Teachers Unions

Teachers Union Calls for Education Secretary's Head. Duncan's Response: LOL, Nope.


Credit: Center for American Progress / photo on flickr

The National Education Association has called for Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's head on a platter. It appears as though the Obama administration is declining to oblige. From Politico:

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."

Beyond the typical teacher union efforts to try to block performance evaluations that are tied to testing scores, Politico notes that the origins for the call to Duncan to resign originated from the California Teachers Association and Duncan's response to the recent Vergara v. California ruling. Reason's Brian Doherty noted this decision back in June. A California Superior Court ruled that the state's absurd tenure system—where teachers become pretty much impossible to get rid of after less than two years on the job—damages students' state constitutional right to an education.

Duncan supported the decision as a chance for education reform:

Duncan said the Vergara v. California ruling in June presents an opportunity to set a meaningful bar for teacher tenure. CTA said his stance shows "disrespect for the hard-working educators in our schools" and a "lack of understanding of education law and policy."

"Since the beginning, Duncan's department has been led by graduates of the Broad Academy, Education Trust-West and other organizations determined to scapegoat teachers and their unions," the California group wrote. "Most recently, some of these former Obama administration staffers announced a national campaign attacking educators' rights."

There does seem to be a growing fracture between leading Democrats and teachers unions, which Politico also took note of in June. I interviewed former California legislator Gloria Romero about it in 2013, and the cracks are visible in large urban environments where poorer communities are discovering that entrenched unions are more concerned about protecting their own interests and getting a bigger piece of the budget pie for themselves, while actual students languish in classrooms full of indifferent teachers that can't be removed.

Will this eventually result in a Tea Party-style split on the left between the establishment and Democratic politicians who see where the populist winds are blowing in the actual grassroots? Is it already happening?

NEXT: Breaking: Students Sue OSU Over Crazy Illegal Campus Gun Ban

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  1. I’m calling for everyone in the Department of Education to be fired.

  2. It appears as though the Obama administration is declining to oblige.

    OMG he’s risking they stop voting Democrat!

    1. Don’t be silly. Who else could they possibly vote for?

      1. Technically I suppose they could stop voting. But those donations will keep coming no matter what.

      2. Greens. But more likely to simply stay home.

  3. civil war on the left — so cool

    1. Much Warren. So Clinton.

      1. I guess Warren would be the populist and Clinton the establishment hack in that (seemingly likely) case?

        1. The populist establishment hack vs. the elitist establishment hack?

  4. It’s like the Iran-Iraq war.

    1. +1 no good guys.

  5. 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.”

    I notice the word “students” is conspicuously absent from their list of concerns.

    1. Good one, Sloop.

    2. Two words not in most (all?) unions’ dictionaries: students, customers.

    3. What on earth would students have to do with the goals of teachers unions?

      1. Jack and shit, and Jack left town.

  6. There does seem to be a growing fracture between leading Democrats and teachers unions, which Politico also took note of in June

    I think this confuses what is happening in California with what is happening nation wide. In general, across the nation Democrats and NEA are still buddy buddy.

    In California, Democrats can no longer blame Republicans for the state’s ills, so they need to start addressing some real problems with the school system there. And the courts are going to force them to do that. Dems can afford to do that by and large because the GOP has been completely neutered there for the next several years. They don’t need California teachers unions any more.

  7. RangerUp recently provided a commentary on the habit of today’s yunguns to simply discount/defuse anything anyone (or themselves) may have said simply by tagging an “LOL” at the end of it, thereby nullifying anyone
    s potential disagreement

    See how it works

    1. LOL

      These cartoons for grown-ups are finally growing on me.

  8. The teachers unions are also calling for a boycott of Staples during back to school supplies season because Staples is considering installing mini post offices in their stores staffed by their own people instead of unionized postal workers.

  9. Sister Souljah!

    I don’t think Obama planned it the way Clinton planned the slam on Sister Kill Whitey, but it’s dropped into his lap. Now Dems can get photographed next to Duncan in campaign ads about “standing for children against the special interests!”

  10. Even though it does sounds funny, but I agree that we should hire new people to Department if Education. It is sad to see what is going on with this segment today. Take a look at our children. They can’t do their job well, they look for help at My Essay Service all the time. I don’t think that it is normal to see the level of education going down so fast while educations costs go always up. SO not fair, you know.

  11. Hiring a new people and providing training is a little bit difficult. I work for an online prior learning degree program so mostly students contact me regarding their problems 1 of the main reasons I found is that our government increased the educational expenses and this has to be address.

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