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NCLB Outrages

A Matter of Hypocrisy

Dear Friends,

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the NEA pretty much on board with all this testing/standards dementia when it was "only" the lives of our kids at stake? Now that teacher salary and job security are at stake, the NEA comes out swinging.

If I'm right, thenâ€Â¦wellâ€Â¦what’s wrong with this picture?

Cindy Lutenbacher
Morehouse College
Global Village School
Midway Elementary (DeKalb County School System)
Stanton Elementary (Atlanta Public Schools)

Cindy later offered a fuller explanation of her question about NEA.

It's one thing to say that a central flaw with NCLB is its reliance upon standardized tests and quite another to demand to participate in the creation of those standards and tests. I don’t think the NEA can have it both ways. When NEA (represented by its leadership) demands to participate in figuring out which test scores should be used to grant teacher pay or longevity in job, then we'll see a consistent pattern; perhaps NEA will be just as spineless about the jobs of its members.

My suspicion is that many of its members have been just as furious that NEA has not been a stronger ally in ridding the schools of NCLB, for all the teachers I know have been utterly livid about the testsâ€Â¦because of the kids.

I don't think my words are an example of the "either/or fallacy." As with the California teachers who are raising hell all of a sudden when their jobs being tied to student scores may become the issue, I want to know where the passion and commitment were when it was "only" the kids who were being placed on the chopping block. All my life I have fought for teachers to have better pay and public respect, but I also want those who teach to do so out of commitment to our kids. Sometimes that commitment means taking and acting upon difficult positions. The leadership of the NEA needs to have that commitment, too.

My words are intended to note what seems to be me vast hypocrisy. When it comes to people or groups with power, are such words ad hominem? As both a lifelong teacher (college and high school) and a public schools parent, I suppose I think it’s my duty to point out hypocrisy among the powerful, and power is what NEA should be using on behalf of our children.

— Cindy Lutenbacher
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