Testing for Teachers

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is asking all states to publicize teacher records regarding student performance in hopes the information can better teach young America.

Duncan’s announcement comes after the L.A. Times released teacher performance records which were directly linked to student test results.

Teacher union critic Bob Bowdon joined Varney and Company to discuss the role of organized labor and education.

“It is a tremendously great development. But on the other hand, we kind of have to pay through Race to the Top to get some of these concessions from some of the unions is my concern about it,” said Bowdon. “It’s a little bit like what I think if you were living in Chicago during the Capone period.”

'Race to the Top’ is a federal program that hopes to better prepare students to succeed after school, aims to build data systems to help measure student growth and hopes to turn around the lowest achieving schools in the country.

Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island are among the recent winners that will eventually divvy up $4.35 billion to help reform public schools.

“The Obama Administration and Arne Duncan have chosen a more I guess you’d say a more conciliatory approach where they’re going to pay money, though ‘Race to the Top’ initiatives, to acquire certain concessions from the unions,” explained Bowdon.

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has made it to the national stage in his administration’s fight to curb the power and pay at public worker unions.

“He has taken on the unions. He said listen, you know the fact that you can have health care guaranteed from the day you’re hired until the day you die and never pay one penny ever is not consistent with the rest of the economy,” said Bowdon. “It is basically taking on the unions instead of negotiating with them.”

Bob Bowdon is also the director of the documentary film “The Cartel.”