Liberal Sen. Jon Tester of Montana , an ex-teacher and payer of dues to his former teacher’s union is colluding with teachers unions to gut standards designed to hold unaccountable teachers unions and their members accountable where teachers fail to deliver. The standards are included in the Senate’s legislation reforming the much-reviled No Child Left Behind Act, which is slowly making its way through Congress’ upper chamber.
Conservative critics say Tester’s move would undermine school districts’ ability to distinguish between good and bad teachers, catch and help failing students, and institute merit-based pay– you know, the kind of stuff the NEA, a huge and nefarious influence in education policy, hates. Although performance-based pay has been shown to benefit students, Tester and his union allies are not surprisingly more concerned about the interests of bureaucrats, union bosses, and bad teachers than helping students get a better education. This should not be shocking: Students don’t pay dues, union members do. And students don’t finance politicians like Tester’s campaigns, the NEA does. And students didn’t endorse Tester. The MEA-MFT and Montana AFL-CIO did.
The legislation Tester wants to amend with this isn’t what I would probably write if I were starting from scratch. But it got the votes of people like [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] and [mc_name name=’Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’S001184′ ] in committee. Those are people whose views on education policy I’m generally more comfortable with than, you know, the NEA’s. I’m guessing that’s true of Tester’s constituents, too.
What about you?