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.
are outraged by a teachers' union official's hypocrisy. A video showing the president of Berkeley's teachers'
union — after refusing to send teachers back to school for in-class learning — dropping his daughter
off at an in-person preschool has outraged parents in reliably leftist Berkeley, California. This show of hypocrisy and
elitism was too much for them. A group calling itself "Guerilla Momz" has posted just two videos, but they're
powerful. [Video clip] [...] This video got almost no views. However, what set the Berkeley parent community
on fire was the video that Guerilla Momz posted three days ago.
teachers union slams California schools plan as 'propagating structural racism'. California's largest local
teachers union on Monday [3/1/2021] slammed the state's new school reopening plan as "a recipe for propagating structural
racism" hours after Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democratic lawmakers unveiled their compromise proposal. The United
Teachers of Los Angeles' strong condemnation is a bad sign for Newsom and Democrats who spent months working to strike a deal
on legislation they believe will spur districts to reopen. Los Angeles Unified is the second largest district in the
nation with about 600,000 students — and by far the largest in the state with roughly 10 percent of
California's public schoolchildren.
Union Boss Claims Private In-Person Preschool For Own Son is "Personal Choice". Things are heating up in
Berkeley where parents are fed up with teachers' unions and their pet politicians keeping schools closed. But since
it's Berkeley, there's more of a radical edge to it. [...] A group called 'Guerrila Momz' then followed Matt Miller and
caught him out on a double standard, tweeting, "Meet Matt Meyer. "White man with dreads and president of the local
teachers' union. He's been saying it is unsafe for *your kid* to be back at school, all the while dropping his kid off
at private school." [...] Or, as Guerilla Momz put it, "It wouldn't be Berkeley if we weren't gaslighting the actual victims,
"trying to protect white males." That's what "diversity and inclusion" while pretending to advocate for them." Matt
Meyer is claiming that he's advocating for teachers by keeping schools closed, but he has the right to do whatever he wants.
Our Chance To Create Public School Alternatives. Throughout parts of the United States, children have not been
in school for a year. Instead, they are expected to daily attend zoom classes. What that means in practical terms
is that many kids sit somewhere at home, log in to class, turn off the camera, and go back to bed or play games on their
phone throughout the "school" day. [...] Many parents other than long-time conservatives are starting to realize the system
is rotten to its core. They see teachers demanding to be in the front of the line to get vaccines, yet still refusing
to enter the classroom for "safety."
COVID Bill Gives $570 Million Gift
To The Teacher's Unions. Forbes reports the House version of a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package contains "an
extra perk for federal workers" paid time off and a bonus to stay at home with children not taking part in in-classroom
instruction. It's a gift to the teacher's unions who gave about $52,000,000 to Democratic Party and other leftist
candidates during the 2020 campaign season. The "perk" tucked inside a bill dubbed the Pelosi Payoff is defined by
critics as "a personal bailout for bureaucrats." But it's more than that; it's a gift to the teacher's unions.
While the average American waits for that one-time $1,400 stimulus payment as we struggle with employment and tending to kids
who are home at the states that will not reopen schools because they don't want to upset the teacher's unions. Federal
employees who stay home, thus reducing pressure on the teachers to go back to work, get a bonus.
Union Leader: 'What Does Full School Opening Mean?'. "The teachers of this country understand that in-person
education is really important," Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, told NBC's "Meet the
Press" on Sunday [2/21/2021]. And now that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has laid out a
"roadmap" for re-opening schools, Weingarten expects that to happen — eventually and with limitations. "What
does full school opening mean?" Weingarten asked rhetorically: [Video clip]
Things You Must Know About Deeply Flawed COVID-19 Package. [#3] Its Massive Education Spending Won't Actually
Reopen Schools: The package spends $170 billion on education, which supporters say is meant to reopen schools
faster. However, the details show something else entirely. First, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office
reveals that only about a third of the education funds would be spent between now and September 2022, and that more would be
spent in 2026 than 2021. That's utterly absurd given the urgency of getting children back in classrooms. Second, about
$50 billion in funds for reopening schools have yet to go out the door, most of which was just passed in December.
Considering that youths are at the lowest risk from the disease, and that teachers are receiving preferential treatment on
vaccinations, $50 billion should be more than enough. In reality, the additional $170 billion is a de facto
pay-off to teachers unions, many of which are currently issuing unreasonable demands for reopening schools. Providing the
extra funding would reward this counterproductive behavior and should be vehemently opposed.
'I'm Sick and Tired' of 'Mobster' Teachers Unions 'Shaking Down' Parents. "Parents by the thousands should be
attending their school board meetings by the tens of millions all over the country. They should be demanding either
those schools open or that they get a voucher to send their kid to whatever school they want to," radio host Mark Levin said
Thursday on "The Mark Levin Show," regarding the prolonged closures of schools during the coronavirus pandemic. Levin
honed in on the role teachers' unions are playing in keeping schools closed. "The Democrats and the teachers' union
have a stranglehold on our communities; they have a stranglehold on our classrooms," he said. "And I'm sick and tired
of it. They don't believe in listening to the science. These unions are thug unions, they're mobsters, shaking
down the taxpayer, shaking down the parents." [Audio clip]
A Bad Week for The Science™.
Monday [2/15/2021], we learned that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) was consulting teachers' unions about whether it was safe to
reopen schools. This might strike you as odd. You probably thought the CDC was following The Science™, and
kindergarten teachers, to be sure, are not scientists. Could it be that our esteemed government scientists are beholden
to certain political interests, and not necessarily just to The Science™? Could it be that nobody working for the
federal or state governments knows what [...] they're doing? That doesn't seem right. These are professional
scientists, and The Science™ is sacred, we've been told. Of course, there was a period in time when following The
Science™ meant not wearing a mask. Masks weren't effective in fighting the coronavirus, The Science™ said
at the beginning of the pandemic. These days, The Science™ says double-masking — wearing two masks
instead of just one — is a more effective measure in stopping the spread of the coronavirus. Following The
Science™ in 180 degree circles can be dizzying, but who are we to argue?
We're Following The Science On School Reopenings Except When Teachers Unions Reject It. The New York Post calls
this a "fumble," but it's more of a punt — the same punt that the Biden administration has made ever since taking
office on this point. When Joe Biden prepared in the transition, he claimed that he would have schools reopened safely
in the first 100 days — a claim he made without checking with his constituents in the teachers unions.
Despite the CDC's assurance that schools can safely reopen with just a modicum of preparations, the unions are refusing to do
so — even when teachers get priority on vaccinations. Ever since, the Biden administration keeps changing
the goalposts on what reopening means [...]
Are Keeping Students and Teachers Out of the Classroom. Here's What Lawmakers Can Do About It. President
Joe Biden's administration pledged that at least half of K-12 schools in the U.S. will offer in-person learning at least one
day per week within his first 100 days in office. Research using a representative sample of school districts finds that
44% of districts were already offering in-person learning in December 2020, so the administration's proposal is hardly a
stretch. Yet for weeks, Chicago's teachers union told members not to return to work in person and postponed reopening
for K-8 students until next month, with no plan for high school students to return. In Philadelphia, the same process
is unfolding now: The district called teachers back to work in person, the union said no, and as of last week,
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney had backed off.
The Coming Parent Revolt Over
School Reopening. The public health community has long since concluded that the perils of prolonged school
closures are far greater than the risks posed by COVID-19 to students and teachers. This fact has not been lost on
parents, who are growing increasingly impatient with teachers who won't return to the classroom. [...] In most red states,
public schools opened up last fall for full time in-person instruction or some hybrid of in-person and distance
learning. The blue states have, however, been considerably more dilatory about reopening. These states are, of
course, governed by Democrats who are bought and paid for by the teachers unions.
the children whose schools are still closed are the lucky ones. In many Republican-run regions across America,
schools are back in session and nothing bad has happened. There hasn't been a mass teacher or student die-off.
Instead, the kids are once again learning and socializing and their parents are back at work. Life is normal. In
many Democrat-run regions, though, the teachers are aggressively resisting returning to school. The Biden
administration, which is beholden to the teacher's unions for money and support, is complicit in allowing the teachers to
continue to receive paychecks while refusing to do their jobs.
American Education. Public K-12 education in this country suffers from a lack of effective competition that
prevents market forces from working the way they should. What would happen if there was school choice in America
today? Parents who are dissatisfied with the educational product their public schools provide could vote with their
feet and take their tax dollars and their children to schools that offer better value. Opposition to school choice is
highly regressive because the wealthiest families have the ability to pay twice for their children's education, first through
taxes and second through private school tuition. This is not an option for lower-income households. The benefits
of school choice are substantial. [...] The teachers' unions oppose school choice precisely because it would force public
schools across the country to actually compete on the merits or perish the way any underperforming enterprise should.
Administration Flip-Flops On School Reopening Goal After Flak For Anti-Science 'One Day A Week' Plan. The Biden
administration flip-flopped on its school reopening policy on Thursday [2/11/2021], suddenly claiming it is devoted to
getting children back into classrooms full-time. During the Thursday White House press briefing, press secretary Jen
Psaki told reporters President Joe Biden's plan, which is a drastic shift from the administration's previous goal of only
requiring half of the country's children to return to in-person schooling for a minimum of one day a week by his 100th day in
office, meaning students being back in classrooms for only five or six days total would meet the goal. "The president
will not rest until every school is open five days a week. That is our goal. That is what we want to achieve,"
Psaki said Thursday, adding that parents shouldn't be satisfied with only partial school reopenings.
The Editor says...
You're paying for public schools to be open five days a week. (I'm paying school taxes, too, and I haven't had a kid in public schools
since way back in the 20th century.) Don't settle for schools being open only one day per week, just because the unionized teachers are
too lazy to report for work. On a semi-related topic, have you noticed that school zone speed traps are still in operation even though
there are no kids in school? That's because radar traps are all about money,
union pet: Biden moves the goalposts on re-opening schools. To the extent that Joe Biden drew votes, a
very big reason was the expectation from parents and students that he would re-open the public schools, currently on extended
shutdown over COVID concerns. That was his promise, that was a signature issue, with many pixels spilled in multiple
spots on Biden's campaign website supporting the claim that he was serious about re-opening schools. Now that he's in
office, too bad for those who actually believed him. Instead of re-opening the schools, Biden's re-drawn himself a goal
line for school re-opening so pathetic, so wretched, so insignificant that it's actually lower than what's already going on
now in school reopenings. School re-openings, it seems, no longer mean school re-openings the way normal people see them.
the fight between Chicago teacher unions and the mayor, unions win. According to news reports, Chicago mayor
Lori Lightfoot is blaming President Trump for the state of affairs in the local schools. What's new? Isn't
everything Trump's fault? Well, someone please tell Mayor Lightfoot that the teachers' unions own the Democrats, and
that's why they don't [care] what she or any other blue-city mayor thinks. How much money are we talking about?
This is a report via Fox News: ["]Biden's campaign raked in just over $232,000 from teachers unions during the 2020
election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics' 'Open Secrets' website. The site says the National
Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) 'account for practically all' political spending
from teachers unions.["]
Schools Are Essential, They Should Be Open. Everyone knows that remote education is failing students,
especially immigrant children and others whose parents can't fill in the gaps that plague schooling by computer screen.
Yet, somehow, education groups that ostensibly are committed to closing the achievement gap are willing to let this
separate-but-equal education policy stand. President Joe Biden likes to say that he'll "listen to the scientists."
Apparently, there is an exemption to the science-first approach when teachers unions disagree.
Be a tribe of one.
Suppose you're a die-hard Democrat. What do you do about such issues as: [...] Schools for minorities. Do you
side with Chicago public school teachers — overwhelmingly Democrats — who want to continue receiving
their salary while schools are closed indefinitely on the pretense of COVID fears? Or do you side with black
parents — overwhelmingly Democrats — who want to see their kids back in school and point to safe school
re-openings across the country? There's the same issue on school choice. Do you side with teachers and their
unions — overwhelmingly Democrats — who want to restrict school choice by black parents? Or do
you side with those black parents — overwhelmingly Democrats — who want to send their kids to the best
WH Reporters Bring the Heat on Teachers Unions, WH Going Against 'Science'. With Fox News out of the rotation
for White House Briefing Room seats, Thursday's briefing left plenty of space for reporters from the liberal media to step up
and commit random acts of journalism. Thankfully, some did with pointed questions calling out President Biden's
plethora of executive orders and the reality that the administration had sided with teachers' unions over "science" when it
came to keeping schools closed. Unfortunately, there were still reporters that were far more casual and friendly,
lobbing either bland or outright softballs. [...] While some decided that a top briefing takeaway was that Press Secretary
Jen Psaki took questions from almost all women (12 out of 13 reporters called on), many of them brought tough
questions. To borrow a phrase from Jeff Zucker's chief propagandist: how refreshing.
Brooks: These anti-science teacher's unions are 'marring children's lives'. [Scroll down] Brooks is
absolutely right but there's another level to this he's not mentioning. If the partisan sides were reversed here, if
conservatives were refusing to let children return to school, the media would be full of outrage about it. There would
be not one opinion piece but dozens pointing out that this was disproportionately doing damage to minority children like
Shemar. We're not seeing that of course because politics are guiding the media coverage in exactly the same way
politics is guiding the unions. This ought to be the biggest story in the country right now but the resistance
journalists in the media won't let it be.
Teachers' Unions, and the $630 Billion Shakedown. For all their devastating, long-term side effects, the
various failed remedies to COVID-19 have been clarifying. [...] But the biggest takeaway is this: The Democratic Party
will never again get away with claiming that their number one priority is "the children." Joe Biden and the Democrats
just lost their most overused political prop — exploited to advance every policy from climate to health
care — as tens of millions of American children, locked out of their classrooms for almost a year, act as human
pawns in the unions' biggest, most brazen shakedown yet. The hustle has been underway since March 2020; unbeknownst
both to students and parents, America's youth of all ages walked out of classrooms and off college campuses not to return for
months on end. Back then, as today, no scientific justification existed to shut down schools. The decision was
based on the now-discredited Imperial College model created by now-discredited British scientist Neil Ferguson. Armed
with no reliable data, Ferguson nonetheless warned that unless schools were closed in the United States, millions would die
of the disease.
Has Exposed Teachers' Unions as the Shakedown Artists They Really Are. The COVID-19 pandemic has really laid
bare a lot of our frailties and flaws as a country. We are all aware that it has not been pretty. It has,
however, done this nation a huge service, as it exposed public school teachers' unions for the frauds they are. It
began playing out at the end of last summer. School kids had been home since March, not really learning much more than
how mommy likes her breakfast mojitos. Mommy and Daddy were beginning to understand why other people weren't so fond of
their children. It was time for the kiddies to get back to class and annoy the people who were being compensated for
the aggravation. Well, the teachers were enjoying their mojitos too, and weren't quite ready to give up
day-drinking. We got a good glimpse of how it was all going to play out when the union representing the teachers in the
second-largest public school district in the country issued a list of demands and conditions for their return that read like
they were planning on progressive political lobbying rather than teaching.
Union Cuts Vaccine Line, Then Refuses to Return to Classrooms Anyway. In Las Vegas, schools are rushing to
reopen following a tragic surge in suicides among isolated, depressed children. "The spate of student suicides in and
around Las Vegas has pushed the Clark County district, the nation's fifth largest, toward bringing students back as quickly
as possible," the New York Times reports. "The risk of student suicides has quietly stirred many district leaders,
leading some, like the state superintendent in Arizona, to cite that fear in public pleas to help mitigate the virus's
spread." The rise in adolescent suicides and other mental health crises have not yet been definitively linked to school
closures and other pandemic-related lockdowns through codified data, but common sense dictates that these are obviously and
undeniably significant contributing factors. This has been clear for months, with experts continuing to weigh in.
Data from Europe and the United States have also consistently shown that schools are not major COVID spreaders, further
calling into question long-term closure and remote learning policies.
An Open Letter
From a Teacher to His Peers. Across the country, there are two sides of this battle and often we're caught in
the middle. On one side, you have the teachers and unions advocating we stay out of school until impossible demands are
met: every teacher should be vaccinated, every student should be vaccinated, the virus completely eradicated, or whatever
other measure is set. Some districts have fought to meet one of these demands, only for another to be put up in its
place, with districts racing to meet those. On the other side of this battle, you have political advocates and parent
activists demanding a change, either in the employment status of the dissenters or to the system that would be a total reform
few districts would be prepared for. They want to fund the students and their families rather than the schools.
They want to increase options for school choice so that parents and students seeking an open school can send their child to one.
Teachers Union releases interpretive dance video as part of objection over returning to work. As the standoff
between city government officials and the Chicago Teachers Union over reopening the Windy City's public school system has now
reached the White House, the CTU released a video over the weekend that has received pushback. The video features six
of the Chicago public school system's dance teachers, expressively depicting their yearning for safety as they are being
pressured to return to work. The performance, shot in various locations, is entitled "The Moment We're Safe."
Union vs. Biden. The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) this weekend vetoed Joe Biden's plan to reopen schools
during his first 100 days by voting to continue remote learning indefinitely. The union is taking kids hostage to
extract more money from Congress with no guarantee that it will release them if it does. Chicago's Board of Education
had required K-8 teachers to show up at schools on Monday to prepare for a return to in-person instruction on
Feb. 1. The union doesn't care. Seventy-one percent of CTU voting members rejected a return to in-person
learning until schools are "safe" — meaning whenever teachers feel like going back.
Union President Claims It is 'White Privilege' to Worry about Children Committing Suicide During School
Closures. Scott Wilson, who serves as president of the Pasco Association of Educators in the state of
Washington, claimed on a Zoom call earlier this month that it is "white supremacy" to consider reopening public schools and
any concerns over children committing suicides while isolated and away from school is "white privilege." Additionally,
Wilson claimed that reopening schools would be the equivalent of letting rioters storm into the U.S. Capitol. "There
are decisions to be made. You stand on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol as people break down barriers and head to the
doors. Do you follow?" Wilson asked on the call. "You stand at the governor's mansion. The crowd breaks
down barriers to enter the grounds. Do you follow? Or do you choose a different way? We must not ignore the
culture of white supremacy and white privilege."
Teachers Unions vs. COVID Microschooling. Every Thursday morning, Arizona parent Marta Mac Ban
dresses her six-year-old daughter in khaki shorts and a navy blue shirt and takes her to a neighbor's house to study with
other children. Participants recite the Pledge of Allegiance, review the calendar and collaborate on enrichment
activities. Other days during the week, Mac Ban teaches her daughter at home. The routine is new for
the family, which did kindergarten in the Cave Creek Unified School District until March. That's when COVID-19 forced
an abrupt switch to Zoom. Mac Ban, who tries to limit her daughter's screen time, quickly opted out. "She's
not going to sit still for hours at a time staring at a computer," Mac Ban says. Many families across the United
States have made similar moves during the past 10 months, as teachers unions have lobbied to keep campuses closed.
The showdown in Chicago, where union members have refused to resume in-person instruction, is just one example.
Gov: Seniors Should Be Willing to Die for the Teachers' Union. In 2020, the title for the Nation's Worst
Governor indisputably went to New York's Cuomo. But in 2021, Governor Kate Brown of Oregon is trying to make an early
bid for the job by vaccinating teachers ahead of seniors. Brown's plan to put her union base, who are not at risk,
ahead of seniors who are, is so terrible that it's drawing a backlash even from other Democrats. [...] The in-person learning
pretext is nonsense. Schools have not been shown to spread the virus. While teachers have put on a show of
victimhood, marching around with coffins, and claiming that they'll die if they have to do their jobs, the bottom line is
that they're a union behaving in the usual fashion. And even when they've been allowed to go to the head of the line
for vaccines, they've refused to return to teaching. So this isn't about reopening schools. It's about rewarding
a powerful and influential segment of the Democrat base.
Union votes to defy order to return to classrooms: Teachers have 'have chosen safety'. The Chicago
Teachers Union "overwhelmingly" voted to remain working from home due to concerns over the coronavirus, which defies the
Chicago Public Schools' reopening plans. "So what does this mean? It means the overwhelming majority of you have
chosen safety," the union wrote. "CPS did everything possible to divide us by instilling fear though threats of
retaliation, but you still chose unity, solidarity and to collectively act as one." All in, about 86% of the 25,000
members voted on the resolution, with 71% voting in support of working from home. The district planned to bring 70,000
elementary students back into classrooms beginning Feb. 1 and wanted teachers back in classrooms to plan for their return.
Teachers Union Defies the City, Votes to Refuse an Ordered Classroom Return. So what's the Chicago teachers
union been up to lately? Well, one thing they haven't been doing is going to work. And they won't be starting
now. At least, that is, where actually entering any school full o' kids is concerned. As reported by The Daily
Wire, on Sunday [1/24/2021], the crew voted to defy Chicago Public Schools' order to return to in-person instruction.
teachers union refuses to return to work. Some long-awaited good news for the residents of Virginia came out
this week. Governor Ralph "blackface klansman" Northam announced that schools could be safely reopened in the next few
weeks. With online "distance learning" turning out to be largely a miserable failure and parents scrambling to find new
daycare options, many were breathing a sigh of relief, thinking there was finally a light at the end of the tunnel that
wouldn't turn out to be an oncoming train. Unfortunately, the celebrations didn't last very long. Not long after
the Governor's announcement, a Virginia teachers union came out and told everyone to stuff it. They're not going back
to work unless their demands are met. This is looking increasingly like a hostage negotiation where the children are
Presidency of Disunity. Not content just to waste student's time, the teachers' unions linked to the Democrat
party have decided to distort their minds against the foundation of the United States. The National Education
Association ed justice project says that the NEA recently worked with the New York Times to distribute copies of the 1619
Project to educators and activists around the country. Parents should be concerned. The aim of this project is to
reframe US history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation's birth year. This would poison the
idea of America's founding based on greed, racism, and unfreedom. In particular the words of project essayist Nikole
Hannah Jones wrote in the introductory essay for the New York Times that the 1776 American Revolution was launched "in order
to endure slavery should continue" are an assault on the heritage of freedom.
