A New York Times article says it plainly. While teachers’ unions across the country are starting to align with parents and conservatives to fight what they say is excessive testing in schools, the Times writes:
“In Kentucky, where the education commissioner has said parents do not have the right to opt their children out of tests, the state union is not pushing back. ‘We have to have an assessment of standards,’ said Stephanie Winkler, president of the Kentucky Education Association. She added that parents could not ‘pick and choose’ which parts of public education they wanted their children to participate in.”
Could that trigger a revolt within the ranks of Kentucky’s teachers? The Times also writes:
“A national group of teachers claiming more than 50,000 members has criticized both of the main unions for supporting the Common Core and is pushing for the abandonment of all standardized tests.”
We don’t hear much in Kentucky about individual teacher dissatisfaction with their union, but that’s no guarantee such displeasure isn’t out there. After all, there’s a whole lot we don’t hear much about in Kentucky – at least until things dramatically boil over. Regarding testing, we were constantly told how great the old KIRIS and CATS tests were right up to the time the legislature reacted to lots of built up pressure – including plenty from teachers – and cancelled those tests.
Kentucky doesn’t seem to do these sorts of policy things nice and easy like the famous, relatively slow-moving Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii. Our policy changes seem to come more like the dramatic explosion of Chile’s Calbuco Volcano. All rather quiet until suddenly there is a huge Kaboom.
Will such an explosion overtake the teachers’ union leaders in Kentucky? Only time will tell. But, with many other teachers’ unions around the country now departing sharply from policies still supported by union leaders here, I wouldn’t take any bets on this one.