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NEA Blasts Obama on ‘Race to the Top’

The nation’s largest teachers union has sharply attacked President Obama’s most significant school improvement initiative, saying that it puts too much emphasis on a “narrow agenda” centered on charter schools and echoes the Bush administration’s “top-down approach” to reform.

Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

According to the Washington Post, the National Education Association’s criticism of Obama’s $4.35 billion “Race to the Top” initiative reflected deep divisions over the White House’s education agenda within a constituency largely loyal to the Democratic Party. Itcame nearly a month after the president unveiled the competitive grant program, meant to spur states to move toward teacher performance pay; lift caps on independently operated, publicly funded charter schools; and take other steps to shake up school systems.

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