Young people have to be taught everything, and it is the function of parents and teachers to give them
the instruction and guidance they need, either to find a job right out of high school, or to go to
college. Along the way they are also taught how to wait in line, clean up after themselves,
and play well with others. That's all very nice, but these days you may find that unionized
teachers teach more than academics. Leftist propaganda — earth-worshipping environmentalism,
multiculturalism, and the expectation of a government handout at some point — seeps into
the classroom with the assistance of teachers who believe it is their role to spread socialism
in the schools.
The turmoil in Madison, Wisconsin
The discussion of the Madison, Wisconsin teachers union uprising has been
moved to this page.
Students Protest Instruction in Capitalism, Patriotism, Respect for Authority. You know things have gotten bad when
students are protesting a school board proposal to change U.S. history classes to promote patriotism, capitalism and obedience to
authority while putting less emphasis on historical civil disobedience and social strife. Students walked out at the thought
of it. They and their parents have been taught socialism. Free market capitalism and respect for authority is out, angry
protests are in. This has been going on for two days and it is being encouraged by the teacher unionistas.
Is for Agitation: What's Really Going on in Jefferson County Schools. There's a big
battle brewing in the Jefferson County, Colorado, school system. The manufactured controversy over a
proposed curriculum review is generating national headlines. But the fight is not about what misguided
students and biased reporters say it's about. "Censorship" is a red herring. The real issue is
union control. Here's the deal: Public school teachers in this Denver-area district walked out
of their classrooms this week to protest the implementation of performance-based pay. The JeffCo
school board approved the new compensation system last week, which rewards the most highly effective
teachers with 4.2 percent raises, effective teachers with 2.4 [percent] raises and inferior
teachers with nothing. Only 2 percent of teachers received no pay raises.
The Latest Action of Teacher's Unions:
Ban Them. The simple fact of the matter is that public-sector unions need to be barred
as a matter of both State and Federal Law. They are inherently unable to exist without violating
the basic precept of adversarial bargaining, since they can (and do) effort to elect people to
sit on the other side of the table that will do as they wish. That turns all such "bargaining"
into an open and notorious, but legal fraudulent edifice and there only one remedy: Get rid of all
Early Preview of Obamacare Premiums
Show a 40% Spike in 2015. It is my sincere hope that one day conservatives will kick teachers' unions to the curb and
retake the nation's educational system. One of the first orders of business then would be to teach not only the genius of the
American founding but also the utter, repeated and unbroken failures of collectivism. Which brings me to Obamacare, a
socialistic plan sold on a panoply of lies and doomed from the outset to failure.
Wear NYPD Shirts To School Despite Union Warnings. Angry city teachers who refused to
be bullied by their union posted Facebook photos on Thursday [9/4/2014] of themselves in NYPD T-shirts —
after the UFT warned them not to wear the "inappropriate apparel" on the first day of classes. Many
teachers had worn the shirts to school Tuesday and Wednesday as a show of support for cops in the wake of
the Eric Garner death and union-backed rally by the Rev. Al Sharpton. But they were warned by a United
Federation of Teachers official in an email late Wednesday that, "as public employees, one must remain objective
at all times.
teachers can exit union anytime. Michigan's largest teachers' union should allow members to
resign at any time and stop enforcing an annual one-month opt-out window, a state labor judge ruled, relying
on the state's right-to-work law that took effect last year.
Crisis As Millions Of Students Abused By Teachers. We've all heard of the Catholic
Church child abuse scandal that's still regularly covered, 20 to 40 years after much of the abuse
took place. It too was tragic, and acknowledged as such by the church, which has taken action to prevent
its ever happening again. The same can't be said of unionized public education — where child
abuse appears to be rampant, often with little done about it and with teachers unions largely silent. It
gets little national media attention — certainly not on the scale that the church scandal did.
Secretary Allows Reprieve on Test-Based Teacher Ratings. Secretary of Education Arne
Duncan announced on Thursday [8/21/2014] that states could delay the use of test results in
teacher-performance ratings by another year, an acknowledgment, in effect, of the enormous pressures
mounting on the nation's teachers because of new academic standards and more rigorous standardized testing.
Community Organizing Busted A Union And Sparked An Education Revolution. [Scroll
down] When 300 blue-shirt-wearing union members showed up at a board meeting chanting "This is
what democracy looks like" and complaining vouchers and merit pay would "starve public education,"
the four conservative board members began to consider dropping the union contract entirely. But open
negotiations made that crazy-seeming idea a reality. It led to public discoveries that union money
and activity in Douglas County — as everywhere else — went more to political
activities than instructional improvements. Once that happened, the board began to consider, and
then follow through on, ending its union contract.
Your union dues at work:
union backs Sharpton's planned anti-police rally. The teachers union is pitting its
members against cops — by sponsoring and promoting the Rev. Al Sharpton's anti-police
rally in Staten Island next week, The [New York] Post has learned. The United Federation of Teachers
sent an "action alert" — e-mail that even promised free transportation to Sharpton's Aug. 23
demonstration that is billed as a march for justice for "victims of police brutality." Some
teachers were furious that the union would take such a prominent role in the event.
Mulgrew defends Common Core. Teachers union honcho Michael Mulgrew unleashed a venomous screed directed at anyone
who would dare threaten his beloved Common Core agenda. "If someone takes something from me, I'm going to grab it right
back out of their cold, twisted, sick hands and say it is mine! You do not take what is mine!" the head of the United
Federation of Teachers shouted in a speech at a convention last month in Los Angeles. The rant was posted Thursday [8/7/2014]
to the Ed Notes Online blog. "And I'm going to punch you in the face and push you in the dirt because this is the teachers'!"
Union leader derides Obama education
chief. The president of the nation's second-largest teachers union said Friday that President Barack Obama's
education chief has turned his back on the concerns of educators and parents, but she stopped short of calling for his ouster.
Lawsuit Contests New
York's Teacher Tenure Laws. An education advocacy group on Thursday [7/3/2014] threw down the first challenge to
New York's teacher tenure laws in the wake of a landmark court decision in California last month finding such laws there
unconstitutional. A lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court on Staten Island argues that the tenure laws violate the
State Constitution's guarantee of a "sound basic education" by making it difficult to fire bad teachers and by protecting
the most veteran teachers in the event of layoffs, regardless of their quality. The suit, filed against city and
state education officials, names as plaintiffs 11 public school students whose parents belong to a group known as the New
York City Parents Union. The road ahead is less than certain in either state.
On The Federal Agenda: Redistributing Teachers. Just this week, while teachers,
schoolchildren, and families frolic in the summer sun, blessedly free of government supervision at
least for these few months, the Obama administration resurfaced an old rule from President Bush's
tenure that may have states redistributing teachers like so many cattle. It attempted the same
last September, far more directly, but in the meantime has had its hands busy juggling its many new
interpretations of education law to suit the shifting fancies of National Superintendent, er,
Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
Fed up students file
lawsuit to overthrow NY tenure laws. A group of fed-up students and parents on Thursday [7/3/2014] declared
their independence from incompetent New York City teachers shielded by the state's tenure and seniority laws. In the
wake of a landmark anti-tenure ruling in California, the coalition of 11 students filed a class-action lawsuit in Staten
Island state — Supreme Court, seeking to eliminate protections afforded to bad teachers. "This lawsuit
has to do with students' rights and parents' rights. We have to do away with the 'students last' policies. No one
is talking about the children who are failing every day," said Staten Island dad Sam Pirozzolo, a co-leader of the New York City
to be Filed Against Teacher Tenure Rules in New York. Following the widely hailed
victory over California's egregious teacher tenure rules in court earlier this month, another group
is bringing suit in New York to challenge similar rules. Called the Partnership for Educational
Justice, it has enlisted pro bono efforts from Jay Lefkowitz, a skilled and capable litigator with
previous victories against teacher unions under his belt. The lawsuit will challenge laws similar
to those which Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu ruled to be unconstitutional in
California, namely, rules that permit tenure to be granted after just 16 months on the job, rules
that make it nearly impossible to fire a teacher who has been granted tenure, and LIFO (last in,
first out) rules that terminate teachers during layoffs who were newly hired even if they are competent.
Obama Staffers vs. Teachers Unions. We've never waffled on our disgust for unionized
teachers. They are not very bright, they're not good at their jobs, they're bloodsucking leeches
who will destroy the financial base of every major city in the nation. They're greedy and they
don't [care] about the kids they're supposed to teach. We could go on for another couple of
thousand words, but you get the idea.
California law lets schools fire teachers for 'egregious misconduct'. California
Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a law adding "egregious misconduct" to the list of
fireable offenses for public school teachers, weeks after a judge said it was too hard to fire
incompetent teachers in the most populous U.S. state.
teachers vote to strike? Really? One of Illinois' most successful high school
districts is in the midst of a power struggle: teachers vs. the school board.
Teachers at Hinsdale Township High School District 86, which includes Hinsdale South and
Hinsdale Central high schools, voted to authorize a strike for the fall unless they reach a
contract agreement with the board. They met with a mediator Tuesday. Teachers in
the district earn on average $105,494, according to 2012 data — the most recent
available from the State Board of Education.
teachers' is a union myth. Public schools are constitutionally empowered to educate
our next generation, but they often stray from that path to over-emphasize the rights, pay, and
benefits of their employees. In a stunning decision, a judge in the California Superior Court has
ruled that, because education is a fundamental right of California youth, the laws governing
teacher tenure, teacher dismissal and rules for layoffs are unconstitutional. This ruling only
applies to California — and surely will be appealed by the teachers union —
but it could open up consideration of students' rights in a larger number of states. The
California laws addressed in the lawsuit advantage teachers at the expense of students.
Case Is California's Education Earthquake. [Scroll down] Teachers gain lifetime tenure after
just 18 months, before their training is even done. It's almost impossible to dismiss them, no
matter what their transgressions — perversion, drug dealing, child pornography, sexual
assault, you name it. The regulations are so cumbersome, it's impossible to fire anyone.
There's also a layoff system that ensures that seniority trumps performance, resulting in top-performing
teachers being laid off over under-performing deadwood who've just been on the job longer. It's a
Mafia-like protection racket for the worst of the worst.
Judge Strikes Down Teacher Tenure. On Tuesday [6/10/2014], teacher tenure was ruled
unconstitutional in the state of California, impacting 6 million students from kindergarten through
12th grade. This monumental decision could change the way other states view current tenure laws
nationwide. Tenure aims to protect long-standing teachers from being fired by providing them
with job security after they have completed a certain probationary period. Opponents argue,
however, that these laws keep inept teachers in the classroom and therefore hinder student achievement.
A Defeat for
Terrible Teachers in California. It won't be as simple from now on for ineffective
California teachers to coast off to a lifetime career on easy street. In a Los Angeles Superior
Court ruling today, Judge Rolf M. Treu "found five California laws governing teacher tenure,
layoffs and dismissals unconstitutional," reports Politico. "Treu found," reporter Stephanie
Simon wrote, "that the statutes permit too many grossly incompetent teachers to remain in
classrooms across the state — and found that those teachers shortchange their students
by putting them months or years behind their peers in math and reading."
Teachers Union-Run School Bombs at the Prom. In the "you can't make this up" file,
Paul Robeson High School in Chicago just had its prom and its theme was "This Is Are Story." Sadly,
this isn't a joke or a bit of intentional irony on the part of the students. Turns out that Paul
Robeson High School is a symptom of a school district that is failing its students. [...] The
taxpayers pay these teachers $76,000 a year and the school's administration can't even distinguish
between "are" and "our" on printed cards they hand out on prom night?
court rules teacher tenure creates unequal conditions. A Los Angeles Superior Court
judge ruled Tuesday that tenure, seniority and other job protections for teachers have created
unequal conditions in public schools and deprive poor children of the best teachers. In a case
that could have national implications for the future of teacher tenure, Judge Rolf Treu sided with
a Silicon Valley mogul against some of the most powerful labor unions in the country.
Teachers' Unions Over Students. Education has become a major issue in the Texas
governor's race, with six months to go. The differing approaches unveiled by the two major
candidates for governor tell us a lot. An examination of Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis'
education reform proposal shows the plan clearly refuses to increase accountability and competition
in the public education system, opting instead for the tired, liberal trope of "more funding."
Unions in right-to-work states make
opting out nearly impossible. In October, a year after his state had adopted a
right-to-work law, Michigan Education Association President Steve Cook announced that his union had
retained 99 percent of its members. [...] What he didn't say was that eight teachers had filed suit
with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission accusing the union of refusing to let them quit.
They had reportedly failed to file their decisions to opt out during August, the only month the union
Teachers Union Joins War on Common Core. Echoing concerns from teachers and parents from across America and the
entire political spectrum, CTU President Karen Lewis also lambasted the administration's meddling in state and local education
issues. "I agree with educators and parents from across the country, the Common Core mandate represents an overreach of
federal power into personal privacy as well as into state educational autonomy," said Lewis, who is also a nationally board
certified teacher. The criticism is especially devastating coming from Chicago, where a former top-level Obama official
now dominates the city.
Union Boss Randi Weingarten: My Salary's Only $360K. American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President
Randi Weingarten, who was paid $543,150 last year, defended her compensation by claiming her pay is $360,000 and
other reported expenses simply prove the union's "transparency." [...] "Justice means that hardworking people
must have access to a living wage," Weingarten wrote. AFT paid Weingarten $556,981 in 2012 and $543,150 in 2013.
Job Security for Poor
Performers. Job security for public employees comes at a cost to government and the public. Firing
the poorest-performing teachers may be the biggest free lunch available in education policy. Given that very little
else seems to have worked, maybe education policy makers should give it a try.
Teachers Union to Mayor Rahm: Improving failed schools full of black kids is racist. In late March, the
Chicago Board of Education announced an ambitious plan to implement its "turnaround" model for three low-performing
elementary schools in poor, predominantly black neighborhoods. The turnaround process involves the sacking of
every teacher and staffer at each of the schools, according to an email from the Chicago Teachers Union obtained by
The Daily Caller. Naturally, the union bosses aren't happy that the nation's third-largest school district is
employing such sweeping measures to improve some of its worst schools.
union boss wants schools to teach 'social justice'. Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis wants
schools to teach social justice, not "consumerism," she said in a video. Lewis spoke about ways to avoid "consumerist"
messages while teaching subjects typically seen as apolitical, like math, at the annual conference of the Network for
Public Education, a progressive advocacy group that backs public schools.
union contract gives "special consideration" to "non-Christian" teachers. Apparently, no one at the Ferndale Public
School District in Michigan took a civics course or bothered to read their own state constitution — and neither did the
union representing teachers in the district. Michigan Capitol Confidential found an interesting, and totally unconstitutional,
clause in the contract between the district and the Michigan Education Association local that requires the district to provide
"special consideration" to "those of the non-Christian faith" in hiring decisions.
Nation's biggest teachers union
slams 'botched' Common Core implementation. The nation's largest teachers union is pulling back on its once-enthusiastic support
of the Common Core academic standards, labeling their rollout "completely botched." National Education Association President Dennis
Van Roekel said he still believes the standards can improve education. But he said they will not succeed without a major "course
correction" — including possibly rewriting some of the standards and revising the related tests with teacher input.
Largest Teachers Union Calls Implementation 'Completely Botched'. The country's largest teachers union is no longer a
cheerleader for Common Core national education standards. In a letter to the National Education Association's 3 million members,
President Dennis Van Roekel issued a sharp critique of Common Core. It marks the first time NEA has voiced concerns about the
standards, a key initiative of the Obama Administration.
about Common Core.
Eva Moskowitz: Teachers Union Enemy No. 1.
[Scroll down] As she reminds every audience, the 6,700 students at her 22 Success Academy Charter Schools are overwhelmingly from poor, minority families
and scored in the top 1% in math and top 7% in English on the most recent state test. Four in five charters in the city outperformed
Teachers oppose tying
student test scores to teacher licensing, push for legislative change. When Tennessee was competing for a half-billion dollars in federal
education money, teachers agreed to allow the state to ramp up its use of student test scores for evaluating educators.
New York public school
parents demand names of teachers who backed pedophile colleague. Twenty-two teachers at an upstate New York public school wrote letters
to a judge supporting a colleague who sexually assaulted an 8-year-old boy, and parents of students in the Rochester district want those teachers'
names. The letters, some on school district stationery, were written to a judge on behalf of gym teacher Matthew LoMaglio, 37, who was
convicted in November of second-degree sexual conduct against a child and endangering the welfare of a child.
Common Core and Unionitis. Study after
study concludes that the one factor that makes a difference in the success or failure of students is the teacher. [...] So why don't we have
astounding teachers? Remember the year Bill Clinton promised to hire another 100,000 new instructors? Where did he think he was
going to find these people? And why did he think it was a quantity problem when it was clear that we had a quality problem? We
didn't have enough good teachers. The biggest reason for that is the unionization of the profession.
Is a Teachers Union Fighting on Behalf of Convicted Child Molester? There's outrage in Michigan after the union, Michigan
Education Association, began fighting to win a $10,000 severance payment for a convicted child rapist.
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright
joins up with Chicago Teachers Union. Wright will give a keynote address Wednesday at a breakfast the teacher's union
is holding in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. The union has invited local pastors to the breakfast in the hopes of building
a coalition of Chicago clergy to support its causes. In particular, union officials are seeking allies to fight the city's
policy of shutting down dozens of neighborhood schools and opening charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately
managed — and often, nonunion. CTU is expecting about 250 representatives from the clergy at the breakfast.
Predicament: 14 NEA Affiliates Have Almost $700 Million in Unfunded Liabilities. National Education Association president Dennis Van
Roekel says flatly: "There is no teacher pension crisis." [...] An Education Intelligence Agency analysis of 2011-12 Internal Revenue Service
filings reveals 14 NEA state affiliates do not have the financial assets to match their liabilities and total almost $700 million in combined debt.
The ability of these affiliates to address their long-term debt by increasing pension contributions, as Van Roekel suggests, is compromised by their
short-term debt. Nine of the 14 affiliates had deficits in 2011-12. In fact, the combined spending of all of NEA's state affiliates
exceeded their combined income by almost $24 million.
OFA Wants You to
Fight to Raise Minimum Wage, Won't Pay You to Do It. Organizing for Action is looking to sign people up for its spring 2014 fellowship
program, which will teach them "best practices in the areas of community organizing, media relations, and grassroots fundraising." The sign-up
page allows users to select to volunteer either 15 or 40 hours per week. But they won't be receiving compensation for their efforts.
NEA Employees Must Be Paid for Time in
Prison. Though I have written about the fact often, it bears repeating that the National Education Association and its affiliates are
employers. Between them they hire thousands of workers to perform a variety of tasks. Virtually all of these workers are covered by
collective bargaining agreements in which the teachers' union is management — bosses, to put it plainly. Union employees use the
contract to set salaries, benefits, working conditions and protections against arbitrary actions by union executives. About 500 people
work at NEA national headquarters in Washington, DC. A handful of unions represent them, the largest being the National Education Association
Staff Organization (NEASO).
American education's race to the
bottom. We are paying filet mignon prices and getting Sonic Burger results, in other words. I guess the upside is that
our unionized teachers have such great job security that they can hardly be fired once they get "tenure." Oh, and the benefits and
retirement pay are outstanding. Naturally, Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, is calling for even more money. [...] America's
government schools have been run for the benefit of teacher unions, not for the students. There is an obvious solution staring
us in the face: awarding education funds to parents, and allowing them to choose schools suited to their children.
Francisco scrambles to find subs as hundreds of teachers skip school ahead of Thanksgiving. More than 600 teachers
and classroom aides looking to get an early start to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend skipped school Tuesday [11/26/2013] in San Francisco,
leaving officials desperate to find substitutes. In the San Francisco Unified School District, 432 teachers — around
12 percent of its instructional workforce — called in sick or took a personal day, SFgate.com reports.
Second largest California school district pays
teachers for not teaching. California has a 1971 state law — the Stull Act — that mandates student performance
be included in teacher evaluations. This is just the sort of approach that President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan like as part
of their push to eliminate the 10 percent or so of teachers they say are too incompetent to be allowed in the classroom. But guess what:
The law has been ignored for decades in California. Why? Because for at least 20 years, the most powerful special interest in the
state has been the teacher unions — the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers. Keeping the CTA
and CFT happy has been a higher priority in local school districts and in the Legislature than actually honoring a clearly written state law.
Teacher's union head investigates whether
parent is a neo-Nazi. A Pennsylvania father is steaming mad after the head of a local teacher's union suggested he may be a "neo-Nazi" for
questioning a school assignment. Josh Barry, of Camp Hill, Penn., expressed concern after his daughter brought home an assignment analyzing a New
York Times article discussing the recent government shutdown. Examiner.com first reported the story. The assignment asked questions like, "Whom
do you hold most responsible for the government shutdown?" and "Do you feel it is principled or irresponsible for politicians to threaten a shutdown?"
Barry thought it was an exercise in indoctrination.
Teachers' unions fight bill that
would bar sex offenders from schools. A bipartisan bill that would stop convicted sex offenders from working in schools has been passed by the House
but is running into a foe as it heads to the Senate: major teachers' unions like the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers.
