Unionized  Teachers


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.



The Justice Department Becomes a Schoolyard Bully in Wisconsin.  It is as remarkable as it is repulsive, the ingenuity with which the Obama administration uses the regulatory state's intricacies to advance progressivism's project of breaking nongovernmental institutions to government's saddle.  Eager to sacrifice low-income children to please teachers unions, the Justice Department wants to destroy Wisconsin's school choice program.  Feigning concern about access for disabled children, the department aims to handicap all disadvantaged children by denying their parents access to school choices of the sort affluent government lawyers enjoy.

Teachers Union Ignores State Law Against Campaign Spending.  Pennsylvania's largest teachers union exploited its members to aid Democrats in the midterm elections and may have broken state law in the process, according to charges filed by a veteran educator.  Pennsylvania College of Technology professor Mary Trometter claims in a state Labor Relations Board complaint that the NEA-affiliated Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) sent mailers endorsing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf to her husband.  Wolf beat incumbent Republican Gov. Tom Corbett by 10 points.  "As a family member of an educator, you know they are devoting their career to helping others ... Please join Mary in voting for Tom Wolf for Governor on November 4th," the letter says.

Do the math: Teacher unions spent $80 million on 2014 elections.  American Federation of Teachers' (AFT) President Randi Weingarten recently revealed that her union spent over $20 million on election campaigns this cycle in order to elect politicians who defend an indefensible status quo that she's partly responsible for.  The other big teacher union, the National Education Association (NEA), pledged up to $60 million, making teacher unions among the biggest campaign contributors this election cycle.

Teachers unions spend, lose big on midterm elections.  Teachers unions spent big on the midterm elections, dropping as much as $80 million on mostly Democrat candidates and losing big.  The National Educational Association and the American Federation of Teachers spent their members' dues to support labor-friendly candidates in states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and North Carolina, only to see Republicans win handily.  Some critics say not only did they get little bang for their bucks, they may have further alienated members who don't share the organizations' politics.

Teachers Giveth, Union Taketh Away.  Two Pennsylvania teachers are fighting the state's largest teachers union for interfering with their charitable giving.  The teachers allege in a suit filed in district court that the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) is blocking them from exercising their right to donate union dues money to charity.  Pennsylvania allows religious objectors to cut ties with unions as long as they donate an equivalent agency fee payment to charity.  That money is given to the union, which is then supposed to send it to the charity of the teacher's choosing.  Jane Ladley, an elementary school teacher for 25 years before retiring in June, said that the union prevented her from directing her $435 donation to a scholarship fund to teach high school seniors about the Constitution because it was "too political."

Forget 'Bullying Prevention Month' real school bullies are the teachers union.  The National Education Association is highlighting October as "Bullying Prevention Month."  "I hope to never hear an educator or a parent or a Sunday school teacher say to a frightened bullied child, 'Just ignore it.'  Schools that are seeing a decrease in bullying are not ignoring it.  They are acting," NEA president Lily Eskelsen Garcia said, according to the NEA website.  Kudos to the union for focusing on the problem, but it might be taken a little more seriously if its rhetoric didn't ring so hollow.

Philadelphia teachers to pay for health benefits as contract axed.  The state panel that oversees Philadelphia's cash-strapped public schools abruptly canceled a contract with teachers on Monday [10/6/2014], despite nearly two years of labor negotiations, and said teachers would have to begin paying for healthcare benefits.

Denver 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.

'A' 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 of them.

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.

Teachers 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.

Judge: Michigan 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.

A 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.

Education 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.

How 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:
Teachers 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.

Michael 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'!" added Mulgrew.

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.

Next 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 Parents Union.

Lawsuit 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.

Former 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.

New 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.

Hinsdale 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.

'War on 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.

Vergara 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.

California 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."

Chicago 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?

Calif. 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.

Favoring 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 accepted them.

Chicago 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.

Teachers 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.

Chicago 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.

Teachers 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.

MI 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.

Nation's 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.

More 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 comparable schools.

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.

Why 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.

Pension 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.

San 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.

International teachers' 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 accomplished.

California 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.

Three-quarters of 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.

California teachers 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.

Union 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."

Rift 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.

California 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.

California 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.

More about OFA.

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.

Chicago 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]

Teachers' 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.

NEA's 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."

California's expensive 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.

LA's 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.

NYC 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.

Historic education 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.

William 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.

Shakedown:
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.

Teachers union 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.

Crowd 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 with murder.

Crowd Laughs as Chicago Teachers Union President Talks About Killing the Rich.  [Video clip]

NEA, 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.

20 Ways 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.

Union 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 the open.

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.

Chicago 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 Socialists Organization.

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?

Chicago 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.

Minnesota 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.

California's 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.

Chicago 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."

Chicago Teachers 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.

