by Motoko Rich
The long partnership between Democrats and teachers’ unions has frayed in recent years as the Obama administration has pursued policies that many teachers oppose, including performance ratings that link student test scores to evaluations and decisions about promotion or firing.
But the dissatisfaction hit a new level late last week when the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers’ union, with almost three million members, passed a resolution at its convention in Denver calling for the resignation of the secretary of education, Arne Duncan.
Dennis Van Roekel, the departing president of the union, said the resolution passed in a very close vote among the 7,500 delegates. Although delegates have presented similar resolutions in the past, this is the first time the measure has passed.
“I really do believe this is about something much bigger than Arne himself,” Mr. Van Roekel said. He said “frustration and anger” has mounted at the use of high-stakes tests in teacher evaluations.
Mr. Van Roekel added that teachers were angered by Mr. Duncan’s supportive response last month to a judge’s ruling in California that teacher tenure laws deprived students of their right to an education under the State Constitution and violated their civil rights.
New York Times. July 9, 2014