Over the Independence Day weekend the Representative Assembly at the National Education Association’s (NEA) annual convention held in Denver approved a resolution that called for U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s resignation.
Another major factor behind the newly intense hostility to Duncan was his response to the Vergara v. California court ruling that recently invalidated California’s laws regarding teacher tenure and layoffs. Unions wanted Duncan to swiftly condemn the ruling, but his official statements were lukewarm or even somewhat supportive, suggesting that states needed to rewrite their tenure laws to make it easier to remove bad teachers….
…The demand for Duncan’s ouster is one of the sharpest breaks yet between the Democratic Party and a group that has historically been among its most stalwart supporters. Reformist Democrats and unions have repeatedly clashed over tenure reform, charter schools, merit pay and Common Core multi-state education standards. Fierce attacks on Duncan may be serving as an indirect criticism of President Obama, whom the NEA has endorsed twice.
… (Jim Stergios of Pioneer Institute) said that in addition to Vergara, another driver of the Duncan resolution may be increasing anger over Common Core, which Duncan and President Obama have consistently supported. In the past year, nearly 100,000 teachers have joined a group calling itself the Badass Teachers Association (BAT), which aggressively attacks Common Core and many other major school reform efforts.
That growing opposition could split the NEA, as the group still officially supports the standards.
I would suspect that Common Core wasn’t the primary reason, but there certainly is division in the ranks as other teachers unions not aligned with NEA has come out in opposition to the Common Core.
This definitely is not a partisan issue, and more and more teachers are starting to speak out.