Teachers Unions are Battling Against their Own Students in order to Keep Getting Paid without Working. Teachers
unions claim Covid makes schools too dangerous for teachers. That may be true for elderly teachers, but overall,
reopening schools is safe. [...] Studies on tens of thousands of people in the United States do find that closing schools
made no difference as far as Covid. Closed schools hurt students, especially poorer kids, because they can't afford the
alternatives available to the privileged. California closed government-run schools, while governor Gavin Newsom sent
his kids to a private school that's open. [Video clip]
Teachers Union Working To Prevent Schools From Reopening. Some good news for the people of West Virginia was
announced recently. Governor Jim Justice, working with the Department of Health issued new guidelines that would see
all students in K through 8 returning to in-person classes. Older students would also have that opportunity depending
on the "color code" of virus cases in each county. Given the disastrous results that parents have been seeing from
remote learning and the damaging impact such programs have had on their home and work lives, this was a welcome development
for many families. Sadly, there's one significant problem standing in the way of the Governor fully implementing this
plan. The West Virginia American Federation of Teachers union has already announced that they will oppose this policy.
head says opening schools is 'white supremacy,' suicide concern 'white privilege'. The president of the Pasco
Association of Educators (PAE) claims reopening schools for in-person learning is an example of "white supremacy," and
compares listening to concerned parents to following rioters breaking into the U.S. Capitol. He even says concern over
student suicide is an example of "white privilege." Scott Wilson, PAE president, made a series of unhinged, controversial
remarks during a Pasco School Board meeting this week. The statements come as the union pushes for total remote learning
for elementary schools, even with near-consensus from the medical community that it is safe to reopen schools with mitigation
policies in place. The petition the union promotes baselessly calls in-person learning "unsafe and unsustainable."
study finds spread of COVID-19 in schools 'extremely limited'. A new peer-reviewed study has found that the
spread of COVID-19 in surveyed elementary schools is "extremely limited," potentially lending hope to advocates who are
pushing to reopen schools that have been shuttered in some cases for roughly a year. The study, published in the
medical journal Pediatrics by the American Academy of Pediatrics, followed "11 participating school districts" with "more
than 90,000 students and staff" present for in-person instruction. "Across the 11 school districts," the researchers
write, "773 community-acquired SARS-CoV-2 infections were documented by molecular testing; however, there were only 32
adjudicated cases of secondary transmission across the 11 districts combined in 9 weeks of instruction."
Unions Fail Science. Is your child's school open now? Probably not — because teachers unions
say that reopening would "put their health and safety at risk." They keep schools closed by lobbying and protesting.
[...] But schools rarely spread COVID-19. Studies on tens of thousands of people found "no consistent relationship
between in-person K-12 schooling and the spread of the coronavirus." Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the White
House Coronavirus Task Force, encouraged schools to reopen, saying "close the bars and keep the schools open." Heritage
Foundation education researcher Lindsey Burke points out that studies in 191 countries find "no consistent link between
reopening schools and increased rates of COVID transmission." She says schools aren't COVID-19 hotspots.
run cities in America. [Scroll down] Even with billions of dollars meant to fund public education, many
cities have failing school systems. The deficiencies are reflected in graduation rates across New York, Los Angeles,
Philadelphia, Chicago, and Portland, each below 80 percent. New York spends more than double the national average per
pupil at $28,800 annually. Its school system often lets down gifted students, running without an accelerated program in
an eighth of its districts. A committee created by Mayor Bill de Blasio recommended ending such programs in efforts to
push for diversity. Many of the worst run cities have ceded more control of academic policy to teachers unions.
The results often place administrators above students. Los Angeles schools ground to a halt in 2019 with a strike led
by teachers unions, followed by coronavirus blackmail that schools would not reopen until a list of demands from teachers
unions were met.
Biden is set to pull America's schools far to the left. Education reformers breathed a sigh of relief when it
became clear that President-elect Joe Biden wouldn't tap a teachers union leader as his secretary of education, contrary to
the post-election rumor mill. Instead, Biden nominated Connecticut Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona.
Compared to teachers union leaders, Cardona appears moderate. But Biden's Department of Education transition team looks
as though it came straight off the field of a National Education Association-vs.-American Federation of Teachers softball
game. It seems all but certain that on education, Biden will govern to the left of his ex-boss, President Barack Obama.
Teachers Union leader under fire for pushing remote schooling while vacationing in Caribbean. A Chicago
Teachers Union leader is under fire for pushing for Chicago public schools to remain remote because of coronavirus risks
while vacationing in the Caribbean. Chicago Teachers Union area vice president Sarah Chambers opposes requiring
teachers to return to the classroom and posted a photo that appears to show her poolside in Puerto Rico, WGN-TV
reported. Chambers has since deleted her Instagram account, according to the station.
Union Leader Encouraged Strikes to 'Stay Safe' From COVID, Then She Got Caught in a Compromising Position. Is
there any profession that has taken a bigger hit in the credibility department over the course of the COVID pandemic than
teaching? That's unfortunate given the fact that many teachers simply wanted to get back in the classroom as soon as
possible, recognizing the dangers prolonged lockdowns represented to students. Yet, there have been so many high
profile cases of teachers and their union leaders ignoring science for their own personal gain and laziness that it has
unfairly tarnished everyone. One of the most recent cases involves a woman named Sarah Chambers from Chicago (because
of course she's from Chicago). Chambers, a member of the Chicago Teachers Union Board, was encouraging teachers to stay
home because it was supposedly unsafe to return to work. But it was what she had posted a few hours later that got her
caught in a compromising position.
Superintendent Accepts Apology of Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson for 'Joke' Calling for Beating of Mitch
McConnell. Richmond, Virginia School Superintendent Jason Kamras accepted the "heartfelt" apology by 2019
National Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson for calling for the beating of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Robinson later said he meant the comment as a joke. Kamras did not indicate whether Robinson will face any repercussions.
[...] Robinson made his Twitter account private Wednesday evening [12/30/2020] after being called out for the McConnell
tweet. He posted an apology to Medium on Thursday that was accepted Kamras.
Real Reason Why Your Kids Can't Go Back To School (Hint: It's Not COVID-19). Schools have been closed for the
better part of a year now, for the putative reason that COVID-19 makes them unsafe. Only distance learning and Zoom and other
online classes are safe enough for both teachers and kids, we're told. Even though the science says otherwise, powerful teachers
unions keep schools closed anyway. But why? Let's start with a blunt fact: The teachers unions — including
the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA), along with a host of radicalized local
unions — don't have your kids' best interests at heart, despite their well-funded, slick propaganda to the contrary.
They oppose reopening schools, despite overwhelming evidence they should be reopened immediately.
exposed the teachers unions for the frauds they are. The coronavirus pandemic has brought too many failures of
leadership to count. But chief among them is remote learning and teachers unions' continued lobbying against reopening
schools. When the virus was still a novel concept and schools shut down in response, we understood why. There was
too much we did not know about COVID-19, and the risk of endangering students and teachers was too great. As time went
on, however, the science became overwhelmingly clear that COVID-19 posed little risk to children and that schools were not a
major source of transmission. It also became clear that distance learning has been a disaster both for students and for
parents, especially those with limited resources. Over the course of the year, it has become glaringly obvious that
unions insisting on long-term school closures were not concerned about their students' health or teachers' safety so much as
they were interested in what they could gain from the shutdown.
Schools Are Losing Their Captive Audience of Children. Insisting that "the push to reopen schools is rooted in
sexism, racism and misogyny," the Chicago Teachers Union is fighting plans to return children to the city's public school
classrooms. Not only is the union seeking an injunction to keep kids at home, but it says "all options are going to be
on the table" — an implied threat of a strike in an already chaotic year — if it's not happy with the
school board's decision. Amidst a multitude of such battles across the country, it's no wonder that families weary of
being held hostage to other people's decisions are abandoning government schools to enroll their kids in private institutions
or to teach them at home. That shift is likely to permanently transform education in the United States in a way that
lets children experience diverse approaches and viewpoints. School and union officials in Chicago differ over their
reading of public opinion tea leaves.
Teachers' Unions Are Evil. I won't say that those who run America's teachers' unions hate children. I
will only say that they act as though they hate children. The teachers' unions are the number one obstacle to education
reform, by far. They stand in the way of school choice, school safety, and virtually any attempt to improve teacher
quality or reform schools in any way. They feed off of, and promote, incompetence and lack of accountability. No
one harms America's youth as much as the teachers' unions, not even drug dealers. The latest case in point is the
unions' insistence that our schools remain closed down, even though 1) scientific opinion is unanimous that schools pose
little Covid risk, 2) schools in Europe are open, and the CDC says that our schools should re-open as well, and 3) our
students and their parents are suffering horribly as a result of this year's ongoing school closures. Many students,
especially low-income minorities, have lost a year of education and likely will never catch up. If it is up to the
teachers' unions, schools will not reopen any time soon, and the damage to an entire generation will be incalculable.
Oregon teacher's viral, obscene rant against lockdown protesters. I've written before, haven't I, about the
fact that we've raised an obscene, self-loathing, non-rational generation of young white women? If I hadn't written
about this before, a single viral video showing a young woman in Bend, Oregon screaming obscenities and threats at a small
gathering of anti-lockdown protesters would, on its own, make my case. Teaching in America is a hyperfeminine
career. [Video clip] The Wuhan virus has exacerbated these qualities. Although the Chicago teacher's
union quickly deleted it, no one who's been paying attention was surprised by a tweet stating that the mere idea that
teachers should return to the classroom was "rooted in sexism, racism and misogyny."
Teachers' Union: Expecting Us to Teach Kids is Sexist and Racist. Ever since the pandemic, teachers'
unions have been coming up with excuses not to teach, and the Democrats they have in their back pocket helped them. But
the rebellion has very clearly arrived with even the leftiest parents utterly sick and tired of this state of affairs.
That led Mayor Bill de Blasio, a guy who spends all his time pricking his ears up to hear lefty whistles, to backtrack on
closing schools. But in Chicago, the teachers' union decided to go to the mattresses.
Biggest Teachers Union Shakedowns. Teachers unions have been instrumental in keeping American schools online
during the pandemic. But some have escalated their positions on reopening to include an array of social justice
demands. A set of demands from teachers unions in July, which addressed how to safely reopen schools amid a pandemic,
was criticized by The Wall Street Journal editorial board as "political extortion." The board argued that unions were taking
advantage of a health crisis to advance their own ideological agendas and to eliminate competition from charter schools. "For
most Americans the coronavirus is a scourge. But teachers unions seem to think it's also an opportunity — to
squeeze more money from taxpayers and put their private and public charter school competition out of business," the board
wrote. "Rather than work to open schools safely, the unions are issuing ultimatums and threatening strikes until they
are granted their ideological wish list."
Biden to teacher unions: "With AFT and NEA's help, we won this election". The winner of the most-hated
member of the Trump administration's cabinet may be the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. Her strongly conservative
ideas on public and private education have greatly agitated the union-supporting Democrats who are in charge of our country's
schools. Once Joe Biden's administration comes into power, you can kiss school choice goodbye. Betsy DeVos made
it her mission to increase school choice, especially for underprivileged children trapped in failing schools. This is
the last thing teacher unions want. Teacher unions want families under their thumb, left with no options for which
might work best for their children and families. The union leaders want power from the top down where one size fits all
and the federal government knows what is best for school children across the country, not local parents and teachers in each
community. This speaks directly to the differences between conservatives and liberals (or socialists and Marxists).
Illinois teacher standards: 'embrace and encourage progressive viewpoints'. New standards proposed by the
Illinois State Board of Education — which allegedly will make teachers and administrators "more sensitive" to
students' cultures and backgrounds — have irked some conservative groups. According to NPR and The Center
Square, the Illinois Pro-Family Alliance and Thomas More Society contend the "Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading
Standards for all Illinois Educators" are "unconstitutionally vague" and "amount to a form of 'compelled speech.'" "These
elements of the proposed rule require teachers to enunciate a government-sourced 'progressive' and activist viewpoint in
their educational work with students," said the former's Ralph Rivera and Molly Malone Rumley.
Biden is bringing the teachers unions into the White House, pledges to continue teaching as First Lady. Jill
Biden intends to be a full-time working woman outside of the White House. She kept her job of teaching at a community
college while she occupied the Vice-President's house and sees no reason why she can't do the same as the first lady.
Mrs. Biden calls herself "Dr. Jill Biden" on social media and the media play along. Her "Dr." designation is
a Ph.D., not from a medical degree. That is not to dismiss her accomplishment. She has four degrees which include
two master's degrees in education, as well as a doctorate. She has taught in public schools for over thirty
years. The teacher living in Delaware now will bring along some powerful friends when she moves into the White
House — teacher unions.
The Editor says...
Perhaps Mrs. Biden should wait until the election is decided, and the numerous challenges addressed, before boasting about her role as First Lady.
Matters. Most Americans would probably be shocked and angry if they knew all the dirty tricks used to sabotage
charter schools that are successfully educating low-income minority children. This is not "systemic racism." It is
plain old selfishness on the part of traditional public school officials and teachers unions protecting their own vested
interests. Most of us might see charter schools that succeed where traditional public schools have failed as welcome
news, especially in minority communities where there is so much bad news. But, when there are a million public school
students on waiting lists to get into charter schools nationwide, that amounts to many billions of dollars a year that
traditional public schools would lose, if all those students could actually transfer. That would represent a lot of
jobs lost in traditional public schools. It would also represent a lot of union dues lost, because most charter school
teachers do not belong to a union. The success of many charter schools is definitely unwelcome news to both traditional
public school officials and teachers unions.
deadly strings on new COVID-19 aid. Families and businesses are watching their bottom lines and stretching each
dollar. But House Democrats are pushing a plan to prevent America's schools from doing the same thing. The
proposed HEROES Act, laying out their demands for the next federal COVID-19 relief package, pledges $175 billion to K-12
public schools to help cover pandemic-related costs and backfill lost state revenues. But to qualify, states must keep
spending as much on education as they averaged during the past three years from now until mid-2022. That condition was
a priority for teachers unions, which claimed that otherwise states might shift funds to other priorities. But there's
a real chance that state tax receipts won't rebound to their pre-pandemic levels until 2023 or later, meaning states should
be looking for long-term fixes instead of short-term bailouts. And no state needs to look more carefully at how it
spends education money than New York.
Public Schools Says Teachers Union 'Refuses to Even Discuss' Returning to In-Person Classes. Chicago Public
Schools on Friday pushed back against the Chicago Teachers Union, which filed an unfair labor practice charge last week
accusing the city's school district of illegally refusing to negotiate with the union on how to safely resume in-person
classes amid health concerns. The union has "refused to even discuss" returning to in-person classes, school district
spokeswoman Emily Bolton said in a statement. "We are disheartened that CTU continues to obstruct and mislead the
public about the necessary planning measures needed to prepare for a potential return to safe in-person learning," Bolton
said. "While the district is doing everything in its power to plan for all possible scenarios, the CTU refuses to even
discuss a return to in-person learning, even as hundreds of private schools in Chicago are open."
Idaho Teachers Go on 'Sick-out'
to Protest School Openings — Every Last One of Them Should Be Fired. The first day of in-person
public school in the West Ada School District in Idaho was canceled on Monday [10/19/2020] after over 600 teachers called off
work in an apparent "sick-out." Fire every last one. Fire them for being science-deniers. They're teachers, for
crying out loud. It shouldn't be that hard to find the transmission numbers among students and see that COVID
transmission is nearly non-existent and, in fact, there is ample evidence that children don't even pass it on very
well. They are less "sticky", meaning the virus, for whatever reason, doesn't really "stick" to them and then "shed"
elsewhere. All of the school numbers from March of 2020 up until this very moment support that. We need teachers
who believe in science and information and data. We need teachers who go find information instead of waiting for it to
be delivered to them. We need curious teachers. If you're denying science you really have no place in the public
school system. [...] If you feel you can't do the job you've agreed to do — for whatever reasons — it
is your responsibility to quit. Go find other work that doesn't require you to be in a classroom with children.
Biden — 5 reasons why a sane person should vote — again — for Trump. [#1]
Education: If you believe in equal opportunity, you want all youngsters to receive a decent education. In many
Democrat-led cities, Hispanic and African-American kids do not receive one. And yet the teachers' unions and their
Democratic Party backers refuse all accountability or reforms, condemning millions of Black and brown children to
second-class status. New York City spends $28,808 per public school pupil but in 2019 only 28% of black kids were
proficient in math and 35% made the cut in English. That is unacceptable, but Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden
would respond by handing even more funds over to his union pals and supporting the status quo. Why? Because he
needs money from the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, two of our nation's largest
political donors. In the past year alone, those two unions spent $25 million on political campaigns, 94% going to Democrats.
Teachers Union disagrees with some students' possible return to classroom next quarter. Chicago Public Schools
started the year fully remote, but a new plan might change that, and teachers want to make sure the district knows they do
not approve of the idea. CPS confirmed Friday morning that the district plans to begin the second quarter remotely,
with a goal of bringing back students in pre-K and those with special needs later in the quarter. However, the Chicago
Teachers Union is pushing back against that, calling it a "dangerous strategy."
walk away from unions that keep fighting against reopening schools. More than a month into the new school year,
it is already evident that in-person school instruction is not causing mass outbreaks of the coronavirus. Researchers
at Brown University have found extremely low levels of infection among students and teachers. To be specific, the rate
of suspected and confirmed student infections is just 0.21%. [...] Unfortunately, no one seems to have informed the union
bosses about any of this. The Little Rock Education Association is only the latest union to threaten or to encourage
teachers to walk out of the classroom based on deliberately exaggerated and thoroughly unscientific fears about the coronavirus.
County's Public Health Director says what we suspected about the lockdown. [Scroll down] Los Angeles
County is America's most populous county, the largest government entity in America that is not a state or the federal
government, and the third-largest metropolitan economy in the world. It's also entirely Democrat-run, as evidenced by
poverty, drugs, and homelessness, as well as its vast wealth inequality. Los Angeles students still cannot go to school
but must, instead, do online learning. We already know that part of the problem is that the teachers' union had some
pretty stringent demands, few related to the students' physical and mental well-being. However, it turns out the
continued school closures are also because of politics. We know this because LA County's Public Health Director,
Barbara Ferrer, admitted as much when speaking to a gathering of school nurses and other school administrators: [...] There
is no scientific connection between the election and the Wuhan virus. There is, however, a cynical connection between
the lockdown and the election. The Democrats know that, and Ferrer finally said it out loud.
Teachers Union Seeks Power to 'Transition' Children's Gender Without Parents' Consent. In liberal California
you have to be 18 to get a tattoo, 16 to drive a car, 21 to buy a gun, alcohol, or pot, but if you want to "change" your
gender, you only have to be 12-years-old, and your public school will be more than happy to help. Under the policy the
California Teachers Association is pushing, children will be able to get an abortion, refill their birth control, or even
start hormone therapy to "transition" genders, simply by asking a teacher — and all without their parents finding
out. Recent statements from the California Teachers Association suggest that students should be able to undergo a sex
change procedure without parental consent or knowledge.
Union Won't Go Back to School, But Will Go to Sharpton's 50,000-Person March. The American Federation of
Teachers union boss Randi Weingarten claimed at the union's annual convention that teachers were so terrified of going back
to school that they were "quitting in droves" and "making their wills". The AFT threatened that its members would go on
strike if they were expected to go back to actually doing their jobs and teaching in a classroom. [...] Despite their claim
that they feared for their lives, the march had little social distancing. A few weeks after the death march, the AFT's
teachers took a break from making out their wills to get on buses and travel to Washington D.C. to take part in Sharpton's
50,000 person rally.
unions planning strikes over social justice, just in time for the election. [Scroll down] So which unions
are speaking up in favor of a shutdown of business and more workers being out on the streets? The gang's all here, with
the usual suspects who always show up when the Democrats need cash or a larger megaphone. The list includes the
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and
affiliates of the National Education Association (the teachers' unions). These are the fattest cash cows funding the
Democratic Party, but it looks like now they're willing to do more than simply pour money into the DNC's coffers.
Power Trips of Leftist Politicians, Teachers Unions Must Stop. The Unified Teachers of Los Angeles has released
a list of demands the union says must be met before the teachers will go back to work, and many of the demands have nothing
to do with health and safety. The teachers union is not simply demanding gallons of hand sanitizer and masks for
everyone on campus. Labor leaders are not merely requesting plexiglass barricades around their workspaces to protect
them from students who may be carrying COVID-19. Those suggestions could be discussed. No, the teachers union is
refusing to go back to the classrooms unless politicians abolish charter and private schools, eliminate unpaid rent
evictions, remove school resource officers, and defund law enforcement. [...] Teachers unions don't care about
teachers. They only care about collecting dues from teachers' paychecks. That's why they fight teachers who want
to leave the union.
Strike, and No Plan. There will be no teacher strike in New York City. The leadership of the teachers'
union is not foolish; there has not been a strike in 45 years, and for good reason. The last thing Michael Mulgrew
needs is a loss of the dues check-off privilege in a post-Janus world. Neither does he need to alienate
political allies by staging a walkout in the face of a 1 percent positive Covid rate when other municipal workers have been
reporting to work throughout the toughest days of the crisis. Carefully leaked announcements regarding preparation for
a strike vote — supposedly coming today — are simply the latest farce brought to us by the de Blasio
administration. We're being treated to this melodrama because the mayor wasted four months that he had to plan for a
successful school reopening.
Lockdown Has Gone From a Mistake to a Crime. [Scroll down] The world should have followed Sweden's
example. That country never locked down and has even kept children under 16 in school the entire time. As Reuters
reported on July 15, the number of Swedish children between 1 and 19 years of age who have died of COVID-19 is zero.
And the percentage of children who contracted the illness was the exact same in Sweden as it was in Finland, which locked
down its schools. As regards teachers, Sweden's Public Health Agency reported that "a comparison of the incidence of
COVID-19 in different professions suggested no increased risk for teachers." Nevertheless, with few exceptions, teachers in
Los Angeles and elsewhere refuse to enter a classroom that has students in it. Their disdain for their profession has
been superseded only by that of the Los Angeles teachers union, which announced that teachers will not resume teaching until
the police are defunded.
Unions Support Guillotines, Strikes & Closures Over Children's Welfare. Americans are sometimes accused of
ignorance over history and geography beyond their own shores. It was no different last week after the Chicago Teachers
Union tweeted support for a protest outside Jeff Bezos' home, where an effigy was placed in a guillotine. However, any
history teachers among them might have pointed out that the French Revolution ended up turning on its leaders. The
protestors, who were virtue signaling for a $30 minimum wage outside the house of a man who reputedly earns $4,000 a
second, clearly had violence on their minds.
laying off no city workers during lockdown, Lightfoot complains of Chicago's revenue shortfall. Mayor Lori
Lightfoot will go down as the worst mayor in Chicago's history. Crime is out of control. Chicago's cash cow, the
downtown area, accounts for 70 percent of the city's economic activity. This section of what is for now America's
third-largest city was hit by two rounds of widespread looting this year. Now Lightfoot says Chicago faces massive budget
shortfalls. Mayor Beetlejuice was one of the most enthusiastic mayors in America enforcing — over enforcing that
is — the COVID-19 lockdown. Let's say she was right about the threat of the coronavirus — which she
wasn't — but let's just say she was for now. All Chicago restaurants were closed for over two months this spring.
Why not lay off all of Chicago's health inspectors? Air travel way down. How many municipal employees were furloughed this
spring? What about the teachers in Chicago's schools who weren't teaching? None, I repeat, none were laid off.
Barr on 'Public Education:' 'That's a Racist System Maintained by the Democratic Party and the Teachers Union'.
If you want to find "systemic racism" in America, then look no further than the public schooling system, which is "maintained
by the Democratic Party and the teachers' unions," said Attorney General William P. Barr. The entire system keeps
"inner-city kids in failing schools," he added. "And people talk about implicit racism or systemic racism," said Barr
during an Aug. 13 interview on Hannity. "The racism in this country, look no further than our public
education system." "That's a racist system, maintained by the Democratic Party and the teachers union," he said,
"keeping inner-city kids in failing schools, instead of putting the resources in the hands of the parents to choose the
schools to send their kids to." "That's empowering kids," said Barr. "That's giving them a future."
