Teachers are increasingly ready to fight back against the sustained assault they face. On Friday, delegates at the National Education Association’s Representative Assembly passed a resolution calling on Education Secretary Arne Duncan to resign:The business item passed said it was necessary to call for Duncan’s resignation because of the “department’s failed education agenda focused on more high-stakes testing, grading and pitting public school students against each other based on test scores, and for continuing to promote policies and decisions that undermine public schools and colleges, the teaching education professionals, and education unions.”Really, resignation is too good for Duncan, but it would be a start.
Similar measures failed in past years, but clearly anger is growing, with Duncan earning the ire of teachers and other supporters of public education by his recent support for attacks on due process, in addition to his longstanding crusade for high-stakes testing. This may be an area where the NEA’s members are out in front of its leadership; the union’s outgoing president, Dennis Van Roekel, downplayed the business item to reporters, and the stream of press releases from the Representative Assembly does not appear to include one on this rather newsworthy item.
The NEA is, however, trumpeting another measure combating the drive for corporate education reform, taking aim at “toxic testing”:The measure approves the use of NEA resources to launch a national campaign to end the high stakes use of standardized tests, to sharply reduce the amount of student and instructional time consumed by tests, and to implement more effective forms of assessment and accountability. The impact of excessive testing is particularly harmful to many poor, minority, and special needs students.The NEA also elected a new president, Lily Eskelsen Garcia, who told the delegates “We know what is at stake and it is why we are who we are. It is why we are fearless and why we will not be silent when people who for their own profit and political posture subvert words like ‘reform’ or ‘accountability.’”
“The sad truth is that test-based accountability has not closed the opportunity gaps between affluent and poor schools and students,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “It has not driven funding and support to the students from historically underfunded communities who need it most. Poverty and social inequities have far too long stood in the way of progress for all students.”… at a White House press briefing Monday, during which Duncan outlined a plan to ensure all students have access to highly effective teachers, Duncan said he was “trying to stay out of local union politics.”
“We’ve had a very good working relationship with NEA in the past,” he said and congratulated President-elect Lily Eskelsen García on her win.
Arne Duncan should resign.
Mission: America's Harvey: "Gay-Inclusive Curriculum Hurts Reading Comprehension" | Right Wing Watch
Mission America’s Linda Harvey yesterday accused the National Education Association of pushing “non-factual, pro-homosexual propaganda” that will “harm” children across the country.
“The nation’s teachers’ union, which has many, many homosexual delegates, will disseminate this depravity throughout our nation,” Harvey warned. “This is truly heartbreaking and outrageous and will only stop when the moms and dads of America go to their state legislatures and stop it.”
On her radio program today, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios read listener responses to her recent interview with anti-gay activist Brian Camenker, who claims that bullying-prevention programs and LGBT-inclusive curricula are ruining American education.
Rios praised one email from “Margaret,” who wrote that “basic skills” like reading and writing are being “pushed aside in favor of teaching moral choices and left-wing agenda. It is no wonder American students have fallen so far behind other nations.” Margaret lamented that schools “rob the innocence of children through forced instruction of alternate lifestyles,” adding: “When two percent of America’s population seeks to dictate to the rest of us how our children should be educated, we have truly sunk into a pit of moral decay.”
According to Rios, it all goes back to a plan of Bill Ayers to “radicalize” teachers and the National Education Association’s goal of “promoting homosexuality in every discipline in public schools.”
H/T: Brian Tashman at RWW
Daily Kos: Mission: America's Linda Harvey: "Oppose unions in order to stop the 'pro-abortion/pro-LGBTQ' agenda"
The deranged homophobic (and also apparently anti-unionization) zealot founder of Mission: America, Linda Harvey, is encouraging her Religious Right supporters to make Ohio a “Right To Work For Less” state in order to stop the “pro-abortion/pro-homosexual agenda in the schools.”
Right Wing Watch’s Brian Tashman:
Typical right-wing anti-teachers union rubbish uttered by Harvey.Mission America head Linda Harvey encouraged Ohio Republicans to push anti-union right-to-work legislation on her radio bulletin today, and like always linked it back to her zealous anti-gay activism. Harvey maintained that Religious Right supporters should rally behind so-called right-to-work efforts because “unions support all aspects of pro-abortion and pro-homosexual activism and have no problem truly with students opting for these life-altering practices” and promote “politically correct agendas.” She went on to falsely assert that without such laws workers are forced to join labor unions and also made the discredited claim that unions can compel non-members to pay for political activities.
Linda Harvey of Mission America is out with another attack against the National Education Association, which she earlier claimed is leading “gaystapo efforts” and creating “financial incentives” for students to become gay. On her radio program yesterday, Harvey said that the NEA is promoting “destructive beliefs” and an “anti-life, anti-morality agenda” by supporting the health care reform law and LGBT rights, and warned that their efforts to curb bullying and encourage safety for LGBT students and staff is part of “a Trojan Horse to bring pro-homosexual indoctrination into our schools.”
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
WASHINGTON - Seeking to mobilize support for the November election, Vice President Joe Bidentoday warned the nation’s public school teachers that they are “under full blown assault” from Mitt Romney and the Republican Party.
"Gov. Romney and his allies in the Congress, their plan for public education in America is to let the states use Title One dollars to boost enrollment in private schools," Biden told a crowd of more than 15,000 delegates at the National Education Association convention in Washington.
"I’m not looking for boos," he told the crowd, which was reacting to mention of Romney. "I think we should just have a straight honest to God talk about the difference between… how President Obamaand I view education and how our Republican colleagues today view it.”
The NEA, one of the nation’s largest public sector unions, endorsed a second Obama term one year ago and is considered a key player in Democratic organizing efforts in swing states. Membership has slumped over the past two years - down 100,000 alone since 2010, according to the group - meaning potentially fewer bodies on the ground and money for advertising. But the group’s enthusiasm for Obama appears not to have waned.
In May, Romney revealed his plan to overhaul the nation’s public education system, which would promote school choice. He would allocate federal education funds by student, allowing parents to pick where to send their child to school, including online institutions.
Romney opposes additional federal aid to states to boost jobs for teachers and first responders, and he has argued that smaller class sizes (and more teachers to run them) should not be necessarily be a policy goal. “All the talk about we need smaller classroom size … that’s promoted by the teachers unions to hire more teachers,” he said at a GOP primary debate in Orlando last September.
At a campaign stop in Iowa last month, Romney criticized the Obama-Biden plan to promote teacher hiring on the state level.
H/T: Yahoo! News