I just can't keep up with the changing education scene at the federal level. In this short Forbe's article Secretary Duncan takes on Wisconsin Governor Walker for the recent legislative changes to collective bargaining. This follows the President's recent remarks criticizing standardized tests as boring and punitive. And, these are the same guys pushing charters and the need to be number one in the world in math and science international competitions.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan pointed out that the Wisconsin Education Association Council had proposed reforms such as performance pay and evaluation reforms, which Walker praised just days before introducing a bill to sharply restrict their bargaining.
“What was stunning to me is where folks are showing vision and courage and being forward-minded, we support those efforts,” Duncan said at the Education Writers Association conference in New Orleans. “For him to go in that direction after the leadership that the union had shown simply made no sense to me. It was nonsensical.”
Later in the article he refers to the need for management-union collaboration focused on student performance and tying student growth to teacher and principal evaluation. Could it be that our focus on consensus and collaboration just might be the right way to move forward? Certainly consensus is not a word often seen in the current education debate. It is one of the attributes that sets our system apart from most others and I believe one that will be necessary to create and sustain the changes necessary to prepare young people for future success.