Hillsborough becomes part of Arne Duncan's stump speech
TAMPA -- Twice in two days now we've caught federal Secretary of Education Arne Duncan praising Hillsborough County's education reform efforts.
On Saturday he pointed to the district's "breakthrough" contract with its teachers union, telling New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman that unions are not always opposed to tough reforms. (Duncan made the same point during his own visit to Hillsborough last month.)
Apparently the Obama Administration will keep on saying it until it sticks, that they believe teachers unions are willing to play ball when it comes to embracing changes like merit pay, tenure reform and value-added methods for evaluating teachers -- all things that both the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers are backing here in Tampa.
The question is, will it stick? Or will unions continue to provide the perfect punching bag for hard-line reformers?