Unions Falling Out of Favor With Americans. Is It Any Wonder? The debate over schools reopening has
affected how Americans view teachers' unions. It has been well-publicized that the unions in many districts have
submitted political demands that have little to do with pandemic safety as a condition of returning to the classroom.
None of the political demands have anything to do with educating children, either. One of the requirements, defunding
the police, has actually been getting children killed in cities like New York City, Chicago, and Atlanta. Perhaps the
most annoying displays were members of the teachers' unions protesting school openings in large groups while maintaining that
returning to the classroom is too dangerous. Of course, these protests were done side by side with groups like the
Democratic Socialists of America and the Center for Popular Democracy.
Such Thing as a Totally Safe School. To regain any sense of normalcy during the time of Coronavirus, we'll need
our kids back in school. They need to be back there, and their parents really need their kids to be back there.
Like yesterday. However, the teachers unions and their Democrat masters — or is it the other way
around? — hesitate to re-open the schools. While a cynic might think they're doing this for nakedly
political reasons, educators and Dems claim they're just worried about safety, and of course, the children. The safety
of the children comes first, they say, batting their eyes for the cameras. And until it's safe, [...] kids and teachers
will simply have to suffer with "Remote Learning." Or as I call it, "Not Remotely Learning." Sadly, there is no
such thing as safety. It's just an illusion, albeit a useful one that keeps us from being paralyzed by fear. If
you stop and think about all the dangers your kids face in a typical school day, why, you'd never let them out of the house.
Harris Lies Repeatedly in [her] First Speech as Biden's Running Mate. In her first speech since Joe Biden
selected her as his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris told multiple lies. To wit: "The president's
mismanagement of the pandemic has plunged us into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression," Harris said.
False. The pandemic and its associated lockdowns, not the president, are responsible for the economic
contraction. Donald Trump is not the president of the euro zone, which suffered through an even more dire economic
contraction in the second quarter: minus 40.3 percent, on an annualized basis, as against minus 32.9 percent
in the US. [...] "Just look where [Trump and Mike Pence] have gotten us. ... Millions of kids who cannot go back to school,"
Harris said. Wrong. It is not Donald Trump's decision whether kids go back to school, because the federal government
does not run schools, but he has urged the schools to reopen. The primary reason kids cannot go back to school is
opposition from teachers' unions. The second-largest teachers' union is threatening to strike if schools reopen.
teachers follow up a historic 2019 strike with a 2020 ultimatum: schools won't open in person. Last Monday,
teachers across the country rallied in a national day of action to protest plans to reopen schools for in-person learning
amid rising coronavirus cases. [...] Days later, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot reversed the city's plan to move forward with a
hybrid reopening — meaning half-in person, half-remote. She said Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will now start
remotely on September 8, and daily distanced learning will continue until the start of the second quarter, November 9, at the
earliest. Lightfoot made the decision against the backdrop of a potential strike by the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) to
prevent in-person reopening. The CTU has sparred with the city for much of the last decade, and has won numerous
concessions. In fact, it did so shortly after Lightfoot took office just last year, in one of the biggest strikes in
recent Chicago history.
Election. People believe all Americans have only the best intentions and would never deliberately harm the
nation and its citizenry merely to obtain political power. Therefore, people can only look on with incredulity as
Democrats blatantly strive to keep Democrat-controlled state economies on lockdown — and, with the help of
teachers unions, keep most schools closed in an attempt to deliberately immiserate Americans and their families in the hopes
their suffering can be used against Trump.
Unions Are Attempting Political Blackmail. It's Time To Break Them Up. It's not enough that public school
teachers and the college professors who train them are increasingly prone to teaching leftist absurdities like "2+2=5" or
presenting the mendacious 1619 Project as legitimate American history. Teachers unions are now trying to blackmail the
entire country into meeting a set of leftist political demands for reopening the schools this fall, using COVID-19 as their
excuse. Of course, the pandemic certainly presents challenges for re-opening schools, but other sectors of society have
managed to rise to the occasion over the past several months to keep the country running. Grocery stores clerks, truck
drivers, warehouse workers, and of course police, firefighters, doctors, and nurses — all have kept working,
sometimes under tough conditions and sometimes at great personal risk.
Shame of the Teachers' Unions. No other group has shown as much contempt for its own work during the
coronavirus crisis as teachers. Their unions are actively fighting to keep kids out of the classroom and also to limit
remote instruction, lest it require too much time and attention from people who are supposed to be wholly devoted to
educating our children. This has been a wrenching time in the U.S. labor market, with tens of millions thrown out of
work. It's been an inspiring time. Workers we never would have thought of as essential before —
grocery-store employees, delivery guys, meat-packing workers — have kept absolutely necessary parts of the economy
operating even while most of their fellow Americans were staying at home. [...] Then, there are the teachers unions.
Their approach has been a diametrically opposed to that of the everyday heroes of America. Their first and last thought
has been of their own interests. They have sought to limit their labor while still getting paid — at the
ultimate cost of the education of kids who may never fully make up the gaps in their learning during their time away from the
teachers protest COVID danger of school openings — with loud, shouty, spit-flecked, close-quarters
march. In the tweedledum-tweedledee politics of New York's Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York's Gov. Andrew
Cuomo, de Blasio is playing the one with a brain this time, creating a plan for opening New York City's schools, which has
the opposition of Cuomo and the teachers unions themselves, carrying guillotines and coffins around to persuade us that
school openings are death sentences. Never mind that New Yorkers have been so exposed to this virus through the subway
that they've apparently developed herd immunity, with very few new cases since the protests and lootings have started.
Nope, schools, too dangerous, and the leftist unions have called all their together members for a round of close-quarter
shouting, with spit flecks going all over, in what's got to be one of the best ways out there to actually catch COVID.
But little kids are the dangerous ones, see, not demonstrations. Or so you're supposed to think.
Save America, Defund the Schools. I've just been informed by a friend that school's closed this year, but you
can send your kid to daycare — in the closed school. For money. There are online classes, of
course — but why? They're terrible for children, and we know now that the disease itself isn't the
issue. Matt Walsh reports that kids are three times more likely to die of the flu than COVID-19. So we know that
schools aren't being closed for their safety. We heard that childcare costs hundreds a month, per kid, which we know
parents can't pay, since many of them are too poor. We heard that teachers are essential and then were told, by the
teachers, that they're inessential. L.A. County told us they'd take the children back — if we could stop all
"police brutality" and adopt universal health care and mail-in voting. The solution to this whole fraud is
simple. Truth is, our teachers are overpaid and incompetent. Why send your kid back to school when, according to
The Root, 75% of all black boys in California, where state spending on students is enormous, can't read or write
proficiently? Why put your kids in a classroom where there are 30 students to one teacher? Or where you're a
white God-fearing conservative, and the teacher hates America? Or where teachers can't discipline children because
doing so is "racist"? Or where you don't have the time to meet and assess all the teachers? Or where grades are curved
to pass dunces?
Is the Natural Product of Our Educational System. [Scroll down] For decades, our schools have been
self-replicating machines, preaching to college students, directly or indirectly, the left-wing gospel according to Howard
Zinn (and the Frankfurt School and so forth) and sending them out in turn to preach this junior varsity, critical theory
Marxism themselves as teachers at whatever level at all manner of institutions throughout the country. The youngest of
those levels is perhaps the most dangerous because it's the most impressionable. Antifa members are therefore only
doing what they have been taught all along, getting rid of a cancer called the United States. This connection between
Antifa and the teaching profession is so profound that some insist the majority of those hidden behind the black masks are
indeed teachers. Others, needless to say including the liberal media, have denied this. It's impossible to know
for certain. Antifa, like some Islamic terror groups, doesn't have a formal leadership structure; why would they need
it? They also don't keep records. This, however, is probably a case where the cliché about smoke and fire
applies. Whether Antifa is 50 percent teachers or 20 percent teachers, it's a lot of teachers.
Unions Want To Keep Schools Closed — Welcome To The 'Edupocalypse'. While Americans across the
country continue to work despite the many hardships of COVID-19, teachers' unions want none of it. They want to keep
schools closed, which will benefit their own members greatly but seriously harm school-age kids. The Twitter hashtag
"edupocalypse" has seen some use in recent weeks and months as our nation's schools closed down and all but stopped
teaching. It's leading to what we think can be called, without exaggeration, an educational crisis. Public
schools may never be the same.
Teachers' Unions Will Shoot Their Hostages. For America's kids and parents, the reopening of schools in coming
weeks is a source of fear and frustration. For teachers' unions, always claiming to "put the kids first," it's another
opportunity for politicking. On Tuesday evening [7/28/2020], just before a slated speech by presumptive Democratic
nominee Joe Biden, American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten announced that the national union would back
strikes by local members objecting to inadequate health and safety standards. That threat marks progress insofar as a
strike would see teachers forgo pay if they abstain from work, the same choice facing many other Americans.
union president says strikes probable in Texas, Arizona, Florida. The president of the American Federation of
Teachers warned Wednesday that strikes due to unsafe working conditions in schools were possible in Texas, Florida and
Arizona — all states with high coronavirus infection rates. "If people die while they are educating kids,
you eviscerate any credibility that you would have going forward about whether or not a school is safe," Randi Weingarten
told POLITICO. Earlier this month the American Federation of Teachers, which represents over 1.7 million educators,
adopted a resolution which demands the only schools that should reopen for in-person instruction should be in places where
the infection rate of COVID-19 is below 5 percent.
The Editor says...
If the teachers are waiting until there are no germs in the air, it may be a while.
teacher union supports strikes over reopening plans. One of the nation's largest teachers unions is authorizing
its members to strike if their schools plan to reopen without proper safety measures in the middle of the global
pandemic. The American Federation of Teachers, which represents 1.7 million school employees, issued a resolution on
Tuesday saying it will support any local chapter that decides to strike over reopening plans. In providing its
blessing, the union is also offering local chapters access to its financial and legal resources as they navigate a return to
the classroom. Union officials said they will provide legal support, communications support and staffing to local
chapters that vote to strike.
students in class until January? Yes, one N.J. union leader says in urging big delay. The local teachers'
union president in Paterson says Gov. Phil Murphy should hold off on reopening school buildings until January, and
possibly longer, due to the coronavirus pandemic. John McEntee, president of the Paterson Education Association, said
he prefers all-remote learning to the hybrid model embraced by Murphy, in which classes will start on time in September but
parents may choose to keep their children home for online learning.
Reopen the Schools. It seems almost incredible that in a number of states, serious consideration is being given
to keeping the public schools closed in the Fall. Given that the coronavirus is rarely dangerous to
children — less so, in fact, than the average seasonal flu — it is hard to understand the rationale for
continued school closures. The most commonly offered excuse is that the children may infect teachers. Presumably
that is possible, but a U.K. epidemiologist said yesterday that "Scientists are yet to find a single confirmed case of a
teacher catching coronavirus from a pupil anywhere in the world." Teachers' unions are the main proponents of continued
school closings, apparently because some teachers and administrators would like to be paid in full for working relatively
little. The impulse is understandable, if not commendable. As usual, teachers' unions are happy to throw kids
under the bus.
unions have abandoned our students by blocking reopening. Los Angeles County, the nation's second-largest
school district, announced this week that students will not be returning for in-person classes this fall and must instead
continue to participate in the failed distance-learning experiment it initiated after the onset of COVID-19. This
decision was made not by the parents or the schools but by the teachers union, which has opposed all attempts to reopen the
county's schools. United Teachers Los Angeles, which represents more than 35,000 teachers in the area, argued at first
that the health of its members and the students they teach was the primary concern. How, they asked, would the schools
be cleaned regularly with so many different people entering and exiting at all times of the day? And is it even
possible for schools to enforce social distancing among young students? These are reasonable concerns, but UTLA didn't
Science Is Very Clear: Schools Should Reopen This Fall. Progressives like to brag that they prize science
over politics. Indeed, it's a major talking point in their effort to "transform" America from the greatest nation on
Earth to, well, something else. But one look at the debate over reopening schools this fall shows just how absurd that
assertion really is. Los Angeles, home to the nation's second-largest school district, is a case in point. The
city has long been governed by far-left Democrats, to its detriment. But the local teachers' union really takes the
cake when it comes to extremist positions on COVID-19 and school closures.
Are the Ridiculous Non-Coronavirus Demands the LA Teachers Union Wants Met Before Returning to School. There
has been great debate over whether or not students should be sent back to in-person classes beginning next fall.
Americans seem rather divided on the issue, but the United Teachers Los Angeles — the LA teachers
union — has a few demands before they will even consider heading back to the classroom. "No matter the
scenario in August, it's clear that it will not be a 'normal' school year. But when 'normal' means deep race and class
fissures that result in increased infection and death rates in Black, Brown, and high-poverty communities; when 'normal'
means increasing police budgets even as schools, libraries, and public health face catastrophic cuts; when 'normal' means
corporations receiving trillions in bailout funds as federal commitments to support special education and high-poverty
students remain unfulfilled; when 'normal' means working families lining up for miles for food banks while US billionaires
increased their wealth by over $584 billion — it is clear that going back to normal is not an option.
This crisis presents an opportunity to create a new normal that supports all students," the union said in their demand document.
Schools are essential,
too. Considering how 2020 has gone, it's a shock to no one that the topic of school openings has become
politicized, as everything else has. On one side, we have anti-Trump individuals and groups such as the Lincoln Project
claiming, "Trump doesn't care whether your kids live or die." On the other, conservatives are loudly beating the drum
about the importance of in-person learning. President Trump himself has come out strongly in favor of opening schools
come fall. This isn't just politics; conservatives are the ones who tend to have children, and more of them, and thus,
they understand the vital importance of in-person learning. Those in the anti-Trump camp without school-age children
beating the louder drums about keeping schools closed have no skin in the game as far as school closures are concerned.
Trump have a secret well of unreported support? The media routinely avoid any good news that would help Trump's
re-election. Perhaps the most convincing evidence has been the performance of the stock market. Again, the return
to work is brisker than experts predict as people are allowed to do so by governors. Perhaps the return to normal
school functioning is the greatest threat for the Democrats; the economy cannot fully recover from the COVID shutdown until
schools allow parents to resume their jobs. The reporting is all focused on negativity regarding the risk to
children. In fact, the teacher unions want to keep schools closed, which gives teachers their full income without any
risk as an essential worker. Their political clout is noticeable but will likely backfire.
News Shocked to Find Pediatricians Want to Open Schools. Los Angeles teachers union, in exchange for going back
to in-person classes, is demanding the defunding of police, Medicaid for all, and a ban on new charter schools. The LA
teachers union has announced that before they're gonna go back to in-person classes the police have to be defunded, there
must be Medicare for All, and there must be a wealth tax on the rich to pay for at least $500 billion in additional aid
to the schools. That is outright blackmail, and it's never gonna happen. [...] If you don't want to go back to work,
then you don't get paid. Why should you get paid? Why should people's tax dollars be used to pay you when you are
not teaching anybody and when you don't have the guts to go back to the classroom? I think almost all public
schoolteachers have been paid as usual since all of this started, despite schools being shut down from day one. And I'm
sure that good old desperation will magically solve some of these problems if they're not being paid.
Here is a "news" article that sounds like it was written by somebody from the teachers' union: 'I Don't Want
to Go Back': Many Teachers Are Fearful and Angry Over Pressure to Return. Many of the nation's 3.5 million
teachers found themselves feeling under siege this week as pressure from the White House, pediatricians and some parents to
get back to physical classrooms intensified — even as the coronavirus rages across much of the country. On
Friday, the teachers' union in Los Angeles, the nation's second-largest district, demanded full-time remote learning when the
academic year begins on Aug. 18, and called President Donald Trump's push to reopen schools part of a "dangerous,
anti-science agenda that puts the lives of our members, our students and our families at risk." Teachers say crucial
questions about how schools will stay clean, keep students physically distanced and prevent further spread of the virus have
not been answered. And they feel that their own lives, and those of the family members they come home to, are
The Editor says...
If the teachers are still getting paid, of course they don't want to go back to work. If they're teaching classes
on line, of course they don't want to go back to a real classroom full of violent, fatherless urchins.
Teachers Union's demands before reopening schools are really... something. When it comes to California's plans
as to when and how to reopen the schools, it's only natural that the teachers unions would weigh in on the subject.
After all, those decisions affect the teachers every bit as much as the students. Casting the net a bit further, a
failure to reopen the schools will negatively impact many families if they can't afford childcare costs, allowing them to
return to work and their pre-pandemic "normal" schedules. So what do the unions want to see before the schools
reopen? It would be natural to assume they want to see more distance between students, mask requirements and better
sanitation protocols. And they certainly do want some of those things. But according to a statement put out this
week by United Teachers Los Angeles, there are several other things on their list of demands.
Angeles teachers union links defunding police to reopening schools. United Teachers Los Angeles recently
released a research paper on steps needed to safely reopen public schools amid the coronavirus outbreak and pointed to the
need to free up additional funding by defunding the police. [...] Teachers unions have long been criticized by Republicans as
an extension of the Democrat Party. Republicans will likely use the paper to support that claim. The union's
paper also took aim at charter schools and reportedly called for a federal Medicare-for-All program.
teachers union says schools can't reopen unless charter schools get shut down, police defunded. A major
teachers union is claiming that the re-opening of schools in its district cannot occur without several substantial policy
provisions in place, including a "moratorium" on charter schools and the defunding of local police. United Teachers Los
Angeles, a 35,000-strong union in the Los Angeles Unified School District, made those demands in a policy paper it released
this week. The organization called on local authorities to "keep school campuses closed when the semester begins on
Campaign of Outright Idiocy. As we get into high summer, there must be a very large number of Americans now
actively considering whether the country is going mad. [...] [The Democratic] party is bound hand-and-foot to the palsied
hulk of organized labor and is a tinny echo of the teachers' unions' demands that schools be kept closed until there is a
vaccine: an indefinite fully paid holiday for the nation's underworked teachers who, in a great many cases, provide
no more education to America's youth than would a daycare center.
official bashes Biden, claims ex-VP 'in the hip pocket of the teachers union'. Trump campaign communications
director Tim Murtaugh accused presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden of being "in the hip pocket of the
teachers union" as the White House pushes schools to reopen on time this fall despite the coronavirus pandemic. "We
know that when it comes to education policy, Joe Biden does not have a thought of his own, and he has to do with the union
tells him to do," Murtaugh said on "Bill Hemmer Reports"
(Accidentally) Make The Case Against Teachers' Unions. The New York Times reports how police union membership
has been climbing even as private-sector union membership has plunged, and that this gives unions "resources they can spend
on campaigns and litigation to block reform. A single New York City police union has spent more than $1 million on
state and local races since 2014." "The greater the political pressure for reform, the more defiant the unions often
are in resisting it — with few city officials, including liberal leaders, able to overcome their opposition," the
Times reports. No kidding. All this applies equally, if not more so, to teachers' unions. Through the
collective bargaining process, they've made it nearly impossible to fire a teacher, unless the school wants to spend roughly
two years and $200,000 doing it, according to Stanford Professor Terry Moe.
City Schools: Where America's Most Vulnerable Kids Languish. In school systems with teachers unions,
Democrats look the other way as the interests of teachers take precedence over the interests of children. And no
wonder. The overwhelming share of union dues paid by teachers is money-laundered straight through to the coffers of the
Democrats. According to a Brookings Institution study, nearly 99% of teachers' union political donations in 2012 went
to Democrats. [...] New York City and Milwaukee aren't the only places where unionized, Democrat-run schools fail miserably
at adequately educating minority children. A 2010 investigation by L.A. Weekly found that the Los Angeles Unified
School District spent $3.5 million trying to fire seven teachers for poor classroom performance. Only four of the seven
were eventually fired at the end of their union-mandated appeals process, which dragged on for an average of five years at an
average cost of $875,000 per fired teacher.
Action' as a Bogus Alternative to True Education. I received an email from the United Federation of Teachers
(UFT) asking me which topics from a list of pressing concerns I would like to receive emails about. The UFT has 200,000
members in New York City alone and is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, which has 1.6 million members
nationwide. Following is a list of some of the sixteen topics being advocated by the UFT: Environmentalism/Sustainability,
Immigrant Rights, LGBTQ Rights and Issues; Literacy; Political Activism; Racial Justice; Restorative Justice; Student Debt Relief;
Women's Rights and Issues. In case anyone tells you the teaching profession has not been politicized but that it is what it
always has been — namely, composed of over-worked, dedicated, and underpaid teachers — this list should
dispel that mistaken understanding. They are over-worked, dedicated, and underpaid, but at the same time, they are being
used by their union leaders to promote a leftist agenda. It is important to see this in order not to sentimentalize the
Teachers Union Wants Kids to Pursue Gender Transition Without Parental Consent. Even in California, you have to
be 18 to get a tattoo, 16 to drive a car, 21 to buy a gun, alcohol, or pot. But if you want to change your gender?
Well, then, you just have to be 12. And your public school will be more than happy to help. Need an abortion?
Tell your teacher. Want to refill your birth control? Go to the school clinic. Thinking about starting hormone
treatments? Your parents will never find out. At least, not under the policy the California Teachers Association is
pushing. That's the amazing revelation from last month's union meeting.
Union Demands Kids Share Bathrooms With Transgender Educators. As the Madison Metropolitan School District
faces a lawsuit over its policy on student gender identity, it's being accused of discriminating against transgender teachers
in the bathroom. On Tuesday, Madison Teachers Inc. fired out a press release asserting it supports equal restroom
access for MMSD students and staff. The union doesn't like the district's directive to Frank Allis Elementary School
staff to "limit their use of restroom facilities to the single person restroom."
May Get Sex Changes Without Parental Consent, if California's Teachers Union Has Its Way. The California
Teachers Association's recent position statements suggest that students should be able to receive hormone therapy to change
their sex without parental consent. Although this CTA belief does not directly change regulations on the matter, it
indicates the kind of legislation the powerful union will support. On Jan. 26, CTA changed an existing policy to
explicitly include transgender and non-binary youth among the students who can leave class without parental permission to
receive birthcontrol, abortions, and other such services.
Buy employee found child porn on Pasco teacher's laptop, deputies say. A Pasco County middle school teacher
faces felony charges after sheriff's deputies said a Best Buy employee found child pornography on the 69-year-old educator's
laptop. William Crawford was arrested Tuesday afternoon [1/7/2020] at John Long Middle School, where he taught,
according to a report from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. He resigned from the job the same afternoon, prior to his
arrest, a district spokeswoman said.
Bloomberg just tanked any possible support from teachers unions. New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg is
playing catchup in terms of getting all of his policy proposals fleshed out and published for public inspection. But
his team has been hard at work trying to get all of their bases covered and this week they're preparing to release his
education plan. A lot of it is fairly standard material by Democratic Party standards, with plenty of free stuff and
more taxpayer funding going into the public school system. But there's one portion of the summary that will definitely
set Bloomberg apart from the rest of the field, and probably not in a good way. Similar to how he ran things as Mayor
of New York City, Mike will be throwing his support to charter schools.
