When her union endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008, retired Montgomery County teacher Jane Stern wrote checks to his campaign and spent hours calling voters in swing states to support a Democrat she though would stand strong for public schools and break from a federal education policy of “testing, testing, testing.”

Three years later, all the standardized tests are still there. In some places, they are beginning to be used to fire teachers. Lately, Stern said, the solutions to all of public education’s troubles seem to boil down to a refrain: “Blame it on the teacher who works her tail off for 14 hours a day.”

On Monday, the nation’s largest teachers union will vote at its annual convention here in Obama’s home town on a proposal to endorse his reelection. Stern came to Chicago to vote no.

Her frustrations echo those of many in the National Education Association, who chafe at the president’s support of public charter schools, which compete with traditional public schools, and policies that link teacher tenure and pay in part to growth in student test scores.

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