NEA Throws Future Teachers Under the (School) Bus by Education Action Group 20 Dec 2011 post a comment Share This: The “education experts” that are giving leadership to the National Education Association have come out in favor of tougher testing measures for prospective teachers. The NEA, the nation’s largest labor union, announced last week that it favors “national standards for teacher preparation and licensing.” “All teacher candidates should have one full year of teaching residency, and pass a performance-based assessment before entering the classroom,” NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said, according to Education Week. The news site reports that the “pilot pre-licensure assessment” would take student outcomes into consideration. While we do not support attempts to nationalize the teacher certification process, assessing prospective teachers on classroom effectiveness sounds reasonable to us. So how about using those same tests to evaluate current teachers? Sure, says the NEA, but only if such assessments are “developmentally appropriate, scientifically valid and reliable for the purpose of measuring both student learning and a teacher’s performance.” Here’s the kicker: “We believe that there are no tests ready to do that,” Segun Eubanks, the director of teacher quality for the union, told the New York Times last July. The NEA’s position is this: Tests that measure student achievement are too flawed to use on union members, but they are perfectly suitable to assess college kids who want to become teachers. We’ve all heard about “last in, first out.” Maybe this union position should be called “get out, stay out.” Hey, union leaders may be hypocrites, but at least they’re consistent in treating young teachers as second-rate professionals. Kind of makes "We are One" and "Solidarity Forever" seem like empty marketing slogans, no?