Kyle Olson, with the Education Action Group Foundation told Megyn Kelly Wednesday night [10/23/2013] on "The Kelly File" that the unions' objection to the bill proves
"unions are out to protect the adults... they are not out for the interests of the children." "We should have zero tolerance for issues like this," Olson said.
unions to politicians: Invest in education. Leaders of America's largest teachers' unions are joining teachers in 170 countries to
urge political leaders to invest more in K-12 education around the world. [...] "The whole premise is that every single child ought to have access to
a free, universal, quality education," said Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, the country's largest teachers' union.
"There's not a country in the world where that's happening right now, including the United States."
Bankrupt ideas lead to bankrupt governments.
The teachers unions love to talk about how much is being spent per pupil, while ignoring the fact that there are many high-spending school districts with lower
achievement levels than many lower spending districts. The private sector — unlike government — constantly reduces costs and improves
its products because of competitive pressures, and that creates real wealth. Those in the public sector measure success by the amount spent, not by what is
teachers taught how to dump unions, get rebates on dues. There's a way out of the unions in many states, and way to get some dues money back at
the same time. Concerned teachers are encouraged to research their rights — which are frequently concealed by the unions — and
learn how they can drop their ties to these increasingly radical groups that only represent the views and interests of a small group of elite union leaders.
In California, home to some of the nation's most radical and powerful teachers unions, two groups are providing teachers with the information they need to
make a hasty retreat from their unions and recover some of the money they were forced to invest in left-wing political causes.
Americans think teachers paid less than they really are. Seventy-four percent of Americans think teachers make less than they really do,
according to a new poll from Rasmussen. The average teacher salary in America is $55,000 (upward of $75,000 in Chicago), but three quarters of
Americans think teachers earn less than that.
Teachers of Third-Largest Wisconsin School
District Vote to Decertify Union. Teachers in Kenosha, Wisconsin have voted to decertify their union, putting a halt to the organization's ability
to bargain with the state on behalf of educators. Kenosha teachers took advantage of the opportunity to jettison the union after Governor Scott Walker's
successful implementation of Act 10, a law that limits what unions can bargain for on behalf of members.
Teachers pack union meeting, say no to pay cuts.
In a sea of red shirts, thousands of Philadelphia teachers filled the Liacouras Center on Temple University's campus on Labor Day to hear about the very real
labor woes affecting their union.
Kansas Teachers Opt Out of Big Unions.
In 2012-2013, KNEA and NEA annual dues were nearly $600, said Joel McClure, a lead negotiator for the Deerfield teachers. "The more information teachers
have about alternatives, truly professional alternatives, they don't want to give their money to KNEA or NEA," McClure said. Only five teachers of
the 27 in Deerfield had been speaking for all the others as the only certified union members.
What is Literacy in the 21st Century? The National Council of Teachers
of English recently announced: "Literacy has always been a collection of cultural and communicative practices shared among members of particular groups. As society and
technology change, so does literacy." These people give good sophistry. Presto, literacy can now be defined any way they want. When these Teachers of English get
through, it's a safe bet they won't spend as much time teaching English.
North Carolina Ends Pay Boosts for Teacher Master's
Degrees. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, signed a budget bill Friday that eliminates teacher tenure and — in a
rare move — gets rid of the automatic pay increase teachers receive for earning a master's degree. The legislation targets a
compensation mechanism that is common in the U.S., where teachers receive automatic pay increases for years of service and advanced degrees.
Some research has suggested those advanced degrees don't lead to improved teaching.
Unions Complaining about Digging Their
Own Grave. Republican Governor Pat McCrory just signed a bill that ends K-12 teacher tenure and ends the practice of giving teachers
an automatic raise for getting a Master's degree. Both reforms are, in my view, quite defensible. Both reforms, of course, were
vociferously opposed by the rent-seekers — or rather "the teachers." Hundreds of them turned out to show their anger.
Chicago Public Schools
to lay off 2,110 teachers, support staff. The Chicago Public Schools has announced the layoff of about 2,100 teachers and support
staff, blaming the move on the failure of the Illinois Legislature to enact pension reform.
suing to end mandatory union dues. A group of California teachers is preparing for a Supreme Court battle to overturn
forced union dues in a groundbreaking lawsuit filed in June. For nearly three decades, the Supreme Court has allowed closed-shop
unionism, in which public employees must pay dues to labor groups handling collective bargaining negotiations.
Leader: Parents Send Children to Private Schools to Avoid Contact with Lower Class. On June 25, New Jersey's Hoboken
Education Association President Gary Enrico said the reason parents send their children to private schools is so that they can avoid
contact with the poor. According to the Hoboken Patch, Enrico said, "They don't want their children in the classrooms with the
kids from applied housing or the projects."
The Editor asks...
Where does Barack Obama send his kids to school? Come to think of it, can you name one
prominent Democrat whose kids are in public schools?
Chicago Teachers Union Prez
Blames 'Rich White People'. The president of the Chicago Teachers Union charges that racism and "rich white people" are to blame
for the immense financial and educational crisis facing the Chicago Public Schools. [The] Chicago Public Schools (CPS) represent everything
that is wrong with public education in America. They are in thrall to the unions that run the system and bankrupt it through bloated
salaries and pensions while too many of the students trapped inside graduate as functional illiterates, if they graduate at all.
Lewis Points Finger At 'Rich White People'
For School Problems. A day before the first set of school closings was set to begin, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis had some
harsh words about how the Chicago Public Schools are funded and managed, blaming much of the district's problems on racism. WBBM Newsradio's Nancy
Harty reports, at a luncheon on education reform, Lewis told members of the City Club that Chicago is the most segregated city in America.
Racial violence in the classroom of a different kind.
This is a different kind of violence. The kind where teachers and kids are bullied into hearing that they are racists and their belief — and
practice of White Supremacy is responsible for the disparity in achievement between children of different races. Here is just one practitioner:
The head of the Chicago Teachers Union who blames poor Chicago schools on "rich white people."
widens between Emanuel and Chicago teachers union, pillar of Democratic support. Chicago's final decision to close 50 public
schools — the single biggest reported closure in U.S. history — has again pitted Mayor Rahm Emanuel against the
powerful teachers union. The Democratic mayor is backing the city school board's vote last week to help reduce an estimated
$1 billion budget shortfall by closing the under-attended elementary schools and programs.
Kansas Law Lets
Teachers Choose Political Donations. A labor expert says a new Kansas law adopted this month promotes teachers' freedom to
make informed political choices. Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2022 into law on April 1, enacting a policy
often referred to as "paycheck protection" for all Kansas employees.
teachers sue NEA over forced $1,000 union dues. Ten California schoolteachers on Tuesday sued the National Education
Association and California Teachers Association to escape mandatory union fees in a case that piggybacks on a 2012 Supreme Court
ruling against forced union dues. The teachers, represented by the Washington-based Center for Individual Rights, claim that
California's so-called "agency shop" law violates their free speech and free assembly rights and forces them to cough up $1,000 to
pay for the union's mostly Democratic political activities.
Non-Union Teachers Sue Unions Over Coercive Political Funding. The Center for Individual Rights, a public interest legal
group in Washington, D.C., filed the lawsuit Tuesday [4/30/2013] in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los
Angeles on behalf of 10 teachers from California and the Christian Educators Association. "The union spends millions of
teachers' hard-earned monies supporting causes and candidates that many of us oppose," said Rebecca Friedrichs, one of the plaintiffs,
in a statement. "The union is free to press its agenda, but individual teachers should not be forced to pay for it.
It is shocking to me and many other teachers that union officials have the power by law to spend our wages to press for causes that
many of us oppose on moral, fiscal, or philosophical grounds."
Late Union President's
Astonishing $800K Theft. When former Auburn Teachers Association (ATA) president Sally Jo Widmer passed away last November
after more than 35 years at the helm of the small New York teachers' union, former Auburn mayor Guy Cosentino eulogized her as "a true
union leader who put her union first and personal niceties second." That's because Cosentino didn't have access to her checkbook.
Members were informed this week that Widmer misappropriated at least $800,000 in union dues during the period 2006-2012.
Billionaires, Rappers, and Former Lobbyists Give to OFA.
[Scroll down] Disclosed donors include hedge fund billionaire S. Donald Sussman and real-estate mogul Wayne Jordan, contributing at least $50,000 each.
Both have been supporters of the Democracy Alliance, an organization backed by major progressive donors that steers donor dollars to dark-money groups that disclose very
little about their funding sources. Michael Kempner, chairman of the lobbying firm MWW, also gave at least $50,000 to OFA. [...] The organization also accepted a
$15,466 in-kind contribution for office space from the National Education Association, which is where OFA has been headquartered.
School for scandal. The seven were nicknamed "the
chosen" and, according to Georgia state investigator Richard Hyde, the less than magnificent seven sat in a locked room without windows,
erasing wrong answers and inserting correct ones. It's one thing for a child to cheat on a test; it's quite another for teachers to
do it. Compounding the cheating scandal is that the children in this elementary school are mostly poor and African-American.
How are they helped to develop a moral sense, not to mention an academic foundation that will lift them out of poverty, if they get the
message that cheating is better than achieving?
The Atlanta Cheating Scandal.
The news that an Atlanta schools chief spearheaded a vast criminal conspiracy among administrators and teachers to cheat on standardized
tests to artificially boost the scores of their pupils is as depressing as it is unsurprising. And it reinforces my belief that merit
pay systems for teachers that are rigidly tied to student test scores are a terrible idea, even if school districts are using very
sophisticated value-added analysis.
ObamaCare Bites Unionized
Educators. Union representatives are now sending their members letters stating that "the Affordable Care Act [aka ObamaCare]
has defined full time as anyone working over 30 hours a week or 130 hours a month." Many of these hardworking and
well-meaning local labor representatives, who were duped — I mean, told by the American Federation of Teachers Union (AFT) that
Obama was the one who would bring all good things to pass — now find themselves in an untenable position.
Teachers Union President Recommends Lying to Parents! Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis made an eyebrow-raising
recommendation at an education conference that took place earlier this week, doling out "tips" that she said really work. One of
the suggestions? Lie to parents. [Video clip]
Unions Panic as Scott Walker Moves to Expand School Vouchers. There is a reason why teachers' unions oppose standardized
ratings. Hard numbers highlight performance and mandate reforms. Scott Walker is proposing to give parents an exit strategy from
broken schools, but those broken schools are the bread and butter of the Educrats who can use their failures as bottomless money pits.
Legacy: $310 Million in Direct Campaign Spending Since 2000. Almost $53.4 million came from NEA national headquarters,
while another $257.1 million was spent by affiliates. More than 47.3 percent of that total — almost
$147 million — was spent in California or on behalf of California ballot measures and candidates. The union
spent more than $92.3 million on candidates and party committees. About 86.3% of those were Democrat-affiliated,
and 11.5% were Republican-affiliated.
The Blob That Ate Children. Shortly after
I did my first TV special on education, "Stupid in America," hundreds of union teachers showed up outside my office to yell at me.
They were angry because I said union rules were a big reason American kids don't learn. The union is a big reason kids don't
like school and learn less. Union contracts limit flexibility, limit promotion of good teachers, waste money and make it hard for
principals to fire even terrible teachers. But I was wrong to imply that the union is the biggest problem. In states with weak
unions, K-12 schools stagnate, too. Education reformers have a name for the resistance: the education "Blob."
education failure. According to RAND Corp., as late as the 1970s California's public schools still had an "excellent"
reputation. Then, in 1975, Brown (in his first stint as California's governor) signed the Rodda Act, giving government unions
the power to take money directly out of government employees' paychecks. The California Teachers Association quickly poured
this new revenue stream into an organizing drive, more than doubling the union's ranks. The Golden State's politics have never
been the same since — nor has the quality of its public schools.
How Alabama is on the verge
of breaking one of the nation's most powerful teachers' unions. For much of the last four decades, the Alabama Education
Association has risen to become one of the most powerful teachers' unions in the country. As odd as it may seem in a dark red
state, over the years long-time AEA executive director Paul Hubbert, oftentimes described as the "shadow governor" of Alabama, has
earned his union the distinction of being one of the most politically involved organizations of its type in the country.
Largest Teachers' Union Endorses Racist Anti-Semite for City Council. Ron Gochez [...] is affiliated with racist groups
such as MEChA, La Raza and the African People's Socialist Party. And he also has a history of saying racist things.
Chicago Teachers Union demands end of
standardized testing. The Chicago Teachers Union urged school administrators nationwide to discontinue the use of standardized tests,
deriding them as corporate tools. The CTU recently released a report arguing that standardized tests are a faulty measure of student achievement.
They also advance a pro-corporate agenda, the report said.
teacher pension fund sells stock in gun makers, but keeps the profits. The pension fund for New York City teachers
made a bit of a political statement when it announced today that it had sold its stock in gun-makers. "This is the right
thing to do," said Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers. "After the tragedy at Sandy Hook, we, as
educators, had to make sure that guns were not part of our holdings." But with those stocks having seen a huge run-up
over the last two years, the fund is perfectly happy to keep profits that came due to record gun sales.
reform 'parent trigger' wins in Los Angeles, deals blow to teachers union. The Los Angeles Board of Education
signed off on a parent-led plan to turn a failing public school over to a private charter company this week — the
city's first use of the controversial "parent trigger" law. The 5-1 vote granted parents in downtown Los Angeles
final approval to convert 24th Street Elementary School into a charter school. The new school will be better
equipped to handle demographic changes to the area, parents said.
Pay Up or Get Sued. The president of Michigan's largest union is
instructing officials to prepare to sue its own members, according to a leaked memo issued after the state adopted right-to-work laws in
December. Steven Cook, president of the Michigan Education Association, circulated an email to local unions officials and staff
instructing them to monitor revenue streams in light of the right-to-work laws, which are set to go into effect on March 27,
2013. The law allows workers to opt out of union membership unless they have an existing contract with their employer.
Bill Ayers to Keynote
National Teacher Conference in February. Left-wing '60s radical and onetime domestic terrorist Bill Ayers will be a keynote
speaker at the Association of Teacher Educators annual conference in Atlanta next month. Ayers gained notoriety alongside his wife
Bernardine Dohrn as a member of the Weather Underground during the Vietnam War. He was involved in Chicago's "Days of Rage" riot
in 1969 and went underground as a fugitive from justice after an accidental Greenwich Village townhouse explosion in 1970 killed three
Weather Underground members who were preparing a bomb that prematurely detonated.
Ayers a keynote speaker next month at the Association of Teacher Educators conference. The Association of Teacher Educators
has recruited Chicago professor — and former domestic terrorist — William Ayers to speak at their the 2013 Annual
Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia which will be held next month. William Ayers, a co-founder of the radical Weather Underground domestic
terror group, was a key figure during the 2008 presidential campaign due to his Chicago ties to then-Senator Obama.
Maryland teachers union wants
nonmembers to pay fee. Maryland's largest teachers union wants school employees who aren't members of a union to pay union fees.
Del. Sheila Hixson, D-Montgomery County, will introduce a bill on behalf of the Maryland State Education Association to require nonunion
educators to pay a so-called fair share fee to unions equivalent to about 68 percent of the local dues.
leader jokes about killing the rich. Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, recently
gave a speech that joked about the possibility of union members killing the wealthy. The speech, delivered to the
Illinois Labor History Society on Dec. 2, attracted attention this week after video of the event surfaced online.
Chicago teachers union
president on the rich: 'Off with their heads!' From the leader of the unfailing public servants who brought you 350,000 Chicago
students abandoned for two weeks, comes this gem.
Laughs, Applauds Chicago Teachers Union President After She Jokes About Beheading The Rich. Controversy erupted at the
Illinois Labor History Society's "Salute to Labor's Historic Heroes from the History Makers of Today" conference when Karen Lewis, president
of the Chicago Teachers Union, drew applause and laughs for suggesting that a past generation of labor leaders preferred to resolve disputes
Laughs as Chicago Teachers Union President Talks About Killing the Rich. [Video clip]
CWA, NAACP, GreenPeace Meet to End Voter ID, End Filibuster. Those in the meeting pledged BIG MONEY to supposedly remove
BIG MONEY from the politics they are trying so hard to dominate. The whole affair is known as the "Democracy Initiative." [...] Members
of the NEA, America's teachers, are apparently okay with the Democracy Initiative. If you haven't pulled your kids out of public schools,
make the sacrifice and do it.
America Has Begun to Reap What It Has Sown. [#7] Our first priority when it comes to schools is catering to the teachers'
unions, not educating our kids; then we're surprised at the poor quality of public education in our country. [...] [#16] We worry more about
children's self-esteem than their performance; then we're surprised when college kids aren't ready for the working world.
Teachers union spends millions from membership
dues on parties and conferences. Included in the United Federation of Teachers' $166.5 million in spending last year was a hefty
$33.4 million in salary for union staffers — a slight increase from the year prior. More than 90 staffers earned
six-figure salaries between July 2011 and June 2012, the records show — including President Michael Mulgrew, who took home $275,000.
Boss: What's the Rush on Increasing Teacher Quality?. Teacher quality is indeed a major issue that must be addressed. But
that process will be painfully slow as long as there are union leaders who fight accountability every step of the way.
Power Hungry: Teachers' Union Wants
To Administer Standardized Teachers' Test. As Republicans are painfully reminded, progressives thrive on deception. Throw public
sector unions into the mix and the worst aspects of Chicago-style cronyism and pay-to-play politics inevitably surface. Add national teachers'
unions, and the potential for a previously unimaginable pay-to-play scam — a scam conservatives might blindly and reflexively
support — becomes all too real.
Moving from an
Emboldened Left in 2012 to a Legal Insurrection in 2013. During my lifetime, there has always been an undercurrent of collusion
between our public school systems and anti-America, anti-freedom philosophies. But they are now emboldened to profess the alliance in
Only 7% of Detroit Public-School 8th Graders
are Proficient in Reading. In the public schools in Detroit, Mich., according to the U.S. Department of Education, only 7 percent of
the eighth graders are grade-level proficient or better in reading. Some public school teachers in the City of Detroit and around the state of
Michigan are reportedly taking a vacation or a sick day today [12/11/2012] to protest right-to-work legislation likely to be approved by the state
legislature. Under current law, Michigan public school teachers must pay dues to the teachers' union. If the right-to-work law is enacted,
Michigan public-school teachers will be free to join the union and pay dues to it if they wish, but they will also be free not to join the union and
not to pay it dues.
NEA, SEIU and AFSCME in Secret
Negotiations. The National Education Association is working more closely than ever before with its counterparts in organized
labor. NEA, SEIU and AFSCME teamed up to fund a series of ads targeting key lawmakers in the fiscal cliff negotiations and they are the
driving force behind today's [12/10/2012] "day of action" rallies in a number of cities.
Millionaires, Billionaires, and
Teachers. The main reason the US Post Office, the federal government and many state and local governments face unsustainable
debt, bankruptcy and default is due to the costs of public employee pensions. GM went bankrupt largely due to the costs of its retirees'
pensions and benefits. [...] Meanwhile, retired public school teachers, who had to work 9 months of the year during their careers, now
pull in checks 12 months a year, indexed for inflation and guaranteed by the government, in amounts that often make them millionaires,
maybe twice over.
A New Low From
The California Federation Of Teachers: Urine Indoctrination. If anything raises questions about the fitness of the California Federation
of Teachers to be around kids, just look at its new video pushing class warfare doctrine by graphically depicting "the rich" urinating on the poor.
The angry, hate-filled cartoon video was placed right up top on the California Federation of Teachers' website, where children could see it, if it's not
already being shown in classrooms.
Teachers Union VP Busted Participating in Midwest Marxism Conference. While a guest on a local Chicago radio show, Chicago
Teachers Union (CTU) VP Jesse Sharkey was questioned over his recent participation in the Midwest Marxism Conference and refused to answer
why he was there and what relationship the Chicago Teachers Union has with the conference and sponsoring organization, the International
And They Lived Happily Ever
After. Today's big controversy is the cartoon produced by the California Federation of Teachers and narrated by actor
Ed Asner. It's called Tax the rich: An animated fairy tale, and it contains all the wit and charm you would expect
from a video produced by a team of CFT apparatchiki.
California Teachers Union Video Features 'Rich' Urinating On 'Poor'. A new video
produced by the California Federation of Teachers — which could be playing in your child's classroom as we speak —
drums up the typical class warfare images we've come to expect from Big Labor.
Fighting the Good Conservative Fight.
The political contributions of the two largest education unions, the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers
(AFT), tell the story. From 1989-2012, the NEA donated $49,769,888 to political campaigns. 64 percent of those donations went to
Democrats, 4 percent to Republicans. The AFT donated $38,218,968 to political campaigns. 81 percent went to Democrats, and
0 percent went to Republicans. This blatantly symbiotic relationship between those entrusted with educating American
schoolchildren and the Democrat party has been in place for decades.
Just How Potent Are Teacher
Unions? Education today employs more unionized staff than any other industry, public or private. Between them, the National
Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) have some 4.6 million members, a combination of active teachers and
other public-school employees, college faculty and staff, retirees, and students. (Meanwhile, membership rates in private-sector unions
continue to fall, from 37 percent in 1952 to 6 percent in 2011.) Teacher unions are enormous, no doubt about it. But does
big mean strong?
Teachers Union Rank-and-File Reps Refuse to Endorse Obama. So much for finding favor with the hometown crowd. President
Obama managed to gain an endorsement from the Chicago Teachers Union last week, but it took some quick maneuvering by the union's executive
committee to make it happen [...]