English teacher admits to repeatedly pooping in local park. A Wisconsin English teacher has admitted to
defecating on a building in a public park for more than two years, a report said. Jeffrey Churchwell, 60, who will be
retiring from Milton School District in January, allegedly fessed up to littering Natureland Park with poop since 2017,
leaving behind his human waste and used toilet paper, according to The Janesville Gazette. His run came to an end on
Oct. 8 — the same day a county worker met with a sheriff's deputy over a complaint about somebody repeatedly
going to the bathroom on a park building up to five days a week, sometimes several times per day, the report said.
The Editor says...
As long as his union dues are paid up, the teachers' union will defend this guy to the bitter end.
Chicago Teacher Union vs. Charter Schools. This is the second week of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU)
strike. It's the second CTU strike in less than 10 years, and it's having wide and far-ranging repercussions.
Even worse, if the strike persists for a few more days, thousands of CPS students will not be able to participate in the
upcoming Illinois high school playoffs. This is especially unfortunate because these postseason athletic tournaments
are prime opportunities for CPS students to showcase their athletic abilities and receive scholarship offers from college
scouts and recruiters, who routinely attend such athletic extravaganzas. Another huge consequence of the current strike
is a death blow to charter schools in the Windy City.
CTU strike has betrayed Chicago's children. There are about 300,000 children in Chicago who have missed nearly
two weeks of classroom instruction and after-school activities. There are high schoolers who have fallen behind on
college application preparations. Athletes who lost the chance to participate in postseason playoffs and
tournaments. And there are children from every community who counted on school as a sanctuary. For thousands of
those children, school essentially was their only place of learning, emotional support and consistency.
Teachers Union rejects latest offer as students miss eighth day of classes. Chicago Public Schools students
missed an eighth day of classes as the teachers union rejected the city's latest offer to end the longest teachers strike in
more than 30 years in the city. Chicago Public Schools said it had made a $500 million offer, but the union said the
two sides are still $38 million apart. "In addition to double-digit raises for all staff, our offer included another
110M to provide a nurse and social worker for every school and prioritized support for high-need schools," the school system
tweeted Sunday [10/27/2019].
Why Chicago teachers won't take 'yes' for an answer.
Here's what should infuriate Chicagoans: This strike is about power and relevancy for leaders of the Chicago Teachers
Union. It always has been. How else do you explain this walkout even as Lightfoot continues to offer a generous
pay and benefits package while committing to the union's demands for additional support staff, smaller class sizes and a
social worker and nurse in every school? The parameters of those arrangements are in writing. Lightfoot bent to
most of CTU's key demands. Yet teachers still were marching on sidewalks and street corners Thursday [10/24/2019]
instead of teaching in classrooms.
Schools to Indoctrinate Educators in 'White Privilege'. By longstanding tradition, on the third weekend in
October, Minnesota schoolchildren are granted a four-day holiday so that their teachers can attend an indoctrination boot
camp — otherwise known as the "Minnesota Educator Academy" or "MEA" — sponsored by Education Minnesota,
the state's teachers union. Billed by the union as an opportunity for professional development and for educators to
connect with their colleagues across the state, the Academy is a poorly-disguised effort for leftists to further their
agendas by promoting radical race theory and the progressive concepts of "white privilege" and "Islamophobia" to the
individuals charged with educating our next generation. The most recent MEA which was held last week in St. Paul
was no exception and the conference itinerary made no effort to hide the political thrust of its efforts.
Spread the Gospel. [Scroll down] The nation's teachers' unions are certainly not lacking in woke
zealotry. At their convention in July, the National Education Association's new business items — proposed
directives and projects for action during the coming year — included incorporating "the concept of 'White
Fragility' into NEA trainings/staff development, literature, and other existing communications...." One adopted item
pushes for "reparations for descendants of enslaved Africans in the United States," and another publicizes the union's
"vigorous defense of immigrants' rights: defending the right to asylum, ending the criminalization of border crossings,
opposing child separation, the construction of a border wall, and immediately shutting down immigrant concentration camps."
Took Thousands From Teachers' Unions Before Charter School Flip-Flop. Democratic presidential candidate
Elizabeth Warren raked in tens of thousands of dollars from teachers' unions before reversing her past support for student
vouchers and education reform. In 2004, Warren argued that vouchers "relieve parents" from relying on failing public
schools. Her campaign's newly-released education plan attacks charter schools and school choice. Warren's
reversal comes after the Massachusetts senator took more than $2.5 million in campaign cash from the education industry
throughout her political career, including nearly $70,000 from the country's most powerful teachers' unions, according to the
Center for Responsive Politics.
Block Marching Teachers from Entering Lake Shore Drive. Marching teachers in downtown Chicago were blocked by
police as they tried to enter Lake Shore Drive during rush hour Friday afternoon on the seventh day of canceled classes in
the city. The teachers began with a rally near Buckingham Fountain before marching down city streets, prompting
closures as they went.
From Woke to Broke.
"The fact is there is no more money. Period," says Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot. She's talking about the
teachers' strike that has paralyzed her city's public schools — enrollment 360,000 — for the past
week. The public employee union is demanding more: more money for salaries (only eight states pay teachers more
than Illinois), more support staff (Illinois ranks first in spending on administrators), more teachers per student.
Their cause has attracted national attention. Elizabeth Warren joined the picket line. Which is ironic.
Lightfoot is not some stingy Republican. Nor is she a centrist Democrat like her predecessor Rahm Emanuel. She's
as progressive as you can get. But she now finds herself in the same position as many of her political brethren:
facing criticism for failing to reconcile the contradictions in the left's agenda.
Stop Holding the City Hostage. The streets of downtown Chicago were packed last week with more than 30,000
teachers protesting for pay increases and other benefits like affordable housing, smaller class sizes and more nurses and
social workers on campus. Talks continued over the weekend, and the strike has entered another week, leaving more than
360,000 students stranded with no place to go. To the teachers and union, I say shame on you for holding the city of
Chicago hostage. It's time to stop whining and get back to work.
Chicago Teachers Union puts the squeeze on Mayor Lori Lightfoot,
and taxed-out taxpayers. As Chicago teachers marched into Week Two of their strike Monday, Chicago Teachers
Union leaders pursued their strategy of moving the goal posts. One indicator: Contract demands that started with
pay now include rent control, a policy the state legislature has been debating. Rent control policy has no place in a
teacher contract negotiation. Nor does affordability of housing. Nor does presidential politics. But in the
spaghetti-throwing exercise CTU has employed for months, issues that fall outside the parameters of a labor agreement keep
getting tossed at the wall. What will stick? How about free yoga classes at 31st Street Beach? Can CTU get
that in the contract? The longer the negotiations crawl, the more expensive the contract risks getting for taxpayers,
and the more classroom time shrinks for students.
teachers demand smaller class size by striking, but enrollment is already declining. Chicago Teachers Union members are
on strike again, 300,000 students and their parents have to reshuffle their weekday routines. In Chicago and many other
big cities, school is more than being an educational institution. Three quarters of Chicago Public Schools students qualify
for government paid-for or subsidized lunches, many also qualify for breakfasts under similar circumstances. Or maybe schools in
Chicago are less than being an educational institution as barely one-in-four students read at grade level, despite most schools having
"College Predatory" [sic] and "Excellence" in their names. But CPS schools serve, even when there isn't a strike, sadly as day
to Work Legal: Chicago Teachers Have 'Right to Rebuff' Union Demands. The National Right to Work Legal
Defense Foundation (NRTW) has issued a special legal notice to the more than 20,000 teachers affected by the Chicago Teachers
Union (CTU) strike order. The notice informs Chicago teachers they have a right to refuse to leave their students and
to continue to provide for their families during the planned strike. Additionally, the notice offers teachers links to
resources to help them exercise their rights without fear of retaliation from union leaders.
teachers: for themselves, not the children. Teachers in Chicago, where the median pay for educators, according
to U.S. Census Bureau figures, comes in around $75,000, have called for a strike for more money, lower health care costs,
smaller class sizes and to bring about the hiring of thousands of support staffers and the construction of 55 new
schools — and are calling it a strike for "justice," to boot. All while leaving 300,000 district school
children in limbo. This is not about "justice." This is not about the students. This is about teachers,
guided by the promptings of union heads, getting more for themselves.
Jersey teacher loses job, accused of snorting morphine in front of students. A New Jersey elementary school
teacher has lost his job for allegedly snorting morphine in front of his students, according to a Tuesday [10/1/2019]
report. Michael Palladino, 43, was charged in December with possession of a controlled dangerous substance and official
misconduct, according to a complaint from the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.
the Second Time in Four Years, Chicago Teachers Vote to Strike. It's contract time again for teachers in
Chicago and that means one thing: Strike! The teachers want more pay for less work — a lot more
pay. They are demanding a 15 percent increase in salary over three years. They are also demanding more union
members be hired by schools. [...] Chicago teachers are already earning more than teachers in any other big city.
Teachers Union Members Vote to Authorize Strike. Chicago Teachers Union members have voted to authorize a
strike, union leaders announced Thursday night, setting the stage for more than 25,000 teachers and staff to walk off the job
in the nation's third-largest school district. CTU President Jesse Sharkey said the union eclipsed the 75 percent
threshold needed to authorize a strike at approximately 9:15 p.m. Thursday. Sharkey said that 94 percent
of the votes tallied by Thursday evening [9/26/2019] were in favor of authorizing a strike.
Sanders has the teachers in his wallet. Sanders, by and large, has reaped his biggest whirlwind of support from
the so-called educated crowd. From teachers, he's received $949,470; from professors, meanwhile, he's received an
additional $361,408. That's $1.3 million and some change from those who are supposed to be the better educated batch
of the country — from those who are supposed to be schooled in history and government and civics and law —
given directly to the one who is trying with every campaign step to tear down the fabric of the country.
keeping charter schools down in exchange for teacher's union cash, top activist says. As Democrats seeking to
unseat President Trump in 2020 call for funding to be diverted from charter schools, National Alliance for Public Charter
Schools president Nina Rees accused the party of bowing to teachers' unions in exchange for sizable campaign contributions.
"The simple answer is that the teachers' unions are now more powerful than ever before when it comes to Democrat party politics,"
she said on the latest edition of "The Journal Editorial Report," which aired Saturday. "The unions have discovered
that because our teachers are not unionized, that they have a fewer share of the market than they had before.
director from Queens nabbed after sexting with detective he thought was 14-year-old boy: officials. A United
Federation of Teachers director has been charged with attempting to coerce a minor into sex as part of a sting operation,
according to a complaint filed in Brooklyn Federal Court Friday [9/6/2019]. According to a statement by Detective Damon
Gergar, who was involved in the sting, 41-year-old Jason Seto contacted him via a dating app that Gergar says people "primarily
use to meet up to have sexual contact."
teacher's unions still charging unconstitutional fees. In the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling in Janus v
AFSCME, it appeared as if the question had been settled. The state cannot force public sector workers who are not
members of a union to pay dues (or "fair share fees") to that union to support its political speech. This practice is a
violation of the worker's First Amendment rights. But it seems that at least one teacher's union in Pennsylvania didn't
get the memo. They're still doing it, and now a few of their victims are taking them to court.
This might go over in Massachusetts, but it doesn't make a good nationwide platform. Elizabeth
Warren's Bias Against Private and Religious Schools — and Their Teachers. From the time she was a
little girl, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts had a dream. She wanted to work for the government. "Me,
I knew for sure what I wanted to do from second grade on," Warren said in a speech delivered in Philadelphia on May 13.
"I wanted to be a public school teacher." "Can we hear it for public school teachers? That's what I wanted," said
Warren. The American Federation of Teachers — a union affiliated with the AFL-CIO — hosted the
event Warren addressed. Notice she did not tell the teachers' union she simply wanted to be a schoolteacher —
or a high school teacher, or a grammar school teacher. She said she wanted to be a "public school teacher."
Teachers Union visits Venezuela, returns with high praise. Four representatives of the Chicago Teachers Union,
including a member of its executive board, visited Venezuela and returned with high praise for the socialist polices of
President Nicolás Maduro. So starts the story of those apparently living in an alternative universe. What is
worse, these are the teachers who are indoctrinating the children. Chicago, the bastion of all that can go wrong with a
city, gives us a chilling insight. The very same people opposed to charter schools and will do all they can to insure
incompetent teachers remain in their positions. Who are more than willing to enjoy the largesse of the taxpayers with
of Chicago Teachers Union Support Venezuela's Socialist Disaster. According to FightBack!News, The Chicago
Teachers Union has a delegation in Venezuela getting behind strongman Nicolás Maduro's regime. The story details
that the delegation's goal is to "learn what they could from Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution, exchange views on effective
education and to show solidarity with the students, teachers and social movements of Venezuela." The delegation members
are sharing their amazement at Venezuela's socialist experiment on a blog called "Radical Educator Collective." These
union members were impressed by the communes they visited.
American Left Is Racist, Not President Trump. Does anyone really think affirmative action — an
explicitly racist practice — does "people of color" any favors when such preferences lower academic standards to
admit them into universities even when they lack the academic skills to compete with their classmates? Ah, but create
undemanding "ethnic studies" majors and turn them all into left-wing activists! That they can do. The biggest
crime committed by the racist Democrats is the destruction of America's public schools, where the leftist teachers unions
have stifled innovation and accountability. The worst impact of the union grip on public education has been felt in
low-income "communities of color."
teachers union president pitches transgenderism to kindergartners. The National Education Association and the
Human Rights Campaign thinks it's critical to teach kindergartners about transgender ideology, so the nonprofits partnered
together to "support and celebrate" the cause through the union's Read Across America Day. In schools across the
country, teachers and LGBTQ advocates are reading NEA-endorsed stories that explain the gender spectrum and teach students
they can "identify" as whatever they want. NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia and Sarah McBride, a transgender
spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, led by example with 50 kindergartners at Ashlawn Elementary School in Arlington,
Virginia, late last month. The duo read from "I Am Jazz," about a boy who turns into a girl, and "Julian Is a Mermaid,"
about another boy who fantasizes about being a mermaid, then answered questions from the wide-eyed 5-year-olds, The
Washington Post reports.
Bernie Sanders, Union Bosses Matter More than Poor Kids. Bernie Sanders is a delusional hard-core statist, but
that's part of what makes him attractive for some voters. [...] Today, though, I want to highlight something that's
unambiguously bad. He's decided that currying favor with union bosses at the National Education Association is so
important that it's okay to trap kids from poor families in failing schools. And that, to me, makes him a political
hack rather than an honest leftist.
Oregon Teachers Walk Out, Forcing Some Public Schools to Close. An estimated 25,000 public school teachers
staged a walkout and rally in Portland, Oregon on Wednesday. Thousands of other teachers staged simultaneous walkouts
and rallies at a number of other locations around the state. The event, which was sponsored by the Oregon Education
Association, forced more than a dozen Oregon public schools to close for the day, [...]
The Editor says...
So much for putting the needs of the children first.
leave classrooms in S.C., N.C. take part in May Day rallies. Teachers in South Carolina rallied Wednesday
[5/1/2019] for the usual demands: more money, smaller classes, and more support staff. The protest in the state
capital of Columbia was organized as part of the 'Red for Ed' movement, and was organized by an activist group known as South
Carolina for Education. They did not want to call it a walk out, but promoted it, instead, as a day of reflection by
telling teachers to take a personal day so they could participate. A reported substitute shortage forced some districts
to close for the day.
The Editor says...
The first day of May is a Communist holiday. A surprising number of people don't know this. It's like Christmas for
Commies. That's why the socialist labor unions celebrate on May 1st, even if it means abandoning their jobs for the day.
Union Returns Seized Dues.
A Connecticut professor will recover thousands of dollars that his university's union improperly seized from his paycheck. The
American Association of University Professors union (AAUP) at the University of Connecticut has returned $5,251.48 to Steven Utke
under a settlement filed on April 5. The agreement headed off litigation that could have further cemented legal
precedent barring labor organizations from continuing to reinforce dues deductions from worker paychecks. AAUP entered
into it on the condition that the payment "shall not be considered or construed as an admission of a liability or wrongdoing,"
while pledging to no longer go after Utke, an accounting professor, for further payments.
we shutter the Department of Education? Since its inception 40 years ago as a political payoff from President Jimmy
Carter to the National Education Association, the Department of Education has engaged in scores of dubious actions that have made millions
of Americans yearn for its expulsion.
many school teachers hate capitalism, and are vowing to get rid of Trump in 2020. School teachers are the
largest single occupational group contributing to socialist Bernie Sanders's presidential campaign. As Breitbart notes,
"A disproportionate number of those to whom we have entrusted the task of passing our values on to the next generation
disagree with those values and would prefer a "revolution." So many school teachers in North Carolina joined Marxist
May Day protests organized by #RedforEd, the four largest school districts shut down for the day. #RedforEd talks about
hirer wages and Medicare for all. They pretend to be bi-partisan. They are anything but mainstream.
Teachers Union Continues Gouge of Taxpayers for Tummy Tucks. Since 2004 when the Buffalo Teachers Federation
signed a new contract with the Buffalo Board of Education (BOE), which oversees New York State's second largest school
district outside of New York City, teachers have been gouging taxpayers for cosmetic surgery. Yet there has been a lack
of basic resources to satisfy minimum state requirements for the high poverty area schools. [...] According to a 2012 article
in Syracuse News, at least 100 teachers of the 117 who were laid off could have remained on the job had the union
agreed to suspend the cosmetic surgery rider for one year.
Want Legal Teacher-Student Sex. No one expects teachers unions to advance the best interests of kids.
Albert Shanker was president of the United Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers. As Shanker
put it, "When school children start paying union dues, that's when I'll start representing the interests of school
children." Even so, it is appalling to learn that two major teachers unions want to keep it legal for teachers to have
sex with their students in Rhode Island.
Unions Take Charge in West Virginia. West Virginia's public schools are not academic standouts. Far from
it, in fact. The state's 8th graders ranked 45th nationwide in reading on the 2017 National Assessment of Educational
Progress. Also, according to the state scorecard, 88 percent of West Virginia's 116 high schools "do not meet
standards" in math. In view of these troubling statistics, the state's legislators decided to take action.
massive, well funded assault on charter schools by teachers unions. For the first time in a generation, there
is labor unrest in America's public schools. Strikes in Los Angeles, Denver, Oakland, and West Virginia as well as
threatened strikes in other localities are more than teacher unions flexing their muscles to get more pay and benefits for
their members. At issue everywhere is the success of charter schools and the perceived threat they pose to the nation's
public schools. Indeed, Ray Domanico of the Manhattan Institute points out that the increased activism of the unions is
occurring as the Democratic Party is drifting ever farther leftward.
are the teachers' strikes about? Racing to the left. and Oakland? Local issues like across-the-board
raises and increased educational spending are certainly a big part of teachers' demands, but they could have been fought without
a strike. The larger issue at play, and the real reason for these strikes, is a shift in the landscape of the party the
teachers' unions have always called home.
Organizing Teachers to Turn Purple States Blue by 2020. This teachers union effort, called #RedforEd, has its
roots in the very same socialism that President Trump vowed in his 2019 State of the Union address to stop, and it began in
its current form in early 2018 in a far-flung corner of the country before spreading nationally. Its stated
goals — higher teacher pay and better education conditions — are overshadowed by a more malevolent
political agenda: a leftist Democrat uprising designed to flip purple or red states to blue, using the might of a significant
part of the education system as its lever. The movement takes its name from a political organizing tool first seen in
Florida in 2010, when teachers union members wore red to express political opposition to public school reform proposals under
consideration at that time in the state and encouraged parents and political activists from other unions to join them.
Strikes Spread to West Virginia, Oakland. Teachers unions are increasingly using strikes as a bargaining tactic
in the wake of the Supreme Court's landmark ruling that allows public sector dissidents to opt out of paying union
dues. West Virginia is in the midst of a statewide teacher walk-out to protest legislation that would allow for more
charter schools and other non-union organizations in the state. The strike is the second from the West Virginia
Education Association in as many years after it parlayed a statewide walkout from Feb. 22 to March 7 in 2018 to receive
5 percent pay raises. The teachers union in Oakland, Calif., meanwhile, announced that it would begin its own strike on
Thursday after walking away from the bargaining table with the school district over pay raises.
Anything Good Come Out of the LAUSD Strike? Probably Not. As the teachers strike in Los Angeles entered
its second week, it appeared the strike would soon be over. On January 22, online reports declared an agreement has
been "hammered out," with union members ratifying the deal late last night [1/24/2019]. Union representatives have
consistently stated that more pay is not the only reason they're striking. That's believable. The unions also
want to unionize charter schools, they want smaller class sizes, and they want more hiring — for example, a
full-time nurse at every elementary school. All of this, however, costs money.
milestone in California's decline — The LA teacher strike. Teachers in Los Angeles public schools
went on strike last week, holding 500,000 kids and their parents hostage as they demand more money for the lousy job their
system does at providing an education. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) boasts of graduating about
80 percent of students. But only 60 percent of those who graduated actually completed the necessary coursework,
reflecting an unfortunate practice of passing students who don't actually make the grade.
Los Angeles teacher strike has a huge problem: Pensions. Los Angeles' 31,000 teachers are finishing up
their first week on strike with no end in sight. This is in spite of the fact that both the teachers' union and the
school district, the nation's second-largest, want to spend more money. The sticking point is that the district can't
financially afford or legally spend as much as the union demands. The United Teachers of Los Angeles and the Los
Angeles Unified School District both want teachers to be paid more, class sizes to be reduced, and more support staff
hired. But these items are expensive and run headlong into the fiscal wall created by big employee benefit promises to
retirees. Pensions and retiree healthcare commitments now threaten the district with insolvency if it accedes to the
employee caught on video making racist remarks to teachers on strike. The Los Angeles Unified School District
has launched an investigation after a district employee was caught on video making racist remarks to teachers on strike.
It happened Wednesday morning [[1/16/2019] at South Gate Middle School. The LAUSD employee has been identified as
Annette Arvizu, a senior technician who has worked for the school district for 18 years. Arvizu says Wednesday
morning's confrontation began when striking teachers wouldn't let her leave due to prior tensions.
Angeles teachers strike over pay and class sizes. Teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the
second largest in the nation, are officially on strike today as several last minute offers from the district were rejected by
the teachers' union. At issue are pay raises for teachers, smaller class sizes, and hiring more staff. The
underlying issue is an "existential threat" to the union: non-union charter schools that are becoming very popular.
Angeles teachers could strike for higher pay, smaller class sizes. For the first time in 30 years, teachers a
part of the Los Angeles, Calif., school district — the second biggest in the nation — is slated to go
on strike. Roughly 35,000 members of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) are expected to participate if a deal with the
Los Angeles school district regarding class size and higher pay, among other issues, is not met.
