Et tu, Barack? Teachers Lose Another Ally

Embattled unions don't want evaluation based on test scores
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2009 5:35 PM CDT
The president of the Los Angeles teachers union speaks after the local Board of Education voted to adopt a resolution that may turn a third of the district's schools over to private operators.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Teachers union members are fuming over President Obama's desire to stay the course and evaluate educators based on student test scores, McClatchy reports. Obama is even threatening to withhold California stimulus money unless the state enshrines the student-teacher performance link into law. "It takes more than the ability to fill in bubbles to be considered an educated person," says one union chief. "We thought President Obama understood that."

California teachers, who lost 18,000 jobs this year, were already battling politicians who want to impose teacher merit pay, remove a cap on charter schools, and turn over schools to private operators. Now Education Secretary Arne Duncan is urging them to think outside the box: "It's not enough to focus only on issues like job security, tenure, compensation and evaluation," he says. "You must become full partners and leaders in education reform."