NEA speaks up. Finally.

graphic: Ohanian
graphic: Ohanian

The love fest between the NEA leadership and the Department of Education and it’s boss, Arne Duncan finally ended this week with a strongly worded rebuke of the Race to the Top.

I first commented on Saturday’s Three over coffee on the NEA’s letter to the Arne. Now there’s been more responses to it.

Stephen Sawchuck at EdWeek reports:

In a strongly worded letter, the union intimated that Education Secretary Arne Duncan was reneging on his promise to promote education reform by being “tighter” on goals, but giving states and districts more flexibility to achieve reforms.

“The administration’s theory of success now seems to be tight on the goals and tight on the means,” Kay Brilliant, the NEA’s director of education policy and practice, wrote in the letter to Duncan that accompanied its formal comments on the proposals. “We find that top-down approach disturbing. We have been down that road before with the failures of No Child Left Behind, and we cannot support yet another layer of federal mandates that have little or no research base of success and that usurp state and local governments’ responsibilities for public education.”

Meanwhile, education blogger and professor, Sherman Dorn (also an NEA member) objects to the NEA position.

I’m an NEA member, through my membership in the United Faculty of Florida. I’m a skeptic and critic of high-stakes accountability. Wrote a book and a few articles on the topic. And I am astounded at the NEA’s comments on the Race to the Top draft regulations.

Here’s the letter from the NEA’s Kate Brilliant, Director of the Department of Education Policy and Practice.

Next up. The AFT and its prez, Randi Weingarten.

While it seems to me that it is late in coming, the letter from Brilliant is well deserved, and Dorn’s comments notwithstanding, I think it reflects the views of the NEA membership. At least among those who have been following the debate.

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