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By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Randi Weingarten
The House of Representatives has advanced its latest attempt to replace the unpopular, 12-year-old No Child Left Behind law, but deep divisions in Congress and in the education community mean comprehensive school reform almost surely will be put on hold once again.
The growing backlash against the nationwide K-12 school standards known as Common Core, bubbling to the surface in Indiana, Michigan and elsewhere, has become the hottest story in education.
Twenty-three schools in Philadelphia, Penn., will close due to struggling finances, city School Reform Commission members voted, on Thursday.
Taking his push for expanded early childhood education to a Republican-dominated state, President Obama on Thursday called on Congress to enact a sweeping program to extend preschool classes to every child in the United States.
One of American education's leading provocateurs still knows how to set off a firestorm.
The debate continues over whether teachers and other school personnel should have access to guns in an emergency, but the nation's two biggest teachers unions warned Thursday that would be a disastrous idea that sends the wrong message to children.
The nation's leading teachers unions Thursday slammed the idea of arming more teachers, a proposal floated in the wake of last week's Sandy Hook school shooting by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and others and already in place in some Texas schools.
Guest lineups for the Sunday TV news shows:
Friday's mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school has once again left public officials and educators bewildered and saddened, struggling for answers and forced to relive the horrific memories of violence from years past.
With Chicago's ugly strike behind them, teachers unions are regrouping with a public relations blitz, meant to both repair their image and rally members who are under more fire than ever.
The overwhelming power of teachers unions, Democrats' most loyal foot soldiers for decades, has sparked tensions within the party as some question whether the labor groups have made public school reform — a key policy goal of President Obama — more difficult.
Since the class-warfare message of the Occupy Wall Street protests started nearly two months ago, the two largest teachers unions, the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), have taken every chance possible to stand in solidarity with the group of mostly underemployed college students and left-leaning activists. With AFT President Randi Weingarten joining in protests and state affiliates taking part and organizing protests of their own, the teachers unions are quick to point out that "public education, teachers and unions have increasingly come under attack from the one percent," as Leo Casey, spokesman for the AFT's New York City local put it.
It was disturbing to watch U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan share a Florida stage recently with National Education Association (NEA) President Dennis Van Roekel and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten.
Guests for the Sunday TV news shows:
Like a petri dish in the hands of a bunch of ninth-graders, D.C. school reform has morphed into a UFO -- an unidentifiable fiscal object.
"The so-called Student Success Act betrays the fundamental promise we make to our children — that all children deserve a high-quality public education that enables them to not only dream their dreams, but achieve them," said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, the nation's second-largest teachers union. "That Republicans would push through a bill that starves schools of resources ... shows just how disconnected they are."
"Momentum is building to step on the accelerator of quality implementation, and put the brakes on the stakes," American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said Thursday.