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Are Teachers Unions Getting Dissed?
posted by: Alix | November 05, 2010, 02:09 PM   

In an unprecedented move for education leaders in New Jersey, Acting Education Commissioner Rochelle Hendricks rejected an invitation to speak at the New Jersey Education Association's two-day annual conference.

In an email to NJEA officials, Hendricks "respectfully declined" to attend the event. "Consistently, the New Jersey Education Association has shown it is unwilling to accept reforms that put results for our children first," stated Hendricks. "Over and over the NJEA has only been interested in protecting the status quo that continues to fail students..."

Hendricks offered to meet with the NJEA when they were willing to make some key concessions, citing the union's unwillingness to have a meaningful dialogue. "When the NJEA is willing to work with the Christie administration as a true partner in an effort to reward good teachers instead of protecting bad teachers, when the NJEA is willing to modernize the tenure system and improve the quality of education in our urban districts, I look forward to working with you," challenged Hendricks.

On the other side of the country in Idaho, State Superintendent Tom Luna, who promoted several education reform efforts over the past four years, was reelected for another term. Luna received over 68% of the vote despite union support of his opponent, Dr. Stan Olson, who was the Boise superintendent and educator for over 40 years.

"He didn't get elected by the education establishment, he got elected by taxpayers, by families," said Darrel Deide, chairman of Idahoans for Choice in Education.

In fact, only one union-supported candidate took the chief education spot out of seven state elections, and that was in California. The other six states– Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Wyoming – elected candidates who were not endorsed by teachers unions.

While many have concluded that the 2010 elections were a referendum on President Obama, perhaps the same could be said about teacher union endorsements and the will of the people. Perhaps it is the unions that are out of step with John Q. Public.

Do you think the 2010 election made a statement about what taxpayers want from public education?
Comment below.

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