Behind the Headline: The Bizarre Alliance Between Republicans and Teachers Unions, Explained

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The Bizarre Alliance Between Republicans and Teachers Unions, Explained
7/16/15 | Vox

Behind the Headline
A Checklist for Fixing ESEA
7/9/2015 | Education Next blog

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed the Every Child Achieves Act by a vote of 81-17. The Every Child Achieves act would keep the testing requirements from No Child Left Behind but allow states to come up with their own systems for holding schools accountable for results.

On Vox, Libby Nelson notes, “Hidden behind Thursday’s overwhelmingly bipartisan Senate vote to get rid of No Child Left Behind is one of the strangest alliances in politics: Teachers unions have joined hands with Republicans.”

She continues,

That’s because they share two goals. They both want to get rid of the testing and accountability regimen of No Child Left Behind, and they want to cut back on Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s influence. Meanwhile, the Obama administration and national civil rights groups are on the opposite side of the argument.

Republicans and teachers unions aren’t enthusiastically embracing one another; don’t expect teachers unions to suddenly cut their historic ties with Democrats and start supporting Republicans instead. But the unusual alliance is evidence of how much the Obama administration has mixed up the traditional politics of education so that it no longer conforms to party lines.

Earlier this month, Ed Next’s Rick Hess offered his take on the bills being considered by Congress to fix ESEA.

Ed Next’s Mike Petrilli offered his take here.

– Education Next

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