Joe (not Joel) Klein in Time Magazine berates the NY State Legislature for cowering before the powers at the UFT and turning down $700 million in potential RTTT funds.
There are national implications to this fight. As [Albert] Shanker pointed out, American schools have been slipping for decades — our students are now 32nd internationally in math scores, 10th in science, 12th in reading. It will be impossible to rebuild our economy — to create the sophisticated, high-paying jobs we need — as long as we have an archaic, industrial-age school system. It’s also hard to keep a strong democracy with a citizenry that is increasingly uneducated and ill informed. No, teachers’ unions are not the only problem here. Troglodytic local school boards and apathetic parents are just as bad. But the unions, and their minions in the Democratic Party, have been a reactionary force in education reform for too long. Barack Obama began to change that last year with Race to the Top. It’s a fight he needs to expand, and win.