The secretary-treasurer of the National Education Association says teachers, not legislators, should be making the important decisions in the classroom.
Roxanne E. Bradshaw told Utah State University students Thursday teachers possess professional judgment and should be able to decide what curriculum best serves their students.Bradshaw, a 23-year educator in Colorado Springs, Colo., also believes that too many negative judgments about education are being made on the basis of lower test scores.
"When I went to high school, only 19 of the top students were invited to take college entrance tests," she said. "The truth is, test scores are not going down, but the tests have been opened to anyone wanting to take them, and that is the way it should be."
Bradshaw said educators are under constant pressure to be competitive with Japan, but she said that nation spends five times more money per student than is spent in the U.S., where less than 2 percent of the national budget goes for education.
With budgets tight, business and corporations have been making financial contributions to education, and Bradshaw said that was a positive sign but they could do more.
"What we really need is the help of corporate America, Congress and the states to help equalize education so that whether kids go to school in Utah or Colorado or Alabama or Maine, they will have the same high quality of education," she said.