Secretary of Privatization
For almost 16 years, across two administrations of different parties, America’s teachers have watched federal education officials embrace destructive policies. President George W. Bush ushered in the era of test and punishment based accountability under the No Child Left Behind Act. President Barack Obama entered office with promises of relief from unrealistic expectations and punitive incentives – only to double down on testing’s importance by favoring value-added teacher evaluations and to promote privatization through favoritism for the charter school sector which has increasingly placed portions of our educational commons into hands that avoid public oversight. With a Secretary of Education under President Obama who declared that Hurricane Katrina was the “best thing” to happen to New Orleans schools because the recovery turned the entire city over to privately managed charters, teachers could be forgiven for wondering how anything could get worse regardless of who won the election this month.