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August 2010, Week 4

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Portside Labor <[log in to unmask]>
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Tue, 24 Aug 2010 20:20:22 -0400
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Obama's truce with teachers
By Kendra Marr
August 22, 2010
Politico.com
http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=91026781-18FE-70B2-A87391B07C974652

In the past few weeks,
President Barack Obama delivered two major speeches
touting education reforms. He invited teachers to the
Rose Garden and pushed the House to pass an emergency
spending bill saving thousands of school jobs. This
week, his education chief is traveling on a
cross-country bus tour to highlight school success
stories.

"Teachers," Obama said in Ohio Wednesday, "are the
single most important ingredient in the education
system."

The White House says it's a back-to-school message that
fits squarely into the president's plan for economic
recovery, stressing the role of educators in shaping a
competitive American work force.

But all this apple-polishing hasn't gone unnoticed by
teachers unions, which have had a rocky relationship
with the White House from the start over Obama's
unflinching support for reforms that unions view as an
affront. After 18 months of frosty relations that at
times bordered on outright hostility, it seems that
Obama has called a truce -- one that several education
experts noted comes just in time for the midterm
elections, when teachers unions can be a powerful
Democratic ally.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan disputed that there's
any political motivation. "This is part of that
continued outreach," he told POLITICO. "That's the
furthest thing from our mind."

(For the full text of the article, go to http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfmuuid=91026781-18FE-70B2-A87391B07C974652 or click the link above.)

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