Arne Duncan: Evaluations Allow Teachers to 'Be Treated as True Professionals and Not Interchangeable Cogs'

Judy Hartnett's picture
Thursday, July 26, 2012

Teachers are being treated as true professionals and not as interchangeable cogs in an educational assembly line because of evaluation plans called for in the Obama administration’s Race to the Top program, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says.

Writing in a blog on the Huffington Post, Duncan said the administration has provided funding for incentives to “help build a teaching profession that is both respected and rigorous.”

Duncan is not universally loved among the teaching ranks, though he’s carrying out the policies of his boss. While unions, in particular, have supported Obama, they haven’t been thrilled with many of his education reform plans – with Race to the Top chief among them.

Michigan applications were not selected for any of the Race rounds, though the state was sent some money through a School Improvement Grant program aimed at turning around persistently low-achieving schools. Michigan’s No Child Left Behind waiver was accepted by the U.S. Education Department last week.

Vocal critics include former Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch, who rails against changes as “corporate reforms” and says Duncan “really doesn’t get it.” She’s speaking in Detroit this weekend before the American Federation of Teacher’s convention.

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