Teachers Union Can't Do Simple Math. As the federal government shutdown heads toward its third week, parents in
Los Angeles are also bracing for a possible shutdown of the public-school system. On Jan. 10, the 33,000 members
of United Teachers Los Angeles plan to go on strike. The Los Angeles Unified School District is trying to stanch red
ink and avert a state takeover, while UTLA seeks to arrest a decade long decline in membership.
teacher exposes teachers' unions in new book. Rebecca Friedrichs, an elementary school veteran teacher of
almost 30 years and plaintiff in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, knows from experience that
teachers' unions are the number-one corrupting force in education. Her new book, Standing Up to Goliath, features
testimonies of teachers, parents, and kids who have been harmed by the state and national teachers' unions. "If people
read this book and find out what is really going on, they will find out that every single problem in our schools is related
to the teachers' union," Friedrichs told Red Alert Politics in a phone interview.
The Truth About TIME's 'Underpaid
Teachers' Story. "I Work 3 Jobs And Donate Blood Plasma to Pay the Bills. This Is What It's Like to Be a
Teacher in America," reads the cover of TIME Magazine this week — and the story is going viral. I haven't
been able to scroll through a social media feed without seeing someone linking to the article — which features the
stories of a handful of allegedly struggling teachers. [...] While I'm all for paying certain teachers more, TIME's piece
doesn't make a convincing case for that. In fact, the TIME article doesn't do anything other than prove life is hard,
given that all of the teachers profiled in the piece earn incomes above that of the average American.
Federation of Teachers President: 'We're Becoming More Political'. Teachers' unions in America have long been
notorious for their liberal political policies and positions. Now, it appears the unions may somehow be skewing even
farther to the left. According to a recent article in National Review, both the National Education Association (NEA)
and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) appear to be pursuing increasingly progressive political agendas.
Universal health care, free college tuition for everyone attending state schools, and the provision of universal daycare are
just a few of the positions outlined by the unions this past summer. The AFT's biennial convention, held last month in
Pittsburgh, honored Hillary Clinton with their Women's Rights award. Ms. Clinton delivered a speech to the over
3,000 people in attendance, in which she sharply criticized a number of President Donald Trump's policies and encouraged
union members to get out and vote in November. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were also featured as
Unions Plan to Become 'More Political, Not Less Political'. In a landmark First Amendment decision, the Supreme
Court ruled earlier this summer in Janus v. AFSCME that states cannot require public employees to pay "agency
fees" to unions. Prior to the decision, in 22 states, public employees who chose not to join a union could still be
required to pay these fees — somewhat less than full dues — for union services. Some have
suggested that unions might temper their left-wing politics in response to the decision, in the hopes of wooing potential
members put off by union politics.
Still Hero of the Aggrieved and Champion Whiner. Who other than the AFT would give an award to a woman as
corrupt (and tired) as old Hilz? In my experience heroes and role models are not whiney losers but Hillary broke that
glass ceiling too. Amongst the permanently aggrieved nobody is more aggrieved about more things for a longer time than
Clinton: Republicans 'are trying to rip the heart out of America'. Hillary Clinton had strong words for
the Trump administration and Republicans on Friday [7/13/2018] while addressing the American Federation of Teachers, saying
the fundamental rights of Americans are what's at stake this November. Speaking at the labor union's conference in
Pittsburgh, Mrs. Clinton slammed the administration's separations of families at the border as inhumane and indecent.
Court Fallout: Calif. Teachers Sue Unions to Recoup Unconstitutional 'Agency Fees'. Justice is
coming for unions that forced non-members to pay "non-political" agency fees that went to prop up Democratic
candidates. Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that forcing workers who disagree with a union to make these payments
anyway violates the workers' First Amendment rights. Less than a week after that ruling, Janus v. Association
of Federal, State, City, and Municipal Employees (FSCME), seven California teachers have filed a class-action lawsuit to
recoup unjustly forced fees.
A Teacher. Here's Why I'm Cheering My New Freedom From Unions. I recently received an email from the
local chapter of the National Education Association informing me that collective bargaining had ended and a salary schedule
for the 2018-19 school year had been agreed upon. In other words, a union of which I am not a member has negotiated my
new salary for the upcoming school year. As a second-year elementary school teacher in southern New Mexico, I would be
lying if I said that I have not seriously considered joining the union, or that I will never join the union. The
pressure is high at the Title I school in which I work.
Unheeded Warnings in Washington's Farewell Address. Many public schools in the past required knowledge of our
political system and the reading of this speech. Every citizen ought to be able to understand why these warnings are
important and how to defend against them. However today many public schools are aligned with a faction (their labor
unions) and place their own interest above society.
Teacher Unions Across
America Face Uncertain Future After Supreme Court Decision. Teacher unions across the country face an uncertain
future after the Supreme Court's decision not to force workers to pay mandatory fees to cover union collecting bargaining
costs. The Janus v. AFSCME 31 case dealt with Mark Janus, an Illinois state worker, arguing that the state
violated his First Amendment rights by making him pay agency fees to a union because he did not want to join it. Janus
believed paying agency fees forced him to speak through the union. "This is a fundamental defeat for unions.
There's no sugar-coating it; this is a huge defeat," Nat Malkus, deputy director of education policy studies at the American
Enterprise Institute, told The Daily Caller.
Court's Janus decision could change everything for our schools and kids. In 20 to 30 years, we may look back on
this week as the turning point when everything changed for America's teachers and their students. That's because the Supreme
Court ruled Wednesday [6/27/2018] that individuals who disagree with a union's political activity will no longer be forced to pay
dues to the union. The 5-4 high court decision in the case of Janus v. AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and
Municipal Employees) is a landmark victory for the First Amendment rights of 5 million public sector employees in 22 states.
In addition, a great opportunity for serious school reform may be a consequence as well. The Supreme Court ruling may mark a
watershed moment when teachers begin to take their profession back, forever changing the trajectory of America's public school system
and the students it serves.
We Make American Education Great Again? Not With Teacher Walkouts. The results released a couple of weeks
ago were disappointing, showing that scores on reading and math tests for fourth and eight graders remained flat in 2017.
Meanwhile, as those results were coming out, across the nation, in West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona and Colorado,
schools were hit with teacher walkouts and strikes. The bad test scores and the walkouts are not unrelated. The
weak test scores say a lot. After a brief burst of improvements in the early 2000s, test scores have shown little
change or improvement for nearly a decade — essentially the Obama years until today. For all their talk, the
Obama administration was a huge failure at continuing early-2000 improvements in 8-12 education.
Are Not Underpaid. Most commentary on teacher pay begins and ends with the observation that public school
teachers earn lower salaries than the average college graduate. This is true, but in what other context do we assume
that every occupation requiring a college degree should get paid the same? Engineers make about 25 percent more
than accountants, but "underpaid" accountants are not demonstrating in the streets. Wages are not determined by years
of schooling but by the supply and demand for skills. These skills vary by field of study. About half of teachers
major in education, among the least-rigorous fields at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
of Great City Schools Pushes Anti-Second Amendment Resolution. The Council of Great City Schools (CGCS) is an
organization of 70 urban public school systems, first formed in 1956. It started with 10 large, urban schools and has
grown with federal funding. As such, it is not surprising it pushes causes dear to those pushing for more and bigger
government, more taxes, more spending, more federal funding. It's member are nearly funded by tax dollars. Most
of its teachers would be members of the far left National Education Association. When the CGCS says they wish to
improve education, they are essentially saying: Give us more money.
on Acela: Teachers' Union President Plots to Shut Puerto Rico Schools From First Class Car. Teachers'
union president Randi Weingarten is plotting a teachers' strike to shut down schools in Puerto Rico, according to a
conversation overheard Friday in the first-class car of an Acela train heading to New York. Puerto Rico is in the midst
of implementing school-choice reforms, opposed by Weingarten's American Federation of Teachers. Last month
Gov. Ricardo Rossell signed legislation to increase the number of charter schools and voucher programs. Weingarten
said she does not want to use the word "strike," but wants to use the strategy of recent teacher walkouts in Oklahoma and
West Virginia as a model to fight against school-choice reforms.
Ongoing Teacher Walkout in Oklahoma. Oklahoma is a state heavily dependent on oil and gas and was greatly harmed by
the downturn in that volatile industry. Other factors include waste and mismanagement of funds by the government, which have
been ongoing in Oklahoma for decades. This isn't a Republican or Democratic issue. This is a government issue.
The level of groupthink and the mob mentality that have descended upon the teachers, administrators, and people of Oklahoma is the
most concerning thing about this entire walkout. Teachers are unable to think for themselves and see beyond the demands of
the OEA. A teacher friend of mine is afraid that if she doesn't show up at the capitol, she will face serious backlash
from her fellow teachers at school. She knows that other teachers don't support the walkout but everyone is too afraid to
speak up. If they do, they will be labeled as anti-education. The attacks on concerned parents as to how this
action affects their children is disturbing. One is instantly branded anti-teacher, anti-education, and against the children
if you don't support these specific tax increases.
The Teachers Are Revolting.
Today [4/2/2018], 200 Oklahoma school districts are shut down, with students going uneducated and parents scrambling for
daycare. Similar protests have been taking place in Kentucky, Arizona, and West Virginia. What do all these
states have in common? Republicans hold the governorship and both legislative chambers. But it's totally
non-partisan and for the children ... or something. West Virginia teachers kicked off the protests with a two-week
strike last month. The state government gave them a 5 percent raise to get them back to work. The Kentucky
legislature passed a bill to reform the unsustainable state pension system last week so today all of Kentucky's public schools
are closed and thousands of teachers are protesting at the state capitol. Almost no one in the private sector has a
pension, but taxpayers aren't allowed even to tweak the extravagant pensions of government workers.
of thousands of teachers planning massive rallies and classroom walkouts. Tens of thousands of public school teachers
in Kentucky and Oklahoma plan to attend rallies on Monday [4/2/2018] at their state capitols in what they hope will be the latest
display of muscle by the nation's educators demanding higher wages and better classroom resources. The double demonstrations
come less than a month after West Virginia teachers went on a nine-day strike that ended with the governor there signing legislation
giving them a 5 percent pay hike — their first raise in four years.
Punished for Questioning Anti-gun Walkout. A California teacher questioned Wednesday's [3/14/2018] national
anti-gun school walkout — then found herself in the cross hairs, being told not to come to work that day at
all. The story began last week when Julianne Benzel, a history teacher at Rocklin High School in Rocklin, California,
questioned the double standard reflected in the protest. She stated that it was wrong for the school to support one
walkout if they weren't willing to support those associated with other causes, such as one against prenatal infanticide (she
used the common term "abortion"). Benzel's young charges didn't disagree. "I didn't get any backlash from my
students," she said. "All my students totally understood that there could not be a double standard," related CBS
Sacramento. But her school was a different story. As CBS also reported, "Benzel received a letter from her human
resources department, informing her she's being placed on paid administrative leave."
Education Union DeVostated.
The union representing Department of Education bureaucrats is crying foul after the agency constrained union privileges following
months of delays in negotiation. On Monday [3/12/2018] the agency implemented a new collective bargaining agreement with
its employees, who are represented by the American Federation of Government Employees. The terms of the deal could strike a
blow against the labor organization. Workers will no longer be automatically enrolled in the union and instead will have to
opt into representation. Under the previous contract, workers had only one 48-hour window to opt out of paying union dues or
fees. It will also eliminate perks previously given to union officers, including taxpayer-supported office space and
supplies. One department official said the contract implemented under Secretary Betsy DeVos will serve "as the gold
standard for other agencies in their negotiations" with labor organizations.
education budget puts students ahead of special interests. President Trump's proposed 2019 education budget,
with its elimination of 29 ineffective or duplicative programs, drew howls from special-interest groups. Despite their
hyperventilation, the president rightly focuses his spending priorities on the needs of students rather than on what the
Washington spending lobby wants. Trump proposes a 5 percent reduction in discretionary federal education spending below
the level enacted last year, going from $66.8 billion down to $63.2 billion. American Federation of Teachers chief
Randi Weingarten called the cuts "cruel," and claimed that the administration "shows that they failed to learn anything." Yet
it is Weingarten and the guardians of the education status quo who have ignored all the evidence.
Public-Sector Unions Deserve
To Be Destroyed. In many states, public-sector unions don't have collective bargaining rights. Yet, as I
write this, every school in all 55 counties of one of those states, West Virginia, where the average teachers' salary is a
bit higher than the average worker's (not counting all the excellent benefits they receive) are now closed due to an illegal
teacher's strike. Most of those average workers in West Virginia have no choice when it comes to their children's educations.
Yet nearly every story about this situation focuses on the plight of poor teachers rather than powerless parents. On one hand,
we hear that teachers unions are vital to the economy because teachers would make far less in the private sector. In the next
breath, we hear them argue that teachers are substantially underpaid compared to what others earn in the private sector.
By Teachers Union President Shows Just How Inhuman Political Discourse Has Become. In a recent BuzzFeed News
article about the difficulties that "school choice Democrats" will face in the near political future, one interviewee made a
remark that disturbed me. [...] Weingarten's comment is, in a word, destructive. She attributed to DeVos, as if it were
a simple fact, a negative internal characteristic she couldn't possibly know to be true. DeVos "doesn't care about
children." That's a serious accusation, yet Weingarten didn't hesitate to make it. If this were a one-off remark,
perhaps it wouldn't be so troubling. However, these types of statements have become the first response in nearly all
American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten recently pilloried President Trump's health plan in the Huffington
Post: "GOP Rewards The Rich, Rips Off The Rest Of Us," she declared. Is Weingarten among "the rest of us?" The
union leader hauled in $472,197 last year. Weingarten is hardly the only fat-cat teachers' union leader.
According to the Department of Labor, National Education Association executive director John Stocks bagged $355,721 last year,
while NEA president Lily Eskelsen Garc'a scraped by on $317,826. At the 2017 California Democratic Party Convention,
California Teachers Association president Eric Heins ranted about billionaires without acknowledging his own $317,000 total
compensation package. CTA executive director Joe Nunez's compensation is $460,000; associate ED Emma Leheny makes
$480,000, and deputy ED Karen Kyhn gets by on $427,000 yearly. New York City's United Federation of Teachers boss
Michael Mulgrew is practically working class by comparison, making $288,000.
over Flunked-Out Teachers. At the direction of Bill de Blasio's administration, New York City public school
principals have begun filling vacancies with teachers languishing on the city's Absent Teacher Reserve. Everyone knows
that this decision is lousy for city kids, especially those most in need of top instructors. In hindsight, though, it
was also inevitable: the rules that govern public schools are designed to look out for the interests of adults, not
children. The ATR is an example of what happens when commonsense reforms run up against an inflexible system.
Spare Us the 'Conversation'.
The rise of school shootings is due not to the absence of laws but to the absence of a civilized culture that taught students to
follow them. Few lobbies have contributed more to that crisis than the liberal elite's cherished one, the teachers' unions.
They overflow with self-interested hacks whose pensions fattened as schools disintegrated. Before these educrats laid waste to
them, public schools didn't need" gun-free zones" and little armies to protect them. Teachers took the shaping of minds and
souls seriously. But all that discipline and rigor vanished under the ridicule of a ruling class that now treats the debased
condition of schools so solemnly.
of substandard teachers. [Scroll down] Recently, New York, after being tied up in court for years,
dropped its teacher literacy test amid claims of racism. A 2011 investigation by WSB-TV found that more than 700 Georgia
teachers had repeatedly failed at least one portion of the certification test they were required to pass before receiving a
teaching certificate. Nearly 60 teachers had failed the test more than 10 times, and one teacher had failed
the test 18 times. There were 297 teachers on the Atlanta school system's payroll who had failed the state
certification test five times or more. With but a few exceptions, schools of education represent the academic slums of
colleges. They tend to be home to students who have the lowest academic test scores — for example, SAT
scores — when they enter college.
This may be off-topic. Or maybe not. Elementary
school teachers smoked marijuana in office every day before school began, cops say. Two Virginia elementary
school physical education teachers smoked marijuana and hashish in an office nearly every day before classes began, using air
freshener to mask the smell before students walked in, police said. Taylor Elementary School physical education
teachers Luke Lloyd, 25, and Michael Diaddigo, 28, were arrested, charged with possessing marijuana, and suspended from the
school following the accusations, FOX5 DC reported. A third teacher, who has not been identified, was placed on
Did All The Public School Money Go? Paper-Pushers. The National Education Association blasted the GOP tax
reform plan saying that eliminating the state and local tax deduction for those who itemize taxes would be a severe blow to
schools, putting 250,000 education jobs at risk. [...] There are other provisions in the tax bill that might worry teachers'
unions, such as letting parents use 529 college savings plans to pay for elementary and secondary school costs. That
would help make private schools more affordable — a small step toward encouraging school choice. But it's
the so-called SALT deduction that has the unions up in arms. Why? Because getting rid of it might force high-tax
states — which benefit the most from the deduction — to cut taxes and rein in their own spending.
Ground Zero in the Left's efforts to brainwash young people. When Donald Trump won the election last November,
anarchy and partisan bullying paralyzed the high school. "I felt like the school was descending into mass hysteria,"
one student said of the day after the election. Another said Trump's victory was treated as "the end of the world as
we know it." Students reported "[e]very teacher was crying in class, one even told the whole class 'Trump winning is
worse than 9/11 and the Columbine shooting.'" The sheer volume of "liberal propaganda that was pushed every single
day in class this year was worse than it's ever been — and you're bullied by the teachers and every student if you dare
speak against it." [...] Children have to watch their language and self-censor for fear of incurring the wrath of
teachers. "My kids have written things they don't believe just to survive," one mother told [Katherine] Kersten.
"They know exactly what the teacher wants. They almost don't see anything incorrect in doing that anymore, because
it's so engrained. They have endured enough public shaming to say they will not put themselves in that position again.
Gets On Social Media — Prays Only "Trumptards" Died In Vegas Shooting. Another sterling example of what a
teacher should not be... a dirt bag, radical, political activist full of hate. 59 innocent people got mowed down in
Las Vegas and 527 were injured, and the leftists just line up with their hate. So much for love and diversity, which was a
pretense anyway. A teacher named Ann took to Twitter to spread the hate and possibly infect her students with it.
Says Trump "Creates Fear in Children". Lily Garcia, president of the NEA — the largest, most
progressive, and most activist teacher's union in the country — just used her bully pulpit to address America's
foremost educational issue. According to Garcia, that issue is not our failing government schools, the exploding cost
and shrinking results of our classrooms, or the developmentally inappropriate leftist social engineering that has replaced
genuine education. No, the key issue facing our government schools is that Donald Trump is upsetting teachers and
making school children cry because of his evil Trump ways. Specifically, Trump's policies towards Muslims, Mexicans,
and transgender students are allegedly causing classroom meltdowns in elementary and middle schools across the nation.
So much so, that teachers are forced to take valuable classroom time to "comfort crying children because they are afraid of
their president." All of which brings up the question: why are very young children being exposed to such adult
issues — topics way beyond their ability to process and comprehend — in the first place?
Antifa Could Be Teaching Your
Kids. BAMN [By Any Means Necessary] is part of the explicitly violent Antifa network. It was founded by
the Marxist Revolutionary Workers League, and has ties to NAMBLA, which promotes pedophilia. ["]One of BAMN's most
prominent organizers is Yvette Felarca, a Berkeley middle school teacher and pro-violence militant.["] As noted
previously, Felarca is facing charges for her political violence, despite her assertion that violence against "fascism" is
"not a crime." BAMN has been successful at shutting down right-of-center rallies and preventing conservatives from
speaking publicly in the San Francisco area. The DHS and FBI now formally classify the activities of Antifa outfits
like BAMN as "domestic terrorist violence." But the violence and censorship by intimidation aren't the scariest part.
School Teachers Behind Violent Antifa Group. Public school teachers are behind a leading far-left militant
group that is part of the Antifa network that federal officials say is committing "domestic terrorist violence." By Any
Means Necessary, which has played a key role in riots in Berkeley, Sacramento and elsewhere, has dozens of public school teachers
among its members, including among its most prominent leaders. The FBI and Department of Homeland Security began paying
closer attention to Antifa groups in general after BAMN and other extremists started a riot and attacked marchers at a white
nationalist rally in Sacramento last July, Politico reported on Friday. The Sacramento violence left at least
10 people hospitalized, several of whom had knife wounds.
Teachers Unions Allow Abuse, Ignore Needs of Students. Fresh out of college in 1988, Rebecca Friedrichs began
her career as teacher in Southern California, where she met the catalyst for her crusade against school unions. During
that first year she met a teacher she labeled the "Witch," a woman who, according to Friedrichs, grabbed the children by the
arms and verbally abused them on a daily basis. She decided then that she didn't want to join the local teachers union,
paying into a system that protects teachers who abuse their students. "I didn't want to pay a union that put ... her
job security above the safety and education of small children, but I soon found out I didn't have a choice," Friedrichs
recalled at the Heritage Foundation on Thursday [8/24/2017].
Chicago Public School System Lays Off 356 Teachers. Officials with the perpetually insolvent Chicago Public School system
laid off 356 teachers and nearly 600 school support staffers this week. The teachers and other employees received their pink slips
from the taxpayer-funded school district on Monday [8/7/2017], reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago's elementary schools will have
240 fewer teachers this fall. Second City high schools will have 116 fewer teachers. In addition to the 356 teachers,
Chicago Public School officials also sacked 362 classroom aides and 221 employees who were security guards and special education aides.
Randi Weingarten blasts school-choice reforms as 'polite cousins of segregation'. School's out, but the battle
between the teachers' unions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over school choice isn't taking a summer break. Randi
Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers president, argued in a fiery speech Thursday to 1,400 union members that
school-choice programs such as vouchers and tuition tax credits are rooted in segregation and racism. "Make no
mistake: This use of privatization, coupled with disinvestment are only slightly more polite cousins of segregation,"
said Ms. Weingarten at the AFT meeting in Washington, D.C.
Demands Teachers Undergo Compulsory 'Gender Diversity' Training. The Association of Teachers and Lecturers
(ATL) has called for compulsory 'gender diversity' training for sixth form college and further education (FE) teachers,
warning staff who refer to 'non-binary' persons using 'incorrect' pronouns could face legal action. ATL Wales president
Leslie Tipping said mandatory training on gender identity issues is long overdue, lamenting that staff were confused over pronouns.
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." As part of a series of April 28 Twitter posts demanding
Congress hike the federal minimum wage to $10.10, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 1199 quoted from
a January column Weingarten wrote for The Huffington Post. "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.
AFT Local President Fails Econ 101 on PLAs and Prevailing Wage. An effort to school Governor Scott Walker on
free market forces morphed into a self-taught lesson in irony Tuesday [6/13/2017] for American Federation of Teachers Local
212 President Mike Rosen. Rosen joined Democratic Assembly Leader Peter Barca and Rep. Katrina Shankland on a
media conference call to respond to President Donald Trump's visit to Wisconsin and appearance with Walker. Rosen attempted
to call out Walker for hypocrisy by supporting repeal of prevailing wage laws and requirements for project labor agreements.
$15 Minimum Wage in Seattle Killed Jobs. Seattle's groundbreaking minimum wage hike hurt the low-income people
that it was meant to help, according to a report prepared for the city council. Seattle became one of the largest
cities to embrace the $15 minimum wage — double the federal minimum of $7.25 — in 2014, adopting an
ordinance that would achieve the hike by 2017 for major employers and 2019 for small businesses. The new base rate
pleased labor activists and the politically powerful Service Employees International Union, but it has dealt a blow to the
take-home pay of workers even before the hike has been completed.
