Steve Barr--"We can't do it without the unions"
I think the message is that we can’t do it without them — it’s a 100 percent unionized industry. The way to look at unions and reform is to understand that union contracts and union philosophy is based on a reaction to really bad systems. An urban education steeped in bad centralization, decisions made farthest away form practitioners, a lot of turnover of ideas, and a lot of grownups working downtown that shouldn’t be there anymore. The reaction to that system is going to be horrific, so the union contracts are horrible in the sense that they are reactions to bad systems. So we need to change the systems, which I think is the way the secretary looks at it and the way I look at it. (National Journal) h/t Fred KlonskyUTLA's Duffy takes some heat from within on charters
The losses incurred by our union as a result have been significant. We've lost the respect of thousands of parents in Los Angeles who want better public schools, charter or district, and can't fathom why UTLA wants only the latter. We've lost credibility with the thousands of teachers who've worked or work at charter schools and see only smoke and mirrors where you proclaim fire. We've lost allies in the labor movement. We've lost votes on the School Board. We've lost the Mayor, lost face, and lost time. (Jordan Henry, Santee Chapter Chair) h/t JoseDelBarrio
Probably not what they had in mind...
In an attempt to improve California's schools, the Obama administration is threatening to withhold federal stimulus money if the Golden State does not rescind a state law that prevents the state from tying test scores to teacher performance. None of this is exactly what teachers had in mind when they knocked on doors to help elect Obama.
"It takes more than the ability to fill in bubbles to be considered an educated person," Marty Hittelman, president of the California Federation of Teachers, said in a letter to Duncan. "We thought President Obama understood that." (McClatchy)