While pandering to unionized teachers, Slade Mead suggested thatâ€¦ O.K., let me start this again. While speaking before members of the Tucson Education Association, Slade Mead proposed increasing teacherâ€™s salaries, and dismantling the AIMS test.
Well, he did not use the term â€œdismantlingâ€, but the message was clear â€“ heâ€™s on the side of accountability avoidance. Specifically, he proposed that passing the test no longer be the whole enchilada regarding high school graduation, but only sixty per cent; the other forty per cent coming from course work.
The purpose of the AIMS test is to measure the effectiveness of the course work. How can you substitute the test with that which the test is supposed to measure? Of course, you canâ€™t; but the idea is to get rid of the test because it could hold teachers accountable. Remember his audience: the Tucson Education Association (TEA), a chapter of the National Education Association (NEA), a labor union representing teachers.
All the unions that represent teachers make noise about â€œrigorous standardsâ€ and â€œaccountabilityâ€, but they fight those things tooth and nail. Their interests lie with the payers of dues, namely the teachers. As Albert Shanker said when he was president of the American Federation of Teachers, â€œWhen school children start paying dues, thatâ€™s when Iâ€™ll start representing the interests of schools childrenâ€. Good honesty there Mr. Shanker!
Slade Mead is running against Tom Horne (didnâ€™t Steve McQueen play him in a movie?) for superintendent of public instruction.
Mr. Horne supports the AIMS test as a graduation requirement, and suggests that it also serves as a motivator for students and teachers.