Irony: Teachers Union
Hosts Party at National Crime Museum. The Illinois Education Association chose an odd location for a party in Washington, D.C. in July:
the National Museum of Crime and Punishment. A new financial report filed with the federal Department of Labor reveals the union spent $11,008 on
the event, EAGnews.org found. [...] That wasn't the only odd news revealed by the government report. While rank-and-file union members struggle to
make ends meet working for many smaller school districts, IEA president Cinda Klickna saw a big boost in compensation over last year. She
raked in $220,359 — a whopping 23 percent increase.
Schools Close So Teachers Can Play with Dolls, Learn About Teaching Islam. Each year, Minnesota government schools close for two days
(just before the weekend, of course) so teachers' union members can gather at a conference organized by their union. [...] The union describes it this
way: "Used around the world, persona dolls are lifelike dolls with personalities and stories you create. The dolls become members of your
classroom community and children learn by empathizing with the dolls and giving them heartfelt advice on the same kinds of situations they struggle
with daily in the classroom and on the playground." That's weird. Teachers are taking time away from the classroom to learn how to play
with dolls? The conference also includes a workshop on how to teach about Islam.
Proposition 32: Ending Union Dominance Of California Politics. Is union money distorting California electoral politics? Many
think so. After all, public sector and trade unions are among the biggest donors in California elections. In the years 2000-2010 the
California Teachers Association (CTA) was the single largest contributor to California politics, giving twice as much as the second-largest
contributor, the California State Council of Service Employees.
Why unions fear this
film. Union protesters demonstrated outside the premiere of the new pro-education reform movie "Won't Back Down." [...] In an
outraged public letter, the head of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, complained that the movie traffics in "the most
blatant stereotypes and caricatures I have ever seen." Really? Weingarten must never have seen a World War II movie, or a
film featuring a hooker with a heart of gold, or pretty much any romantic comedy.
Online Schools Becoming
More Popular, Despite Union Resistance. Online schools, and other forms of digital learning, are an inevitable and promising form of
education for the 21st Century, unless special interest forces are able to keep technology from becoming more integrated into everyday education.
Professor Gary Miron of the National Education Policy Center is a leading voice for those special interests, which include teachers unions and the
education establishment in general.
Obama's America: Student Reading
SAT Scores Hit Record Lows. No doubt the Obama administration will combat this problem by complaining about racial discrepancies
in education and suggesting pouring billions more down the rathole that is the public education system — all the while avoiding
scrutiny for teachers unions. That's the all-purpose liberal solution: cash, cash, and more cash.
Teachers unions will pay a price for the
Chicago strike. In the wake of the strike by the Chicago Teachers Union, many people wonder what the union is complaining about.
After all, Chicago teachers make an average of $76,000 for a nine-month year, 60 percent higher than the average annual income for a family in
Chicago and 58 percent more than the average yearly pay for a Chicagoan with a bachelor's degree. They get a huge package of benefits on
top of that.
School Leaders Don't Know How They're Going to Pay for the New Contract! The successful business leaders that sit on the Chicago Board of
Education must have checked their brains at the door when they went into the negotiating room with the teachers union. How else could they possibly
negotiate a contract that the school district can't possibly afford?
Illinois on the hook for $670 million more in
teacher pensions for next budget. The state will have to come up with another $670 million for the teacher pension system in the next
budget after a retirement fund panel crunched the numbers and adjusted its assumptions. The Teachers' Retirement System lowered what it expects from
investments from 8.5 percent to 8 percent. The pension fund's leadership also increased a variety of other assumptions, including how long
it expects retired teachers to live. The fund covers teachers outside Chicago.
Useless, Costly Teacher's Unions.
[Scroll down] Heartland's S.T. Karnick, Director of Research, noted that "The average teacher salary in Chicago is $74,839, plus
benefits far better than those available in the private sector. Yet Chicago Public Schools are among the nation's worst, which is saying
a lot." According their own data, Chicago's public schools "failed to make adequate yearly progress in student achievement last
year. Children in the city's private and charter schools do much better at a fraction of the cost."
Union strikes, publishes Gloria Steinem endorsement. Just after the Chicago Teachers Union released a statement on its
website declaring their intent to strike Monday morning [9/10/2012], the union published a solidarity statement from feminist and
honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America Gloria Steinem as the top item on their website.
Public Schools offer 16-percent raise to teachers seeking 35-percent hike. While the cash-strapped Chicago Public
Schools have offered a 16-percent raise over four years to its striking union, the Chicago Teacher Union has requested a 35-percent
pay hike and a guaranteed call-back of any educator who was laid off. Fox News confirmed those reports by The Daily Caller
and Time.com as Mitt Romney and his surrogates accused President Obama of quietly giving Chicago teachers the green-light to strike
as the historic standoff affecting nearly 400,000 students entered its second day.
the bragging teachers' union chief who has brought Chicago schools to a standstill with strike. The union chief
leading 26,000 public school teachers out on strike in Chicago bragged last year about 'smoking lots of weed' at college and
mocked the lisp of President Barack Obama's Education Secretary. Speaking at a North West Teaching for Social Justice
conference in Seattle, Washington in October 2011, Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union, pacing up and down a
stage, delivered a sarcastic tirade.
Chicago Bled Dry by
Striking Teachers' Unions. The coverage of the strike has obscured some basic facts. The money has
continued to pour into Chicago's failing public schools in recent years. Chicago teachers have the highest average
salary of any city at $76,000 a year before benefits. The average family in the city only earns $47,000 a year. Yet
the teachers rejected a 16 percent salary increase over four years at a time when most families are not getting any raises
or are looking for work.
Chi-Town Shakedown. Though
they are already among the best-paid educators in the country, making an average of $76,000 per year in salary — plus
benefits — the union is unsatisfied with an offer from the city's board of education that provides them a 16 percent
raise over four years, worth a total of $400 million.
Chicago teacher can't even spell neighborhood
right. CTU believes in 'NEIBORHOOD' schools ... but can't even spell 'neighborhood.' Yet one of their main
reasons for striking is because, even though they've just been given a 16% pay increase ... they don't want a condition requiring
teacher performance. As is glaringly obvious, we can all see why.
The Machine: The Truth Behind
Teachers Unions. Here is a great video showing why teachers unions — and public employee unions in
general — should be illegal.
Strike, Just Another Corrupt Union Powergrab. The CTU wants a 30% pay raise and they want class sizes to be made smaller.
For his part, Mayor Emanuel is saying that teachers union reps are fighting his desire to allow local school administrators do the hiring
of any new teachers (because they know better what they need) but the union is insisting that they do the hiring. The
union also rejected a 16% pay raise offered by the city — itself an absurdly high number that shouldn't have been offered
in the first place.
Teachers Union Strike: Che Shirts, Anarchists Flags and Students as Props. To get their message across, these
protesters brought hundreds of Chicago Public School students to march and chant on behalf of the teachers. [...] When questioned,
the teachers who were leading their students in the march replied that it is appropriate to bring children — some as young as
seventh grade — out to the protest, "because it affects their future."
The anti-dissing strike. Let's get one thing
straight: the Chicago Teachers Union strike isn't about what's best for kids, no matter how much unionists insist it is.
It is ultimately about bruised egos, and staying unaccountable. That reality is made clear by the regular refrain of Randi
Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, of which the CTU is an affiliate.
The Chicago teachers strike is a Democratic feud.
This strike is about teachers unions testing their boundaries with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. They're hitting back at him for what
they perceive to be the anti-union hardline position he took shortly after assuming office last year. More importantly, the strike
is about something that isn't often discussed in the media or in politics: Democrats are divided on education reform.
Unelected Unions. New hires do not get asked if they want union representation.
They must accept it as a condition of employment, inheriting the representatives that previous employees voted for. Almost all union members received general representation this
way. Look at General Motors. The United Auto Workers organized GM in 1937. None of the union's current Michigan members voted for it. Their fathers or
grandfathers did. Or consider New York City public schools. The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) organized the school system in 1961. Everyone who voted in that
election has retired, but the UFT still represents every teacher in the district.
$100k 'public relations' payment from teachers union, Media Matters attacked Fox News. A document the National Education
Association filed with the U.S. Department of Labor in 2011 indicates that the teachers union donated $100,000 to Media Matters For
America nearly two years ago, describing it as a payment for "public relations costs." In the months that followed, Media Matters'
online coverage of teachers unions increased, focusing largely on attacking the Fox News Channel and other media outlets it considers
"conservative" in nature.
Teachers' Union Calls Black School Choice Group 'Pro-KKK'. On Thursday [8/30/2012], in the shadow of the hurricane
barreling down on the region, the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, a large teachers' union, launched an attack on the state's
chapter of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, a nonprofit organization working to improve black educational achievement
through education reform and school choice. On its official Twitter account, the teachers' union ludicrously alleged that
BAEO supports a "pro KKK curriculum," and sent out the statement to various followers.
Claims Black School Choice Group Supports KKK. A major state-level teachers union accused a group promoting school
choice for African-American families of supporting the notorious white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan in a series of statements
on Thursday [8/30/2012]. The Louisiana Federation of Teachers accused the Louisiana Black Alliance for Educational Options
(BAEO) of advancing a "pro-KKK agenda," in the words of one tweet sent from the union's official Twitter account. Another
claimed that the group "endorses teaching that the KKK is good."
California Teachers Assn. a powerful force in Sacramento.
The union, backed by an army of 325,000 teachers and a war chest as sizable as those of the major political parties, can make or break all sorts of deals.
Campbell Brown fights against NYC Teachers' Union.
Ex-CNN anchor Campbell Brown has joined New York City's Mayor Bloomberg in combating the United Federation of Teachers and American Federation of Teachers over
the handling of teachers who are accused of sexually charged misbehavior.
Teachers' Unions in Action. In fact, the
LEA [Louisiana Association of Educators] is now in full attack mode. Its lawyers faxed threatening notices to 100 of the
119 schools in the voucher program, warning them that their clients (the union thugs) intend to use "whatever means necessary" to
make the schools bar voucher students. "By any means necessary" — BAMN, as it is known to devotees of radical
causes — is code language for confrontational action, including violence if necessary. The LEA will start by suing
all 100 schools, many of them small private schools catering to poor children. The LEA, flush with fat union
dues, is well-positioned to legally harass these schools, whose resources are limited.
to sign changes to NJ teacher tenure law. Gov. Chris Christie is scheduled to a sign a bill to make tenure protections harder to earn for
teachers — and easier to lose.
Education Association Shows Its Politics. The most powerful union of government employees is the National Education Association,
which held this year's annual national convention, as usual, over the Fourth of July weekend, attracting 9,000 delegates. To no one's
surprise, it resembled a re-election campaign rally for Barack Obama, with the pressure on delegates to identify themselves as EFO, Educators
for Obama. Many delegates wore Obama campaign buttons and T-shirts and sported banners with messages such as "You are our knight in
shining armor." The official NEA newspaper, called RA Today and published every day during the week-long convention, featured a very
political full-page endorsement of Obama headlined "Do your part and pledge to be an educator for Obama today!"
Teachers Unions Go to Bat for Sexual Predators .
In the last five years in New York City, 97 tenured teachers or school employees have been charged by the Department of Education with
sexual misconduct. Among the charges substantiated by the city's special commissioner of investigation — that is, found to have
sufficient merit that an arbitrator's full examination was justified — in the 2011-12 school year.
Teachers Union President Blames Woes on Class, Race. The Chicago School system is rapidly collapsing. Its graduation rate is a
horrid 56 percent, its finances are in tatters, and even though the Chicago Teachers Union was offered a 10 to 15 percent raise, CTU
officials still want to strike claiming it isn't enough. So, what went wrong? CTU President says it's all because of Chicago's "lower
class students" and "students of color."
NEA Expects to Spend
$25 Million on State Political Campaigns. Each year, each member of the National Education Association contributes $20 to two
segregated funds. Eight dollars goes to the Media Fund, which uses it for issue advertising and promotion both nationally and in
the form of grants to state affiliates. Twelve dollars is deposited into the Ballot Measures/Legislative Crises Fund, which contributes to
statewide ballot initiative campaigns in states that have them, and legislative advocacy in states that don't. The BMLC fund is the
primary source of NEA's political campaign spending at the state level.
Teachers' union kills a Democratic bill to remove criminals from
California's classrooms. Early this year, Los Angeles police arrested Mark Berndt, a longtime teacher at Miramonte
Elementary School, on 23 counts of committing lewd acts on children between the ages of seven and ten. The sickening
details of the crimes Berndt is charged with committing horrified the community and the state. More stories about California
teachers accused of sexual misconduct with children have now surfaced. The Berndt case casts new light on the tortuous legal
process that makes it nearly impossible for schools to rid themselves of even these depraved teachers. Perversely, the case
also shows the extent to which teachers' unions will go to protect their prerogatives.
Union Boss Turned Old Light Bulbs Into a $574,000 Vacation Home. I've been combing through the arrest warrant for Pat
Santeramo, the former president of the Broward Teachers Union (BTU) who was charged with 20 counts of fraud, racketeering and
other stuff. It makes for fascinating reading.
Teachers Unions Give Broadly.
What do the American Ireland Fund, the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network have in common?
All have received some of the more than $330 million that America's two largest teachers unions spent in the past five years
on outside causes, political campaigns, lobbying and issue education. [...] Some of the spending that the two teachers unions
identified to the Labor Department as "political and lobbying" activities from fiscal 2007 through fiscal 2011 went to election
consultants, voter mobilization and advertising. Additional millions went to PACs that donate almost entirely to Democratic
candidates and committees.
Convention Doesn't Reflect Mainstream Teacher Values. While most Americans were enjoying a festive Independence
Day last week, the National Education Association was holding their annual convention in Washington, D.C. Beaten down after
another solid year of negative press, declining membership, and legislative and legal battles, the NEA convention took on a
hyper-partisan tone best reserved for partisan political rallies. [...] Despite a record level of spending in America, students
from 16 countries are outperforming their American counterparts. To top it all off, educators are losing confidence in
teacher unions in record numbers. This is not the recipe for a well-educated public — and stakeholders are
GOP teachers balk at
Obama-centric NEA convention. It had all the trappings of a re-election rally: thousands packing a convention
center, Barack Obama T-shirts, videos celebrating the health care law, and a wall-size banner with encouraging messages to the
Expelled from School District. The trouble with education in this country starts and ends with unions. They are
out-of-touch museum relics, fitting for a day that used rotary presses to distribute the news, but wildly inappropriate for an age
that's both wired and wireless. Unions have prevented, and continue to prevent, much-needed reforms in education, public finance
and government. They cultivate a sense of entitlement wholly out of order for the times, which call for more self-reliance and
Pols set to block teacher
ratings' release. The [New York] state Legislature is likely to pass a last ditch bill that would prevent the release
of teacher evaluations, while letting parents see the ratings only of their kids' instructors.
School system lays off "Teacher of the Year".
A California woman who was named her school district's "Teacher of the Year" has a new title — "job seeker." The district
laid off Michelle Apperson along with thousands of other educators across the state. California has a budget crisis and this is how
officials are dealing with it.
The Editor says...
You might be saying to yourself, "That doesn't make any sense. Why would they do that? And the answer is ... the teachers' union!
'Teacher of the Year' Fired for Lack of Union
Seniority. It doesn't matter anymore how good you are at your job if you live in the failing state of California; if you're on a lower
rung of the ladder in terms of seniority, you're toast. Michelle Apperson, a teacher at the Sutterville Elementary School in Sacramento who was
named "teacher of the year" by the school district, was fired because she was outranked in seniority.
Union Workers are not Scientists.
Public union workers were never supposed to make more than the people in the private sector. They bought into the low wages of public jobs
for the security. High school teachers are not rocket scientists. They are people making a compromise with excellence in order to get a
regular pay check. Only now their paychecks have been extended beyond where they should be. Plus union workers are getting pensions
coming out of their ears so that they cannot hear their own greed, their own excessive demands, their own lack of talent and competitiveness.
union president brags about pushing Walker recall in schools. Anyone who claims that teachers unions exist to improve
public education is misinformed or lying. The unions have become blatantly political organizations that spend most of their
time and resources trying to maintain their domination of public schools and school budgets.
Teachers Unions Have a Popularity
Problem. In our latest annual national survey, we found that the share of the public with a positive view of union
impact on local schools has dropped by seven percentage points in the past year. Among teachers, the decline was an even more
remarkable 16 points.
NEA: Poverty Pimp #1. The nation's education woes began about forty years
ago — right at the time the NEA became a major force in education. Certainly other social trends have contributed to the educational morass we
find ourselves in, but the National Education Association, the nation's #1 poverty pimp, is the main reason for it — all the time using young children
as pawns while vigorously pursuing its political agenda. Despite all the warm and fuzzy platitudes they spew, it is obvious that the teachers unions are not
terribly interested in the education of our children or helping them get out of poverty.
Black Teen Run Off the Liberal
Plantation. [Scroll down] Certainly the NEA and other teacher unions have had their share of disagreements with
the incumbent president. Yet their ranks are foursquare behind his re-election ideologically and financially.
City teachers reject evaluations.
A delegation of teachers from the Buffalo Public Schools voted overwhelmingly Thursday [4/19/2012] to reject a proposal for
evaluating teacher performance at six troubled schools, and the president of their union vowed to hold the state responsible
should it withhold funds to the district. "We're not giving up," Buffalo Teachers Federation President Philip Rumore
said after a nearly three-hour meeting of the union's council of delegates at the Hearthstone Manor in Depew.
Teacher upset she can't retire at 47.
Terri List says she would tell her students not to become a teacher in Michigan. Why? One of the
reasons is because the Saginaw Township Community School District English teacher won't be able to retire at
age 47 as she has hoped. List was highlighted by the Michigan Education Association as one of the
critics of Senate Bill 1040, which would require public school employees to contribute at least 5 percent
of their compensation to their retirement plan.
NYC Teachers Union Reinstates Alleged Molesters.
What are parents to do when their child comes home from school with stories about "this creepy guy in my class" — and it turns
out to be the teacher?
Teachers Suffering From Paycheck ADHD.
It was striking to me how many of the hostile teachers complained about dealing with children. It's like a surgeon griping about cutting people open.
Kids are unruly, there are too many of them, they clutter up the hallways, they turn in papers that need to be graded. According to those emails, working
conditions rivaled that of a Chinese iPad assembly line worker. With long hours, oppressive supervision and no noodles for lunch.
Teachers' Unions Trained by Well-Funded Alinsky Group. Breitbart.com has learned that teachers in Wisconsin have been
attending routine training workshops with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), a radical organization founded by Saul Alinsky in
1940. In a video produced by the MacIver Institute, organizers are seen arriving at a March 17 training session with the
Wisconsin Education Association Council, Wisconsin's state teachers union.
Still the Alinsky Playbook.
[Saul Alinsky's] enduring influence may have been to inspire the National Education Association to become a political powerhouse.
Sam Lambert, the executive secretary of the NEA in 1967, when it hired Alinsky as a political trainer, boasted that it would "become a
political power second to no other special interest." The NEA delivered on that promise.
Hellbent on blaming the
messenger. The teachers and various free-lance agitators attacked The [New York] Post for publishing Department of
Education ratings revealing that several educators scored a big, fat zero. Their response? How dare anyone know this!
Opt for Plastic Sugery on Taxpayers' Dime. The health plan for teachers union members in Buffalo, NY apparently includes
liposuction and nose jobs — and we pay for all of it. ... Now, we all love our teachers. But the fact is that teachers
unions — and the contracts they negotiate with the politicians they elect — are greedy, cash-sucking vampires.
The union comes first, education second.
Teachers Cancel Class to Protest Education Reform Bill. Canceling class "will allow teachers to travel to
Baton Rouge for hearings on Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to make sweeping changes in public schools," the Baton Rouge Advocate
reports. But the teachers are going to protest, not merely to hear the legislature debate the reforms. And
they are going to the state capital with union support.
These Are The
Worst Teachers In New York City. After a prolonged legal battle, the New York City Department of
Education on Friday [2/24/2012] released individual performance rankings for 18,000 public school teachers.
The data rates teachers based on their students' gains on the state's math and English exams over five years in
fourth- through eighth-grade classrooms, according to the Wall Street Journal's Lisa Fleisher. The teachers'
union had filed a lawsuit to stop the data from being released, but last week a judge sided with the city and
ruled that it could be made public.
Teacher Ratings Set to Be Released, Union Opens Campaign to Discredit Them. The New York City Education
Department will release the ratings of thousands of teachers on Friday [2/24/2012], ending a nearly year-and-a-half-long
legal battle by the teachers' union to keep the names confidential.
free ride. Everywhere you turn, incredible people are doing amazing things. Then there are the
teachers unions. To cut through the complexities of the deals the unions made with Mayor Bloomberg and Gov.
Cuomo, consider this: Under the terms, no public-school teacher in New York state can be fired for
incompetence until June — of 2014!
over school closings: Jackson says 'apartheid' exists in system. The Rev. Jesse Jackson and members of the
Chicago Teachers Union called on the board to table a vote and put off any closings and turnarounds until it addresses funding
inequalities between poor and affluent schools. ... As he waited in line this morning [2/22/2012] to attend the meeting, Jackson
said inequities in Chicago's public school system amount to educational "apartheid," echoing sentiments expressed in a
Chicago Teachers Union report last week.
on civility: The crowd of more than 2,000 — bloated by swarms of Occupiers and their
teachers-union promoters — shouted down any opposition via a standard Occupy trick, the so-called
"peoples' microphone," in which one speaker's words are picked up and relayed in short phrases. Naturally,
four-letter words flew. The goal was to thwart a legal and democratic process through disruption and
Union Staffers Set Sail on 7-Day Caribbean Cruise. Following an "Advocacy Retreat" with the theme
"Building Our Unionism," members set sail on a 7-day cruise from Miami on February 5th "with stops at Cozumel,
Grand Cayman Island and Isla Roatan." Sounds fun! Guess what union staff? There are going to be
cameras all over the ship documenting your every move — from every Fuzzy Navel to every game of shuffle
board. Just think how your rank-and-file members might appreciate seeing all the "fun in the sun" you're
having, courtesy of their dues dollars.
