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Teachers union joins Race to the Top

Don Perl Comment: I think it is worth adding that President Lee was quoted as saying, "What I'm hoping going ahead in the future is that we'll be an active participant in the process and I'm not just going to be a signature. We're going to assume good faith until proven otherwise."

I'm just wondering how much evidence it takes for President Lee to finally come to the conclusion that these negotiations are planets away from good faith. One party, the federal government with the money, is bribing another party to conform to the destruction of public education. Good faith? Is this naivete or ignorance?
Here are Stephen Krashen's cogent words regarding the boondoggle of Race to the Top:
"RTTT initiative provides 4.5 billion dollars nationally for qualifying states. California may be eligible for up to 700 million. Based on projected estimates, for many districts this would mean eligibility to receive one-time funds equalling about 1-2% of the average operating budget over the next two to four years. So while RTTT has been 'sold' as a major game changing investment or 'bailout' of public schools, local districts know better.

"So while Wall Street was given hundreds of billions of dollars with little to no conditions, schools are offered a fraction of the Wall Street monies with restrictive and costly mandates. Is not public education too big and too important to fail."

So, here on a local level, one way to raise your voice would be to write to me and tell me that you would like a sampling of the cards thatSay YES to local control. I have about 150 left here at revolutionary headquarters. To find out more about this particular mission, simply go to Stop National Standards.

by Jakob Rodgers

The Greeley Education Association won't be sitting out this Race to the Top.

The association, which represents teachers in Greeley-Evans School District 6, voted Thursday evening to sign onto the district's application for Race to the Top funds. The signature by Andi Lee, president of the union, was not required for the district to pursue the federal funds, but it was requested by the Colorado Department of Education as a means to bolster the state's application.

The U.S. Department of Education's Race to the Top competition offers a share of $4 billion to those states that the department feels will implement the best reforms. Should Colorado be awarded funds through the competition, District 6 could receive $1.5 million to $4.5 million over a four-year period, according to Superintendent Ranelle Lang.

Even with the signature, though, the union held out reservations about a section of the state's application that addressed reform efforts dealing with the use of evaluations to inform teacher and principal training, compensation, promotion, tenure, certification, retention and removal.

âWe would be extremely distressed if we saw the district focused on those areas rather than other areas,â Lee said. âThe biggest concern is that all of those pieces are already contained or addressed in our master contract.â

Still, Lee said signing the application offers the union a chance to be involved in discussions about possible reform efforts as a result of being awarded the funds.

âWhat I'm hoping going ahead in the future is that we'll be an active participant in the process and I'm not just going to be a signature,â Lee said. âWe're going to assume good faith until proven otherwise.â

While acknowledging that the union's reservations were

âvery understandable,â Bruce Broderius, president of the District 6 school board, said he was pleased with the union's action, as it signaled perhaps âthe opening of a new chapter of collaborationâ between the two sides.

âI understand (the union's reservations) and I know this will be a really interesting discussion when we have it,â Broderius said. âBut Race to the Top money would allow us to accelerate this discussion.â

— Jakob Rodgers with comment by Don Perl
Greeley Tribune


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