Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wow on NPR

The following piece appeared on the Michigan Capitol Confidential, I am so surprised to hear this was on NPR.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Debating Failing Schools
By MICHAEL VAN BEEK | March 30, 2010
Are teachers unions to blame for failing schools?
This was the question debated last week on NPR's Intelligence Squared. At the beginning of the debate, less than half the audience believed teachers unions should be faulted for poor-performing schools, but by the close of the program, an astonishing 68 percent believed school employee unions contributed to the problem.

In Michigan, with the drama surrounding the federal Race to the Top competitive grant program, the role of teachers unions has been scrutinized. The Michigan Education Association refused to sign on to the reforms passed by the Legislature early this year, and many believe this was one of the reasons why the state wasn't selected to be one of the finalists for the first round of grant money.

The Intelligence Squared debate featured six panelists, three critical and three supportive of unions. The debate became heated at times, especially when the audience began asking questions. One pro-union participant, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, insinuated that the audience was packed by groups presupposed to be anti-union.

To view the rest of the story go to the Michigan Capitol Confidential.com.

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