NEA's Plan: Keep Your 'Kids' Captive Longer. Is it wise for sixteen-year-olds to drop out of high
school? The answer is almost always no. But requiring them to remain in school five more years is
unlikely to produce good results either, since that just means more time in the same education system that
already has failed them. Keeping "kids" in school until they are legally adults may save or create
jobs in the field of public education. But that is all it is likely to accomplish.
Public Union Hero of the
Day. This is working the rules exactly as the unions have negotiated it. The rubber rooms,
by the way, were for teachers accused of questionable behavior — not the totally incompetent.
And there are plenty of totally incompetent teachers in the NYC system.
SI teacher puts himself on camera languishing in the
rubber room. This Staten Island teacher wants the world to know he is paid $75,000 a year to do nothing all day long. More than two
years after the city shut down the so-called rubber rooms that served as detention centers for teachers, Francesco Portelos sat in front of a live cam
Thursday [10/4/2012], killing time. "I want people to see where their tax dollars are going," said Portelos, 34, who taught technology at
Intermediate School 49 until last spring, when he got yanked from the classroom, he said. "I'm getting paid $75,000 to sit around."
One year on the job, 13 years in
rubber room earns perv teacher $1M. He worked just one year as a full-time teacher in New York. But he has collected
nearly $1 million for 13 years for doing almost nothing. Aryeh Eller, 46, a former music teacher at Hillcrest HS in
Queens, is the longest-sitting "rubber room" teacher in the city. He was yanked from the classroom in 1999 and confessed to
repeated sexual harassment of female students, according to a 2000 investigative report.
NYC teachers banned from classrooms who rake in millions. Three of the city's
longest-running "rubber room" teachers have raked in more than $1 million each for a decade of not
working in classrooms, and a fourth is paid a top salary — $100,049 a year —
not to teach. The Foul Four — who beat sexual-misconduct charges — can't be
fired by the Department of Education because they are entitled to job protections under state tenure
laws, which require "due process." Educators are entitled to a trial with an independent hearing
officer who decides whether any misconduct warrants termination.
"No Child Left Behind" Hasn't Worked: For decades, I've been telling my readers that the federal
government ought not to be in the education business and that constitutionalist members of Congress are duty
bound to close down the Department of Education. The Cabinet-level department was created during the
Carter administration as payback for the National Education Association's help in getting him elected.
President Reagan wanted to dump the department but was prevented from doing so by his own big-government
Rooms' Kissing Cousin: New York City's Absent Teacher Reserve Program. New York City government
schools have had some pretty outrageous policies. Rubber rooms were a great example. They were
special places created for teachers accused of crimes, incompetence and the like. Due to state tenure
laws, it actually cost less to house the failed teachers in a location where they couldn't inflict more
damage on students, than to go through the lengthy and expensive legal process necessary to fire them.
Thanks Big Labor! Now New York administrators are trying to deep-six a program created a few years ago
in the collective bargaining agreement with the United Federation of Teachers: the Absent Teacher Reserve.
Losses, Budget Cuts Continue to Plague NEA. It may take some time, and will probably happen under
cover of darkness, but soon the claim that the National Education Association represents 3.2 million members
will be adjusted downward, as the latest figures show the union's total membership at well under 3.1 million.
Pay Teachers More For Poor Student Performance? Does anyone poor-mouth their pay more than public
school teachers? A new study finds that to the contrary, teachers make 50% more than comparable private
workers. So what do taxpayers get for this premium? The short answer is poor schools, falling test
scores, high dropout-rates, foolish policies, a free ride for the academic bottom dwellers and a growing home-school
movement fleeing the system. In sum, a Big-Labor dominated system that serves itself — not the
The NEA's Progressive Turn.
Since March, when governors in Ohio and Wisconsin successfully passed bans on requiring districts to bargain collectively
with NEA and American Federation of Teachers affiliates, the NEA has taken a more militant approach to beating back reformers.
In July, the NEA successfully enacted a two-fold increase in the member dues dedicated to political campaigning. The
$10 a member increase adds another $40 million to the union's war chest, easily boosting its position as one of the
biggest donors in American politics.
day payouts for teachers. In the 43 years Bill Meisch taught in the Rockwood School District, he
rarely took a sick day. ... Meisch's unusually long tenure with Rockwood schools was a major factor in his
large payout, although two other teachers had accumulated values of $79,558 and $63,671 for unused sick days.
The average takeaway was about $24,000. In total, Rockwood spent $1.42 million to pay departing
administrators and teachers this benefit during the last school year.
NEA Down 100,000 Active Members Since 2009-10.
If the strength of the National Education Association is in its members, then the nation's largest labor union is
clearly not as strong as it once was. According to its latest figures, NEA has lost 100,000 active members
since the 2009-10 school year. Active members are working teachers, certified staff and education support
employees -- not students or retirees.
Occupy until '2025'!
Determined Occupy Wall Street demonstrators have vowed they're not leaving Zuccotti Park anytime soon, and their
online agenda suggests they mean business — with events scheduled through Oct. 26, 2025. ... The
leaderless anti-greed movement has racked up $750,000 in donations from supporters and unions and gotten space for
storage and portable toilets from the United Federation of Teachers.
Public School Teachers
Aren't Underpaid. Good teachers are crucial to a strong economy and a healthy civil society, and
they should be paid at a level commensurate with their skills. But the evidence shows that public school
teachers' total compensation amounts to roughly $1.50 for every $1 that their skills could garner in a private
Concludes Public School Teacher Salaries $120 Billion Over Market Value. Those on the left are
wont to complain that government employees are under assualt these days because GOP politicians are going after
public sector unions and generous deals they've leveraged through collective bargaining. The standard defense
of civil service workers is, yes, they might have good benefits and more job stability but these things are
necessary because public sector workers earn significantly less than private sector counterparts.
Classrooms. Fox News has reported that ... Acorn has partially recrudesced as something called
New York Communities for Change, a group aligned with teachers. The Acorn group collected funds for what
it claimed was an American Federation of Teachers fundraiser to replace dangerous lightbulbs in schools. The
money, according to Fox, went to Occupy protests instead. AFT denied any knowledge of the scam, but its
endorsement stands. The union is known for shoveling out members' dues for political activity —
$34 million in 2010 alone.
Teachers' Union Fat Cats.
There's something rather hilarious about the appearance of the nation's two largest teachers' unions at a
protest against allegedly pampered fat cats. Few organizations have managed to become so
influential — and build such vast coffers — at the expense of taxpayers and their
children. The AFT alone collected $211 million a year in dues during its 2010-2011 fiscal year
(most of it by force from the very teachers whose interests they proclaim to represent), while the far-larger
NEA pulled in $397 million during its 2009-2010 fiscal year period. ... When one adds in the revenues
collected by their affiliates, the two unions are billion-dollar organizations with budgets that match their
Boosting Teacher Morale One Reheated Casserole at a Time. Virtually no state is immune to the
red ink found in school budgets, which is a result of routine overspending. For too long, schools have
not kept spending in check. ... The nation's economy has been slipping for the past several years, forcing
school districts everywhere to reacquaint themselves with reality. Meanwhile, the unions believe they
have a restraining order against reality, and have taken to what they do best: protesting.
What if the NFL
Played by Teachers' Rules? Imagine the National Football League in an alternate reality.
Each player's salary is based on how long he's been in the league. It's about tenure, not talent.
The same scale is used for every player, no matter whether he's an All-Pro quarterback or the last man on the
roster. For every year a player's been in this NFL, he gets a bump in pay. ... If you haven't figured
it out yet, the NFL in this alternate reality is the real-life American public education system.
Lipstick on a Union
Pig. For some strange reason, some union activists prefer their organizations be referred to as
"associations," as opposed to unions. That's odd, given that the National Education Association has grabbed
the union mantle with both hands, and the American Federation of Teachers adopted the slogan "A union of
professionals." ... There's nothing professional about the NEA or AFT. They have never cared much about
teacher quality until recently, when they realized that politicians from both parties are demanding it.
Third Teachers' Union Bailout Fund Obama's Re-Election? By my estimates, about three
quarters of unionized teachers are represented by the National Education Association. Every
member pays dues, including $166 per year that goes to the national union, according to a secret
union document posted on PublicSchoolSpending.com. The White House says up to 285,000 teaching
jobs — that is, dues payers — could be saved. Given these facts, the
NEA would be looking at about $35.4 million in "saved" dues.
A secret primer
from the teachers union on how to thwart parents and stop charter schools. Almost without fail,
teachers unions respond to school reform drives by declaring their commitment to improving education collaboratively
with parents and community leaders. In one example, the United Federation of Teachers used just such an argument
in fighting in the courts of public opinion and law to block the city from closing 22 failing schools.
Now, though, an internal report produced by the political shop of the Connecticut chapter of the American
Federation of Teachers reveals the cynical falsity of the labor leaders' claims to have the best interests
of students at heart.
group endorses Obama for 2nd term. The nation's largest teachers union voted on Monday [7/4/2011]
to recommend that President Barack Obama be elected for another term. The vote from National Education
Association delegates at a meeting in Chicago was 72.03 percent, a bit down from the last time the NEA
recommended Obama in 2008, when the "yes" vote was 79.75 percent.
Price: $10 Tax for Union Teachers. It's just the latest example of far-left union reps fleecing
hard-working teachers by aligning themselves against teachers', kids' and parents' interests, in a quest for
power, money and greed. As former NEA president Bob Chase said "[The NEA has] used our power to block
uncomfortable changes, to protect the narrow interest of its members, and not to advance the interests of
students and school."
NEA convention, mixed feelings among teachers for Obama. 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.
Nebraska teachers union backs Obama.
The board of directors of Nebraska's state teachers union has voted to support President Barack Obama for
re-election in 2012.
coming teacher-union offensive. Already, national political fundraising machines are beginning
to hum and sputter toward early targets in their quest to break another election cycle's worth of spending
records. ... Along with its state affiliates, the NEA took in $1.5 billion in revenue in 2008-09, the
Education Intelligence Agency notes. Nearly all of this revenue came from member dues, and most of
the war chest will be spent seeking to increase spending and to block those school reforms deemed most
threatening to union clout.
Teachers, Untrained Substitutes. About 5.2 percent of teachers miss any given school day,
many more than in our peer countries. In Australia and Great Britain, for example, the figure is near
3 percent. The rate is also much lower among other professional employees in the U.S., around
1.7 percent. Teachers most often miss Mondays, Fridays, and the days surrounding
holidays — a pattern that suggests illness is not the main cause for their absences.
education, Hoosier-style. This year, Indiana lawmakers made dramatic improvements to the state's
K-12 education system to empower teachers and principals, put students on a path to success, use taxpayer money
more effectively and provide families with new schooling options. One of those acts reformed collective
bargaining so that only school employees' wages and benefits can be negotiated. No more will school leaders
be hamstrung by such inane contractual provisions as "faculty meetings are limited to one per month."
union: $60 million for reelect. The National Education Association, the largest education
union, is preparing for a long, tough fight to re-elect President Obama. In an interview with
POLITICO, the group's executive director, John Wilson, said he's prepared to invest resources and manpower
to reelect Obama, despite disagreements with the administration on education policy.
Trumps Wisconsin: Kills Teacher Collective Bargaining. Dead. To fix public schools, you have
to control public schools. And there's little control when teachers unions, with their self-serving
agendas, question every cost-cutting proposal and reform on the table. That's why so many state
governments have taken swift action to limit the power of organized labor in public schools.
Check" Used To Unionize Unsuspecting Mass. Teachers. Now we know why unionists were fighting so
hard for a federal "card check" law. Organizers can unionize private and public employees, forcing them
to pay hundreds in union dues, before they even know anything about it. That's the situation at the
Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School in Orleans, Massachusetts.
NAACP vs. Black
Parents. The New York state chapter of the civil rights organization and the United Federation
of Teachers, the local teachers union, have filed a lawsuit to stop the city from closing 22 of Gotham's
worst schools. ... The teachers union wants to keep these abysmal schools open to preserve jobs for their
members. This is bad enough. But the union and NAACP also want to limit better educational
options for low-income families who can't afford private schools and can't afford to move to an affluent
neighborhood with decent public schools. The union knows that in a place like New York City, where
space is at a premium, blocking charters from operating in public buildings will hamper charter growth.
Don't Believe What Teachers Tell
You. Teachers unions say California must not roll back annual increases in public school spending.
And they're not too careful about facts when they make that case. Teachers frequently claim, for example,
that California is in either 49th or 50th place among the 50 states in per-pupil spending. In fact,
the Golden State is 31st in per-pupil spending.
Antiques Preserved in Political Amber. Politicians defer to the teachers' unions; it's
national news when one doesn't. The unions protect the teachers from both competition and hard work and
all dig in their heels to prevent change to the system; it therefore plugs on unaltered. Anyone paying
attention knows that though many changes are discussed, only one change actually occurs: increased
spending. The mass production of brainwashed incompetence chugs on unimpeded.
Pays Off With Obama Teachers Union Endorsement. [Scroll down] In other words, teachers
unions want more spending, through government grants or collective bargaining, so they can increase their
salaries and get more lucrative benefits. Very little money is directed toward increasing opportunities
for students. It's simply used to reward thousands of teachers who are not getting the job done in the
classroom. The stimulus has not stimulated American education at all. But it's stimulated the
bank accounts of teachers unions, and that's really all they care about.
Union Takes First Step Toward Endorsing Obama 2012. The National Education Association — which
represents 3.2 million teachers and education professionals across the country — took its first step
Thursday [5/5/2011] toward endorsing Barack Obama for president in 2012, TPM has learned. The NEA is the country's
largest union, and the news makes it the first to signal formal support for Obama's reelection bid.
The Education plantation.
[Scroll down] From 1989-2010, 81 and 90 percent of campaign contributions made by the two largest education
unions in the country, the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
respectively, have gone to that party. In return, Democrats fight tooth and nail to prevent any changes
in the status quo, especially vouchers — which are, in reality, "monopoly breakers" that allow
parents to get their children out from under failing schools. The unions and their enablers' rationale?
Vouchers "drain money" from the system, putting those students forced to remain in lousy schools at even
greater risk. Translation: if everyone can't escape lousy schools, then no one should be
This is an original
compilation, Copyright © 2013 by Andrew K. Dart
The irresistible force of school reform meets
the immovable object of teachers unions.
There is no denying that U.S. schools are ripe for reform. Per-pupil education spending has doubled
in the last three decades, while test scores have remained stubbornly flat. American kids squat
solidly in the middle of the pack in international testing, with 15-year-olds ranking about average in
math and reading, slightly below average in science. Dropout rates in major cities are approaching
50 percent. But schools have been this bad for a long time. Why the sudden surge of
Unionized Teachers: Quit Yer Bellyachin'. Thousands of union protesters from around the country
converged on [Madison, Wisconsin] in an effort to intimidate and stop Gov. Scott Walker and his allies from
passing a bill that would not only balance the state budget, but allow schools and municipalities to dramatically
cut labor costs. Unionized teachers have been at the head of the line to complain loudly that the public
is "ungrateful" for their work. They speak of being "demoralized" and "undervalued." Poor souls.
If the private sector has it so good, go join it and see for yourself.
Pay as Union Chickens Come Home to Roost. Several months ago, Education Action Group published
a scathing exposé on the Wisconsin Education Association Council-affiliated WEA Trust, a union-contrived
insurance entity that is forced upon the majority of Wisconsin schools during collective bargaining negotiations.
It is difficult to determine the extent to which the union benefits from this cozy arrangement, but judging by a
similar set-up in Michigan, the union is likely doing very nicely.
Pet. The widow of a slain police officer wants to know why the California Federation of Teachers
has taken up the cause of the man convicted of murdering her husband in cold blood.
Teachers support cop-killer.
Between negotiating for more benefits and teaching their students, the California Federation of Teachers has
adopted a resolution of support for convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Teachers' Mumia Abu-Jamal Resolution Out of Sync
Morally and Historically. What is it about cop killers that incites almost religious devotion
from radicals? The California Federation of Teachers (CFT) passed a resolution at its most recent
convention claiming that "the continued unjust incarceration of Mumia Abu-Jamal represents a threat to the
civil rights of all people." Thirty years ago, Abu-Jamal took away Philadelphia policeman Daniel
Faulkner's foremost civil right: his life. How obtuse of the CFT to disregard "the threat to
the civil rights of all people" represented by someone capable of gunning down a man tasked with protecting
governor assails teachers union. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey said it would be an
"obscenity" to not take on the teachers union, which is protecting "lousy" educators as he seeks to
overhaul tenure and improve student performance. The education union is "universally self-interested,"
Christie, a first-term Republican, said during a speech yesterday [4/7/2011] in New York. Good teachers do not need
unions, he said. "They're there to protect the lousy ones so they continue to pay their dues every year."
Sweatshops And Classrooms: To compare, as some have done and are doing, the plight of
workers in the garment district in 1911 with the issues du jour facing public workers is beyond
ludicrous. ... Are the classrooms of America akin to "sweatshops" of old (or in many countries today)?
Do schoolteachers and other public employees face the same dehumanizing conditions as immigrant workers
before World War I? Do the deaths of 20 workers on an inadequate and overburdened fire
escape in 1911 compare to the "plight" of public school teachers in Wisconsin who receive over $50,000 in
annual salary, full medical coverage, and ten weeks off in the summer?
System Has 'Managed Well' Without Teacher Unions, Governor Says. Virginia's Republican Gov.
Bob McDonnell said his state has "managed well" without teacher's unions. "We banned public sector
bargaining 20 years ago in Virginia," McDonnell said on Tuesday [3/22/2011]. "If you're a manager,
you take care of your people, you motivate them, you make sure they're compensated well, you treat people
fairly — I think that's the right approach in the public or private sector, and really it
kind of minimizes the need for a union," he said.
School Teachers and Unions are Failing Children and Bankrupting America. Corruption,
greed, incompetence, bureaucratic bungling: Those are the things most likely to be found when
the charade of public union outrage is peeled back to reveal the inner workings of collective bargaining.
There is no doubt America is engaged in an ideological battle. On one side are the public sector
unions and "workers" demanding the taxpayers cough up more to fund their fat paychecks and bloated
pensions. On the other side are the majority of Americans who work in the private sector, fund
their own retirements and health care, and have no entitlement programs they haven't designed
themselves. The public sector is asking for more blood while the private sector is beaten
unconscious and bleeding from every major artery.
Let's hear it for the
'working class' teachers of Illinois! There has always been the unwritten understanding that working
for the taxpayer as a teacher involved sacrifices. Teachers would measure their value to society based on how
many young minds they were able to reach, how much they were admired by the community, and how much personal
satisfaction they received from the teaching. The job was largely its own reward — at least,
that's the way it used to be. Now, teachers are just another bunch of special pleaders, grasping for as
much as they can get from the taxpayer regardless of their performance.
Dance of the
Tenured Lemons. Teacher tenure is considered holy gospel in most of America's public schools.
But this policy does nothing for children, and tends to protect teachers who don't necessarily deserve
job security. Why is it we never hear stories about tenure protecting "good" teachers instead of
helping "bad" ones?
Reasons Unions Are Bad For America. Every few years, it's the same old story. The teachers'
unions claim that public education in this country is dramatically underfunded and if they just had more money,
they could turn it around. Taxpayer money then pours into our schools like a waterfall and....there's no
improvement. A few years later, when people have forgotten the last spending spree on education, the
process is repeated.
Unions on the Ropes. The teachers' unions are on the ropes. So is the whole idea of
tenure. Let's keep pushing until "We the People" are in control of how we spend our money educating
our children; letting the unions decide for us the past 30 years hasn't been working.
Unions 101: "A" is for "Agitation". If public school teachers spent more time teaching in classrooms
and less time community-organizing in political war rooms, maybe taxpayers wouldn't feel as ripped off as they do.
Before the Big Labor bosses start complaining about "teacher-bashing," let's be clear: An increasing number of
rank-and-file teachers feel exactly the same way.
for Superman' Exposes Human Cost of Collective Bargaining. With what's happening today in
Wisconsin we're hearing a lot about civil rights and workers rights and all those buzz
words the Left uses to make something wicked sound noble. The idea that collective bargaining is
some kind of right is beyond absurd.
for Superman' Director Feeling Heat from Teachers Unions. Needless to say, [Davis] Guggenheim's
film did not play well with the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers.
They set up websites to attack his film. They dispatched high profile speakers around the country to fight
back. And they cheered when Guggenheim was snubbed out of a nomination for another Oscar. I have
first-hand experience of how vicious the left's attacks can get, so I can only imagine how they treated one
of their own who had dared to step out of line.
A Union Education.
The raucous Wisconsin debate over collective bargaining may be ugly at times, but it has been worth it for
the splendid public education. For the first time in decades, Americans have been asked to look under
the government hood at the causes of runaway spending. What they are discovering is the monopoly power
of government unions that have long been on a collision course with taxpayers. Though it arrived in
Madison first, this crack-up was inevitable.
