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Thompson: Duncan Cares About Data More Than Due Process

Picture 79 The successful Tennessee Race to the Top application was reportedly based on "deep buy-in" by teachers.  But the new Tennessee governor repudiated those principles with an all-out assault on due process and by imposing a new evaluation system over the protests of teachers. Secretary Duncan has remained silent while Tennessee as well as Rhode Island and Florida have violated the collaborative spirit which RttT was supposed to foster but, as EdWeek's Michele McNeil reports, come  down hard on California for cutting data systems rather than people during a recession. McNeil says it is understandable that Duncan would draw the line on that issue because it "isn't just any policy, but a critical one for Duncan."  It is worrying that an education secretary would place so much more value on numbers than on students and teachers.  And Duncan's seemingly arbitrary willingness to assert his own preferences over everything else is doubly problematic in light of his overreaching plan to award conditional waivers based on whether states fully implement the policies that he desires.- JT (@drjohnthompson)

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