When a Democratic president can’t count on full-throated support from the National Education Association (NEA), the largest teacher’s union, something may be very wrong with his education reforms.
“At the 2013 NEA convention in Atlanta, union leadership promoted Common Core standards,” The Education Reporter reported. “Delegates introduced from the floor — but failed to pass — two measures that condemned Obama’s education policies outright and were critical of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; both measures called on Obama to fire Duncan.”
“Teachers’ representatives expressed dissatisfaction with Common Core (CC) at the 2013 convention and they have continued to do so, despite CC proponents’ constant claim that teachers are in favor of the top-down education program forced upon them.” The Education Reporter is published by the Eagle Forum, conservative attorney, activist and author Phyllis Schlafly’s group.
Nevertheless, the head of the NEA himself felt compelled to reassure members. “Seven of ten teachers believe that implementation of the standards is going poorly in their schools,” NEA chief Dennis Van Roekel wrote in a letter which appeared on the NEA web site. “Worse yet, teachers report that there has been little to no attempt to allow educators to share what’s needed to get [CC] implementation right. In fact, two-thirds of all teachers report that they have not even been asked how to implement these new standards in their classrooms.”
Van Roekel described the CC rollout as “botched,” not exactly a good jacket-blurb.