I wonder how Northfield’s public education leaders will react to President Obama’s $4.35 billion "Race to the Top" fund competition. So far, the NEA is not happy. Among other reasons, they really don’t like charter schools, a fact noted by the Sunday Washington Post editorial titled Charter Success: Poor children learn. Teachers unions are not pleased (reprinted in the Strib today with the watered-down title More proof that charter schools work). More background: (continued)
Last week, Washington Post Staff Writer Nick Anderson wrote: Unions Criticize Obama’s School Proposals as ‘Bush III’
To the surprise of many educators who campaigned last year for change in the White House, the Obama administration’s first recipe for school reform relies heavily on Bush-era ingredients and adds others that make unions gag.
Standardized testing, school accountability, performance pay, charter schools — all are integral to President Obama’s $4.35 billion "Race to the Top" grant competition to spur innovation. None is a typical Democratic crowd-pleaser.
The administration’s proposed rules for the grants challenge the education establishment on several fronts:
- To create systems to track individual student achievement over time and link growth in scores to individual teachers and principals;
- To use those data in part to evaluate and compensate teachers and principals;
- To lift limits on independently operated but publicly funded charter schools, which usually are not unionized; and
- To shake up perennially struggling schools identified through No Child Left Behind.