Chicago 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.

Meet 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.

Chicago's Teachers 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.

Chicago 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.

After $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.

Louisiana 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.

Teachers Union 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.

Christie 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.

The National 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.

Chicago 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.

How a 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.

NEA 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 taking notice.

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 incumbent president.

Teachers' Union 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 entrepreneurship.

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.

Teachers 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.

Wisconsin 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!

Teachers Unions 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.
Louisiana 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.

With 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.

Teachers' latest 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!

Showdown 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.

Attack 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 intimidation.

Teachers 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.

The 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.

Four 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.

Why "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 Republicans.

Rubber 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.

Membership 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.

Why 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 public.

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.

Sick 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 sector job.

Study 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.

'Occupying' The 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 corporate peers.

Unions: 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.

Will 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.

National teachers' 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.

Obama's 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."

At 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.

The 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.

Absent 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.

Revolutionizing 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."

Ed 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.

Tennessee 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.

"Card 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.

Government Schools: 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.

Stimulus 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.

Teachers 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 able to.
This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2013 by Andrew K. Dart

The irresistible force of school reform meets the immovable object of teachers unions.
Education Showdown.  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 interest?

Dear 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.

Teachers 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.

Teachers' 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 the public.

N.J. 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."

Of 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?

Virginia's Education 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.

Public 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?

5 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.

Teachers' 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.

Teachers 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.

'Waiting 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.

'Waiting 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.

Stalin-Style 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.

The 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.

1,500 teachers 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.

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.

Rowdy 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.

Feds 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?

Tennessee moves 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.

An Epic 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.

Excuses, Excuses.  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.

"Reverse 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.

Unions' 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.

Did 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 teachers union?

New 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.

Teacher's 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."

Illinois Attempts 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.

Democrats 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.

Governor 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.

Teachers 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.

Influence of 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.

New 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.

Judge 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.

'Superman' 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.

'Waiting for 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.

Liberalism's 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.

Some 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.

National Education 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.

NEA 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.

Rose 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.

New 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 overhead.

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 their books.

Not 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.

Buying 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.

The 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.

Teachers 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.

The NEA's 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.

More 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.

Ooh-rah!  Mass. 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.

Squabble 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.

Why 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 budget...["]

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.

Are 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.

Teachers Seek $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' unions.

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].

Unions, 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.

Obama 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.

Even 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.

AFL-CIO 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."

Liberal bias 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.

Fat 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!"

'Fire 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."

Is 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."

Getting 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.

Public 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 is ludicrous.

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 middle schools.

State 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"

Teachers 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.

Teachers 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.

Bankrupt 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.

The 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.

Rubber 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.

Liberal 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.

The 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.

'Zero 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."

Unions 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.

How to 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.

Teachers 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.

Cautionary 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.

Education's 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.

Extracurricular 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.

Unions 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.

The Real 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 the wolves. … [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.

Long 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.

The 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 education either.

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.

Teacher 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. … The 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."

Union Told 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, and chemists.

The $1,470-an-hour 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.

California teachers 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.

Teachers 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.

Teachers in 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.

Governor 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 a theocracy.]

The 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.

Did 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.

The 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.

Governor 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].

Teachers 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.

Testing 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.

NEA 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.

Teachers 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.

Union Foes 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.

Schools establishment 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.

National Education 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 pointed out:
  • 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.

Follow-up:
Time to 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.

A tiny 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.

Teachers 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.

Stop 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.

The 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.

Teacher Union 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."

Democrats' 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.

Reds at 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 schoolteachers union.

Teacher 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 [2004], 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."

Captive 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.

Reforming 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.

NEA 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 spending.

Teachers 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.

Plundering "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.

Smash 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.

Complaint:  Teacher's union evading taxes.  Alleges NEA failed to report properly on money spent for political activity.

Hopefully 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.

Teacher Unions Crush Philanthropy and Volunteerism.  In October [2003], 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.

Teachers 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.

Washington State Think Tank Takes on the NEA:  This past April, [2002], the Evergreen Freedom Foundation sued the National Education Association (NEA) for illegally using member dues to influence state electoral politics.

The 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.

Reactionary 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.

Washington's 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.

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?"

No-fault Terrorism?  NEA-linked article says not to "suggest any group is responsible" for 9-11 attacks.

Moral 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.

NEA execs 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.

The 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 suppressing competition.]

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.

NEA 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."

Union Called the Shots on Democrats' Agenda:  A complaint, filed with the Internal Revenue Service on July 20, [2001] 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.

Union Hid 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.

North 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.

Local 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.

Socrates 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 higher qualifications.

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.

School 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.

Time 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.

NEA:  Warping 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.

NEA "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.

Pro-Family 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."

Rev. William J. H. Boetcker, 1916.       



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