Seattle's $13 Minimum Wage Led To Drop Of $1,500 In Income For Low-Wage Earners. Remember that time Seattle's
socialist city council member Kshama Sawant pressed for the city to increase its minimum wage to $15 per hour? I
actually debated Sawant on the issue; I asked her if she would be in favor of raising the wage to $1,000 per hour. She
misdirected from the issue. Seattle actually ended up embracing $13 per hour, raising the minimum wage from $9.47 in
2014 to $11 in 2015 to $13 in 2016 under the theory that an increase wouldn't throw people out of work, wouldn't encourage
part-time hiring, and would inflate salaries enough to allow more affordability in the Seattle housing market.
education cuts aren't 'devastating,' they're smart. It's the end of the world as we know it — at
least that's what some people would have us believe about President Trump's education budget. It's "a devastating blow
to the country's public education system," according to National School Boards Assn. CEO Thomas Gentzel. More
like a "wrecking ball," says Lily Eskelsen Garc'a, president of the National Education Assn. teachers' union. No, it's
a veritable "assault on the American Dream," insists John B. King Jr., former Obama administration secretary of education.
Save Public Higher Education, Defang Public Sector Unions. In the New York Times last week, David
Leonhardt denounced "the assault on colleges — and the American Dream" by state legislatures across the country
that are gradually reducing their investments in public higher education. These cuts, Leonhardt says, undermine social
mobility by forcing state colleges to pass over low-income students and enroll less economically diverse freshman classes.
While there are reasonable objections to the way colleges spend the money they do have, the trend Leonhardt describes is indeed
a cause for concern. But why do public university budgets keep getting the ax? It's not (at least not primarily)
about the selfishness of wealthy taxpayers. The real answer is more inconvenient for the Democratic coalition:
Namely, that exploding public pension costs are putting tremendous pressure on state budgets, and higher education is the
softest political target for the belt-tightening needed to make up for it.
Teachers Pension fund paid out $1.5 billion in '16, earned $7.8 million. The Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund (CTPF) paid out
$1.5 billion last fiscal year, mostly on benefits to retirees. But it only earned $7.8 million on its investments, according
to a filing it made with the Illinois Department of Insurance. [...] Such a scheme would be illegal in the private sector. But among
public employee pensions, especially in Chicago, its commonplace and tolerated. For now.
Union Contract Guarantees Jail-Time Pay. Staff members at the nation's largest teachers' union are guaranteed
pay for the time they spend in jail if it is related to union work. Staffers at the National Education Association, the
union that represents about 3 million American educators and school employees, are entitled to their standard wage rate
during their incarceration, according to a copy of their contract first reported by The 74 Million. [...] The NEA contract
specifies that this will be at the regular hourly rate for all time spent in jail," the website reports. The National
Education Association Staff Organization represents 369 staff members employed by the union and takes in $600,000 in dues and
fees each year — a drop in the bucket compared with the NEA's $387 million revenue in 2016.
Arizona, teachers can now be hired with absolutely no training in how to teach. The Arizona law is part of a
disturbing trend nationwide to allow teachers without certification or even any teacher preparation to be hired and put
immediately to work in the classroom in large part to help close persistent teacher shortages. It plays into a
misconception that anyone can teach if they know a particular subject and that it is not really necessary to first learn
about curriculum, classroom management and instruction.
Stunning School Sex Scandal the Media Refuse to Notice. On April 15, Jackson County, Missouri, prosecutors charged James R.
Green Jr., 52, with six counts of second-degree statutory sodomy. Green was a teacher and coach at a middle school in the suburban North Kansas
City School District. Green's victim was a sixteen-year-old boy. It appears likely that Green was abusing other boys over a period of
at least twelve years in at least two different school districts, and Green's crime is not the half of it. [...] Without digging too hard,
I discovered that Green was the sixth employee, all male, busted on sex charges with underage students in the last thirteen months in this
one suburban school district. At least five of those employees were arrested. The reporting on the sixth was too sketchy
York About to Eliminate Test Meant to See if Teachers Can Read Because RAAAACISM! There would have been a day
when a story saying that teachers were about to be excused from requirements that they be able to read just to avoid charges
of racism would have been an entry in an issue of the National Lampoon or even on TheOnion.com. But today, in this day
of truly insane liberalism, the idea that liberals don't care if teachers can read just to avoid charges of racism in hiring
is... well, sadly, it's not even a little surprising. New York's Board of Regents is expected to adopt the new
recommendation of an education standards task force espousing that the state dump a teacher candidate literacy exam known as
the Academic Literacy Skills Test, according to ABC News. Sadly, that is where we are in the extreme, left-wing state
of New York where state education officials are actually contemplating eliminating a reading test to determine if applicants
applying for teaching positions can read at sufficient levels. So, why would a state board of education want to hire
teachers too ill-educated to be a teacher? Why would a state want to put teachers in the classroom who can't read?
Simple, it's all to satisfy the left's fanatical, self-destructive obsession of seeing racism in every single aspect of life.
Shows Firing Teachers Based on Performance Can Actually Work. IMPACT is a system in which teachers are rated
annually. It's based half on student achievement and half on four other job-performance factors. Teachers rated
at the bottom of a five-point scale are deemed ineffective and fired, and ones at the top receive raises and bonuses.
This week, the American Enterprise Institute released a report by Arnold F. Shober suggesting that removing underperforming
teachers and installing new ones has improved student outcomes, and that monetary rewards for excellence have led to higher
retention rates of the best teachers. Prioritizing students' needs above those of teachers constitutes the revolutionary
idea at the core of IMPACT.
York Public Schools Prefer Illiterate Teachers. As bad as New York public schools are presently, they are about
to get a lot worse. The Poughkeepsie Journal reports that, "New York education officials are poised to scrap a test
designed to measure the reading and writing skills of people trying to become teachers..." Now why would the New York
Education Department do such a thing? Care to take a guess? If you guessed racism, you win the prize. Actually
there is no prize other than the satisfaction that you have an understanding of the liberal mind — where if all is
not right with their world, the fault must be due to racism. They claim that scrapping the "Academic Literacy Skills Test"
is necessary "because an outsized percentage of black and Hispanic candidates were failing it." [...] By some miracle, the tests
appeared to doing what they were designed to — separating the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. But the
problem is that the chaff is overwhelmingly black and Hispanic.
Protest Causes 'Burden on Parents'. A feminist protest is forcing public schools in the Washington, D.C., area
to close for a day, placing a "burden on parents." Over 300 female teachers asked to take Wednesday [3/8/2017] off to
observe the "Day Without a Woman" protest, which is being organized by leaders of the liberal Women's March. Alvin L.
Crawley, the superintendent of Alexandria City Public Schools, sent a letter to parents announcing that all schools will be closed
on March 8. Crawley insisted the decision to close was not political, but necessary because of the number of teachers
who would not be showing up to work.
reasons why Betsy DeVos will be a welcome remedy for our nation's education woes. As opinion pieces in the New
York Times and Wall Street Journal have argued, the overheated Democratic opposition is motivated by: [#1] Some of their
party's most deep-pocketed and powerful interest groups — teachers' unions — who realize that they will
no longer have a near-monopoly on education. [and #2] Their party's upper-middle-class suburbanite constituency,
who understand that DeVos' charters and vouchers will be attractive to families with financial disadvantages, ethnic minority
heritage, or ideological and religious convictions that differ from the mainstream. In other words, private schooling
will be accessible to children who are very different than the Democratic Party's upper-middle-class suburbanites.
Democratic party has lost its mind — and its soul. Democrats claim to stand for the poor, immigrants
and nonwhites. Yet given a chance to actually support someone who is dedicated to improving education for all America's
children, especially those trapped in failing urban schools, the Dems said no, [emphatically] no. Joined by two
Republicans, they stood in the schoolhouse door to block vital change, casting their lot with teachers unions that fear
reform the way a vampire fears garlic. Throw away all the subtexts and subterfuge, a defense of the rotten status quo
is the only explanation for the bid to block DeVos. The teachers unions pulled the strings, and the political puppets
danced to their masters' tune.
Union Demonizes Trump Pick For Supporting Christian Schools. A New York teacher's union is imploring members to
pressure U.S. senators to vote 'No' on the confirmation of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. In an electronic
mailer signed off with Hillary Clinton's campaign slogan, "Stronger Together," educators are given a list of reasons "Why Betsy
DeVos is wrong for public education" — including a line item declaring, "DeVos is in favor of Christian schools."
war on Betsy DeVos is all about the teachers unions. Get past all the noise, and the opposition to Betsy DeVos,
President Trump's pick for the Education Department, is all about the teachers unions — which consider it their
right to have a friendly face running federal policy even in Republican administrations. Yes, two Senate Republicans
have come out against DeVos — the only two who routinely get A's on the National Education Association's "report
card" because they vote the union line. Efforts to find another GOP vote against her will almost surely fail, because
the other 50 Republicans aren't in unions' pocket, and Vice President Mike Pence can deliver a 51st vote if needed. We
wish DeVos were an existential threat to the unions, but the feds don't really run US schools; that's a state and local
power. And the unions are too entrenched in those corridors of power, especially in states like New York.
Voting Against DeVos Are Backed By Teachers Unions. Two Republican senators who said they would not vote to
support Betsy DeVos Wednesday have a friendly history with teachers unions. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of
Alaska and Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine both announced Wednesday [1/31/2017] that they would not support Betsy DeVos,
President Donald Trump's choice to lead the Department of Education. Murkowski was endorsed by the Alaska chapter of
the National Education Association (NEA) in her 2016 campaign for Senate.
Democrats' Fight Against School Choice Is Immoral. There's something perverse about an ideology that views the
disposing of an unborn child in the third trimester of pregnancy as an indisputable right but the desire of parents to choose
a school for their kids as zealotry. [...] Actually, teachers unions are the only organizations in America that openly
support segregated schools. In districts across the country — even ones in cities with some form of limited
movement for kids — poor parents, typically those who are black or Hispanic, are forced to enroll their kids in
underperforming schools when there are good ones nearby, sometimes just blocks away. The National Education Association
spent $23 million during the last election cycle alone to elect politicians to keep low-income Americans right where they
are. Public service unions use tax dollars to fund politicians who then turn around and vote for more funding.
The worse the schools perform, the more money they demand. In the real world, we call this racketeering.
Bankrolling School Choice, DeVos Opposition. Three of the groups challenging the reform agenda of President-elect
Donald Trump and his education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos received more than $2.6 million from teachers unions and
their allies, according to federal labor filings. DeVos, a pioneer in the school choice and charter school movements
over the last two decades, has received vocal opposition from Democrats and some of the country's most powerful unions.
The National Education Association, American Federation of Teachers, and AFL-CIO, which serves as an umbrella group for
dozens of unions including the AFT, have all called on the Senate to reject the nomination. They have also pumped millions
of dollars into think tanks and activist groups that have supplied Democrats with intellectual ammunition to oppose her.
Bankrolling School Choice, DeVos Opposition. Three of the groups challenging the reform agenda of
President-elect Donald Trump and his education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos received more than $2.6 million from teachers
unions and their allies, according to federal labor filings. DeVos, a pioneer in the school choice and charter school
movements over the last two decades, has received vocal opposition from Democrats and some of the country's most powerful
unions. The National Education Association, American Federation of Teachers, and AFL-CIO, which serves as an umbrella
group for dozens of unions including the AFT, have all called on the Senate to reject the nomination. They have also
pumped millions of dollars into think tanks and activist groups that have supplied Democrats with intellectual ammunition to
The Editor says...
When the unions "pump millions of dollars" into one project or another, where do you suppose that money comes from?
Who Have Taken Hundreds Of Thousands In Union Contributions Throw Desperate Hail Mary. A number of Senate
Democrats are intent on putting on a great show of political theater tonight by penning a ridiculous letter to Betsy DeVos
that attacks her for exercising her First Amendment rights as an American citizen. The signers of the letter are tied
at the hip with teacher's unions who are committed to defending the broken status quo in education — having
received more than $400,000 combined from the NEA and AFT. Here's the unmistakable connection between these Senators
and the special interest unions: [...]
unions smarting after many members vote for Trump. Two weeks after Republican Donald Trump defeated Democrat
Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 presidential election, the USA's teachers unions are wondering what happened to their chosen
candidate — and how so many of their members could have voted for her opponent. Despite early and eager
endorsements of Clinton by both unions, the nation's school teachers and other school workers contributed substantially to
Trump's Nov. 8 win.
and Teachers' Union Fight Against Scholarships for Poor Floridians. A minister in central Florida is striking
back at the state's teachers' unions for their dogged attacks on a school tax-credit scholarship that affords tens of
thousands of low-income families a choice of schools for their kids. In an Orlando Sentinel column, Reverend R. B.
Holmes said that it is "a matter of fundamental decency" to allow parents to choose where their kids are educated, and
lambasted the Florida Education Association (FEA) for trying to force students back into failing public schools.
Florida's education system includes many school-choice options, yet the teachers' union has targeted the tax-credit
scholarship, which primarily assists families with low incomes.
Francisco Teachers' Union Provides Anti-Trump Curriculum: 'Do Not Tell Them That We Have Lost'. The United
Educators of San Francisco, the union that represents teachers in the city's public schools, released a controversial guide
Wednesday to teaching public school children about Donald Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton in the recent election.
The guide, called the "Lesson Plan on the November 2016 Election," informs teachers that "a racist and sexist man has become
the president of our country by pandering to a huge racist and sexist base," and suggests they teach children the same.
you resent getting paid to nap, find another job. It's hard not to feel a little sympathy for David
Suker: He's severely unhappy sitting around and even napping in libraries and lounges to "earn" his $94,000
salary. On the other hand, he's free to find a real job — and the city Department of Education has every
right to keep him out of the classroom. As Susan Edelman reported in Sunday's Post, Suker is trying for a third
answer — by suing to return to teaching. DOE actually tried to fire him, but the courts — and the
United Federation of Teachers contract — prevented his termination. (He did have to pay a $7,000 fine.)
President Trump Needs to Break the Back of the Education Cartel. The teachers and professors of America have
gone from an underpaid lot to one of the most powerful lobbying forces in America. They have a stranglehold on our
educational system from kindergarten through post-graduate degrees creating the Education Cartel. [...] The National
Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) are a major element of the Democratic Party and key
supporters of Ms. Clinton. The NEA endorsed her in October of 2015. In the past two presidential elections they
averaged $24 million in expenditures, and that does not include the in-kind contributions of turning their offices into
Clinton campaign headquarters. The AFT has an entire section on their website for Clinton. The reason these
organizations are so supportive of Clinton is she will maintain the status quo.
Percent of Teachers Union's Charity Goes to Clinton Philanthropy. One of the nation's largest labor unions
continues to pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Clinton family's controversial foundation. The American
Federation of Teachers, or ATF, the second largest teachers union in the country with more than 1.5 million dues-paying
members, made about $5 million in "contributions, gifts, and grants" from July 2015 through June 2016, according to its most
recent labor filing. The union contributed $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative, or CGI,
between July 2015 and February 2016 in payments classified as donations to a "charitable organization." The five
contributions comprise about 10 percent of the union's overall charitable giving for the year.
Academics and the Media. More than 43,000 families are on waiting lists to get their children into charter
schools. Teachers unions are opposed to any alternative to public education and contribute to politicians who place
obstacles and restrictions on the expansion of charter schools. The NAACP, at its 2016 national convention in
Cincinnati, voted to support "a moratorium on the proliferation of privately managed charter schools." It's easy to
understand why the NAACP is against any alternative to public schools. Many of its members work in public education.
However, many of those people do want alternatives for themselves. In Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, 25 percent
of public-school teachers send their children to private schools. In Philadelphia, 44 percent of teachers send
their children to private schools.
Teachers who fake being sick to protest school
policies can be unmasked, court says. Schools and colleges often invoke the Family Educational Rights and
Privacy Act to hide embarrassing information or blatant wrongdoing, claiming they'll get sued if they turn over information
relating to students that has nothing to do with their academic records. Courts have started to knock down these
self-serving rationales by reading the law literally (what a novel approach!), and the Colorado Supreme Court just upheld a
lower ruling on a closely related matter: the privacy rights of teachers under its own state law.
union mad Walmart wants to give teachers free supplies. Walmart is asking customers to nominate their favorite
teachers to win school supplies and a $490 gift card (approximately how much the average public school teacher spends out of
pocket on classroom supplies). For whatever reason, the promotion to give free supplies and money to teachers has the
Washington Teachers' Union up in arms. The Washington Post reports that Washington Teachers' Union President Elizabeth
Davis called the promotion a "cynical coverup." Other union members called it "deceitful" and "bogus."
union head says Clinton is with them against school choice. Hillary Clinton's position on public charter
schools has been fairly ambiguous since her presidential campaign began, but at least one teachers' union leader says Clinton
is on board with their view. "Hillary Clinton is on the exact same page as we are," Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of
the National Education Association, told the American Prospect's Rachel Cohen. [...] The 3 million-member NEA was one of
the first unions to endorse Clinton's presidential bid in October 2015, although they waited until after the 1.6 million-member
American Federation of Teachers endorsed Clinton in July.
High Court Deadlocked on
Forced-Unionism Case. In a tie 4-4 decision, the nation's top court effectively ruled in favor of government unions and denied a group of
California government school teachers the right to decide whether to contribute to teachers unions. Deciding the case Friedrichs v. California
Teachers Association after the February 2015 death of Justice Antonin Scalia, a temporarily short-staffed U.S. Supreme Court failed to reach a
majority decision. When the Court fails to reach a majority decision, the lower court's decision is allowed to stand. In November 2014,
the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled against the plaintiffs and in favor of the teachers union. Currently, many public school
teachers, such as plaintiff Rebecca Friedrichs, are required to contribute funds to a teachers union in order to teach, even if they choose not to be
full members of the union.
on Camera: Teachers Union Officials Advise Fraud to Cover up Child Abuse. James O'Keefe, President and
founder of Project Veritas released a new video today as part of a new series documenting the egregious behavior upheld by
teachers unions across the country. In this first video, Project Veritas journalists and James O'Keefe visit with the
United Federation of Teachers office in Yonkers to meet with senior union officials to find out what would happen to a
teacher who was guilty of abusing a child. Shockingly, our journalists found the union officials willing to engage in a
cover up of child abuse and the violation of workplace rules. The officials can even be seen helping the journalist
plot a cover up on hidden camera.
Don't Want You to Learn. Brian Davison had to go to court to pry loose state data about student performance in the
public schools. Now teachers are going to court to keep him from sharing it. Davison, a Loudoun County, Virginia resident,
sought data on student growth percentiles (SGPs), a measure of how well students progress from year to year. [...] Teachers don't
like that one bit, because data about student progress can be used to measure teacher performance. And if there is one thing
the public education system does not like, it's competition — either with private schools (through school choice), or with
alternative public schools (through charter schools) or among teachers themselves (through merit pay). The education
establishment is dedicated to the proposition that all mentors are created equal, and any suggestion that some might be better
than others is anathema.
Unions Still Haven't Forgiven Michelle Rhee, Don't Care How Well Her Policies Work. In 2007, Michelle Rhee took
over as chancellor of the District of Columbia public school system. In part because her policies were radical, and in
part because she expressed her views in an abrasive fashion, and in part because she worked in a major media center, Rhee
became the face of education reform, and, consequently, the number-one enemy of teacher unions. Rhee imposed sweeping
reforms to introduce measurement and accountability into the schools, including a controversial new teaching contract, which
gave every teacher a 20 percent raise, and allowed them to become eligible for large performance bonuses if they gave up
the tenure protections that made it difficult to fire them. For teacher unions and their supporters, Rhee remains the
premier antagonist, where her name remains a curse word.
You Can Stop Whiteness. A specter is haunting America. The specter of white privilege, white supremacy
and whiteness. What is whiteness? If you ask the radical education activists at the 17th Annual White Privilege
Conference,"whiteness" is the source of all human evil. Also it's the race of the majority of the country. The
conference with its 2,500 teachers, school administrators and counselors is a bizarre throwback to National Socialism's
ideological indoctrination of every part of society on the evils of one single race.
'ghost teachers' making $1.5 million this year. Sixteen Philadelphia public school teachers are earning $1.5 million during the
current school year not to teach. As part of the contract with the School District of Philadelphia, the local teachers union is permitted to
take up to 63 teachers out of the classroom to work full-time for the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. The practice, known as
"release time" or "official time," allows public school teachers to leave the classroom and continue to earn a public salary, benefits, pension and
seniority. These so-called ghost teachers perform a variety of jobs for the PFT, serving as either information officers for other teachers or
carrying out the union's political agenda.
of teachers flock to 'White Privilege Conference'. The annual event is aimed at promoting the theory of White
Privilege — that American society is hopelessly stacked against minorities and the only way to fix the system is
for white people to acknowledge their immense "privilege" and repent. "Our vision is to build a community committed to
dismantling white privilege, white supremacy and oppression, every day, everywhere," wrote Eddie Moore Jr., founder and
president of "The Privilege Institute," which organizes the event. [...] Metro reports 2,500 teachers, school administrators
and counselors will attend the conference — the largest attendance to date. The conference is championed by
a radical sect of educators from the organization Rethinking Schools, which promotes the concepts of white privilege and the
conference itself to teachers across the country. In 2014, EAGnews attended the White Privilege Conference in Madison,
Wisconsin to record some of the sessions. [Video clip]
Democrat-Run Education System Responsible for Our "Disgraceful State Of Politics". Salon is one of the main
websites to head to when you want to see what the nutter Democratic Party base really thinks. Er, feels. Every
once in a while, they unintentionally land on a real truth. In this case, how bad the education system is.
Obviously, they fail to assign blame, which lands almost entirely upon the Democratic Party. Poll after poll after
poll, article after article, protest after protest, they all show that the vast majority of teachers vote Democrat.
Sure, not all of them are the nutters creating songs about Obama and forcing students to do exercises that make them
"understand radical Islam", and aren't freaking out about water pistols and finger pistols, but, they vote Democrat.
Their unions are chock full of the more hardcore Progressives, which vote Democrat.
Does A Speaker of the House Amass Personal Wealth? [Scroll down] All I hear from teacher's unions is that
teachers are woefully underpaid. Hastert received $34,000 in pension from from the State of Illinois In 2012, watchdog
group National Taxpayers Union estimated Hastert was receiving around $66,000 in federal pension per year. I did the
math a few years ago and it doesn't look like they are in Illinois at least. The real bonanza in teaching is the
guaranteed pension benefits that increase every year. School districts also mess with the last three years of teacher's
contracts (and administrator contracts) to really increase the amount of pension they will receive.
Lawsuit takes aim at Allentown 'ghost teachers'.
The cash-strapped Allentown School District is using taxpayer money to pay the salary of the president of the local teachers union, which has taken
more than $1.4 million in public funds since 1999 to pay union leadership. A lawsuit filed Wednesday [2/24/2016] in Pennsylvania Commonwealth
Court seeks to end the practice of letting the Allentown Education Association president work full-time for the union while drawing a publicly funded
salary and benefits. The suit also wants the union to reimburse the district and the commonwealth for all costs associated with the practice.
