It's best to quickly recognize the red flags in any failing relationship. This way, ties can be severed instead of allowing things to linger forever in dysfunction.For Democrats and teachers' unions, the writing is on the wall.The two are simply going in opposite directions.
The Democrats continue on the road to corporate-inspired charter schools, using the tried and true method of "stronger teacher evaluations" to undermine "underperforming" schools and teachers -- thus opening the door wide to private charter schools with their non-union workforce.
Obama's Race to the Top education "reform" has enshrined these odious goals into government policy, and the once love-struck teachers' unions have hastily exited the honeymoon stage with the Obama administration, heading toward a quick divorce.
Rank and file teachers have already quit the Obama administration, and by extension the Democrats as a whole. Evidence of this was on display during the national conventions of the two largest teacher unions, the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).
The NEA convention voted in favor of a resolution of "no confidence" in Obama's Race to the Top program, essentially voting "no confidence" in the Obama administration. The AFT convention was not allowed to vote on a similar resolution, but the rank and file applauded loudest when the AFT President, Randi Weingarten, spoke about the betrayal of the Obama administration.The NEA did not invite Obama administration officials to the convention, because, according to The New York Times, ""union officials feared that [Obama] administration speakers would face heckling." (July 4, 2010).
The president of the NEA, Dennis Van Roekel, summarized teacher's experience with the Obama administration:
"Today our members face the most anti-educator, anti-union, anti-student environment I have ever experienced."This is an extraordinary statement.Not only is it true, but it highlights that President Obama is more anti-teacher than was President Bush, who introduced the anti-teacher No Child Left Behind.
In fact, the situation for teachers is worse than either union president is willing to say. State budget crises are destroying the funding for public education and teachers are being laid-off by the thousands, while others accept wage freezes, larger classes, and other concessions.
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