Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The New Hampshire chapter of the National Education Association, the country's largest teachers union, has endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton and Mike Huckabee for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations respectively, sources said Wednesday.I laughed when during the YouTube/CNN debate Huckabee said his campaign was in need of all the endorsements it could get, including in that instance Log Cabin Republicans. But in that case he said he'd take support without changing his views. He may not have changed his education views, but they are different from the rest of the GOP field, as reported in today's Concord Monitor:
This is the first time the 16,000-member group has endorsed a Republican candidate, despite estimates that a quarter of its members are Republicans.
Huckabee became the first Republican yesterday to be endorsed by the New Hampshire chapter of the National Education Association. In a short press conference, President Rhonda Wesolowski lauded Huckabee's opposition to school vouchers and his commitment to arts and music education.
But Huckabee also favors "testing teachers" and replacing those who do not meet established standards. The NEA has been critical of the practice, as well as the federal No Child Left Behind law, parts of which Huckabee supports.
Still, Wesolowski said NEA-New Hampshire liked that Huckabee favors measuring student growth over time as opposed to judging a teacher's effectiveness by how students score on a single test. She said the group didn't ask Huckabee much about No Child Left Behind, since he wasn't a member of the Congress that passed the law. Huckabee, who backed President Bush in 2004, initially supported it.
Now one should give Huckabee credit for going to the teachers unions and asking for their support -- would that other GOP candidates would do so! But opposing vouchers and supporting higher spending make him less than appealing to Republicans for whom education is an issue of concern. A governor that mandates an hour of arts and music instruction per week, which Huckabee did in 2005, is not someone who supports local control. I find that pretty odd for any chapter of the NEA to support.
The Monitor article has a great deal of information about Huckabee's education record, so those so interested are invited to read it.