Leading up to the 1984 presidential election, [AFT/UFT President Albert] Shanker expressed a willingness to consider another highly controversial measure to rid the schools of bad teachers: a movement in Arkanss and Texas, to test all teachers, including veterans (p. 288) .....At an AFT conference, Shanker invited Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton's wife, Hillary Clinton, who was the point person on education reform, to debate Rand researcher Linda Darling-Hammond about the testing of veteran teachers..... Politically, Clinton said, the weeding out of incompetent teachers helped create the political environment in which the public would support new taxes and further investments in education. Clinton praised Shanker for his willingness to discuss the issue. "Under Albert Shanker's leadership, questions once considered forbidden have been given the right to see the light of day," she said..... Richard Kahlenberg, Albert Shanker: Tough Liberal, chapter 14, p. 290.Kahlenberg is describing ed reform movements by Democratic governors of Texas and Arkansas, at the earliest stage of the deform movement that tied the AFT/UFT to the Democratic party nascent ed deform wing, with the Clintons and the president of the AFT and UFT at the time playing a key role. For those Randi bashers who consider her a sellout and wish for the old days of Shanker, she hadn't even put her foot in the union door yet.
Pretty interesting that Hillary's opponent in the debate was Darling-Hammond, who many opponents of ed deform looked at as their choice for ed sectary over Arne Duncan -- over 20 years later.
The NEA strongly opposed both the Arkansas and Texas plans.Let's fully understand what our union leader and the Clintons were advocating. EVERY teacher should be retested. Imagine asking every driver to be retested. Or have every lawyer retake the Bar. Or for that matter, ANY profession. No, only teachers - the bad teacher rap was going strong - in 1984 - a very pertinent year.
Now Hillary in her debate with pointed out that the tests were easy while Shanker claimed that a number of veteran teachers were illiterate
There's lots more in the Kahlenberg Shanker hagiography linking the Clintons and our unions, including their support for charter schools even after Shanker was beginning to look on in horror at what his idea had wrought.
The Clintons and our union leaders were the parents of ed deform, Democratic Party style.