This recent EdWeek article (Administration Wants Districts Free to Transfer Teachers) repeats what seem to me like some widespread fallacies surrounding the ability of teachers unions and Congressional Democrats to ward off efforts to restructure failing schools including overriding teacher assignment rules, the legality of such measures, and the appropriateness of telling teachers where to work.
Three months in, we already know that the Democratic majority is slim and in some ways weak (think “surge”). The unions are largely focused on Wal-Mart, health care reform, and getting back the White House. The legality of conditioning billions in federal education funds on changes in collective bargaining doesn’t seem nearly as settled as some seem to make it. And employees of all kinds get told where to work all the time.
I’m not saying that the proposal is the best (or worst) idea in the world. I’m just saying that its opponents need to come up with better reasons and strategies to block it, and that reporters and editors need to be current and balanced in describing and headlining the situation. (In its last paragraphs, the EdWeek article describes how things might not turn out the same way they did in 2001. But who makes it to the end of an article, anyway?)
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