Prior to losing millions of dollars in federal aid because it refused to accept educational reforms, the California Teachers' Association (CTA) had issued a hilarious press release (see here). I couldn't help but laugh at this line: "It's alarming that the president wants to focus on a competition system that creates winners and losers." Are you kidding me? Welcome to the real world, CTA. The 88% of schoolchildren who don't end up working for the government will eventually enter a system that creates winners and losers. Sheltering students from reality or protesting methods that evaluate academic progress doesn't help anyone.
Also, when teachers' unions view the public's desire for accountability as a threat, something is obviously wrong with our educational system. No one but California teachers would ever dream of accepting $50 to $62 billion each year and then crying foul when taxpayers want to see results.
I never thought I'd see a Democratic president stand up to the teachers' unions in my lifetime. Thank goodness President Obama cares more about children than teachers' unions.
Bonus: most people don't know that most California teachers are adequately compensated. See here:
According to the CTA's parent union, the National Education Association, California teachers were the nation's top-paid, with $64,424 average annual salary in 2007-08...Because of its huge student population and its high-priced teachers, California spends 44 percent more on K-12 public education than does Texas, the next highest-spending state, $59 billion versus $41 billion.
Tenured teachers also receive unique benefits including pensions, lifetime medical benefits, and job security.