U.S. Public Education. [Scroll down] The Wisconsin Education Association Council leads the
pack of lobbyists, spending two times as much and five times the amount of time as its closest lobbying competitor
in order to buy, bribe and bamboozle legislators to do as it wants. What also chaps my hide is that a
gigantic chunk of the WEAC's gangster money and time is used to lobby against alternative choices in schools
(including charter schools) and against tuition tax credit programs, which aid parents in sending their children
to private schools. The fact is that teachers union-sponsored protests spreading the land are not
primarily about the teachers or the students. They are about the unions and feds maintaining their
Mafia-style rule over education and our kids and preventing people from choosing educational alternatives.
Teachers' Unions are on the Ropes. They were marching in Madison. And they'll be on a
street in a state capitol near you in the coming weeks and months. The teachers' unions are on the
ropes, and they know it. They know that public opinion has shifted, and the public mood has shifted
with it. And they know why. The people now know all about the racket the teachers' unions and
other public employee unions have been running for the past twenty years.
paid to do union business and miss class. The [New York City] Department of Education pays
about 1,500 teachers for time they spend on union activities — and pays other teachers to
replace them in the classroom. It's a sweetheart deal that costs taxpayers an extra $9 million a
year to pay fill-ins for instructors who are sprung — at full pay — to carry out
responsibilities for the United Federation of Teachers.
unions are out of step with students needs, financial realities. [Scroll down] But are
union leaders really doing the right thing for kids? They are often against alternative teacher
credentialing and flexibility in hiring and firing teachers, which allow for better recruitment and retention
of highly effective teachers. They support reforms like smaller classrooms, which have not been shown
to make significant improvements to student performance. Teachers unions want more money and smaller
classrooms and usually blame social issues like poverty as the main culprit in preventing educational
attainment. Vouchers are vehemently opposed by the teachers unions. ... Even Democratic Los Angeles
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called the local teachers union the "one unwavering roadblock to reform."
UFT spends millions on dinners, parties, parking, coffee.
As nearly 5,000 city teachers face the ax, their union shells out millions of dollars on feasting, boozing and
partying, the Daily News has learned. Free-spending United Federation of Teachers brass last year spent
nearly $1.4 million for the UFT's 50th anniversary gala at the Hilton — complete with a movie,
a book and a paperweight.
teachers union chief trying to skip out on his restaurant tab. Cops booted an unruly group of
city teachers union officials from a posh Albany eatery after they caused a ruckus over their dinner tab,
the Daily News has learned. ... The union's political and legislative director set off the fracas -- claiming
the quail he was served, and finished, wasn't large enough -- sources said.
and Unions: Foes to Educational Reform. Do you think it's just a coincidence that
the two largest teachers unions, the National Education Association and the American Federation
of Teachers, are the largest campaign contributors in the nation — $55 million in
just the past two years, more than the Teamsters, the National Rifle Association or any other
organization — and that 90 percent of those contributions fund only Democratic candidates?
toward ending collective bargaining for teachers. Democrats may soon be loading up those buses
in Madison and heading their mobs toward Nashville. The Tennessee state senate Education Committee
voted Wednesday to abolish collective bargaining with teachers.
It's the Teachers, Stupid!
Unionized teachers outnumber other government workers and run the schools in every state; why do we keep on
accepting their decades of miserable results? A careless airline pilot, a lazy waitress, a crash-prone
cabdriver, an unproductive salesman, an innumerate cashier will all have to find other work; poor teachers keep
teaching and receiving raises as years go by and kids don't learn. Of course; they, with their unions,
run the show.
Failure: Detroit Public Schools. Few school districts in America rival the dire condition
of Detroit Public Schools: staggering dropout rates, functionally-illiterate high school graduates, a
dysfunctional school board and a sea of red ink. Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb has been
trying to fix the city's public schools which are historically awful. At times, it seems that he is
the only one trying to fix a school system that is failing its students. The Detroit Federation of
Teachers has consistently called for Bobb's removal. The radical socialist group, By Any Means
Necessary, makes every effort to stir up racial division and strife. One of BAMN's leaders was nearly
elected president of the teachers union, which shows how radical the union has become.
Spending on education has increased more rapidly in the past two years than any sector other than
alternative energy. Yet the president reports that America continues to fall behind its
competitors. There is no measurable evidence that Obama's injection of funds has had any effect
other than to enrich teachers' unions, which are then able to contribute to the political campaigns
of Democratic candidates. Obama's call for more spending on education is nothing more than another
payoff for his political constituency.
seniority" rules are harmful to American education. Since the 1960s, the National
Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) have used their massive
campaign war chests — they spent some $59.3 million in the 2009-10 election cycle alone — and
collective-bargaining power to insulate teachers from the kinds of performance management found in the
private sector. For Baby Boomers, who account for 26 percent of the nation's teachers, the
deals are especially sweet.
Special Interest: Blocking School Choice. A new spate of documentaries and media
coverage have all centered on the role teachers unions play in blocking necessary change and
innovation in public schools. At this point in the national discourse, a majority of
Americans are convinced that our education system is in crisis and are looking for someone or
something to blame. Unfortunately for effective teachers across America, the finger has
been pointed in the wrong direction. It is the teachers unions — the NEA and the
AFT — that are largely responsible for a system that is failing far too many of our
children, especially those trapped in the inner cities.
Obama Forget About the Teachers Union? When Obama started to speak about the need to
improve education, upgrade our schools and attract quality teachers, an elephant appeared in the
living rooms of most Americans who were watching. Obama never mentioned the beast, but most
of the country saw clearly the three letters on his back — AFT. American Federation
of Teachers — the union that, along with its counterpart, the NEA, National Education
Association, has destroyed public education in America. How can we take seriously any proposal
to improve schools that does not deal with the force that has dragged them down — the
Film Documents Unions' Destruction of Public Education. "Kids Aren't Cars" is a new short film
series set for release February 1st. Using examples from the Midwest, it documents the impact organized
labor has had on the American education system, creating a one-size-fits-all assembly line model that leaves
students behind and treats teachers equally, stifling innovation and improvement.
Union Claims Member's Scalp. The Grand Rapids Education Association, a local affiliate of
Michigan's largest teachers' union, is attempting to pick off one-by-one 90-some members that have refused
to pay their dues. About 18 months ago, the school board voted to no longer deduct dues from
employees' paychecks, which meant union members had to physically write a check to the union. Many
saw it as their opportunity to protest the obnoxious behavior of union leaders during a previous contract
negotiation period. The union president, Paul Helder, was particularly pompous during negotiations,
claiming the union was fighting a "war on terrorism."
to Link Teacher Tenure to Results. Illinois lawmakers are considering sweeping legislation that
would link teacher tenure to student test scores, make it easier to fire ineffective teachers and curb teachers'
right to strike. The measure, debated during a Senate panel hearing Monday, moves Illinois to the
forefront of states' efforts to hold teachers more accountable for student performance, while taking on
the powerful teacher unions, which often oppose such changes.
diverging from unions. As the late president of the American Federation of Teachers, Albert
Shanker, so honestly put it, "When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that's when I'll start representing
the interests of schoolchildren." Until they do, Mr. Villaraigosa's call on UTLA leaders to drop their
opposition to his administration's reform efforts and join him in making Los Angeles' public schools better is
likely to continue falling on deaf ears. Likewise, government employee unions exist to represent the
interests of their members, not taxpayers.
Child Molesting Teacher Can't Be Fired Thanks
to Union. In 1997 a Brooklyn teacher was accused of attempting to molest a sixth-grade girl at
PS 138. As it happened, he admitted the behavior, but no criminal charges were filed when all was
said and done. Still one would think the fact that he inappropriately fondled a teen should be enough
to get him fired from his teaching position. But then again, in New York you can't even fire a child
molester if he happens to be a teachers union member.
Teachers, Then and Now.
[Scroll down] Thomas Lifson recently wrote [an article] about the enormous salaries of teachers in Illinois, a state where
14,000 teachers make more than $100,000 a year. Do you think such well paid public employees could chip
in 2 percent to help those less fortunate than themselves, people who are their neighbors? Or has
the habit of having the government administer aid sapped them of their charitable inclinations?
The good life on
36 weeks a year of work. Champion News has just published data on the top teacher salaries in
Illinois, making it clear that unionization has enabled a massive raid on the taxpayers' funds. Teaching
can be a noble profession, but many of these teachers are cleaning up like bandits for a 9-month work year.
In all, over 14,000 teachers in this one state make more than 100,000 a year in salary. When you add in
pension, health care, and other benefits (15 days a year of sick leave, payable upon retirement if not
used), which can add another 40% or more to salary, these teachers are doing much better than most college
professors and many doctors.
Phys Ed teacher pulls down $191,124, Superintendent
$350,154. As Illinois citizens struggle with the severe economic downturn plaguing the state,
Illinois public school employees enjoy another record year of salaries, fringe benefits and pensions.
Chris Christie blasts teachers' unions (again). In his 50-minute speech on education reform — one
of Christie's most passionate topics — the governor left no room to question how he feels about teachers' unions,
most specifically the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA). In short: he doesn't like them.
The War on Conservative Teachers.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is having considerable success in its drive to organize American
college and university faculty members. Often the Union is able to gain a toehold at a university by
organizing a portion of the faculty. The Union will hold multiple elections, and after each vote it
loses winnow out those segments of the faculty who voted against having to join a union, until it comes up
with a subset of the faculty who vote to turn the university into a Union Shop.
Unions Not Representative of Teachers' Changing Views. The unions have done a masterful job at
branding teachers and their unions as essentially the same. This could not be further from the truth.
The fact is that there are hundreds of thousands of teachers who are not members of the teacher unions and do not
support the unions or their positions.
teachers unions in question. A nationwide school reform movement with bipartisan support has
collided head-on with unions over three ideas that labor has long resisted: expansion of charter schools,
the introduction of merit pay for teachers and the use of student test scores in teacher evaluations.
Even the long-held protections and prerogatives conferred by seniority and tenure no longer seem sacrosanct.
Mutually Assured Destruction.
Congressional Democrats angered centrist school reformers, MoveOn.org-style progressives, and other party activists
in August when they voted to ladle $10 billion in federal subsidies to school districts in order to stave
off layoffs of 160,000 teachers. In turn, the National Education Association and the American Federation
of Teachers poured more than $40 million of their hefty campaign war chests (including more than $15 million
by the NEA in the last weeks of the election season alone) to help the Democrats keep full control of Congress.
It didn't work.
De-Unionize Public Schools now.
[Scroll down] Both kids were high school drop-outs — but both had stayed in school until they
reached the tenth grade before doing so. How deficient were these boys? Totally, unambiguously,
shockingly deficient. Where was I forced to begin their re-education? With the alphabet.
That's right. Neither of these kids knew their ABCs, despite sitting in classrooms until they were fifteen
years old. Nor did either of them have the slightest clue about money. They couldn't distinguish
the difference between a one dollar bill or a ten dollar bill. "How do you know you're not getting ripped
off when you go shopping?" I asked one. "I bring my girlfriend with me," he replied.
Jersey Governor Chris Christie responds to O'Keefe video. New Jersey Republican Governor Chris
Christie's spokesperson responded to videos conservative activist James O'Keefe released Monday [10/25/2010] apparently
showing unionized educators at a New Jersey Education Association conference attacking the governor and his
policies in crude language. ... In the video, the unionized teachers also appear to boast about how it's
almost impossible to fire tenured teachers, even those who make racist remarks to students.
Teachers Fight Release
of Data. The New York City teachers union is fighting the release of data that tries to gauge the
effectiveness of 12,000 of its members, saying the measuring system is too flawed to make teachers' names public.
The city Department of Education was set to release the data Wednesday, spurred by public-records requests from
news organizations, including The Wall Street Journal. But the United Federation of Teachers threatened
a lawsuit, and the DOE delayed its plans.
sides with union in Chicago teacher layoffs. In a blow to the Chicago Public Schools, a federal
judge on Monday [10/4/2010] sided with the Chicago Teachers Union by ruling that last summer's layoffs of more
than 700 tenured teachers was handled improperly. The decision by U.S. District Judge David Coar follows
a months-long battle between the union and district officials over the termination of teachers who are
typically protected by their union contract.
strikes. It's the film the teachers unions don't want you to see. The revelatory
documentary "Waiting for 'Superman'" opened Friday [9/24/2010] to parents' cheers — and union
howls. The film follows five families trying desperately to escape failing traditional public schools in
favor of charter schools — and it profiles education reformers rebuilding a national school system
that's in ruins. The unions panned the flick, naturally: It exposes how they drag kids down into
the swamp, spotlighting how bad teachers are passed from school to school and how all-but-automatic tenure
allows even the worst teachers to stay on the job.
Superman' fuels parents' furor at broken schools, union. It's class warfare! Fed-up
parents and teachers who saw the explosive education documentary "Waiting for 'Superman'" yesterday were
left either seething or in tears — and calling for revolutionary change after the film's Big
Apple debut. "The passing along of children through the system is just disgusting," said Barbara
Levinson, 63, who was crying by the film's end. "Every child should be treated as an individual."
Viewers were also rocked by the work's portrayal of the teachers unions' protection of subpar educators.
Greatest Failure? [Scroll down] Is there another major area of American public policy that
is more screwed up and more completely the fault of one ideological side? Which party do the teachers'
unions support overwhelmingly? What is the ideological outlook of the bureaucrats at the Department of
Education? Which party claims it "cares" more about education and demagogues any attempt by the other
party to reform it? Who has controlled the large inner city school systems for generations?
The Department of Education — Who Needs
it? To the horror of some members of the media a couple of Republican candidates including Nevada's
Sharon Angle are pledging that if elected they will fight to abolish the Department of Education. From the
howls from the media and the nation's long-coddled educrats you'd think the candidates were proposing to close
all of America's primary and secondary schools and fire the teachers ... It seems obvious that the principal
function of the DOE has nothing to do with improving the quality of public education and everything to do with
doing the bidding of the nation's powerful teacher's unions and supporting politicians such as Mr. Obama.
The myth of the underpaid teacher.
"One of the most consistent complaints among teachers is that they don't get paid enough," CNNMoney.com
reports. Of course, that's the perception of educators. And the popular culture. The
Hollywood version of the overworked, underpaid teacher is the mother's milk of the teachers' unions.
"Low teacher pay comes at a high cost for schools and kids," the National Education Association declares
on its website as if it's discussing a law of physics.
Who Can't Teach Still Do. Public school teachers are unhappy with the growing campaign to grade
their performance. They shouldn't be. It's almost impossible to fire a union teacher, even those who
are profoundly incompetent.
Association Selling its Saul. The National Education Association (NEA), the U.S.'s largest
labor union, is promoting communism to the millions of American public school teachers it represents.
Teachers who are influenced by their union's efforts are more likely to indoctrinate American children into
communism. For the past several months, the NEA website has recommended that its members read books by
communist sympathizer Saul Alinsky. And, for a time, the website listed October 1 as a day for
teachers and students to celebrate the anniversary of the Communist takeover of China by Mao Zedong.
Tells Community Organizers 'Read Saul Alinsky'. President Barack Obama started his political
career as a community organizer in Chicago. Apparently, the National Education Association intends to
train more community organizers to grab political power by recommending on its official website for them to
read 'Rules for Radicals,' by Saul Alinsky. Mr. Obama appears to have closely followed Mr. Alinsky's
guidebook for seizing power.
Garden Thorn. Public school employment, the Cato Institute reported in its @ Liberty blog,
has increased 10 times faster than public school enrollment since 1970 — and the result has
been stagnant test scores. Despite these facts, Democrats continue to funnel money into teachers'
pockets, rewarding them for a job poorly done. And the party is getting a rich return. Democrats
are heavily supported by teachers union money — the top two teachers unions make 95% of their
political donations to Democrats, according to opensecrets.org — and union members' votes.
fairy tales from Obamaland. [Obama, Reid and Pelosi] spun two new fantasies just this week.
The first was that without the latest Obama-Reid-Pelosi government bailout, at least 100,000 teachers would lose
their jobs this fall. ... [But] the vast majority of those dire warnings of 100,000 teachers being laid off
were mostly just hot air. And here's something else to ponder: If it cost $10 billion to save
100,000 teachers' jobs, they are each being paid $100,000 a year. Since the national average teacher salary
is just over $54,000 a year, somebody — federal bureaucrats? — is making a bundle on
Putting Government First. Where
a man's purse is, there his heart will be also. If you would know where the heart of the Obama party
is today, consider. In the dog days of August, with temperatures in D.C. rising above 100, Nancy
Pelosi called the House back to Washington to enact legislation that could not wait until September.
Purpose: Vote $26 billion to prevent layoffs of state, municipal and county employees whose own
governments had decided they had to be let go if they were to meet their constitutional duty to balance
a jobs bill but a special interest bill. According to the Washington, D.C.-based Labor Union
Report, the National Education Association in 2009 "raked in a whopping $355,334,165 in 'dues and agency
fees' from (mostly) teachers around the country." It spent close to $11 million more than it took
in — $50 million of which union leaders poured into "political activities and lobbying" for exclusively
left-wing and Democratic partisan causes and candidates. Its primary mission? No, not educational
excellence. Not "the children." Political self-preservation.
Bailing Out Teachers.
Democrats on Capitol Hill are literally taking food out of the mouths of the most needy to pay back their political
cronies. Today, the House will vote on the infamous Bill with No Name, H.R. 1586 (originally the
FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act), which contains a $26.1 billion bailout
for financially strapped state governments. Much of the money will go to public employee unions, in the
form of a $10 billion "Education Jobs Fund" to supplement state education costs. This comes on top
of a $53.5 billion bailout of unionized teachers in the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund — some
of which is still unspent.
Stimulating the unions.
As President Obama's poll numbers continue to slide, congressional Democrats faced with increasingly tough
re-election contests are turning to their best remaining friend, Big Labor, for help. Tuesday's [8/10/2010]
enactment of a $26 billion "jobs bill" was carefully tailored to please public-sector unions,
especially those representing teachers.
Union Votes With Food Stamps. In an election year in which Democratic majorities in both
houses of Congress are threatened, no price is too high for extra votes — even if it means
taking from the poor.
Left's Special Interest Human Shields. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi deserves a swift rap on the
knuckles for hiding underneath the desk of the American schoolteacher. In a cynical ploy to evade accountability
for the Democrats' continued fiscal recklessness, Pelosi accused opponents of the $26 billion public
employee union bailout bill of "demeaning" teachers — and nurses, police officers and firefighters.
Pelosi took great offense at Republican leaders who called out the Big Labor special interests pushing the
emergency summer rescue. But if they walk, talk, spend and lobby like special interests, let's call
them what they are.
unions cash in at expense of food stamp recipients. House members return to Washington this week
for a special session that will include a vote on a $26.1 billion spending package intended partially to keep
states from laying off teachers, a move some critics have called a "bailout for teachers unions." The Senate
last week passed their own version of the bill, which cuts $12 billion beginning in 2014 from the Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance, or "food stamps," program to help make the measure deficit neutral. Anti-hunger
advocates and conservatives alike decried the move.
Latest Shenanigans. What does diversity mean to you? Same-sex marriage? Building
a giant mosque on the 9/11 spot in New York? Elena Kagan on the Supreme Court? To the largest
teachers union, the National Education Association (NEA), diversity means celebrating the anniversary of
the Communist takeover of China by Mao Zedong. The NEA posted this on its website calendar as a
diversity event for Oct. 1.
Educrat Funds, Dumbed-down Standards. Consider the teachers in Seattle, for example. According
to a study by the Washington Policy Center: Teachers in Seattle receive an average of $70,850 for a 10-month
year, plus $9,855 in benefits. Teachers can earn up to $88,463, or $98,318 including benefits. Educational
staff associates are paid an average of $76,339 for a 10-month year, or $86,194 including benefits. It
is mandatory for teachers to pay union dues or an equivalent. Seattle District officials transfer about
$290,000 per month in education funds to union accounts in the form of dues. Over the course of a year,
about $3.2 million is forwarded to the Seattle teachers' union.
Marine: Union bullying me
to pay $500. A retired U.S. Marine who runs a high school ROTC program in Worcester says he
faces the boot for refusing to pay local union dues, leaving the 58-year-old father of two crying foul and
school administrators bewildered.
Governor Signs Bill, Saves Marine's Job. The Massachusetts governor signed a bill on Wednesday
afternoon [6/16/2010] that saves the job of a retired Marine and public high school ROTC instructor who
refused to pay teachers union fees.
over $10 billion for teachers delays Afghanistan war money. [Scroll down] At issue is
the $22 billion in additional spending that the House added to the Senate bill on July 1, including
$10 billion to hire teachers or prevent widespread teacher layoffs this fall, $5 billion to cover
an expected shortfall in Pell grants for college students, and $700 million for border security.
Obey vs. the White HouseRep. David Obey (D) of Wisconsin, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee,
initially proposed $23 billion for teachers. But he had to pare it back to $10 billion after
protests from fiscal conservatives in the House Democratic caucus.
Your Child's Teacher Stinks, and What You Can Do About It. There are certain professions that
carry an implicit mandate, one that goes beyond performing the required duties of that profession. A
social contract exists in these specialized lines of works that requires the performer to place the needs to
those he serves above his own. Police officers, soldiers, and firemen are three such professions.
