After a protracted debate, delegates to the National Education Association have voted to take a position of “no confidence” in the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top guidelines and in the use of competitive grants as a basis for the reauthorization of ESEA.
It was a symbolic slap at the Obama administration, but it stopped short of actually criticizing the U.S. president, who supports the program. The measure passed this month by a razor-thin margin and nearly moved to a roll call vote.
The measure’s author, Phil Rumore, the president of the Buffalo, N.Y., affiliate, got applause when he introduced it: “Some people are going to be mad at us if we pass this. Well, let the word get out,” he said. The program, he said, would “exacerbate policies that brutalize our students with standardized tests, which in my opinion is like giving someone blood tests until they die.”
A version of this article appeared in the July 14, 2010 edition of Education Week as NEA Votes ‘No Confidence’ in Race to Top