Nation’s Largest Teachers’ Union Calls for Obama Education Secretary’s Resignation

by Patrick Brennan

The National Educational Association voted yesterday to call for the resignation of Arne Duncan, President Obama’s education secretary, citing his support for what they call “test blame and punish” policies. (The relevent resolution, somehow, was estimated to require a $2,500 budget allocation.) 

It’s also been suggested that the NEA’s membership was particularly incensed by Duncan’s approval of a California court’s recent decision to strike down some of the state’s protections for teachers based on the idea that they prevent students from having access to a quality education. The “test blame and punish” policies that Duncan is pushing these days are largely the standardized tests aligned with the Common Core State Standards, which teachers’ unions have begun to oppose because they’ll be used to assess teachers, too.

Should conservatives treat this as an enemy-of-my-enemy case? Yes and no. Duncan has been an on-and-off supporter of education reform: pushing reform efforts as chancellor of the Chicago Public Schools and incentivizing reforms with the federal Race to the Top funding competition. But he’s rankled plenty of conservatives with a number of other Obama Department of Education policies, including the Common Core standards.

In any case, Karen Lewis, the ever-entertaining president of the Chicago Teachers Union, is the one who really has his number:

If he wasn’t “self-medicating” while trying to get through Harvard or after that speech, as Lewis suspects, maybe he is today.