Mo. Union Balks at ‘Race to Top,’ But Pa. Union Endorses It

By Stephen Sawchuk — January 13, 2010 1 min read
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The Missouri State Teachers Association formally opposes the state’s Race to the Top bid, per this press release. Aside from contending that teachers weren’t appropriately consulted in the drafting of the plan, the union states forthrightly that it’s not willing to support reform efforts that go against its internal policy resolutions, such as using test scores in decisions involving teachers.

The Pennsylvania State Education Association, on the other hand, has said it’s encouraging locals where the plan is a “good fit” to apply. Translation:"> the plan doesn’t trump collective bargaining rights. But an FAQ from the state department of education says that “to the extent that the parties are unable to implement required reform activities, grant funding may be withheld or terminated.”

With that language, Pennsylvania may have become a state to watch. Unlike other states it’s requiring all “participating districts” to have both school board AND union signoff and to implement all aspects of the reform plan. Although the state is still not as clear as others about who’ll make the call on how much student test scores are weighted in new evaluations, it’s certainly trying to negotiate the issue that Andy Smarick writes about here: maintaining an aggressive reform plan with lots of stakeholder buy-in, the best of both worlds when it comes to RTTT scoring.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.