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Randi Attacks NCLB

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Soon after she was announced as the new president of the 1.4 million-member American Federation of Teachers this morning, Randi Weingarten went after the No Child Left Behind law, all cannons blazing.

She called the federal law a four-letter word, and vowed to work to overhaul it. NCLB, she said, is not about teaching, but about testing. "By misdefining achievement, relying too heavily on paper-and-pencil tests narrowing and dumbing down the curriculum, and stressing sanctions over supports, NCLB has become a blunt instrument for attacking, not assisting, our public schools," she said.

Ouch.

Ms. Weingarten, who was long expected to succeed Ed McElroy as president, got a standing ovation before and after the speech from most delegates, although there were a few who sat with arms firmly crossed and faces grim. I am guessing they did not vote for her.

6 Comments

If they didn't vote for her, who did they vote for? I mean, I'm a lowly AFT member, and no one asked what I thought, but my understanding was that Ms. Weingarten ran unopposed for this position.

Ms Weingarten is going to be a great AFT President because she understands what is killing teachers and public education, NCLB. This is really an important bipartisan issue to get rid of with the 2008 election so that we can get back to the great American Public Eduction we had before NCLB. Every member in the AFT should back her in this goal... we got to..its our future. Good Luck Ms Weingarten in your job, you got it right.. No NCLB!

Watch what Randi Weingarten does, not what she says when it comes to testing and NCLB. Note she says "overhaul" not abolish. She and her predecessor Sandi Feldman were supporters of the original NCLB and Sandi sat on the commission to draft it. Has Randi ever said it was wrong to play this role?

She talks about the evils of testing in NYC but then signs on to an agreement that will give tachers bonuses for raising test scores that have proven to be bogus.

When mayor Bloomberg and Joel Klein brag about their high test scores, who is standing on the podium with them? Randi.

When Eli Broad gives Bloomberg and Klein the Broad prize for raising test scores and phone grad rates, who is there in Whasington with them to accept congratulations? Guess?

"She talks about the evils of testing in NYC but then signs on to an agreement that will give tachers bonuses for raising test scores that have proven to be bogus."

Norm--are you talking about the bonuses or the test scores that have proven to be bogus? As a New York outsider, I have read a lot of charges that the recent uptick in math scores "must be" phony--but has anyone arrived at that conclusion based on anything real? Like flaws in the equating reports?

Norm, you make alot of good points. However, we should use the proper terminology here which is Merit Pay. This is why I was proud of the AFT endorsing Hillary because she is the only candidate that is against Merit Pay and pro union equal work for equal pay. Both Obama and McCain believe in Merit pay which makes some people more equal than others. I do not understand all of these Unions not just the teachers union endorsing candidates that are against unions??? Makes no sense to me.. I think the Unions should either endorse Hillary or just keep quiet and not endorse anyone that believes in bonuses, extra pay for testing... all merit pay issues. What am I not seeing that even the AFL CIO and AFSCME endorse these candidates?? They are not going to get anything from either side except more of the same...which are layoffs and cutting of benefits.

Mary,

I'm opposed to merit pay also. I don't think that people who haven't taught understand the problems with merit pay.

I support Obama for plenty of reasons. Even if I voted solely on education issues, I wouldn't let pay issues be that important. We need to put the welfare of our students over our own shortterm welfare. (although I don't know how I could vote for someone who believed in the values of NCLB accountability)

So why would I vote for Obama if I was voting solely on education? I can't give an objective answer on that. Race would be huge, of course. But also, being around you people has made me prefer someone who is closer to their generation. Perhaps it is not as important as America purging its original sin, but voting for a forty-something with his worldview is a leap of faith into the 21st century.

I often catch myself day-dreaming about Jan. 2009.

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Recent Comments

  • john thompson: Mary, I'm opposed to merit pay also. I don't think read more
  • Mary A Coleman: Norm, you make alot of good points. However, we should read more
  • Margo/Mom: "She talks about the evils of testing in NYC but read more
  • Norm: Watch what Randi Weingarten does, not what she says when read more
  • Mary A. Coleman: Ms Weingarten is going to be a great AFT read more

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