Credit here goes less to the NEA than to the laws of political gravity. Teachers unions have never been in such bad odor with the public. More than a dozen states are incorporating test scores in teacher evaluations as part of Education Secretary Arne Duncan's Race to the Top program.Ouch. A bit harsh. NEA deserves credit for taking a proactive stance, although its leaders may have lost a few fans among the membership. Here, for example, is a new facebook page entitled “NEA Members And Supporters Opposed To The Obama Endorsement.”
The NEA's calculus seems to have been driven chiefly by fear of becoming politically irrelevant, which is probably also why they rushed their endorsement of President Obama's 2012 re-election—more than a year before the GOP ticket is even nominated. But it speaks volumes about NEA priorities that only under historic pressure would its members even concede that their jobs have anything to do with student achievement.
We believe student test scores have a place in the evaluation process,” said NJEA President Barbara Keshishian, “but we also agree with highly regarded researchers that they should not play a determining role in high-stakes personnel decisions. There are a lot of flashing yellow lights suggesting policymakers should proceed with caution before putting too much emphasis on test score improvement.”Then again, moderation has never been a virtue aspired to by NJEA. Its reputation as one of the more militant branches of the NEA may remain intact.
Labels: NEA, NJEA, VAM