The head of the nation’s largest teacher’s union paid a visit to Iowa Wednesday night. National Education Association President Reg Weaver met with members of the Iowa State Education Association at North Fayette High School in West Union.
Weaver tells Radio Iowa that the discussion included the proposed renewal of the federal No Child Left Behind law. He testified about the five year old education law before the House Education Committee earlier this week. Weaver is opposed to the current draft, saying it involves "an unprecedented attack on labor."
Weaver says the bill asks educators, "more or less," to forgo the collective bargaining process in states where collective bargaining exists. "We know that educators are hired by local districts, not the federal government," Weaver says, "and anytime terms and conditions of employment are determined, it should be done at the local level." Weaver also calls the current bill "disrespectful to students and educators."
"It still places too much emphasis on test scores to determine student performance and how schools are doing," Weaver says. Weaver is also critical of the bill’s funding level. "We believe that this law is about 70 billion dollars shy of what was supposed to be there," Weaver says, "you can not have reform without resources." The NEA represents 3.2 million public school educators.