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May 31, 2010

The NJEA's New Handbook: How To Lose Friends and Alienate People

The AFT and NEA might want to start rethinking their "we're special and should be protected from budget cuts because we're there for the kids" strategy. Kevin Manahan, of the Newark Star-Ledger editorial board, wrote a column last week suggesting that, at least in New Jersey, the union shtick has w...

May 13, 2010

"Washingtonitis"? Weingarten's Too Clever By Half

On Tuesday, over at the National Journal blog, AFT honcho Randi Weingarten blasted those who would use Harkin's unfunded $23 billion bailout as an opportunity to overhaul problematic, industrial-era labor practices that inflate costs and consume scarce dollars. She termed the Education Trust's prop...

April 23, 2010

Why Tony Bennett Is a Stud

Even as Secretary of Education Arne Duncan shills for Senator Tom Harkin's pander-ific, NEA-endorsed $23 billion "Keep Our Educators Working Act of 2010," the costs of his earlier efforts to curry NEA support are accumulating. His support for Harkin's no-strings-attached cash shower is trivializin...

April 22, 2010

Why Santa Claus Isn't a School Reform Icon

Even as our earnest Secretary of Education Arne Duncan enthusiastically embraces Senator Tom Harkin's pander-refic $23 billion "Keep Our Educators Working Act of 2010" (don't worry, the 2011 version is sure to visit a theater near you in due course), he's insisting that this development won't compro...

April 16, 2010

...And Now for ED

This morning, I hit on the week's first big win for the teachers unions: Florida Governor Charlie Crist vetoing an important teacher pay bill. The week's second big win for the unions was our earnest Secretary of Education's craven decision to curry favor with Senator Tom Harkin and the "Deficits? I...

April 16, 2010

Playing to the Cheap Seats in Florida and at ED...

I almost titled this one "Red Letter Day for the NEA," which would have been just as apropos. This week both Florida Governor Charlie Crist and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan put on undistinguished displays of craven opportunism when, at telling moments, they wilted and opted to preen for easy ...

April 13, 2010

Florida's Game-Changing Senate Bill 6

Florida Governor Charlie Crist, already desperately trying to claw his way back into the Senate GOP primary that he once dominated, has found himself in the middle of another maelstrom. Sitting on his desk, awaiting his signature or veto, is the most ambitious teacher quality legislation any state ...

April 12, 2010

Voice of Classroom Teachers Stifled... By UFT Election Rules

It's one thing for unions to be dominated by veteran teachers skeptical of change; it's a problem of a whole different kind when they're dominated by non-teachers and retirees. Yet, in the New York City's United Federation of Teachers (UFT) elections last week, just 40% of votes were cast by active...

April 08, 2010

Making Sense of the New DC Teacher Contract

Yesterday, DCPS and the Washington Teachers Union announced that they had agreed upon a new contract for DC teachers. After two years of stop-and-go negotiations, punctuated by occasional rifts between outsized personalities Michelle Rhee and Randi Weingarten, they settled upon a five-year agreemen...

March 30, 2010

Dennis Van Roekel's Happy Dance

Who would've thought it? If you'd told me a week ago that Secretary Duncan would've named just two Race to the Top (RTT) round one winners, I would have thought it a triumph and a really important marker. Now, less than 24 hours later, I can't help but view the announcement as an enormous disappoin...

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The opinions expressed in Rick Hess Straight Up are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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