NEA supports teacher evaluations?

Not much surprises me when I read the paper. But the signatories of this opinion piece really threw me for a loop. Sure, we know that Sec. Skandera supports teacher evaluation, but the head of the National Education Association teachers union here in New Mexico? That was a shock, especially these union-driven protests over the policy that were held this summer. The fact that they would pen an op-ed together was even more surprising.

There is no doubt that the current evaluation system (in name only) is in dire need of repair. We need to encourage and incentivize greatness, not “meets competency.” And, we need to identify the not-so-great teachers and either re-train them or get rid of them. That a teachers union would support such efforts is nothing short of amazing given the way unions typically look at teachers as little more than widgets, all of whom are, as in Lake Wobegone, “above average.” Thus, union-backed standards tend to revise standards towards the lowest common denominator while attempting to increase membership and payroll as much as possible.

Has a new leaf been turned over in New Mexico? We’ll see, but if this is not a misprint, we might just have our first reform-minded teachers’ union right here in New Mexico. Contrast that with Chicago where the unions are on strike demanding 30% pay raises…