How will union support, or opposition, affect Race to the Top?
With almost 5 million members nationwide, teacher unions are one of the most powerful labor organizations in the country. For years they’ve been accused of calling the shots in our nation’s classrooms. But Race to the Top, with its emphasis on tying teacher evaluations to student performance, is challenging the unions. Some of the 16 state finalists in the competition for $4.35 billion entered with almost no backing from their local unions. When winners are announced and plans enacted, it’s anybody’s guess what role unions will play.
Are union objections to Race to the Top legitimate, or are they simply protecting their members? We take you to one small city in Pennsylvania where, despite its one high school failing for the past six years and despite only 50% of kids being at grade level, the local union refused to be part of Pennsylvania’s application. They are wary, to say the least. Are their suspicions justified?
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