March 27, 2013
Neal Tepel, LaborPress USA
Washington DC – In a survey to members of the American Federation of School Administrators, 49 percent of the respondents said they felt negative or very negative about U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's reappointment.
The responses showed dissatisfaction with Duncan’s push toward charter schools. One respondent commented, “He is an advocate for privatization, not public education….He focuses on criticizing rather than highlighting what great teachers and administrators do so that it can be replicated.”
Principal and teacher evaluations, standardized tests and the opportunity gap were selected by respondents as the top three concerns facing public education. Other issues submitted included sufficient teacher preparation opportunities, the privatization of schools, adequate support for ELL and special needs students, and the overall funding of public education. Members also expressed concern about the challenge of holding on to quality teachers.
Ensuring schools serving disadvantaged students have adequate resources was the No. 1 issue selected by members when asked what they were most concerned about regarding the reauthorization of ESEA. Parental engagement came in as the issue of least concern, with only 13 percent of survey takers listing it as a top issue.