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May 18, 2010

On Teachers' Unions, Accountability and School Reform


Education reform is "moving into prime time," writes Steven Brill in the Times Magazine article "The Teachers' Unions' Last Stand." He looks at how Race to the Top, the charter-school movement and other factors are coming together to overhaul public education in the United States -- and why teachers' unions are resisting many of these reforms.

...[Race to the Top] has turned a relatively modest federal program (the $4.3 billion budget represents less than 1 percent of all federal, state and local education spending) into high-yield leverage that could end up overshadowing health care reform in its impact and that is already upending traditional Democratic Party politics. The activity set off by the contest has enabled [the school-reform network New Leaders for New Schools] to press as never before its frontal challenge to the teachers' unions: they argue that a country that spends more per pupil than any other but whose student performance ranks in the bottom third among developed nations isn't failing its children for lack of resources but for lack of trained, motivated, accountable talent at the front of the class.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at May 18, 2010 5:23 AM
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