Bullies: Chicago Teachers Union threatens to
kick out members who defy illegal strike. Teachers — remember, they are supposed to be for the kids — and
other CTU members who show up for work on Friday [4/1/2016] and obey the law face expulsion from the union. That may seem be a good thing,
but because Illinois is not a right-to-work state the law-abiding CTU members will still have to cough up union dues out of their paychecks.
Teachers to Walk Out Again on 400,000 Schoolchildren. Chicago teachers voted to approve a one-day strike this Friday
[4/1/2016] in protest of "unfair" labor practices, an action that affects about 400,000 public school students as schools plan to
shut down for the day. Administrators call the move illegal.
Union Attempts to Strangle Charters. Teachers' unions are using the same kind of approach to kill charter schools that
abortion opponents use to shut abortion clinics down: pile up expensive regulations that make it increasingly difficult to operate.
who can't teach. It's called the "law of the vital few" — better known as the 80/20 rule. It states that a
disproportionate impact comes from a small input. Eighty-four percent of total income tax payments, for instance, are paid by 20 percent
of earners. And more than two-thirds of all drunken-driving fatalities are caused by the tiny fraction of drivers with at least a 0.15
blood-alcohol level (the hard-core drunk drivers). Perhaps nowhere is this rule more apparent than in the U.S. education system.
Education economist Erik Hanushek has found that a small percentage of teachers are responsible for virtually all of the United States' poor
global education ranking. (U.S. students score worse on international tests than students from countries like Vietnam, Poland and Latvia.)
Unions vs. Better Schools. Since 1990, the two largest teachers' unions, the American Federation of Teachers
and the National Education Association, have spent a combined $114 million on campaign contributions, according to the Center
for Responsive Politics. Teachers' unions spent over $30 million in contributions in the 2014 election cycle alone, and
[Bernie] Sanders has received the second highest total of any federal political from teachers' unions in the 2016 election cycle.
"By any reasonable accounting, the nation's two teachers' unions, the NEA and the AFT, are by far the most powerful groups in the
American politics of education," argues Terry Moe, author of Special Interests: Teachers Unions and America's Public Schools.
"No other groups are even in the same ballpark." Moe is not exaggerating. AFT and NEA also spent over $60 million on
lobbying from 1998 to 2015. The NEA is the fourth-largest single donor in American politics since 1989. Many of these
funds go towards securing favorable collectively-bargained agreements.
the National Teachers Union Usurped a Local Election. [Scroll down] The unions promptly sent in a
full-time organizer from Detroit, forty-eight embedded operatives from eighteen states, as well as a specialist to help
coordinate "blitzes, marches, rallies, and other direct actions," all intended to agitate and disrupt our community. A
Seattle-based strategies firm was hired to "beat these [conservative] b*stards," and children were encouraged by their teachers
to walk out of classes in protest. My daughter's school was marked up with hate graffiti, our board meetings were constantly
interrupted by bellicose catcalls, and on more than one occasion we required police escorts to and from our cars.
Teachers Union Tells Members To Start Saving For Possible Prolonged Strike. The Chicago Teachers Union is warning of a potentially long strike
ahead. The union gauged its members' willingness to strike in a questionnaire last week. The union said poll results showed 97 percent of
their members support a walkout. Even though there was no use of the word "strike" on the ballot, union officials say the questionnaire was similar
to what was voted on before the 2012 strike.
Teachers Union Officials Are Paid Twice As Much As Teachers. Ohio's largest labor union is in the business of selling worker "solidarity,"
and for union bosses, business is good. Ohio Education Association president Becky Higgins was paid $209,039 to preside over a union that took
member dues and mandatory fees from 121,625 teachers during the fiscal year ending Aug. 31. Regular OEA dues for full-time teachers are
$504 — $42 a month — in addition to local OEA chapter dues and $183 in National Education Association dues sent to NEA's
Washington, D.C., headquarters.
By California's State Attorney May Blow Union's Case. During this week's much-anticipated oral arguments in the
Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association U.S. Supreme Court case, which challenges mandatory teacher-union fees,
a critical exchange took place between Justice Antonin Scalia, who is viewed as the swing vote in the case, and the attorney
representing the State of California. The result of that exchange could end up freeing teachers from paying for
collective-bargaining contracts that hurt them and students.
Most Detroit Public Schools
Close Due to Teacher 'Sick-Outs' Demanding Better Classroom Conditions. A city-wide teacher "sick-out" shut down 88 Detroit
schools today, causing 44,790 students to miss class, according to the Detroit Public Schools system. Teachers held the sick-out in
protest of run-down buildings, large classroom sizes and issues with teachers' compensation and benefits, stemming from the school district's
financial crisis, Detroit Federation of Teachers Administrator Ann Mitchell told ABC News today.
Dozens of Detroit schools
close due to teacher protest. A wave of teacher absences described by an activist as "rolling strikes" shut down more than half of
Detroit's 100 public schools Monday /1z11z2016=, keeping thousands of students at home as a so-called sick-out entered a second week.
teachers illegally strike with sick-outs and no one cares. Last week five public schools in Detroit were
closed due to sick-outs, that is, these for-the-kids educators called in sick when they weren't, likely by the direction of
the Detroit Federation of Teachers. This is a strike in everything but name, and teacher strikes are illegal in Michigan.
And no one it seems, except for Detroit News reporter Ingrid Jacques, to be angry about these phone-in walk outs. Why
aren't the parents up in arms? [...] Will the "sick" teachers be punished? Will their union be cited for organizing an
illegal strike? Will Detroit parents finally get angry? The parents should already be angry because for the fourth
straight year Detroit's elementary schools ranked last in reading and math scores among big cities.
In Supreme Court labor case, echoes of gay marriage
fight. A U.S. Supreme Court case set for argument Monday [1/11/2016] challenging powerful public-sector unions echoes a very different dispute:
The recent battle over gay marriage. The legal fight pits a small group of teachers and the Christian Educators Association International (CEAI) against the
influential California Teachers Association, a union with 325,000 members and a history of backing liberal political causes.
Tragic Legacy for Black Americans. At the urging of labor unions, President Obama has pushed for higher minimum
wages that price a disproportionate percentage of blacks out of the labor force. At the urging of teachers unions, he has
fought voucher programs that give ghetto children access to better schools. Both policies have a lengthy track record of
keeping millions of blacks ill-educated and unemployed.
Dems Panicking Over High Court Union Dues
Case. Saturday [10/3/2015], the National Education Association, the nation's largest public employees union, endorsed Hillary
Clinton for president. That's on the heels of another giant, the American Federation of Teachers. Soon these unions could have
a lot less money to tilt elections for Democrats.
All Hail The Unions! Just Kidding, You're Awful.
Again and again they prove that the end goal isn't to get the most children the best education, but to maintain their power and
ability to exact dues from every teacher working in the state. Even going so far as to vote to, in essence, hold hostage
Washington students during their yearly strike in order to bend the state to their contract demands. As it stands right
now over 1,000 students will be without schools in the next 20 days if the ruling is upheld.
In America. There are too many Marxist union teachers and professors in our educational
system. If you check out the Left Forum conference which is held annually in New York City, you
will be shocked at how many presenting workshops and sitting on panels are Marxist educators. Many
state and the national teachers' unions are led by Reds. When Governor Walker was fighting with
the teachers union in Wisconsin, the Communist fist was on signs everywhere and the same goes for the
union teachers who battled with Rahm Emanuel.
union caught breaking campaign finance laws, gets off easy. The Philadelphia
Federation of Teachers and the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Federation of Teachers
coordinated in a deliberate attempt to break Philadelphia campaign finance law, according to a
settlement reached Tuesday between the PFT and the Philadelphia Board of Ethics. [...] The maximum
penalty for a campaign finance violation in Philadelphia is $2,000. Under the settlement, the
union's fine was reduced to $1,500 even though its donation was $11,500 too large. The settlement
did not state whether Gym was required to return the excess $11,500 she received.
Says LCFF Money Can Go To Teacher Raises. Under California's new local control funding
formula, schools get additional money for low-income, non-English speaking and foster youth. In a
letter State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has told districts they can spend that
money for across-the-board teacher raises if they can link the increases to better student services.
union members want Hillary endorsement withdrawn. Furious American Federation of Teachers members
are demanding the union withdraw its endorsement of Hillary Rodham Clinton, calling it premature and undemocratic.
"There was no internal discussion. Zero. Zip," said Steve Conn, president of the Detroit Federation of
Teachers. "This is wrong and something needs to be done."
union rushes Hillary's endorsement as Sanders surges. With socialist Sen. Bernie
Sanders surging among Democratic voters, a national teachers union is rushing to shore up support
for Hillary Clinton. The American Federation of Teachers announced Saturday it has endorsed
Clinton in the Democratic primary for president — nearly six months before any ballots are cast.
The Coming Confrontation.
The 1960's brought about a progressive indoctrination and reform on college campuses. Teacher's unions
contributed to the degradation of education. Being socialist in nature, administrations hired progressives
to administer and change education and to propagandize the citizenry. Nothing has changed, we still have
college professors ranting against the "white privilege" they are so fond of, but no one else can find.
You can't easily find American History classes that don't blame America for the woes of the world, but you can learn
women's studies, gender equity, you can learn how mean "whitey" is and, best of all, how to effectively riot.
Federation of Teachers Endorses Hillary Clinton For President. The American Federation
of Teachers (AFT) today chose to back Clinton in the Democratic primary for president. "In
vision, in experience and in leadership, Hillary Clinton is the champion working families need in
the White House," AFT President Randi Weingarten said in a statement released this afternoon [7/11/2015].
"Hillary Clinton is a tested leader who shares our values, is supported by our members, and is
prepared for a tough fight on behalf of students, families and communities."
union mandates new government restrictions for homeschoolers. What a bunch of arrogant
fascists. Directly insulting parents, claiming that only the public school system is capable of
educating their children... demanding that they have to have some random certification to teach
their own children. That is farcical. We homeschooled our children and they turned out fine.
In fact, most homeschoolers turn out far better than public school students and are educated to a far
superior degree as well. Testing proves it time and again. If I still had kids in school, no way
would they be in the public school system where global climate change, Marxism, gender theories and other
perversions are being forced upon students of all ages now. The NEA can stuff it.
Rice: Today's True Racists are Liberals Who Defend Teachers' Unions. Pointing to the
recent ruling in a California court that teacher tenure violates children's civil rights,
[Condoleezza] Rice said the true racism of today is when liberals defend the teachers' unions that
are trapping minority children in failing schools in poor neighborhoods. Rice is currently a
professor of political science at Stanford University. She called out the Democrats' refusal
to move forward on school choice or charter programs, opting instead to protect the financial
support they receive from the teachers unions.
Four Horsemen of the Education Apocalypse. The last survey I read showed that over 80%
of the members of the teachers' unions were registered Democrats. Nothing shocked my students more
than to discover that I was a conservative. I had the reputation of being one of the truly
intellectual teachers on campus and I also taught modern dance, so how in the world could I be a
registered Republican? They all knew those people were stuffy and stupid and racist. The
biases they'd been taught in other classrooms was obvious.
fight to preserve Obama's immigration actions, their members. Two of the country's
most powerful and politically influential labor unions are backing President Obama in the recent
court challenge to his 2014 executive action on illegal immigration, saying they support the
president's effort because "undocumented workers" need more workplace protection and their
participation helps the U.S. economy. The AFL-CIO and the National Education Association on
Monday each filed so-called amicus briefs in a federal appeals court case in which Texas and 26 other
states are challenges the president's 2014 memorandum on illegal immigration.
Underground bomber unmasked — as city schoolteacher. The "bomb guru" for the terrorist
group the Weather Underground never served a day in jail — but he did spend decades teaching in New
York City classrooms, a new book reveals. Ronald Fliegelman built explosives for the Weather Underground,
a far-left group that launched a domestic bombing campaign in the 1960s and '70s, including one explosion inside
The Editor says...
I presume Mr. Fliegelman was a member of the teachers' union, since he was a left-wing activist.
State Utopia: Chicago Public Schools Circle the Drain. Interestingly, the Chicago
Democrat machine is being torn asunder by the conflict between the unions and city leaders like Rahm
Emanuel. Union leadership continues to fleece taxpayers while insisting that their unsustainable
retirement benefits can be maintained. Emanuel, faced with these mathematical impossibilities, is
suggesting that the unions must be reined in.
lobbyist who worked one day as a teacher suing Illinois for $30,000 pension. After
working one day as a substitute teacher in Illinois, David Piccioli could be entitled to an annual
pension of more than $30,000. And he's suing the state to make sure he gets paid. Piccioli
is a retired union political activist who's already pulling down a pair of state pensions from
Illinois' beleaguered public retirement system. But he's taking the Teachers Retirement
System to court to squeeze more money out of the state.
Sign Shows Up At Nation's Largest Teachers Union-Funded Protest. Despite the name
"Wisconsin Jobs Now," the small, radical group has spent considerable time and energy in recent
months protesting police tactics. [...] The National Education Association is a major financial
donor for Wisconsin Jobs Now. The teachers union — the largest in the United
States — gave $125,000 to Wisconsin Jobs Now in 2014 alone.
A Union Charter Flunks
Out. 'Our schools will show real, quantifiable student achievement and with those
results finally dispel the misguided and simplistic notion that the union contract is an impediment
to success." So declared teachers union chief Randi Weingarten in 2005 upon launching the United
Federation of Teachers charter school in Brooklyn, New York.
is the business of the states. In 1981, Tennessee's 41-year-old governor proposed to
President Ronald Reagan a swap: Washington would fully fund Medicaid and the states would have
complete responsibility for primary and secondary education. Reagan, a former governor, was
receptive. But Democrats, who controlled the House and were beginning to be controlled by teachers
unions (the largest, the National Education Association, had bartered its first presidential endorsement,
of Jimmy Carter, for creation of the Department of Education) balked.
non-union teachers than unionized ones for first time in U.S.. Thanks to the good
folks at the Bureau of Labor Statistics and unionstats.com we can examine the union membership
status of teachers from 1983 through 2014. The numbers do lump private school teachers and public
school teachers together in one category, and they do not include other education employees, but
they do confirm in 2014 what occurred for the first time in 2013: There are more non-union
teachers than union teachers in the United States.
teachers' union accused of ignoring state law — for four decades. A law
firm representing a Pennsylvania college professor has accused the state teachers' union of
ignoring — for more than four decades — a law requiring it to report the use
of dues money for political contributions. It's the latest salvo in an ongoing dispute between
Mary Trometter, an assistant professor of culinary arts at the Pennsylvania College of Technology,
and the Pennsylvania State Education Association and the National Education Association, which in a
letter urged her husband to vote for Gov.-elect Tom Wolf.
Union Funding Wisconsin Anti-Police Protests. A Wisconsin based-union front group that
has referred to police as racists, animals, and killers has among its major donors the nation's
largest teachers union, according to a U.S. Department of Labor report filed in late November.
teachers branch joins boycott of Israel. A local branch of the United Auto Workers has
become the first U.S. labor organization to join the international movement to boycott Israel,
according to liberal groups. UAW Local 2865, which represents teaching assistants at the
University of California, voted to join it on Dec. 4, saying that Israel was engaging in "ongoing
human rights violations" against the Palestinians.
Use of Black People. The largest and most powerful labor union in the country is the
National Education Association, with well over 3 million members. Teachers benefit enormously from
their education monopoly. It yields higher pay and lower accountability. It's a different story
for a large percentage of black people who receive fraudulent education. The NEA's white liberals —
aided by black teachers, politicians and so-called black leaders — cooperate to ensure that black parents
who want their children to have a better education have few viable choices. Whenever there has been a serious
push for school choice, educational vouchers, tuition tax credits or even charter schools, the NEA has fought against it.
Union President Totally Sorry For Comparing Teaching To Picking Cotton. The president
of the public school teachers union in Orlando, Fla. has apologized for suggesting that teachers and
people who labor in cotton fields work under the same difficult conditions. Diana Moore,
president of the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association, made the bizarro comparison in an
email she sent to members of the Orange County School Board right before Thanksgiving, local ABC
affiliate WFTV reports.
Real Tragedy of Ferguson Is.... In light of comments such as those by American Federation of
Teachers President Randi Weingarten, one needs to consider the context of recent events in Ferguson. [...]
Weingarten epitomizes the leftist ideology that continually must find a racial basis for anything that
occurs in this country.
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.
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.
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.
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."
'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.
Students Protest Instruction in Capitalism, Patriotism, Respect for Authority. You know things have gotten bad when
students are protesting a school board proposal to change U.S. history classes to promote patriotism, capitalism and obedience to
authority while putting less emphasis on historical civil disobedience and social strife. Students walked out at the thought
of it. They and their parents have been taught socialism. Free market capitalism and respect for authority is out, angry
protests are in. This has been going on for two days and it is being encouraged by the teacher unionistas.
Is for Agitation: What's Really Going on in Jefferson County Schools. There's a big
battle brewing in the Jefferson County, Colorado, school system. The manufactured controversy over a
proposed curriculum review is generating national headlines. But the fight is not about what misguided
students and biased reporters say it's about. "Censorship" is a red herring. The real issue is
union control. Here's the deal: Public school teachers in this Denver-area district walked out
of their classrooms this week to protest the implementation of performance-based pay. The JeffCo
school board approved the new compensation system last week, which rewards the most highly effective
teachers with 4.2 percent raises, effective teachers with 2.4 [percent] raises and inferior
teachers with nothing. Only 2 percent of teachers received no pay raises.
The Latest Action of Teacher's Unions:
Ban Them. The simple fact of the matter is that public-sector unions need to be barred
as a matter of both State and Federal Law. They are inherently unable to exist without violating
the basic precept of adversarial bargaining, since they can (and do) effort to elect people to
sit on the other side of the table that will do as they wish. That turns all such "bargaining"
into an open and notorious, but legal fraudulent edifice and there only one remedy: Get rid of all
Early Preview of Obamacare Premiums
Show a 40% Spike in 2015. It is my sincere hope that one day conservatives will kick teachers' unions to the curb and
retake the nation's educational system. One of the first orders of business then would be to teach not only the genius of the
American founding but also the utter, repeated and unbroken failures of collectivism. Which brings me to Obamacare, a
socialistic plan sold on a panoply of lies and doomed from the outset to failure.
Wear NYPD Shirts To School Despite Union Warnings. Angry city teachers who refused to
be bullied by their union posted Facebook photos on Thursday [9/4/2014] of themselves in NYPD T-shirts —
after the UFT warned them not to wear the "inappropriate apparel" on the first day of classes. Many
teachers had worn the shirts to school Tuesday and Wednesday as a show of support for cops in the wake of
the Eric Garner death and union-backed rally by the Rev. Al Sharpton. But they were warned by a United
Federation of Teachers official in an email late Wednesday that, "as public employees, one must remain objective
at all times.
teachers can exit union anytime. Michigan's largest teachers' union should allow members to
resign at any time and stop enforcing an annual one-month opt-out window, a state labor judge ruled, relying
on the state's right-to-work law that took effect last year.
Crisis As Millions Of Students Abused By Teachers. We've all heard of the Catholic
Church child abuse scandal that's still regularly covered, 20 to 40 years after much of the abuse
took place. It too was tragic, and acknowledged as such by the church, which has taken action to prevent
its ever happening again. The same can't be said of unionized public education — where child
abuse appears to be rampant, often with little done about it and with teachers unions largely silent. It
gets little national media attention — certainly not on the scale that the church scandal did.
Secretary Allows Reprieve on Test-Based Teacher Ratings. Secretary of Education Arne
Duncan announced on Thursday [8/21/2014] that states could delay the use of test results in
teacher-performance ratings by another year, an acknowledgment, in effect, of the enormous pressures
mounting on the nation's teachers because of new academic standards and more rigorous standardized testing.
Community Organizing Busted A Union And Sparked An Education Revolution. [Scroll
down] When 300 blue-shirt-wearing union members showed up at a board meeting chanting "This is
what democracy looks like" and complaining vouchers and merit pay would "starve public education,"
the four conservative board members began to consider dropping the union contract entirely. But open
negotiations made that crazy-seeming idea a reality. It led to public discoveries that union money
and activity in Douglas County — as everywhere else — went more to political
activities than instructional improvements. Once that happened, the board began to consider, and
then follow through on, ending its union contract.
Your union dues at work: 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.
Mulgrew defends Common Core. Teachers union honcho Michael Mulgrew unleashed a venomous screed directed at anyone
who would dare threaten his beloved Common Core agenda. "If someone takes something from me, I'm going to grab it right
back out of their cold, twisted, sick hands and say it is mine! You do not take what is mine!" the head of the United
Federation of Teachers shouted in a speech at a convention last month in Los Angeles. The rant was posted Thursday [8/7/2014]
to the Ed Notes Online blog. "And I'm going to punch you in the face and push you in the dirt because this is the teachers'!"
Union leader derides Obama education
chief. The president of the nation's second-largest teachers union said Friday that President Barack Obama's
education chief has turned his back on the concerns of educators and parents, but she stopped short of calling for his ouster.
Lawsuit Contests New
York's Teacher Tenure Laws. An education advocacy group on Thursday [7/3/2014] threw down the first challenge to
New York's teacher tenure laws in the wake of a landmark court decision in California last month finding such laws there
unconstitutional. A lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court on Staten Island argues that the tenure laws violate the
State Constitution's guarantee of a "sound basic education" by making it difficult to fire bad teachers and by protecting
the most veteran teachers in the event of layoffs, regardless of their quality. The suit, filed against city and
state education officials, names as plaintiffs 11 public school students whose parents belong to a group known as the New
York City Parents Union. The road ahead is less than certain in either state.
On The Federal Agenda: Redistributing Teachers. Just this week, while teachers,
schoolchildren, and families frolic in the summer sun, blessedly free of government supervision at
least for these few months, the Obama administration resurfaced an old rule from President Bush's
tenure that may have states redistributing teachers like so many cattle. It attempted the same
last September, far more directly, but in the meantime has had its hands busy juggling its many new
interpretations of education law to suit the shifting fancies of National Superintendent, er,
Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
Fed up students file
lawsuit to overthrow NY tenure laws. A group of fed-up students and parents on Thursday [7/3/2014] declared
their independence from incompetent New York City teachers shielded by the state's tenure and seniority laws. In the
wake of a landmark anti-tenure ruling in California, the coalition of 11 students filed a class-action lawsuit in Staten
Island state — Supreme Court, seeking to eliminate protections afforded to bad teachers. "This lawsuit
has to do with students' rights and parents' rights. We have to do away with the 'students last' policies. No one
is talking about the children who are failing every day," said Staten Island dad Sam Pirozzolo, a co-leader of the New York City
to be Filed Against Teacher Tenure Rules in New York. Following the widely hailed
victory over California's egregious teacher tenure rules in court earlier this month, another group
is bringing suit in New York to challenge similar rules. Called the Partnership for Educational
Justice, it has enlisted pro bono efforts from Jay Lefkowitz, a skilled and capable litigator with
previous victories against teacher unions under his belt. The lawsuit will challenge laws similar
to those which Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu ruled to be unconstitutional in
California, namely, rules that permit tenure to be granted after just 16 months on the job, rules
that make it nearly impossible to fire a teacher who has been granted tenure, and LIFO (last in,
first out) rules that terminate teachers during layoffs who were newly hired even if they are competent.
