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Local Teacher Groups Dislike Obama Reforms

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By Bill Zeeble, KERA News

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kera/local-kera-890911.mp3

Dallas, TX – Local teacher groups, whose unions endorsed President Obama are disappointed with some of his proposed education reforms. KERA's Bill Zeeble has more

Local leaders of the Alliance-AFT and NEA-Dallas - two large, local teacher organizations, dislike reform plans for No Child Left Behind. Rena Honee, with the Alliance-AFT, says efforts to improve student education emphasizes better test scores more than anything else. That approach doesn't always teach students how to learn for the rest of their lives.

Honee: It seems to be more mandates and things that are coming from non-educators, that have listened to people that have probably been out of our classrooms for long periods of time

Dale Kaiser, with NEA-Dallas, is disappointed that the blame for bad scores willl fall exclusively to teachers. He says parents, students and their circumstances should also be taken into account, but aren't. Kaiser also worries that teachers jobs and even bonuses will be tied to rising student scores.

Kaiser: If you think you've got cheating now, you're going to have a lot of people stepping out there trying got find a way to get a short cut, to just try to save their jobs.

Kaiser says he and his members expected more from the Obama administration. Instead he says teachers may be worse off under this administration than under that of George W. Bush. But backers of Obama's plan praise it as a nuanced improvement on No Child Left Behind, that takes additional criteria into account when assessing schools and student performance.

Email Bill Zeeble