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Does Duncan Really Believe Teachers Support Race to the Top?

One of the reasons we were anxious to have our conversation last month with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was to correct any impression that he might have that teachers support Race to the Top. According to the New York Times, he shared with them that he had encountered "zero opposition" to the initiative.

We did our best to disabuse him of this illusion. However, recent reports from Diane Ravitch indicate that he has been telling members of Congress that Race to the Top, merit pay, and the Blueprint for reauthorization of ESEA have full support of the nation's teachers. Supposedly they recently met with 40 teachers who love all their initiatives.

Funny thing. A couple of weeks ago, teacher Magazine posed the question "Does the Department of Education have teachers' best interests in mind?" Of the 48 readers who answered, only TWO replied "yes."

The Department of Education and Arne Duncan have a huge credibility problem with the teachers of America, and pretending we are in agreement is only going to make this worse.

Earlier this week I made some suggestions about how to write to your local newspapers and Congressperson. Here is a great topic for you. Do you agree with Secretary Duncan that teachers support his policies? If you do not, explain why. Or perhaps you might like to share your thoughts with Secretary Duncan directly? His email address is [email protected]

Or you can reach out to his press secretary, Peter Cunningham at
[email protected]

Please send US Mail as well to:
PETER CUNNINGHAM,
DEPT OF EDUC,
400 MARYLAND AVE SW,
WASHINGTON, DC 20202

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
THE WHITE HOUSE
1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVE NW
WASHINGTON, DC 20500

You might also wish to join us over at Teachers' Letters to Obama, where we are continuing to work to get teachers' voices heard. (On June 28, we will be hosting a special Teachers' Roundtable focused on the issue of the over-use of testing).

What do you think? Do you believe teachers are in agreement with merit pay and Race to the Top? Will you write to correct the record?

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