-in, effectively penalizing them for not making adequate concessions to unions:
Unions are mainly opposed to teacher accountability reforms. Both Florida and Minnesota want to implement or expand systems that tie teacher pay to student test scores. The irony is that both President Obama and Secretary Duncan have expressed support for such programs, yet Race to the Top is giving leverage to reform opponents who would eliminate or weaken these policies, and it punishes states that want to expand them over union objections.
Collective-bargaining agreements that protect bad teachers also harm children. Unions, which put the interests of their members above those of students, aren’t bothered by this. But state reformers who are trying to correct the problem don’t deserve to be penalized on their Race to the Top applications. They deserve some political cover from “the top,” meaning Mr. Duncan.