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Why Do Unions Oppose Race to the Top Funding?
posted by: Colin | January 07, 2010, 02:56 PM   

Florida Education Association president Andy Ford published an open letter to Florida Education Commissioner Eric Smith voicing his opposition to the way the Education Department's Race to the Top program is being operated. "The Race to the Top dollars will not have the desired impact," Ford claims, and, according to Education Week, the FEA and other state unions are threatening withholding their endorsement of state applications, "jeopardize the states' chances of winning the coveted federal dollars." Why would the unions do this?

An editorial in today's Wall Street Journal sheds some light on the situation: "Unions are mainly opposed to teacher accountability reforms. Both Florida and Minnesota want to implement or expand systems that tie teacher pay to student test scores." In fact, although Ford doesn't appear to mention the union opposition to merit pay, which the Obama administration supports, his letter seems to be a direct rebuttal to efforts in the state to improve their applications with pay-for-performance reforms.

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