There is a fourth, but this profession's mandate has been corrupted by union greed and politics.
I speak of the Teacher, especially the teacher of the American high school and university.
Teachers Unions shaking down kids to pay their exorbitant salaries.
A mother in New Jersey got a rude surprise from her child recently: ["]I am looking for your
opinions and insights based upon a very distressing situation my youngest daughter brought to my attention
last week involving a school fundraiser. As both she and the letter she handed me stated, my daughter
was to accomplish chores around the house with the goal of being paid by me for those chores the sum of $20.
She would then have to hand the full $20 over to the school to make up for the shortfall in their overall
Murdering America. [Scroll
sown] There are other government worker's unions such as the teacher's unions that exert political
power in money, campaign manpower, and votes. The teacher's unions have largely failed their mission
to impart the most basic skills, leaving American students behind their counterparts in other nations.
Their health and pension benefits, well in excess of the private sector, are a massive drain on the public
treasuries of state governments.
Journalists Finally Getting Over their Pro-Teacher-Union Fetish? Let's face it. From
the 2004 New York Yankees to that statue of Saddam Hussein, most of us get a kick out of seeing the mighty
fall. And that's essentially what's happening to teachers' unions all over this nation. For all
the good they did when they were first formed 50 to 75 years ago, teachers' unions have devolved into
opponents of meaningful educational reform. Teaching is steady work and in most states the pay is now
about the same as a mid-level manager in business, but the profession requires substantially fewer days of
work per year.
Which side are
you on? NY judges consider joining teachers' union. In a remarkable display of
self-degradation, some New York State judges are considering joining the United Federation of Teachers, a
highly politicized, big bucks political donor, in an effort to raise their pay.
$23b — Lifeline or Bailout? Education Secretary Arne Duncan is asking lawmakers to
put aside "politics and ideology" as they consider a request for $23 billion in "emergency" funding for
public schools — a measure Republicans reject as a massive federal bailout for the teachers'
Public School Teachers Organize Against Tea Party. A
Minnesota teacher e-mailed the entire school district to organize a counter-protest against the local tea party
rally planned for Thursday [5/27/2010].
public schools, and minority children. Speaking a couple years ago about technology and education,
Apple CEO and founder Steve Jobs said that technology wouldn't matter as long as you can't fire teachers.
"I believe that what is wrong with our schools in this nation is that they have become unionized in the worst
possible way," he said. Jobs likened schools to running a small business, which he said could never succeed
if you can't hire and fire.
pushing $23 billion teachers union bailout. Yet another example of public sector employee union
smash and grab, at a time when private sector workers are desperate for jobs.
Here's Another $23 Billion
Bailout That You May Have Missed. It didn't get much attention, but this week The White House
announced its support for a bailout of one of the President's most important constituent groups: public
school teachers (teachers unions, basically). A post on The White House blog (via ABC News) late
Wednesday evening [5/12/2010] announced that it was time for "bold action" to save teachers' jobs.
abusive public employees can't get fired. Some of the most stunning articles I've read in a long
while were in the Los Angeles Times' 2009 investigative series, "Failure gets a pass," which documents the near
impossibility of firing unionized public school teachers in the massive Los Angeles Unified School District —
even those teachers credibly accused of sexually molesting or harassing their students.
Why Isn't Obama
Afraid to Take on the Teachers' Unions? Two extraordinary things happened in the world of education
recently. Taken together, they're powerful confirmation of just how precipitously the teachers' unions are
declining in power and influence.
goes after charter school supporters. The New York State AFL-CIO is targeting two of the Legislature's
staunchest charter school supporters — Sens. Jeff Klein of the Bronx and Craig Johnson of Nassau —
claiming they're anti-union. The 2.5 million member union umbrella group blitzed the two senator's
districts today with flyers accusing them of "siding with big corporations and against teachers and students"
by voting for a bill last week to expand charter schools "with no real reform."
has tainted schools. "They don't want another voice in the room," Mr. Horowitz said. "The
teacher unions and the Democratic Party have a monopoly on the public school systems. ... Teachers get paid for
showing up. No one in the world gets paid for showing up." And, he continued, "the kids fail and
there's no incentive to teach." The nation's capital is a microcosm of that comment. The Washington
Teachers Union has consistently rejected attempts to hold teachers accountable for undereducated students for
two decades. All the while, D.C. students in traditional schools have been stuck on the lower rungs of
the regional and national academic ladders.
Cat California Teachers Union Misses the Education Mark. The California Fair Political Practices
Commission released a report last week detailing the fifteen most influential special interest groups in the
state. Over the course of the last ten years, these fifteen groups — consisting of unions,
Indian tribes, and corporations — spent over $1 billion on lobbying, candidates, ballot
measures, and other political activities. ... But among the top fifteen big spenders, one special interest
group particularly stands out: the California Teachers Association.
Teacher's union pay to
play. Looks like the mild mannered teachers have figured out how to use union muscle.
California Teacher Union Rallies Around Bad Ideas.
The California Teachers Association (CTA), the state's largest teachers union and National Education Association
affiliate, organized a statewide rally of teachers and students on March 4 to protest education spending
cuts. The CTA's "solution" indicates it is out of touch with economic and educational reality.
How Teachers Are Poisoning Our Children.
On their official web-site, the NEA is currently promoting the radical anti-establishment doctrines of Saul
Alinsky. The NEA is actively, and openly, advocating the overthrow of capitalism, free enterprise, and
conservative (read that, pro-American) values. The NEA is recommending that teachers familiarize themselves
with Saul Alinsky's books "Reveille for Radicals," and "Rules for Radicals." They then can then pass the
seditious information on to their students — our children.
NEA Website Promotes Communist Guide Books
for the Violent Overthrow of the U.S. Government. The NEA's recommended reading list includes
two books by Brother O mentor and communist community organizer Saul Alinsky that advocate the violent
overthrow of the U.S. government. The Democrat-controlled teachers' union praises Alinsky's Reveille
for Radicals and Rules for Radicals as "an inspiration to anyone contemplating action in their community!
And to every organizer!"
Them All' At Central Falls High. If you've ever taken a look at the shoddy excuse that passes for
"education" in our public schools, and ever thought that the solution might just be to "fire 'em all," then you'll
love Rhode Island's State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist: "It was her [Gist's] Jan. 11 order to
overhaul the state's six lowest-performing schools that triggered the chain of events leading to last week's decision
to fire the entire teaching staff at Central Falls High School, effective at the end of the school year."
this what they mean by 'it's for the children'? Students in San Francisco public schools
are being organized by their unionized teachers to protest cuts in tax-supported education budgets,
according to SFPublicPress. "On Thursday [3/4/2010], San Francisco public school students as young as five
will get a real-life learning experience about civic engagement — through protest.
Students from kindergarten through college plan to convene at Market and Powell streets in the late
afternoon to protest cuts to public education during a coordinated political action called the Rally
for California's Future."
through to unions. It's amazing what a mass of pink slips can do to make a teachers union see the
light — especially when the layoffs are publicly hailed by the president of the United States.
On Monday [3/1/2010], President Obama endorsed the decision by Rhode Island's smallest, poorest city to fire the
entire unionized faculty of its notoriously underperforming high school.
Sector Unions Tarnish the Golden State. Last week, teachers in the San Francisco area planned
to take their students out of school in order to attend a protest about proposed cuts in education spending.
According to a piece in the SF Public Press, children as young as five years old were slated to attend under
the auspices of their schools, until the superintendent quashed the idea because of safety concerns.
Aside from the disturbing specter of children being used as political props by their teachers, the spectacle
All Educators Fired at Underperforming RI School.
A Rhode Island school district has voted to fire all the teachers at an underperforming school.
Progress Slow in City Goal to Fire
Bad Teachers. The Bloomberg administration has made getting rid of inadequate teachers a
linchpin of its efforts to improve city schools. But in the two years since the Education Department
began an intensive effort to root out such teachers from the more than 55,000 who have tenure, officials have
managed to fire only three for incompetence.
ACLU sues city
school district and state over teacher layoffs. The American Civil Liberties Union and other
groups filed a lawsuit Wednesday [2/24/2010] on behalf of students at three of the city's worst-performing
of the Nation: This headline brightened up my breakfast: "Unionized Rhode Island Teachers
Refuse To Work 25 Minutes More Per Day, So Town Fires All Of Them"
Unions Spends Dues on Left-Wing Causes and Ally of Robert Mugabe. A recent study of contributions
made by the nation's two largest teachers unions reveals that both shelled out millions in 2008-09, with a
good chunk going to radical and scandal-ridden organizations.
Unions: The Child Molester's Best Friend. Imagine if you could get full salary and benefits
for a decent paying job and you didn't have to work to get it. All you had to do was be accused of a crime.
The Teachers' Unions
that Stole Christmas. As Christmas grows closer, the hopes of thousands of D.C. schoolchildren and
their families are appearing dimmer and dimmer, and no one is celebrating more than the teachers' unions.
Congress's failure to reauthorize the federally-funded D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), which has
provided more than 3,300 schoolchildren scholarships to attend private schools of their choice in the District
of Columbia, has proven fatal. The program could end even earlier than expected.
mentality a cancer in Detroit. Detroit is not bankrupt — not officially,
anyway. But it may as well be. The former mayor, forced to resign in disgrace, is back in
court to defend his spending practices. A member of his inner circle cops to a bribery charge,
auguring more to come. The city is borrowing money to pay its bills. Public schools
students deliver the worst performance in the 40-year history of a national standardized test, even
as teachers angrily denounce proposals to inject accountability into their next contract.
The Rubber Room:
It's a June morning, and there are fifteen people in the room, four of them fast asleep, their heads lying on
a card table. Three are playing a board game. Most of the others stand around chatting. Two
are arguing over one of the folding chairs. But there are no children here. The inhabitants are all
New York City schoolteachers who have been sent to what is officially called a Temporary Reassignment Center
but which everyone calls the Rubber Room.
Child Molester Scandal That Isn't: What the MSM Doesn't Report. In researching my article
on "Rubber Room" teachers, who are paid not to teach after being accused of a crime, I came across some
information that deserves further discussion. The problem is much worse than the media would have
you believe. The teachers in these programs are the ones who managed to escape prosecution but are
considered too great a risk to be allowed to return to teaching. Or else they're the accused waiting
for judgment. Or they're people the schools can't get rid of due to tenure deals.
room's 'dirty' old man. He just won't leave. At age 75, Roland Pierre is the granddaddy of
the rubber room — 13 years in the purgatory of teachers yanked from the classroom for alleged
wrongdoing. But the Department of Education can't fire Pierre, and he's stuck around long past the
minimum retirement age.
journalist shocked teacher unions shield incompetence. The Post is too polite to answer
its own question. Steven Brill, however, has figured it out. "Leading Democrats often talk about
the need to reform education," he writes, "but they almost never openly criticize the teachers' unions, which
are perhaps the Party's most powerful support group." In other words, on the issue of D.C. vouchers
Barack Obama and Arne Duncan are doing what their union paymasters want. The union bosses snap their
fingers, and Obama and Duncan jump. It's good for just about everyone involved: the teachers' unions
get taxpayers' money, the Democratic party through the teachers' unions gets taxpayers' money. Just about
everyone, that is, except for the kids.
700 NYC teachers are paid to do
nothing. Hundreds of New York City public school teachers accused of offenses ranging from
insubordination to sexual misconduct are being paid their full salaries to sit around all day playing
Scrabble, surfing the Internet or just staring at the wall, if that's what they want to do. Because
their union contract makes it extremely difficult to fire them, the teachers have been banished by the
school system to its "rubber rooms" — off-campus office space where they wait months, even
years, for their disciplinary hearings.
Teacher tenure must
go. Brandi Scheiner believes she is a political prisoner. Held against her will in what is
euphemistically dubbed a "rubber room," the 56-year-old woman likens her two-year captivity to being imprisoned
at Guantanamo Bay. Alas, it's unlikely the Red Cross will hear her case. She's a New York City
public school teacher who, like about 600 fellow NYC teachers, has been removed from the classroom for alleged
incompetence or other charges that include being drunk in the classroom or molesting students.
Myth that Liberals Care About Education: Actually, educating our kids comes last
to the Left — behind indoctrinating students and supporting their political allies in the
teachers' unions. This is why the Left has supported laughable nonsense like teaching
Ebonics and bilingual education programs. It's also why the Left opposes vouchers and
even merit pay for good teachers — because the teachers' unions don't want the sad
sacks in their ranks to look bad by comparison. Liberals love to talk about education, but
education in what? Global warming? Gay marriage? Self-esteem
exercises — or reading, writing, arithmetic, science, and history?
Teachers strikes are
different. [Scroll down] If you're shutting down schools, you'd better have good reason.
A reason that's morally unassailable. "We want fewer meetings" doesn't cut it. The Kent teachers
say they're forced to have too many staff meetings. Fair enough. (One minute of meetings is too
many for me.) The teachers want to limit these staff and training meetings to two 60-minute sessions
per month. The administrators want four per month. Two versus four. Really, Kent teachers
and administrators? You've shut down a district of 27,000 students over this?
The NEA's Latest Trick. Public school
teachers are supposed to teach kids to read, so it would be nice if their unions could master the same skill. In a
recent letter to Senators, the National Education Association claims Washington, D.C.'s Opportunity Scholarships aren't
working, ignoring a recent evaluation showing the opposite. "The DC voucher pilot program, which is set to expire
this year, has been a failure," the NEA's letter fibs. "Over its five year span, the pilot program has yielded no
evidence of positive impact on student achievement." That must be news to the voucher students who are reading
almost a half-grade level ahead of their peers.
How's that attack on
capitalism working out for teacher unions? A number of reports are making their way into the press
about how various teachers' unions are being hurt by the drop in the stock market. It is realistic to assume
that the leaders and many, though not all, members of the teachers' unions are liberal Democrat Obama supporters.
So, let us see how it is going for them.
to Five:' A scam to help teachers union. Next to universal health care, President Obama's top
domestic goal is government financed pre-school for all three- and four-year-olds, regardless of family income.
Obama promised his supporters at the National Education Association that he will spend billions on his "Zero to Five"
early childhood education initiative, while assuring taxpayers of a $10 return for every dollar spent on the
program. ... What "Zero to Five" is likely to do is drive small, privately-owned pre-schools out of business in order to
create more jobs for NEA members — who will be the real beneficiaries of this latest educational scam.
Torture in America's Schools. At
a public school in West Virginia, a 4-year-old girl with cerebral palsy and autism "was 'uncooperative,' so teachers
restrained her in a chair with multiple leather straps that resembled a 'miniature electric chair.'" The girl was
later diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder. "At least one of the three teachers responsible" is still at
the school. At a Texas public school, a 230-pound "special education teacher" placed a 129-pound boy of 14 "into a
prone restraint and lay on top of him because he would not stay seated." The student died. The case was
ruled a homicide but no charges were filed. The teacher "currently teaches in Virginia and is licensed to
instruct children with disabilities."
Trump Students In Arizona. State laws that prohibit school boards from giving money to private
educational institutions are now the reason disabled kids in Arizona can no longer attend specialized classes
that meet their needs. A unanimous Arizona Supreme Court ruling on Wednesday [3/25/2009] held that
vouchers were illegal in their state, and the children who used them to attend private, specialized schools
can no longer do so.
Buy A City Council. Eyebrows shot up last week when teachers-union operatives handed out pre-printed
questions for City Council members to ask at a hearing. But the UFT was merely calling in an IOU. As
Chuck Bennett reported in yesterday's Post, the United Federation of Teachers paid good money for those council
members. And the union expects value for its cash.
in Bid to Expel Union. Charter-school teachers to their union: Butt out. The
educators, at two city charter schools, have filed for permission from the state to cut their ties with the
United Federation of Teachers. The action, at KIPP Academy in The Bronx and KIPP Infinity in Manhattan,
came after the UFT recently tried to meddle in the schools' business without consulting the staff first,
teachers at both schools told The [New York] Post.
California's Hefty Union Dues.
Jobs are fleeing the Golden State, where unemployment has spiked well above 10%. Taxes are soaring, and a new
budget shortfall of $8 billion, following the $42 billion gap that was patched up earlier this year,
could hike them even more. But California is still not a bad place to be — that is, as long
as you have a secure job (which most are) on the public payroll. According to the latest salary survey
by the American Federation of Teachers, California teachers are the highest paid in the nation.
tale of card check. One reason so many parents want their children in charter schools is precisely
because they operate free of union contracts, so that when administrators want to try something new, they can
implement it quickly. For this, charter schools are fiercely resented by teachers unions as a competitor
to failing public schools. Charter schools use a merit system, rewarding teachers according to results in the
classroom. They don't have complicated work rules that smother creativity, nor are they burdened with
termination rules that make it almost impossible to dismiss an incompetent teacher.
There is no hope in Obama. In
the last election, unions spent $450 million to elect candidates who favor their agenda. They have succeeded
beyond the dreams of avarice. The federal government is now virtually the empire of Big Labor. Especially
gleeful are the teachers' unions, who helped elect a president explicitly and vociferously opposed to vouchers. Even
as America's students have dropped to their lowest level on standardized tests compared to students internationally, and
even as drop-out rates soar past the 50 percent mark in most of the largest urban school districts, President-elect
Barack Obama has shown contempt for school choice — even as he exercised school choice in enrolling his own
children in the most expensive and exclusive private prep school in Washington, D.C.
On the other hand...
Obama takes on teachers' unions.
After weeks of pleasing Democrats by overturning policies set by the previous administration, President Barack
Obama Tuesday for the first time confronted a powerful constituency in his own party: teachers' unions.
Obama proposed spending additional money on effective teachers in up to 150 additional school districts,
fulfilling a campaign promise that once earned him boos from members of the National Education Association.
Okay for Obamas to Send Their
Kids to Private Schools, Teachers' Union President Says. President-elect Barack Obama and his
wife Michelle "have every right" to send their children to public or private school, and no one should
"criticize" their decision, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), said in
an interview with CNSNews.com on Monday [11/17/2008] at the National Press Club.
NEA Teachers Have Become
Re-Educators. NEA resolutions cover the waterfront of all sorts of political issues that
have nothing to do with improving education for schoolchildren, such as supporting statehood for the District
of Columbia, a "single-payer health care plan" (i.e., government run), gun control ... The NEA fiercely opposes
any competition for public schools, such as vouchers, tuition tax credits, parental option plans or public support
of any kind to nonpublic schools. The NEA strongly opposes designating English as our official language even
though such a designation is supported by more than 80% of Americans.
NEA, the labor union
for teachers. Surprisingly and sadly, many parents, perhaps many teachers, are unaware
of the political agenda of the National Education Association, to which some 2.7 million public
school teachers belong. NEA is a labor union despite its self-characterization as a professional
association for teacher training and educational goals.
union label: Back in February, I wrote in this space about Senate Bill 73. Sponsored
by a freshman Democrat, Sen. Chris Romer, it would have required Colorado public schools to adopt competency
in the English language as a graduation requirement for high school students starting in 2012. The
merits of this are so obvious, it's a sad commentary on our public schools that such legislation would even
be necessary. But remarkably, the knee-jerk reaction to Romer's bill by Democrats who represent the
interests of the teachers' unions in the state legislature was nothing short of scorn.
NEA Dues & Don'ts: It
is not the job of the NEA to issue mandates on social and moral issues. To do so is a misuse of members'
dues and a misrepresentation of teachers' views.
Change Our Public Schools Need.
Democrats are fervent supporters of public education, and the party genuinely wants to help disadvantaged kids
stuck in bad schools. But it resists bold action. It is immobilized. Impotent. The explanation
lies in its longstanding alliance with the teachers' unions — which, with more than three million members,
tons of money and legions of activists, are among the most powerful groups in American politics. The
Democrats benefit enormously from all this firepower, and they know what they need to do to keep it. They
need to stay inside the box.
Politics: Each year, NEA members pay into a "Ballot Measure/Legislative Crises Fund" that allows
the union to spend tens of millions of dollars on all manner of state and national political issues. Mike
Antonucci of the Education Intelligence Agency
reports that during the current fiscal year the NEA sent
the Hawaii State Teachers Association $20,000 to conduct polling on a state constitutional convention. It
sent the Massachusetts Teachers Association $60,000 to oppose a state income-tax repeal. And it sent the
Florida Education Association $200,000 to oppose property-tax cuts in the Sunshine State.
shortchange teachers. In 28 states, a teacher is essentially forced to join a costly union.
A typical teacher in Southern California, where I teach, pays $922 every year to his or her local, which then
sends $611 of that amount to the state affiliate, the California Teachers Assn., or CTA, and $140 to the national
affiliate, the National Education Assn., or NEA. (One has to wonder, if the unions are so beneficial, why do
teachers need to be forced to join and to fork over such hefty dues in most states?) And just what are all
of these forced dues spent on? Untold millions go to political causes, whether a teacher agrees with the
cause or not.
Abolish the Department of Education.
The U.S. Department of Education, created as a political payoff to the National Education Association by former
President Jimmy Carter, is a sewer for taxpayers' money and ought to be abolished outright. Since then,
although a few politicians — notably former President Ronald Reagan — have paid sporadic
lip service to abolishing this useless organization, most have pushed for additions to its
budget in order to curry favor with NEA members at election time.
