This week, a little-noticed “crack” (teacher union members) in the Democratic voter base suddenly surfaced. The huge, ultra-liberal National Education Association (NEA) voted on July 4 (ironically) to dump some “tea” in Obama’s harbor. This teachers union membership voted to demand the resignation of President Obama’s education “guru”, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. He supported the California judge’s ruling that the state’s teacher tenure law were fostering the abysmal education of low-income, black and Hispanic students because bad “tenured” teachers in California were impossible to fire.
It seems that the NEA had finally had enough of Duncan’s commonsense approach to America’s long-standing education crisis. Duncan supported charter schools for low-income and minority students. He saw that the never-ending cycle of unaccountable, unionized, bad teachers in these schools needed to be broken by allowing these students’ parents the choice of going to alternative charter schools. Another of the reasons that this teachers’ union voted to get rid of Duncan was his support for test scores and other methods of teacher evaluations (this was heresy, absolute heresy, to the NEA). Accountability and proficiency are “dirty” words when used in context of a unionized teaching job. Oops, there I go again, referring to teaching as a “job” and not a profession. But aren’t all professions subject to evaluation? Pilots, doctors and other professionals must meet strict guidelines and evaluations throughout their “professional” careers. Why should teaching “professionals” be exempt from evaluation too?
If one may be allowed to paraphrase something the Obamas’ long-time pastor and mentor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was so fond of saying: ”Mr. President, your chickens have come home to roost”.