The Education Wars by ProQuest


On Nov. 17, after the Election Day dust had cleared, Weingarten, the president of both the American Federation ofTeachers (AFT) and its New York City affiliate, the United Federation ofTeachers, gave a major speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. In attendance were a host of education-policy luminaries, including Weingarten s sometimes-foe Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, Service Employees International Union President Andy Stern, National Education Association (NEA) President Dennis van Roekel, and Rep. George Miller of California. The self-designated "reformers," on the other hand, are often enthusiastic about NCLB and testing and are intent on pursuing new management policies, such as merit pay, public charter schools, and even private-school vouchers. While "merit pay" is a code word for evaluating teachers based upon their students' test scores-and is roundly rejected by both major teachers' unions-"differentiated pay" awards salary bonuses to every teacher when the school's overall academic performance improves, or offers extra pay for teaching hard-to-staff subjects, working in rough schools, or taking on responsibilities such as mentoring new teachers.

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