Our new education secretary, Arne Duncan, is taking a decidedly conservative approach to education. Armed with three times as much money as the past five education secretaries combined (thanks to the stimulus package), Duncan is expected to hold teachers accountable for their work. In a nutshell, he's prepared to weed out the good teachers from the bad.
The problem for all education secretaries, however, is getting past the leftist NEA (National Education Association) -- who are responsible for our nation's teacher unions.
The NEA is known for its soft stance on teacher accountability. Unions exist specifically to defend teachers. Once a teacher joins, he can be assured of a long career in the field, regardless of whether or not he's any good. You can see, then, how the NEA would typically be against Arne Duncan's plans. Indeed, the NEA has always opposed any Republican who has sought to do the same thing.
But Duncan is a Democrat, and his boss is the Left's savior. So for the first time, the NEA is not objecting to this conservative approach to education. The Obama administration will be asking the nation's largest teachers' union to "waive language that might hamper school districts from staffing troubled schoools with highly qualified teachers," writes Robert Tomsho in the WSJ.
And the NEA has agreed.
Interesting how this all works, isn't it?
Dated: 4:00 AM