Arne Duncan’s op-ed is nothing more than Arne Duncan’s campaign contribution to Gov. Dayton’s campaign. While Duncan’s op-ed isn’t the total propaganda that Karen Cyson’s monthly column was, (see this post for more on that fiasco) Duncan’s op-ed attempts to bypass the thing that’s got suburban moms hopping mad. Here’s part of Duncan’s op-ed:

President Obama has put forward a plan to make high-quality preschool affordable for all children, a vital step in putting young people on a path to a thriving middle class. As I saw firsthand in a pair of visits in the Minneapolis area on Tuesday, that effort builds on the work of states like Minnesota.

The day began at Pond Early Childhood Family Center in Bloomington, where I sat with students who sang a song, recited the alphabet and discussed some of their favorite words. The visit was an inspiring example of great educators helping kids get ready for kindergarten in a setting of joy and support.

Later Tuesday, Gov. Mark Dayton, Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius, and other leaders from business, the military, government and the clergy, joined a town-hall discussion at Kennedy Senior High School. At that town hall, parents, teachers, education leaders and others from throughout the state made clear that they have seen the power of early learning, and that they know we must reach many more children.

That sounds upbeat, positive. Unfortunately, everything that’s supposedly gained through early learning is lost thanks to the education establishment. This post highlights how much the education establishment fights against putting high quality teachers in classrooms:

Despite the pleas of numerous education advocates, school leaders, a state senator and even a fired-up grandmother, the Minnesota Board of Teaching voted 9-2 Friday to end a licensing arrangement that has made it easier for Twin Cities schools to hire Teach for America (TFA) corps members.

Unsatisfied that the group’s recruits meet its standards despite evidence presented by TFA and its supporters, the board decided it would prefer to screen each individual potential teacher, a process that will take six to eight weeks.

The Minnesota Board of Teaching is a farce. They don’t care about teaching credentials. If they did, they would’ve spoken out about all the teachers that got waivers after they didn’t pass the Basic Skills Test that the legislature started requiring in 2011. Gov. Dayton signed that into law, just like he signed the law’s repeal this year.

Literally hundreds of teachers statewide got waivers after they failed the test.

This is what’s wrong with the process:

The state’s largest teachers’ union, Education Minnesota, has campaigned against TFA’s expansion in the state, last month organizing letters and phone calls successfully calling on Dayton to veto a $1.5 million appropriation that would have helped the program meet demand.

Five of the board members, all Dayton appointees, have union leadership positions. Two represent traditional teacher preparation programs, whose association also has lobbied against TFA.

Secretary Duncan, how can Minnesota be a visionary when the DFL’s political allies stand in the way of putting high quality teachers in each classroom? There’s no questioning the statement that great educational outcomes require great teachers in each classroom across Minnesota. Right now, Education Minnesota and the Minnesota Board of Teaching are fighting against a law that’s been successful in other states.

How dare these fossils of the education establishment stand in the way of putting great teacher into Minnesota’s classrooms. A look at Education Minnesota’s website shows what their priorities are. Nowhere on their website does it talk about students or educational outcomes. There are links where it talks about candidate training for the legislature, though.

Education Minnesota’s leadership is about representing union members. They aren’t interested in improving teacher quality or educational outcomes. Their website says that with their silence.

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