News from Atlanta Education Fund

21

Teachers’ unions must be willing to reconsider seniority provisions, rework tenure provisions, and work with districts to create fair ways of incorporating student-achievement growth in teacher evaluation and compensation, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said recently.

Although the Obama administration has put an emphasis on both performance pay and evaluation in recent months, Mr. Duncan’s speech to members of the National Education Association (NEA) comes as the clearest sign yet that the U.S. Department of Education will likely put federal funding behind initiatives that incorporate student data as one of several measures of teacher performance.

Speaking before 6,500 officials and local delegates of the NEA at the union’s annual Representative Assembly, Mr. Duncan underscored compensation, evaluation, and tenure reform as crucial to improving the quality of the education workforce.

“I believe that teacher unions are at a crossroads. These policies were created over the past century to protect the rights of teachers, but they have produced an industrial, factory model of education that treats all teachers like interchangeable widgets,” Mr. Duncan said. “When inflexible seniority and rigid tenure rules that we designed put adults ahead of children, then we are not only putting kids at risk, we’re putting the entire education system at risk. We’re inviting the attack of parents and the public, and that is not good for any of us.”

To read the full article visit: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2009/07/02/36neaduncan.h28.html?tkn=OYMFmDTyY9hpgWs3y5Z7d5ib4rEjbsl6Z%2BJV

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