Obama: Part III. The education situation in Obama's home base of Chicago is one of the
worst in the nation for the children — and one of the best for the unionized teachers. Fewer
than one-third of Chicago's high-school juniors meet the statewide standards on tests. Only 6 percent
of the youngsters who enter Chicago high schools become college graduates by the time they are 25 years
old. The problem is not money: Chicago spends more than $10,000 per student.
The Real Issues:
Part IV. [Senator Obama] is 100 percent behind the teachers' unions in their fight to
preserve their grip on the public schools and exempt their members from being judged by performance instead
of seniority — which is to say, he is throwing the students, and especially minority students, to
[T]eachers unions are the biggest obstacle to changing the status quo in public schools
that have failed American children in general and minority children in particular.
The IRS Will be Hiring.
[Scroll down] Then there was the creation of the Department of Education, contrary to the Constitution
that excludes federal involvement by not mentioning it. It effectively has nationalized the education
system with a one-size-fits-all policy that totally ignores the fact that different children in different
places learn at different rates. The failure of urban schools has less to do with the enormous amounts
of money spent per pupil than the crime-infested, jobless streets they must walk to get to school. It's
not like their parents don't want better schools. They do. The grip of the teacher's unions
makes that nearly impossible.
The Ten Worst Union-Protected Teachers:
Thanks to outmoded, union-defended employment laws and policies, it can be impossible to fire a bad union-protected
teacher. That's why the Center for Union Facts is going to pay the ten worst union-protected teachers in
America $10,000 apiece to get out of the classroom — for good. Dedicated, professional teachers
have nothing to fear from this contest; we're here to showcase the worst of the worst.
Reviled, Merit Pay Gains Among Teachers. For years, the unionized teaching profession opposed
few ideas more vehemently than merit pay, but those objections appear to be eroding as school districts in
dozens of states experiment with plans that compensate teachers partly based on classroom performance.
NEA lists its goals and the Democratic Party agrees. Some critics complain that the issue of
education has been conspicuously absent from presidential television debates. But Democratic presidential
candidates did sound off with their pro-federal government, pro-spending policies at the annual convention of
the National Education Association, and the nation's largest teachers union liked what they heard.
American Education Fails Because It
Isn't Education. Every American should understand that these three items:
higher pay, smaller classrooms and more money for schools are the specific agenda of the
National Education Association (NEA). The NEA is not a professional organization for
teachers. It is a labor union and its sole job is to get more money into the education
system, and more pay for its members. It also seeks to make work easier for its
members — smaller classrooms. Clearly the NEA is not about education — it's
about money and a political agenda.
Paige on Unions, and a Primer for
Reporters. Reporters newly assigned to cover an "education beat" are often woefully
unprepared for the job because they do not understand the ins and outs of "the most powerful
[force] in public education today" — teacher unions — or the "single biggest
influence on what happens in schools" — the teachers union contract.
What is the Teacher Unions'
Real Agenda with Your Children? Many non-governmental organizations have been influential in the
orgy of spending tax money to corrupt education, for their selfish interests, while claiming the pure motive
of helping our children acquire quality education. The two most powerful of these are the American
Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.
California: Giving Home-Schoolers
the Shaft. There are still excellent public school teachers out there, but mediocre ones are increasing and so
are the downright terrible ones, thanks to teachers' union protection. They may be happy now, but California's decision
on home-schooling will touch off a firestorm the unions are going to regret.
The Union War on the No Child Left Behind Act. To
the NEA and other change-resistant teachers' unions, accountability and transparency are not worthy goals. They are
nefarious plots to embarrass and shame bad teachers. Union leaders are generally unwilling to admit that not all
teachers are great at what they do.
That isn't true in any other profession, and cannot possibly be true in
NEA Allies Itself With Far Left Groups. The
National Education Association is getting in bed with far-left groups like MoveOn.org, ACORN, and Campaign for America's
Future to launch a new campaign called "National Mobilization for Great Public Schools." This "coalition certainly
isn't about any new policy directions," says Capital Research Center's David Hogberg in an article in the American Spectator
Online. Rather, the "purpose of the coalition is mobilizing the grassroots to pressure politicians to spend more money
on public education." The NEA seems unconcerned that they are allying themselves with the far left for this campaign.
NEA Gives Liberally ($12 million) to Advocacy Groups.
Groups receiving funding include:
ACORN — $218,452
Amnesty International — $7,500
Citizens for Education — $2,316,000
NAACP — $56,500
National Council of La Raza — $14,700
People for the American Way — $275,000
Sierra Club — $50,000
The Teachers Unions' Fight for Universal Preschool.
The National Education Association (NEA) wants the state to control most or all preschool programs as a boon to public education
and to the union's membership. Universal preschool is part of the NEA's broader strategy to increase public school work
hours at all levels of education, using the dubious argument that more time in school ensures a better education.
wins fight on where to donate union dues. Vancouver teacher Susan Wiggs may donate her
union dues to Shared Hope International, after all, the state Public Employment Relations Commission
has ruled. The Vancouver Public Schools teachers union has appealed the decision. Wiggs, a
teacher at Jason Lee Middle School, has been embroiled in a two-year dispute with the teachers union about
where to direct her dues. Two years ago, Wiggs withdrew from the union as a religious objector.
Teachers and EFF Win Unanimous
Victory at U.S. Supreme Court. The cases are the culmination of a decade's worth of work by
concerned teachers and the Evergreen Freedom Foundation (EFF), a Washington state think tank. The
Court's ruling could potentially affect millions of union-represented workers nationwide.
NEA Moves Even Further from Mainstream at Annual
Convention. Sissy Jochmann, a second-grade teacher in Pittsburgh, took issue with non-educational
recommendations adopted by the NEA Board of Directors — such as incorporating sexual orientation and
gender identity in teacher education standards; enhancing gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT)
partnerships; expanding the union's GLBT Web page; and supporting federal hate crimes legislation.
Board of Directors subsequently adopted the GLBT policies in a closed session, literally behind closed doors.
Is the NEA a 'terrorist
organization'? One of the NEA's formative leaders, John Dewey, an avowed humanist socialist, was
made honorary president of the NEA in 1932. In 1933, Dewey was one of the signers of the "Humanist
Manifesto." John Dewey, who traveled to Russia in the 1930s to help organize and implement the Marxist
educational system there, today is known in America as the "Father of Progressive Education."
Me to Pay Dues or Change Religion, Teacher Says. Carol Katter, a mathematics and language arts
instructor in the St. Marys district, filed a federal complaint in the U.S. District Court in Columbus this
week over an Ohio law that prevents the lifelong Catholic from diverting her dues from a union she refuses to
fund because it supports abortion on demand.
Teacher Challenges Forced Union Dues. A St.
Marys-area teacher today [1/22/2007] filed a federal complaint challenging the constitutionality of a statewide
law denying public employees the right to a religious objection to paying union dues if they do not belong to
certain state-approved religions.
Judgment day for L.A. teacher union
officials. United Teachers Los Angeles is holding elections, the results of which will affect
not only teachers but also school-reform efforts and city politics. UTLA's members are the 48,000 teachers,
nurses and school psychologists in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The union's endorsements and
street troops help elect city and state politicians, and can carry the most weight in school board elections.
West Virginia Salary Posting Raises Unions' Ire.
A decision to post teacher salaries on the Internet has irked the teachers union in West Virginia, but an experienced
reformer said such policies are needed to expose the current education system's ineffectiveness. In
February, the Kanawha County Schools Board of Education adopted a plan to post all employee salaries on
its official Web site for public inspection.
Report Finds Teachers' Pay Is More than
Adequate Across the Country. The long-lived conventional wisdom is that teachers are underpaid.
That belief is virtually unanimous. But it runs contrary to many respectable research studies that
conclude teacher salaries are at least equal to, if not in excess of, compensation for comparable occupations.
In their article "How Much Are Public School Teachers Paid?" researchers Jay P. Greene and Marcus A.
Winters come to some surprising conclusions. According to their findings, "The average public school
teacher in the United States earned $34.06 per hour in 2005, and the average public school teacher was paid
36 percent more per hour than the average non-sales white-collar worker and 11 percent more than
the average professional specialty and technical worker."
$34.06 an Hour. Who,
on average, is better paid — public school teachers or architects? How about teachers or economists?
You might be surprised to learn that public school teachers are better paid than these and many other
professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, public school teachers earned $34.06 per hour
in 2005, 36% more than the hourly wage of the average white-collar worker and 11% more than the average
professional specialty or technical worker.
How Much Are Teachers Really Paid?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), public school teachers earned, on average, $34.06 per hour
in 2005. That is 36% more than the average white collar worker and 11% more than the average professional
specialty and technical worker, which are the categories in which the BLS places teachers. To give some
examples, public school teachers are paid at a higher rate than architects, mechanical engineers, psychologists,
loophole: Retirees work for 13 days to earn lifetime health care. A loophole in Michigan's school
retirement policy allows the 60-year-old grandmother from Remus and hundreds of former school employees like her
to earn lifetime health care at deeply discounted rates — a perk worth an estimated $150,000
per retiree — for returning to work for the equivalent of 13 days.
oppose the 2014 deadline of No Child act. As Congress prepares to renew the controversial
No Child Left Behind Education Act, California teachers announced Wednesday their intention to try and
gut its core: the requirement that every student score at grade level by 2014. … They were sponsored
by the California Teachers Association.
union sues Ohio. The state's largest teachers union sued the state over its charter school program
on Friday [3/23/2007], saying it lacks proper oversight and takes needed money from traditional public schools.
Court Ruling May Force NEA
Disclosures. State affiliates of the National Education Association may be required to disclose
details of their operations, including financial information such as income and expenses, salaries and
benefits, and election rules, according to a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, DC.
court: Justice Clarence Thomas stayed mum, as usual, but all eight of his colleagues got into the
act two weeks ago when the Supreme Court heard argument in the case of a teachers union. When oral argument
ended at noon, most observers probably thought the union's luck had run out with the clock, but these things are
tough to call.
The NEA Keeps Tilting to the Left.
NEA resolutions promote the gay rights agenda in public school curricula by demanding funds to alleviate
"sexual orientation discrimination," to use multicultural education to reduce "homophobia," and even to
put "diversity-based curricula" and "bias-free screening devices in early childhood education." Another
resolution demands that schools hire "a diverse teaching staff." But the NEA certainly doesn't believe in
diversity when it comes to schools. The NEA is positively paranoid about any kind of competition, passing
resolutions against voucher plans, tuition tax credits, parental option or choice plans, sectarian schools,
for-profit schools, distance learning, and home schooling.
Is Obama Another Elitist Limousine
Leftist? The left in America pretends to care about poor people, but many of them seem more interested
in serving the interests of powerful lobbies such as trial lawyers and teacher unions. The education issue
is a great example. Leftists such as Ted Kennedy and Al Gore have been fierce opponents of school
choice and other proposals to reduce the power of the government education monopoly. Yet they send their
children to private schools.
NEA Seeks Peace Academy,
College, Citizenship for Illegal Aliens. Some of the almost 10,000 members of the National Education
Association (NEA) attending the teachers union's annual conference this week in the nation's capital spoke out on the
issues they hope their lobbyists will fight for during next year's legislative session ... Susie Jablinske, a first
grade teacher at Central Elementary School in Edgewater, Md., said children who are in the country
illegally should have the same educational rights as American children.
Teachers cheer, boo Obama.
Barack Obama got a few boos Saturday [7/5/2008] when he told the National Education Association convention in Washington he
supports merit pay.
enlists teachers union in fight for his education plan. Trying to convert teachers into a
political force behind his new business tax plan, Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Saturday fired up the Illinois
Education Association for a brutal fight in the Legislature. "It will be Armageddon, but we are on the
side of the Lord and we will prevail," Blagojevich told more than 1,200 cheering delegates at the IEA's annual
meeting in suburban Chicago.
[If a Republican had said that, the Democrats would be howling about
Wake-Me-Up-When-Class-is-Over Governor. Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, politically in debt
to the teachers' unions, is attempting to eviscerate his state's successful school reforms and its independent
board of education. His drive to ensure that No Teacher-Union Hack Is Left Behind has serious implications
for public-school choice nationally. Can Democrats who are committed to school reform summon the political
will to sustain it in the face of union opposition?
NEA Conventioneers Promote
Gay Agenda. For the past dozen years, NEA resolutions have each year adopted more and more of the
gay rights agenda. Whereas, gay rights goals such as same-sex marriage are steadily losing at the polls
(20 states have passed state constitutional amendments restricting marriage to a man and a woman), the gay
rights agenda is moving ahead full speed in the public schools, with assistance from the NEA.
NEA opposes the use of IDs in order
to vote. The [NEA] convention approved Legislative Amendment 6 to oppose the use of
voter ID in U.S. elections. However, in order to vote in NEA elections held during the convention,
delegates were required to show photo ID. Apparently it's more important to prevent voter fraud in an
election for the NEA Board of Directors than in an election for U.S. President or Members of Congress.
someone mention Voter IDs?
Follies and Failures of the National
Education Association: The largest teachers union, the National Education Association (NEA), held
its annual convention this summer in Los Angeles displaying its usual favoritism toward the gays and the
feminists, hostility to parents, and support of liberal causes. The badges worn by the delegates
included messages bashing President Bush and supporting gays and lesbians.
curious case of NEA priorities: The toughest question was undoubtedly the first one: where
do we start, when it comes to fixing America's schools? Well, they figured it out. And, really,
faced with so many incredible challenges, their priority makes sense. This is, after all, the NEA.
They know the classroom. They know the teachers. They know the real challenges of education. Which
is why their elected leaders decided that, before anything else, the first thing our teachers have to do
is win popular support for homosexual "marriage."
When Teachers Flunk, They Sue. By
requiring minority teacher applicants to pass a basic competency test, the Board of Education of New York City
may have discriminated against them, a federal court of appeals has ruled. The test measures their
mastery of basic college material, including science, math, history, and the arts, as well as written
communication skills in an essay. To pass, applicants must answer about 66 percent of the questions
correctly and score at least 60 percent on the essay. The applicants demonstrated their scores on
the examination were consistently lower than white applicants, the court stated. "Between 1993 and 1999,
the average pass rate for white test takers ranged from 91% to 94%, while the average pass rate for African
American candidates ranged from 51% to 62%, and the average pass rates for Latino candidates ranged from 47%
to 55%," the court stated. All of the minority applicants "tended" to do the worst on the essay section
of the test, according to the court.
California Law Changes the Rules for Bad
Teachers. It can take years to fire a bad teacher. So some principals don't even bother
trying. Instead, they make a deal. The principal asks the teacher to look for a job elsewhere in
the district. In exchange, the teacher gets a good evaluation. Now here's the rub. Since
there's plenty of competition for plum jobs at affluent schools, the bad teacher gets funneled to a
struggling school serving a needy population.
Riley says AEA leader is political. [Alabama Gov. Bob] Riley says Alabama Education Association
Secretary Paul Hubbert is opposing his plan because he is also vice chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party
and not out of concern for the teachers he represents. "You can't be vice chairman of the Democratic Party
and totally support the Democratic agenda and then say it's not political," Riley said Friday [8/4/2006].
Union Adopts Positions on Iraq, Lebanon Wars. Just weeks after the National Education Association
came under fire for adopting a controversial resolution that critics said didn't apply to public education,
another teachers union has adopted resolutions opposing the war in Iraq, supporting Israel in its struggle
against Hizballah and opposing Wal-Mart.
teachers: Teacher certification in most states has been a joke for years. In the
District of Columbia, for example, teachers can be certified by scoring barely above the 20th percentile
on the Praxis test, an exam used by 29 states to test who is fit to teach. The other states aren't
much better, granting certification to teachers so long as they score above the bottom third of all test
takers. Yet the National Education Association, the largest union in the nation, has fought tougher
standards all the way.
Union bosses get
in the way of common sense. Taking six years to fire a teacher doesn't do anyone any
good — except bad teachers. So why do it? The short answer is unions.
Washington Teachers Union Scandal:
For years, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) failed to protect the members of its subsidiary, the
Washington (District of Columbia) Teachers Union. And according to a March 2003 AFT publication, WTU
president Barbara Bullock — along with a small group of co-conspirators — bilked
$5 million from the union between 1995 and 2002. That amounts to $1,000 per member stolen,
laundered, or used for the personal expenses of union officials.
Approves Pro-Homosexual Resolution. The nation's largest teachers' union voted to amend its
resolutions Wednesday [7/5/2006] to include support for homosexual "marriage." The amendment, which
met with harsh criticism from conservative family groups, passed with little resistance from delegates.
Orwell in Orlando, as the NEA Constructs
Fascist, Anti-Child Policies. Child-damaging, teacher-centered discussions and policy formation
transpired at the NEA's annual convention, defying reason, morality and constitutionality. … The word
"tolerance" will be replaced by "acceptance and respect" in current NEA policies, including those covering
"gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered" behaviors, orientations, etc. among students, teachers and
staff. So the concept of cross-dressing third graders must now be "respected."
Union Investments Deliver Poor
Returns, High Fees. Public school teachers might want to recalculate the money they stand
to collect on their 403(b) plans when they retire. That's assuming, of course, the money will be
there. In a lengthy expose in its April 25 edition, the Los Angeles Times revealed
how cozy relationships between teacher union officials and investment companies result in retirement
plans that charge unusually high fees but deliver below-average returns.
The Union Label on the Ballot Box: From
their origins in the 19th century until the present day, school boards have been regarded as shining examples
of local democracy, the keystone that links public education to ordinary citizens. But this is one of
the enduring myths of American folklore. The reality is that, while some 96 percent of school
boards are elected (according to data collected by Frederick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute), these
elections are usually low-turnout, low-interest affairs in which the vast majority of ordinary citizens play
no role at all.
Profile of the National Education
Association. Lavish salaries for union staff, and vast sums of money spent on a radical
political agenda, demonstrate the wide gap between this union's leaders and the teachers they claim to
represent. The American Federation of Teachers reports that the average U.S. teacher's salary was
below $46,000 in 2002-2003. But [NEA president Reg] Weaver's salary was $439,000 last year, and
more than half of the NEA's 600-person staff took home more than $100,000 in compensation, according
to analysis from The Wall Street Journal.
Connecticut Public Employees Live On Easy
Street. Connecticut's teacher-retirement fund has a $5 billion gap between assets and
liabilities. The unfunded liability for all state employees is $7 billion. Unlike
the use-it-or-lose-it policy of the private sector, it is common for unused sick and vacation days
to be "purchased" by Connecticut's government entities when employees retire.
union loses its force in storm's wake. When the Orleans Parish School Board gathered last
month and voted to fire virtually the entire work force of 7,500 teachers, custodians, bus drivers and
kitchen staff, union brass might have been expected to clamor loudly in opposition. Instead, but
for one or two nonunion gadflies who spieled and sat down, you could practically hear the crickets.
Unions fight to
protect the nightmare. The unions use their clout to fight against the interests of the best
teachers. Union leaders make sure the teachers who work hardest don't get raises or bonuses.
Everyone with the same seniority and credentials must be paid the same. That guarantees that no
teacher will take home a dime for making extra sure that students learn.
How Republicans Get Teacher Union
Endorsements: When a teachers' union endorses a Republican in a major race, or at
least fails to endorse a Democrat, it is newsworthy. The unions themselves claim otherwise,
cleaving adamantly to the focus-group-tested, talking-point-sanctioned line that they choose
candidates not according to party, but according to their pro-public education track
records. Since this topic arises so often, I thought it prudent to simply list
the four circumstances under which a teachers' union will endorse and/or financially
support a Republican running for major office.
Seek High Court Ruling on Dues for Politics. Numerous conservative groups are asking the U.S.
Supreme Court to reinstate a Washington state law that requires unions to get permission from non-union
employees before spending their mandatory dues on political causes and activities.
Teachers File SCOTUS Arguments Seeking Limits on Union
Officials' Access to Forced Dues. National Right to Work Foundation attorneys took additional
steps today to secure U.S. Supreme Court review of a controversial Washington State Supreme Court ruling
which struck down a state law requirement that union officials obtain the prior consent of nonunion
public employees before spending mandatory union dues for politics.
Fun Facts from AFL-CIO's Disclosure
Report: AFL-CIO took in $189.9 million in total receipts in 2004-05, mostly from
per capita taxes, or dues, from member unions. The bulk of the federation's
expenditures went towards:
* Political activities and lobbying – $49.3 million
* Representational activities – $29.9 million
* General overheard – $22.6 million
* Benefits – $16.9 million
* Union administration – $6 million
* Contributions, gifts and grants – $2.4 million
The federation had a host of conference and meeting expenditures,
including $11,638 for what I'm sure was a lovely staff retreat/dinner cruise.
The Union That Killed
Education: Public schools are run by the National Educational Association. They
are not run by people you can hold accountable, such as teachers, superintendents and school
boards. The NEA opposes merit pay, charter schools and any decision by any school
administrator that has not been determined in advance by collective bargaining. Simply
put, the NEA opposes everything except its own power.
displays insatiable demand for money. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger … should know by
now that no amount of spending is ever enough for those who believe money can solve every problem in
education. Take the California Teachers Association, for example.
Association Funds Radical Groups With Union Dues. If we told you that an organization
gave away more than $65 million last year to Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the Gay and
Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Amnesty International, AIDS Walk Washington and dozens of other
such advocacy groups, you'd probably assume we were describing a liberal philanthropy. In fact,
those expenditures have all turned up on the financial disclosure report of the National Education
Association, the country's largest teachers union.
