Paige Turner: WaPo Pans Bush Education Secretary's Attack on Teacher Unions
Rod Paige, the first Education Secretary under George W. Bush, has a new book on the dangers of teacher unions, so you wouldn't expect a nice review in The Washington Post. Richard Kahlenberg of the "radical centrist" vogue at the New America Foundation argues that Paige can't find the nuances, and then finds Paige's nuances. First he argued:
Like his old boss, Paige doesn't "do nuance," even when given more than 200 pages to state his case. Granted, teacher unions are by no means perfect. As Paige notes, too often the unions protect incompetent teachers and resist efforts to pay the teacher who works long hours any more than the one who springs for the parking lot the moment the bell rings. But "The War Against Hope" does little to acknowledge the innovative proposals that some teacher unions have backed on those two issues and the positive roles they play in education.
But later, Kahlenberg acknowledges that Paige can "do nuance," but it's not significant:
To be sure, Paige does single out for praise a few progressive teacher union leaders, such as Albert Shanker, the late president of the American Federation of Teachers; Randi Weingarten, president of New York City's United Federation of Teachers; and Adam Urbanski, president of the Rochester Teachers Association. But they are mentioned mostly to serve as a contrast to so-called typical union leaders who Paige says thwart "authentic school reform."