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Thompson: Reconciling Teachers With Reform

Obama_1207317cCan the Administration find its way past the idea that it must beat up on inner city teachers in order to help poor schools? It's not clear.  Secretary Duncan commented on Michelle Rhee's teacher firings: "It’s a race to the top. I don’t think anyone’s going to fire their way to the top." And President Obama told the Urban League that anyone who wants to use Race to the Top to blame or punish teachers is missing the point.  Politico reports that there's a concerted effort to step back from the cliff.  It's going to take a little bit more than that, however.  The President and Duncan should go further, warning explicitly that school systems that use RttT money to violate established principles of social science and the law while using test scores to fire teachers will forfeit their grants. Secretary Duncan should apologize for his statement regarding the Los Angeles Times naming names.  President Obama should apologize for his mis-characterizations of the teachers at Central Falls.   Obama has done many great things for education and it should not be hard to repair the damage done to his relationship with teachers. I personally would be satisfied with a couple of apologies, and a few explicit guarantees that federal funding will not be misused.

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There are 4 million American teachers. You are darn right the President will have to do more than take a few steps back from the cliff if he even wants to dare ask us for our vote. I have never in my entire life as a Democrat been more discontent with leadership than in the last year. Most certainly I will exercise my right to vote in November-or not.

I am with Martha. I find Obama/Duncan more frustrating than Bush/Spelling, god help me, and I am a life long Dem. Obama's race to Bill Gate's feet when it comes to education policy is lazy. I am considering voting Repub. for the first time in my life if their candidate is not so drunk on the corporate reform movement.

Teachers to Obama: You are done.

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