Teacher union gives
slush money to left-wing groups. The vast majority of teachers in government schools
are well-meaning professionals. The National Education Association, by contrast, is a virulently
left-wing organization that takes money (coercively in many cases) from these teachers and uses the
money to fund a host of radical groups.
HSTA Union Dues
Go Largely to Union Payroll, Not to Benefit Teachers. After the Hawaii State Teachers'
Association convention in March, when internal election irregularities were revealed, one teacher
asked, "What does the union do for us anyway?" A portion of the answer can be deciphered
from the HSTA's financials.
NEA: 30 Years of Lobbying
Democrats. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the decision by the National Education
Association (NEA) to become a major player in politics. While 1976 was the first year that the
nation's largest teachers union endorsed a presidential candidate (Jimmy Carter, who was promising
to deliver creation of the union's cherished federal Department of Education), it wasn't long
before the NEA's political activity became a major part of its raison d'etre.
The NEA Strikes Again!
Let's clear up a few ideas about the role the NEA plays in regards to wasted money, overcrowding, teachers,
books and materials. To begin with, every time the NEA is challenged in court with regard to its misguided
and inappropriate policy decisions, it uses money gained through teacher dues to defer the costs of defending
itself … money which is supposed to help the students and teachers in this country achieve excellence in
education. But I digress. The money forced out of teacher paychecks and instead used to support the
union goes to further a union agenda that takes away from parental choice and responsibility.
The teachers unions
are mad at me. [It's] because I hosted an ABC News TV special titled "Stupid in America," which
- American fourth graders do well on international tests, but by high school, Americans have
fallen behind kids in most other countries.
- The constant refrain that "public schools need more
money" is nonsense. Many countries that spend significantly
less on education do better than we do.
- Most American parents give their kids' schools an A or B grade,
but that's only because, without market competition, they don't know what they might have had.
teach. I was especially surprised by one history lesson [a group of angry
public-school teachers] taught me: "Public schools are what distinguish democracies from
every other system in the world," and a country without strong public schools "lends itself to authoritarian
thinking." Fascinating. I guess the Communists all went to private school.
little tidbit of totalitarianism. The Oklahoma Education Association … wants to
silence citizens petitioning to place an initiative on the ballot. … Sure, I know that's too
strong a word. It's just that squelching speech and strong-arming people to prevent the free
exercise of individual rights are the hallmarks of totalitarianism.
Class-Action Lawsuit Pending Against
California Teacher Union. While a class-action lawsuit against the California Teachers
Association (CTA) was pending, a U.S. District Court judge on October 6 refused to temporarily
freeze funds the union seized from teachers statewide without due process in order to fight
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and several measures on the November 8 special-election ballot.
Power Motivates Unions. Some
wonder why the teacher unions, long so fervently opposed to charter schools, are now aggressively trying
to recruit their teachers.
Look for the Union Label. American
workers are forced to fund political activities they disagree with. Like virtually all national labor
unions in America, the NEA devotes a huge portion of its manpower and money to political action. But it
also serves as the collective bargaining representative for a large group of public employees. So its
particular political action is aimed at hand-picking the taxpayers' representatives too — and thus
controlling both sides of the negotiating table.
These are your
teachers? The National Education Association recently concluded its annual meeting in Los
Angeles — and you might be surprised what the largest teachers' union in America talked about
and decided. … The state of public education in American today is not exactly state of the
art. You might think falling test scores, higher drop-out rates, and functional illiteracy of
graduates — despite ever increasing taxpayer commitments — would be causes for
concern and debate at a forum like this. You would be wrong.
Union Fights Governor, Wants More Spending and Power. What is the
substance of the schools funding debate? Including all sources of education
spending, the governor has proposed spending $10,084 per student for 2005-2006. …
Mind you, all of this is for a system that, according to the National Education
Association website, pays its teachers the most in America. California teachers
are paid an average of $58,287 a year, 25% above the national average.
The 65 percent
solution: The 65 Percent Solution solves the misallocation of resources, but
there is scant evidence that increasing financial inputs will, by itself, increase a school's
cognitive outputs. Or that a small reduction in class sizes accomplishes much. Or that
adding thousands of new teachers would do as much good as firing thousands of tenured
incompetents. However, firing a bad teacher is, according to a California official,
less a choice than a career — figure two years of struggle and $200,000 in legal
costs. That is why in a recent five-year period only 62 of California's 220,000
tenured teachers were dismissed.
Paying teachers to
teach. Study after study shows the quality of teaching is paramount to student achievement. Next
to parents, teachers are the most important factors in determining a student's academic success. Yet, instead of
rewarding our best teachers and removing the poor ones, we cling to an antiquated, bureaucratic compensation model
that is flawed at its core.
Aha! Where Do Public
School Teachers Send Their Kids to School? Public school teachers in urban areas
are far more likely than city residents in general to send their children to private schools,
according to a new analysis of 2000 Census data by researchers led by Denis P. Doyle, who
previously analyzed 1980 and 1990 Census data. While just 12.2 percent of U.S.
families send their children to private schools, that figure rises to 17.5 percent among
urban families in general and to 21.5 percent among urban public school
teachers, almost twice the national average.
Must This Teacher Teacher
Be Fired? Albert Einstein revolutionized Physics, Alan Turing helped invent
computer science and Richard Feynman won the Nobel Prize in Physics while maintaining
a reputation as the best science teacher of his generation. … None
of these individuals, according to the state licensing board, would
be qualified to teach in an Oregon public school.
and think: Part III. No special interest group within the Democratic
party has as much influence — domination might be a better word — as
the teachers' unions. The top priority of the National Education Association and the
American Federation of Teachers is their members' jobs. … Parents may think that public
schools exist to educate their children but, to the teachers' unions, these schools exist
to provide their members with jobs, with iron-class tenure, and with pay increases based
on seniority, not performance. If maintaining that status quo means sacrificing the
education of a whole generation of young blacks, the teachers' unions will do it.
NEA's Lobbying Agenda: The NEA's lobbying goals for public
schools include federal funding for public school child care, early childhood
programs that are school-based, before- and after-school programs, big spending
for school counselors, school-based health care for children, and of course
increased federal spending for education. The NEA's non-education-related
lobbying goals include funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, a national
universal health care system, reparations to African Americans, statehood for the
District of Columbia, taxpayer funding of federal elections, and a national
holiday for Cesar Chavez.
News: Disputed Elections and Missing Funds. The Washington
Teachers Union and United Teachers of Dade (Florida), currently under administration
by the American Federation of Teachers, are enduring accusations of vote fraud by
losing candidates for the office of president in elections designed to allow the
two unions to undertake local self-rule.
Texas Teachers Learn
to Cheat: A loophole in the law allows them to pay as little as $3 in Social
Security taxes and receive Social Security benefits worth about $5,200 a year for the rest
of their lives. How can teachers expect their students to behave honorably if they
intend to cheat the Social Security system to get more benefits than they deserve?
Labor Union Masks Motives Behind Teacher
Facade. Why do top teacher union officials, like NEA President Reg Weaver, describe
themselves as "classroom teachers" rather than union representatives? The annual Harris Poll provides
a ready answer: Teachers are regarded by almost half of the American public as belonging to an occupation
of "very great prestige," whereas only 15 percent regard union leaders that way. The teacher union
has been so successful in downplaying its identity as a labor union that a survey of members of the Alabama
Education Association in 2000 showed only 19 percent regarded the NEA as a union, with an overwhelming
77 percent saying it was "a professional association."
New Slogan: No Teacher Left Behind. The traditional greeting at the Democratic
National Convention is, "Where do you teach?" On rare occasions, the greeting is modified
to, "Where does your husband teach?" or "Where does your gay lover teach?" (Democrats
could save a lot of money by holding the Democratic National Convention and the National
Education Association Convention at the same time.)
John Kerry sells out to big
education. The National Education Association, the nation's largest professional employee
organization, is fundamentally opposed to any education reform that seeks to hold public schools accountable
for their failures. On July 3, it will hold its national convention in Washington, D.C. That's
when the association is expected to endorse John Kerry for president. Along with the endorsement will
come thousands of votes from teachers across the country.
Political activism takes
center stage for NEA. To no one's surprise, delegates to the annual National Education
Association convention voted 7,390 to 1,153 to endorse U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., for president.
NEA. The District of Columbia cell of the Communist Party USA has been revealed
as holding a monthly luncheon in the cafeteria of the National Education Association (NEA),
without the sponsorship but not with the disapproval of the huge, politically powerful
unions get active. School's out, but the nation's teacher unions will be
working overtime this summer to help elect John Kerry president.
Other Teacher Union
News: In March , more than half of Philadelphia's middle school teachers
failed their content exams for certification as "highly qualified" teachers. Nearly
two of every three teachers who took the math exam failed it, though one teacher who
achieved a perfect score said the test "mostly included seventh- and eighth-grade math
and touched on high school math."
Called to the
Principal's Office: The nation's largest teachers' union may soon
come to regret the educational-policy buzzwords "accountability" and "testing."
Democrats: About 28 percent of the delegates and alternates to the
Democratic convention were members of the AFL-CIO or the National Education
Association. This is unrepresentative of the population of the whole — only
about 15 percent of the work force belongs to unions. Nor is it representative
of union members themselves, many of whom have been forced to join unions against
their will to hold a job. While the labor leadership is almost unanimously
Democratic, 40 percent of union voters supported the GOP in 1994.
The Gathering: You
may be under the impression that teachers teach because they are "called in life" to help
build a better society. Hearing this suggestion, one union representative said, "That
is only for public distribution." They put up with these undisciplined,
uncontrollable [illegitimates] for the money.
Oklahoma Teacher Salaries Compare Favorably to
Other States: In May 2003 the National Education Association reported Oklahoma is "47th in the
nation in public school teacher pay." Unfortunately, Oklahoma's efforts on behalf of elementary and
secondary school teachers are rarely put into proper perspective. When differences in tax burden, living
costs, employee benefits, and working conditions are taken into account, Oklahoma teacher salaries actually
compare favorably to teacher salaries in other states, as well as to salaries of other workers in Oklahoma.
The Education Costa
Nostra: Since the job of unions is to accumulate leverage and money, they've fought President
Bush and Rod Paige on every meaningful education reform they've proposed.
ACLJ Letter to
the National Education Association: The purpose of this letter is to
formally object to your recommendations to parents and teachers regarding the anniversary
of the terrorist attacks of one year ago included on your "Remember September 11th"
website. In particular, we take issue with your advice for parents and
teachers: "Do not suggest any group is responsible." The problem with this
advice is that there is a group responsible, and we know who that group is - an
organization of radical Islamic terrorists called al-Qaeda. By advising
teachers not to suggest that any group is responsible, you both shortchange our children's
education and risk undermining our nation's effort to eradicate terrorists and prevent
further terrorist attacks.
education against all odds: Teachers unions recoil from accountability and
resent evidence that all is not well, or that whatever is wrong cannot be cured by
increased funding of current practices. But per-pupil spending, adjusted for
inflation, is three times what it was 40 years ago, and the pupil-teacher ratio is
40 percent lower, yet reading scores are essentially unchanged.
confirms spending audits: The National Education Association has confirmed
that the Labor Department as well as the Internal Revenue Service are investigating whether
the 2.7 million-member school union properly reported millions of dollars in political
Unions: Are the Schools Run for Them? Public education is the most
expensive "gift" that most Americans will ever receive. Government school
systems are increasingly coercive and abusive both of parents and students. Government
schools in hundreds of cities, towns, and counties have been effectively taken over by
unions, and children are increasingly exploited, thwarted, and stymied for the
benefit of organized labor.
Let unions pay for their own
business. We could buy a stack of textbooks three times higher than the
tallest building in Denver with what we're paying teachers for union leave days.
"for the children": When corporate moguls get nabbed for ripping off
shareholders, the media go ape-wild. Last year's front-page headlines were filled
with Big Business scandals and barrels of op-ed indignation about capitalist greed. But
when teachers' union officials plunder their members' coffers in Enronic proportions, the
media go ... AWOL.
IRS Audits Nation's Top Teachers'
Union. The IRS is auditing the nation's largest teachers union, scrutinizing an organization
that works energetically to elect candidates but files tax returns reporting zero political expenditures
from member dues.
the NEA. The Internal Revenue Service is auditing the nation's largest
teachers union — one that works energetically to elect candidates, lobbies the Congress
on legislation, but files tax returns reporting zero political expenditures from member dues.
union evading taxes. Alleges NEA failed to report properly on
money spent for political activity.
WEA is next in line for an IRS audit. Headlines around the
nation announced today that the National Education Association is being audited
by the IRS for reporting "zero" political expenditures on its tax forms, even
though the union spends millions each election cycle to elect candidates
and influence policy.
Unions Crush Philanthropy and Volunteerism. In October , the
Mayor of Detroit and Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm turned away
a $200 million gift offered to create 15 small charter high schools in Detroit.
Activists Rally Against
NEA. The resolution culminates years of pro-homosexual actions by the NEA, an
association for public school teachers that unwaveringly lobbies for liberal causes, which
ultimately reach our children in the classroom.
NEA Backs Away from "Gay History
Month". While they repealed their overt support for recognizing a "Lesbian and
Gay History Month" and "sexual orientation education," the resolutions they passed in their
place use different words to say exactly the same thing!
NEA Wastes Money on
Washington PR Firm. Instead of paying a big PR firm to tell NEA leadership that
a Gay and Lesbian History Month is a bad idea, the NEA leadership could have listened to the
over 20,000 letters and phone calls that inundated the organization's national office after
Concerned Women for America launched a massive campaign to alert the public of NEA's
passage of the controversial resolution.
Union Scandal in the Nation's Capital: Once again we find
that a vocal critic of Enron is embarrassed by scandal in her own ranks.
State Think Tank Takes on the NEA: This past April, , the Evergreen
Freedom Foundation sued the National Education Association (NEA) for illegally using
member dues to influence state electoral politics.
looters liberals ignore: Peter Jennings and the New York Times couldn't
get enough of the looting stories out of Iraq. But they couldn't care less about
a massive, systematic looting scheme here at home that is robbing America's schoolchildren
and rank-and-file teachers blind.
unions: [I]t is insufficient that the public schools should
be public. More to the point is that they should teach.
Education Lobby Cited as Primary
Cause of Teacher Shortage: NEA gives more
weight to "Education" degree than to professional qualifications.
Gary, Indiana, cancels
school amid strike. Officials on Thursday [8/24/2006] indefinitely canceled classes citywide
after teachers, striking for a fourth day, blocked streets and swarmed a car attempting to park at an
elementary school. Two picketers were slightly hurt as the car rolled through the crowd.
Teacher strikes are illegal and poorly
timed: Even if teacher strikes were legal (they are not), the timing of the union's latest demands
(cost-of-living increases plus ten percent and expanded health benefits) is poor and unprofessional.
education establishment: According to The Washington Times
and D.C. Watch, the FBI, IRS,
Department of Labor and the D.C. Inspector General's Office have been looking into
suspected criminal conduct by officers of the Washington Teachers Union.
Being Prosecuted for Illegally Spending Fees: The nation's largest teachers union is being
prosecuted for illegally using fees paid by non-members for political purposes.
Hawaii Teacher Union Sued for Violating Professors' Civil
Rights: University of Hawaii employee files case to stop the illegal seizure of dues
spent for politics.
Christian Educator Perturbed by NEA's
Post-Sept. 11 Stance: Dr. Robert Simonds, president of the National Association of Christian
Educators, says American schoolchildren should be warned about the severe threat that Islam poses to their
country. "We are at war with the Muslims. We are at war with right and wrong. We are at war
with evil. And we are war with that Islamic religion because that's the religion that specifically names
the Jew and the Christians to be destroyed," Simonds says. "So how can anybody say that it's not going
to harm our children?"
Terrorism? NEA-linked article says not to "suggest any group is responsible"
for 9-11 attacks.
disarmament: The National Education Association has weighed in with
suggestions to guide teachers on the first anniversary of the terror attacks. "Do not
suggest," the NEA advises, "that any group is responsible. Do not repeat the speculations
of others, including newscasters. Blaming … is especially difficult in terrorist
situations because someone is at fault." Well, yes, someone is always at fault. And
unless those "someones" are right-wing radio hosts, liberals just hate to see them
blamed for anything.
collect 8 times teacher pay: A public-policy think tank says the leadership
of the National Education Association, the country's top teachers' union, is so far
removed from ordinary classroom environments they can no longer relate to the tasks
facing working-class teachers.
NEA: Let the Indoctrination Begin! The one-year anniversary of the
September 11 attacks is only weeks away, and the National Education Association
is all revved up and ready to help public school teachers indoctrinate
malleable young minds.
Some of the NEA Resolutions Passed at 2002 Convention in Dallas:
[The NEA] "believes that closed public school buildings should be sold or leased only to those organizations
that do not provide direct educational services to students and/or are not in direct competition with
public schools." [This shows that the NEA is protecting its education monopoly and
Decoding the (1999) NEA
Resolutions: Because so many NEA resolutions are written in a jargon that obscures
their real purpose, here is a glossary to explain what some terms really mean.
Slapped With $800,000 Fine for Misappropriating Union Dues: The
National Education Association is crying foul play after a Washington state
judge slapped the country's largest teachers union with an $800,000 fine for failing
to show up for court on charges that it was illegally spending members' dues on politics.
Evergreen Freedom Foundation President Bob Williams testified June 20 in front of
Congress that the NEA's treatment of members "may be the last institutionalized
civil rights violation remaining in our nation."
Called the Shots on Democrats' Agenda: A complaint, filed with the
Internal Revenue Service on July 20,  alleges not only that the NEA extensively
coordinated campaign activities with the Democratic National Committee but also — despite
reporting zero spending for political activities — that the teacher union used millions of
dollars of tax-exempt funds for political purposes.
Political Spending, Suit Charges: The 2.7 million members of the
National Education Association apparently get a terrific bargain for their membership
dues: Political clout at no expense.
Carolina Concerned About Teacher's Union: The more-than-cozy
relationship between the North Carolina Association of Educators
and the Democratic Party should be a matter of concern for the
parents of this state's youngsters. One problem, of course, is
that the NCAE and the National Education Association have consistently
adopted positions on social and political issues which
are far to the left of mainstream.
Pro-Family Leaders Continue to Rip National
Educators' Union: The NEA's guidelines for commemorating the September 11 terrorist attacks have
been called "outrageous," "un-American," "pro-terrorist," and "treasonist" by critics. The suggestions
that no individual or group be blamed for the attack — and that America is to blame — have
been subjected to harsh criticism.
schools? Don't make me laugh! As parents prepare to send their children
back to school, more and more of them at some point discover that their local school board has
no control whatever over what is taught in their schools. They discover that the schools
are controlled by a combination of the teacher's unions and the federal government.
and the School Fraud: Over two thousand years ago, Socrates told us
that if someone started charging money for teaching the youth things that are well
known to virtually every adult in the society, it would be fraud. Today, that fraud is
well established in our country. Schooling has been taken over and adulterated by
government for political purposes and enforced by laws of compulsion. It has been
corrupted by teacher unions that keep well educated people out of the public schools
by requiring the teachers to be not only "certified" but union members. Those
requirements guarantee that only mediocre caliber people will work in
the government-run schools.
In Search of… the "Certified"
Teacher: It is a farce and a fraud when teachers' unions talk about a need for "certified"
teachers, when certification has such low requirements and when uncertified teachers often have
WEA orders teachers and their representatives
to be quiet, or else… After an annual arbitration hearing last week, the Washington
Education Association (WEA) drafted a retroactive "gag order" for staff of the Evergreen Freedom
Foundation (EFF) and several other individuals. The order, signed by attorneys from the WEA and an
American Arbitration Association arbitrator, attempts to prohibit teachers and their representatives from
ever talking about what took place at the union's hearing.
Complaint accuses NEA of misusing
funds to aid DNC: The National Education Association concealed its use of millions of dollars in
tax-exempt teachers' dues and fees for political activities, primarily for Democratic candidates and causes,
according to a complaint filed yesterday [4/22/2002] by the Landmark Legal Foundation.
Boards: Tainted By Liberal, Union Bias? Eighty percent of school board members in a recent
survey describe themselves as either moderate or conservative, with only 15.9 percent owning up to a
liberal philosophy. Yet many conservatives believe school boards have lost sight of their
mission -- to serve the interests of kids, parents and the public. The National School Boards
Association (NSBA), which conducted the nationwide survey, and many of the nation's school boards
individually, have fought school choice reforms like charter schools and vouchers.
for outrage! In exchange for NEA money and votes, Democrat
politicians will not allow consequential school reforms to take place. Only
an informed and outraged people can change this.
young minds. Between them, the NEA and the American Federation of Teachers
(NEA's ideological twin) represent upward of 85 percent of the nation's public school
teachers. In terms of shaping the content of public education, the NEA is more powerful
than all the school committees and education boards in the land.
"Will Not Back Away" From Homosexuality Issue: The
head of the nation's biggest teachers union Thursday denied the union had backed away
from a proposal to seek a greater emphasis on teaching about homosexuality in public schools.
Groups Attack NEA's Alleged Homosexual Agenda: Conservatives
are stepping up their efforts to thwart the National Education Association's
expected push to teach homosexuality in public schools.
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"You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the
strong. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot
further the brotherhood of many by encouraging class hatred. You cannot help the poor by
destroying the rich."
William J. H. Boetcker, 1916.
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