AFT: Parents Resist Reforms

Parents oppose closing low-performing schools, reject the notion of moving resources from traditional public schools to charters, and are resistant to extending the school day, according to a new survey to be released by the American Federation of Teachers today, and previewed by Lyndsey Layton in today’s Washington Post.

According to Layton, the results of a poll of more than 1,000 parents will be a featured part of AFT President Randi Weingarten’s address today at the national AFT TEACH Conference.  Among the highlights:
  • 61% oppose closing low-performing schools and reassigning students to a different school
  • More than 75% oppose reducing compensation for teachers or cutting resources for the classroom while increasing spending on charter schools
  • 58% did not approve of officials lengthening the school day (while a third thought it was a good idea)
  • 56% oppose giving tax dollars to families to pay for private school tuition (better known as vouchers), while 41% approve
  • A majority say too much learning in the classroom has been sacrificed in order to accommodate state tests
Layton also offers this nugget, to be part of Weingarten’s prepared remarks today:
Decades of top-down edicts, mass school closures, privatization and test fixation with sanctions, instead of support, haven’t moved the needle — not in the right direction, at least … You’ve heard their refrain, competition, closings, choice.  Underlying that is a belief that disruption is good and stability is bad.
It sounds like Weingarten is bringing her A game this week and looking to rally the troops as they prepare for Common Core implementation, NCLB waivers, ESEA reauthorization, and the next generation of reforms.  
We’ll look for other key ideas when the full text of the speech is publicly available.  In the meantime, I’m sure many of those closers and privatizers and test fixaters are sharpening their tongues …

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