But that's a side point, a letter to the editor in today's Wall Street Journal inadvertently makes a very good point (emphasis mine):
We Teachers are Right to Be WaryGreat point Ms. Weingarten, only fools would sign legislation without reading it. Oh, by the way, what's your view on Obamacare?
Your editorial "Unions v. Race to the Top" (Jan. 7) on the U.S. Department of Education's Race to the Top program gets it exactly backward. The grant competition puts a premium on collaboration among all stakeholders, and for good reason: It is the only way to ensure that all children are provided with the education we would each want for our own child. However, your editorial supports what is, in too many places, the status quo—namely state officials running roughshod over teachers and anyone else who wants to weigh in on school improvement.
Teachers' top priority is their students. That's why they are withholding support for Race to the Top applications in states where the process has been more like a dictatorship than a partnership, and where the so-called reforms would do more harm than good. Teachers in Florida and Minnesota have been clear that they want to be a part of the process. But they have refused to be rubber stamps. In some cases, teachers were asked to OK the application before they were allowed to read it. Only a fool would sign an important document without reading it, and teachers are no fools.
For the record, classroom educators support school improvement efforts that are backed by research, developed with their input, and focused on helping kids learn. That's why teachers in Louisiana and Ohio, who were involved in the application process and treated as full partners, have been supportive of their states' applications. But teachers won't buy a pig in a poke, especially when their students' education is at stake.
American Federation of Teachers