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Feb 28, 1:00 AM

Drive for education reform has teachers unions on the defensive - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Are teachers unions the reason America's schools are failing? According to one increasingly popular narrative, they are. It's hard to think of a time in recent decades when teachers unions have been more under attack, not only from those on the right but also from many on the left, including President Obama and Arne Duncan, his Education secretary. Yes, the recession has been a factor in the clamor against unions. But the attacks are unfair or oversimplified, say many education experts and teachers, and the reality is far more complex. For one thing, teachers unions and their attitudes vary drastically from district to district and state to state. Still, the attacks have put teachers unions overall in a defensive position, and soul-searching has ensued as they consider how to best shape their vision and priorities going forward. Increasingly, unions are breaking with tradition and endorsing new laws and policies that they would have considered anathema a decade ago.

Tags: teachers unions, teachers

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