Donkeys stand for children
Still think the push-back against teachers unions is just a GOP thing? Think again. Illinois—a long-time blue state—is considering a bill that would link teacher tenure to student performance, allow districts to fire underperformers more readily, and dramatically curb teachers’ right to strike. And it is a handful of Democratic legislators who are leading the fight. Several of these lawmakers received campaign support from the reform group Stand for Children, which contributed $600,000 to nine candidates in Illinois last November. No longer do Democrats have to rely on the teachers union for campaign cash and organizational muscle—they now can advocate for change without facing political suicide. As the Wall Street Journal’s Stephanie Banchero writes, “the fight in Illinois is a microcosm of the shifting sands in national education policy” (remember Colorado?). Expect to see more like this as budget woes continue, the union line becomes increasingly tiresome, and Michelle Rhee gets her political machine up and running.
“Illinois Attempts to Link Teacher Tenure to Results,” By Stephanie Banchero, The Wall Street Journal, January 4, 2010.
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