Obama Staffers vs. Teachers Unions. We've never waffled on our disgust for unionized
teachers. They are not very bright, they're not good at their jobs, they're bloodsucking leeches
who will destroy the financial base of every major city in the nation. They're greedy and they
don't [care] about the kids they're supposed to teach. We could go on for another couple of
thousand words, but you get the idea.
teachers vote to strike? Really? One of Illinois' most successful high school
districts is in the midst of a power struggle: teachers vs. the school board.
Teachers at Hinsdale Township High School District 86, which includes Hinsdale South and
Hinsdale Central high schools, voted to authorize a strike for the fall unless they reach a
contract agreement with the board. They met with a mediator Tuesday. Teachers in
the district earn on average $105,494, according to 2012 data — the most recent
available from the State Board of Education.
teachers' is a union myth. Public schools are constitutionally empowered to educate
our next generation, but they often stray from that path to over-emphasize the rights, pay, and
benefits of their employees. In a stunning decision, a judge in the California Superior Court has
ruled that, because education is a fundamental right of California youth, the laws governing
teacher tenure, teacher dismissal and rules for layoffs are unconstitutional. This ruling only
applies to California — and surely will be appealed by the teachers union —
but it could open up consideration of students' rights in a larger number of states. The
California laws addressed in the lawsuit advantage teachers at the expense of students.
Case Is California's Education Earthquake. [Scroll down] Teachers gain lifetime tenure after
just 18 months, before their training is even done. It's almost impossible to dismiss them, no
matter what their transgressions — perversion, drug dealing, child pornography, sexual
assault, you name it. The regulations are so cumbersome, it's impossible to fire anyone.
There's also a layoff system that ensures that seniority trumps performance, resulting in top-performing
teachers being laid off over under-performing deadwood who've just been on the job longer. It's a
Mafia-like protection racket for the worst of the worst.
Judge Strikes Down Teacher Tenure. On Tuesday [6/10/2014], teacher tenure was ruled
unconstitutional in the state of California, impacting 6 million students from kindergarten through
12th grade. This monumental decision could change the way other states view current tenure laws
nationwide. Tenure aims to protect long-standing teachers from being fired by providing them
with job security after they have completed a certain probationary period. Opponents argue,
however, that these laws keep inept teachers in the classroom and therefore hinder student achievement.
A Defeat for
Terrible Teachers in California. It won't be as simple from now on for ineffective
California teachers to coast off to a lifetime career on easy street. In a Los Angeles Superior
Court ruling today, Judge Rolf M. Treu "found five California laws governing teacher tenure,
layoffs and dismissals unconstitutional," reports Politico. "Treu found," reporter Stephanie
Simon wrote, "that the statutes permit too many grossly incompetent teachers to remain in
classrooms across the state — and found that those teachers shortchange their students
by putting them months or years behind their peers in math and reading."
Teachers Union-Run School Bombs at the Prom. In the "you can't make this up" file,
Paul Robeson High School in Chicago just had its prom and its theme was "This Is Are Story." Sadly,
this isn't a joke or a bit of intentional irony on the part of the students. Turns out that Paul
Robeson High School is a symptom of a school district that is failing its students. [...] The
taxpayers pay these teachers $76,000 a year and the school's administration can't even distinguish
between "are" and "our" on printed cards they hand out on prom night?
court rules teacher tenure creates unequal conditions. A Los Angeles Superior Court
judge ruled Tuesday that tenure, seniority and other job protections for teachers have created
unequal conditions in public schools and deprive poor children of the best teachers. In a case
that could have national implications for the future of teacher tenure, Judge Rolf Treu sided with
a Silicon Valley mogul against some of the most powerful labor unions in the country.
Teachers' Unions Over Students. Education has become a major issue in the Texas
governor's race, with six months to go. The differing approaches unveiled by the two major
candidates for governor tell us a lot. An examination of Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis'
education reform proposal shows the plan clearly refuses to increase accountability and competition
in the public education system, opting instead for the tired, liberal trope of "more funding."
Unions in right-to-work states make
opting out nearly impossible. In October, a year after his state had adopted a
right-to-work law, Michigan Education Association President Steve Cook announced that his union had
retained 99 percent of its members. [...] What he didn't say was that eight teachers had filed suit
with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission accusing the union of refusing to let them quit.
They had reportedly failed to file their decisions to opt out during August, the only month the union
Teachers Union Joins War on Common Core. Echoing concerns from teachers and parents from across America and the
entire political spectrum, CTU President Karen Lewis also lambasted the administration's meddling in state and local education
issues. "I agree with educators and parents from across the country, the Common Core mandate represents an overreach of
federal power into personal privacy as well as into state educational autonomy," said Lewis, who is also a nationally board
certified teacher. The criticism is especially devastating coming from Chicago, where a former top-level Obama official
now dominates the city.
Union Boss Randi Weingarten: My Salary's Only $360K. American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President
Randi Weingarten, who was paid $543,150 last year, defended her compensation by claiming her pay is $360,000 and
other reported expenses simply prove the union's "transparency." [...] "Justice means that hardworking people
must have access to a living wage," Weingarten wrote. AFT paid Weingarten $556,981 in 2012 and $543,150 in 2013.
Job Security for Poor
Performers. Job security for public employees comes at a cost to government and the public. Firing
the poorest-performing teachers may be the biggest free lunch available in education policy. Given that very little
else seems to have worked, maybe education policy makers should give it a try.
Teachers Union to Mayor Rahm: Improving failed schools full of black kids is racist. In late March, the
Chicago Board of Education announced an ambitious plan to implement its "turnaround" model for three low-performing
elementary schools in poor, predominantly black neighborhoods. The turnaround process involves the sacking of
every teacher and staffer at each of the schools, according to an email from the Chicago Teachers Union obtained by
The Daily Caller. Naturally, the union bosses aren't happy that the nation's third-largest school district is
employing such sweeping measures to improve some of its worst schools.
union boss wants schools to teach 'social justice'. Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis wants
schools to teach social justice, not "consumerism," she said in a video. Lewis spoke about ways to avoid "consumerist"
messages while teaching subjects typically seen as apolitical, like math, at the annual conference of the Network for
Public Education, a progressive advocacy group that backs public schools.
union contract gives "special consideration" to "non-Christian" teachers. Apparently, no one at the Ferndale Public
School District in Michigan took a civics course or bothered to read their own state constitution — and neither did the
union representing teachers in the district. Michigan Capitol Confidential found an interesting, and totally unconstitutional,
clause in the contract between the district and the Michigan Education Association local that requires the district to provide
"special consideration" to "those of the non-Christian faith" in hiring decisions.
Nation's biggest teachers union
slams 'botched' Common Core implementation. The nation's largest teachers union is pulling back on its once-enthusiastic support
of the Common Core academic standards, labeling their rollout "completely botched." National Education Association President Dennis
Van Roekel said he still believes the standards can improve education. But he said they will not succeed without a major "course
correction" — including possibly rewriting some of the standards and revising the related tests with teacher input.
Largest Teachers Union Calls Implementation 'Completely Botched'. The country's largest teachers union is no longer a
cheerleader for Common Core national education standards. In a letter to the National Education Association's 3 million members,
President Dennis Van Roekel issued a sharp critique of Common Core. It marks the first time NEA has voiced concerns about the
standards, a key initiative of the Obama Administration.
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
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.
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright
joins up with Chicago Teachers Union. Wright will give a keynote address Wednesday at a breakfast the teacher's union
is holding in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. The union has invited local pastors to the breakfast in the hopes of building
a coalition of Chicago clergy to support its causes. In particular, union officials are seeking allies to fight the city's
policy of shutting down dozens of neighborhood schools and opening charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately
managed — and often, nonunion. CTU is expecting about 250 representatives from the clergy at the breakfast.
Predicament: 14 NEA Affiliates Have Almost $700 Million in Unfunded Liabilities. National Education Association president Dennis Van
Roekel says flatly: "There is no teacher pension crisis." [...] An Education Intelligence Agency analysis of 2011-12 Internal Revenue Service
filings reveals 14 NEA state affiliates do not have the financial assets to match their liabilities and total almost $700 million in combined debt.
The ability of these affiliates to address their long-term debt by increasing pension contributions, as Van Roekel suggests, is compromised by their
short-term debt. Nine of the 14 affiliates had deficits in 2011-12. In fact, the combined spending of all of NEA's state affiliates
exceeded their combined income by almost $24 million.
OFA Wants You to
Fight to Raise Minimum Wage, Won't Pay You to Do It. Organizing for Action is looking to sign people up for its spring 2014 fellowship
program, which will teach them "best practices in the areas of community organizing, media relations, and grassroots fundraising." The sign-up
page allows users to select to volunteer either 15 or 40 hours per week. But they won't be receiving compensation for their efforts.
NEA Employees Must Be Paid for Time in
Prison. Though I have written about the fact often, it bears repeating that the National Education Association and its affiliates are
employers. Between them they hire thousands of workers to perform a variety of tasks. Virtually all of these workers are covered by
collective bargaining agreements in which the teachers' union is management — bosses, to put it plainly. Union employees use the
contract to set salaries, benefits, working conditions and protections against arbitrary actions by union executives. About 500 people
work at NEA national headquarters in Washington, DC. A handful of unions represent them, the largest being the National Education Association
Staff Organization (NEASO).
American education's race to the
bottom. We are paying filet mignon prices and getting Sonic Burger results, in other words. I guess the upside is that
our unionized teachers have such great job security that they can hardly be fired once they get "tenure." Oh, and the benefits and
retirement pay are outstanding. Naturally, Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, is calling for even more money. [...] America's
government schools have been run for the benefit of teacher unions, not for the students. There is an obvious solution staring
us in the face: awarding education funds to parents, and allowing them to choose schools suited to their children.
Francisco scrambles to find subs as hundreds of teachers skip school ahead of Thanksgiving. More than 600 teachers
and classroom aides looking to get an early start to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend skipped school Tuesday [11/26/2013] in San Francisco,
leaving officials desperate to find substitutes. In the San Francisco Unified School District, 432 teachers — around
12 percent of its instructional workforce — called in sick or took a personal day, SFgate.com reports.
Second largest California school district pays
teachers for not teaching. California has a 1971 state law — the Stull Act — that mandates student performance
be included in teacher evaluations. This is just the sort of approach that President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan like as part
of their push to eliminate the 10 percent or so of teachers they say are too incompetent to be allowed in the classroom. But guess what:
The law has been ignored for decades in California. Why? Because for at least 20 years, the most powerful special interest in the
state has been the teacher unions — the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers. Keeping the CTA
and CFT happy has been a higher priority in local school districts and in the Legislature than actually honoring a clearly written state law.
Teacher's union head investigates whether
parent is a neo-Nazi. A Pennsylvania father is steaming mad after the head of a local teacher's union suggested he may be a "neo-Nazi" for
questioning a school assignment. Josh Barry, of Camp Hill, Penn., expressed concern after his daughter brought home an assignment analyzing a New
York Times article discussing the recent government shutdown. Examiner.com first reported the story. The assignment asked questions like, "Whom
do you hold most responsible for the government shutdown?" and "Do you feel it is principled or irresponsible for politicians to threaten a shutdown?"
Barry thought it was an exercise in indoctrination.
Teachers' unions fight bill that
would bar sex offenders from schools. A bipartisan bill that would stop convicted sex offenders from working in schools has been passed by the House
but is running into a foe as it heads to the Senate: major teachers' unions like the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers.
Kyle Olson, with the Education Action Group Foundation told Megyn Kelly Wednesday night [10/23/2013] on "The Kelly File" that the unions' objection to the bill proves
"unions are out to protect the adults... they are not out for the interests of the children." "We should have zero tolerance for issues like this," Olson said.
unions to politicians: Invest in education. Leaders of America's largest teachers' unions are joining teachers in 170 countries to
urge political leaders to invest more in K-12 education around the world. [...] "The whole premise is that every single child ought to have access to
a free, universal, quality education," said Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, the country's largest teachers' union.
"There's not a country in the world where that's happening right now, including the United States."
Bankrupt ideas lead to bankrupt governments.
The teachers unions love to talk about how much is being spent per pupil, while ignoring the fact that there are many high-spending school districts with lower
achievement levels than many lower spending districts. The private sector — unlike government — constantly reduces costs and improves
its products because of competitive pressures, and that creates real wealth. Those in the public sector measure success by the amount spent, not by what is
teachers taught how to dump unions, get rebates on dues. There's a way out of the unions in many states, and way to get some dues money back at
the same time. Concerned teachers are encouraged to research their rights — which are frequently concealed by the unions — and
learn how they can drop their ties to these increasingly radical groups that only represent the views and interests of a small group of elite union leaders.
In California, home to some of the nation's most radical and powerful teachers unions, two groups are providing teachers with the information they need to
make a hasty retreat from their unions and recover some of the money they were forced to invest in left-wing political causes.
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.
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.
The Editor asks...
Where does Barack Obama send his kids to school? Come to think of it, can you name one
prominent Democrat whose kids are in public schools?
Chicago Teachers Union Prez
Blames 'Rich White People'. The president of the Chicago Teachers Union charges that racism and "rich white people" are to blame
for the immense financial and educational crisis facing the Chicago Public Schools. [The] Chicago Public Schools (CPS) represent everything
that is wrong with public education in America. They are in thrall to the unions that run the system and bankrupt it through bloated
salaries and pensions while too many of the students trapped inside graduate as functional illiterates, if they graduate at all.
Lewis Points Finger At 'Rich White People'
For School Problems. A day before the first set of school closings was set to begin, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis had some
harsh words about how the Chicago Public Schools are funded and managed, blaming much of the district's problems on racism. WBBM Newsradio's Nancy
Harty reports, at a luncheon on education reform, Lewis told members of the City Club that Chicago is the most segregated city in America.
Racial violence in the classroom of a different kind.
This is a different kind of violence. The kind where teachers and kids are bullied into hearing that they are racists and their belief — and
practice of White Supremacy is responsible for the disparity in achievement between children of different races. Here is just one practitioner:
The head of the Chicago Teachers Union who blames poor Chicago schools on "rich white people."
widens between Emanuel and Chicago teachers union, pillar of Democratic support. Chicago's final decision to close 50 public
schools — the single biggest reported closure in U.S. history — has again pitted Mayor Rahm Emanuel against the
powerful teachers union. The Democratic mayor is backing the city school board's vote last week to help reduce an estimated
$1 billion budget shortfall by closing the under-attended elementary schools and programs.
Kansas Law Lets
Teachers Choose Political Donations. A labor expert says a new Kansas law adopted this month promotes teachers' freedom to
make informed political choices. Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2022 into law on April 1, enacting a policy
often referred to as "paycheck protection" for all Kansas employees.
teachers sue NEA over forced $1,000 union dues. Ten California schoolteachers on Tuesday sued the National Education
Association and California Teachers Association to escape mandatory union fees in a case that piggybacks on a 2012 Supreme Court
ruling against forced union dues. The teachers, represented by the Washington-based Center for Individual Rights, claim that
California's so-called "agency shop" law violates their free speech and free assembly rights and forces them to cough up $1,000 to
pay for the union's mostly Democratic political activities.
Non-Union Teachers Sue Unions Over Coercive Political Funding. The Center for Individual Rights, a public interest legal
group in Washington, D.C., filed the lawsuit Tuesday [4/30/2013] in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los
Angeles on behalf of 10 teachers from California and the Christian Educators Association. "The union spends millions of
teachers' hard-earned monies supporting causes and candidates that many of us oppose," said Rebecca Friedrichs, one of the plaintiffs,
in a statement. "The union is free to press its agenda, but individual teachers should not be forced to pay for it.
It is shocking to me and many other teachers that union officials have the power by law to spend our wages to press for causes that
many of us oppose on moral, fiscal, or philosophical grounds."
Late Union President's
Astonishing $800K Theft. When former Auburn Teachers Association (ATA) president Sally Jo Widmer passed away last November
after more than 35 years at the helm of the small New York teachers' union, former Auburn mayor Guy Cosentino eulogized her as "a true
union leader who put her union first and personal niceties second." That's because Cosentino didn't have access to her checkbook.
Members were informed this week that Widmer misappropriated at least $800,000 in union dues during the period 2006-2012.
Billionaires, Rappers, and Former Lobbyists Give to OFA.
[Scroll down] Disclosed donors include hedge fund billionaire S. Donald Sussman and real-estate mogul Wayne Jordan, contributing at least $50,000 each.
Both have been supporters of the Democracy Alliance, an organization backed by major progressive donors that steers donor dollars to dark-money groups that disclose very
little about their funding sources. Michael Kempner, chairman of the lobbying firm MWW, also gave at least $50,000 to OFA. [...] The organization also accepted a
$15,466 in-kind contribution for office space from the National Education Association, which is where OFA has been headquartered.
School for scandal. The seven were nicknamed "the
chosen" and, according to Georgia state investigator Richard Hyde, the less than magnificent seven sat in a locked room without windows,
erasing wrong answers and inserting correct ones. It's one thing for a child to cheat on a test; it's quite another for teachers to
do it. Compounding the cheating scandal is that the children in this elementary school are mostly poor and African-American.
How are they helped to develop a moral sense, not to mention an academic foundation that will lift them out of poverty, if they get the
message that cheating is better than achieving?
The Atlanta Cheating Scandal.
The news that an Atlanta schools chief spearheaded a vast criminal conspiracy among administrators and teachers to cheat on standardized
tests to artificially boost the scores of their pupils is as depressing as it is unsurprising. And it reinforces my belief that merit
pay systems for teachers that are rigidly tied to student test scores are a terrible idea, even if school districts are using very
sophisticated value-added analysis.
ObamaCare Bites Unionized
Educators. Union representatives are now sending their members letters stating that "the Affordable Care Act [aka ObamaCare]
has defined full time as anyone working over 30 hours a week or 130 hours a month." Many of these hardworking and
well-meaning local labor representatives, who were duped — I mean, told by the American Federation of Teachers Union (AFT) that
Obama was the one who would bring all good things to pass — now find themselves in an untenable position.
Teachers Union President Recommends Lying to Parents! Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis made an eyebrow-raising
recommendation at an education conference that took place earlier this week, doling out "tips" that she said really work. One of
the suggestions? Lie to parents. [Video clip]
Unions Panic as Scott Walker Moves to Expand School Vouchers. There is a reason why teachers' unions oppose standardized
ratings. Hard numbers highlight performance and mandate reforms. Scott Walker is proposing to give parents an exit strategy from
broken schools, but those broken schools are the bread and butter of the Educrats who can use their failures as bottomless money pits.
Legacy: $310 Million in Direct Campaign Spending Since 2000. Almost $53.4 million came from NEA national headquarters,
while another $257.1 million was spent by affiliates. More than 47.3 percent of that total — almost
$147 million — was spent in California or on behalf of California ballot measures and candidates. The union
spent more than $92.3 million on candidates and party committees. About 86.3% of those were Democrat-affiliated,
and 11.5% were Republican-affiliated.
The Blob That Ate Children. Shortly after
I did my first TV special on education, "Stupid in America," hundreds of union teachers showed up outside my office to yell at me.
They were angry because I said union rules were a big reason American kids don't learn. The union is a big reason kids don't
like school and learn less. Union contracts limit flexibility, limit promotion of good teachers, waste money and make it hard for
principals to fire even terrible teachers. But I was wrong to imply that the union is the biggest problem. In states with weak
unions, K-12 schools stagnate, too. Education reformers have a name for the resistance: the education "Blob."
education failure. According to RAND Corp., as late as the 1970s California's public schools still had an "excellent"
reputation. Then, in 1975, Brown (in his first stint as California's governor) signed the Rodda Act, giving government unions
the power to take money directly out of government employees' paychecks. The California Teachers Association quickly poured
this new revenue stream into an organizing drive, more than doubling the union's ranks. The Golden State's politics have never
been the same since — nor has the quality of its public schools.
How Alabama is on the verge
of breaking one of the nation's most powerful teachers' unions. For much of the last four decades, the Alabama Education
Association has risen to become one of the most powerful teachers' unions in the country. As odd as it may seem in a dark red
state, over the years long-time AEA executive director Paul Hubbert, oftentimes described as the "shadow governor" of Alabama, has
earned his union the distinction of being one of the most politically involved organizations of its type in the country.
Chicago Teachers Union demands end of
standardized testing. The Chicago Teachers Union urged school administrators nationwide to discontinue the use of standardized tests,
deriding them as corporate tools. The CTU recently released a report arguing that standardized tests are a faulty measure of student achievement.
They also advance a pro-corporate agenda, the report said.
teacher pension fund sells stock in gun makers, but keeps the profits. The pension fund for New York City teachers
made a bit of a political statement when it announced today that it had sold its stock in gun-makers. "This is the right
thing to do," said Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers. "After the tragedy at Sandy Hook, we, as
educators, had to make sure that guns were not part of our holdings." But with those stocks having seen a huge run-up
over the last two years, the fund is perfectly happy to keep profits that came due to record gun sales.
reform 'parent trigger' wins in Los Angeles, deals blow to teachers union. The Los Angeles Board of Education
signed off on a parent-led plan to turn a failing public school over to a private charter company this week — the
city's first use of the controversial "parent trigger" law. The 5-1 vote granted parents in downtown Los Angeles
final approval to convert 24th Street Elementary School into a charter school. The new school will be better
equipped to handle demographic changes to the area, parents said.
Pay Up or Get Sued. The president of Michigan's largest union is
instructing officials to prepare to sue its own members, according to a leaked memo issued after the state adopted right-to-work laws in
December. Steven Cook, president of the Michigan Education Association, circulated an email to local unions officials and staff
instructing them to monitor revenue streams in light of the right-to-work laws, which are set to go into effect on March 27,
2013. The law allows workers to opt out of union membership unless they have an existing contract with their employer.
Bill Ayers to Keynote
National Teacher Conference in February. Left-wing '60s radical and onetime domestic terrorist Bill Ayers will be a keynote
speaker at the Association of Teacher Educators annual conference in Atlanta next month. Ayers gained notoriety alongside his wife
Bernardine Dohrn as a member of the Weather Underground during the Vietnam War. He was involved in Chicago's "Days of Rage" riot
in 1969 and went underground as a fugitive from justice after an accidental Greenwich Village townhouse explosion in 1970 killed three
Weather Underground members who were preparing a bomb that prematurely detonated.
Ayers a keynote speaker next month at the Association of Teacher Educators conference. The Association of Teacher Educators
has recruited Chicago professor — and former domestic terrorist — William Ayers to speak at their the 2013 Annual
Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia which will be held next month. William Ayers, a co-founder of the radical Weather Underground domestic
terror group, was a key figure during the 2008 presidential campaign due to his Chicago ties to then-Senator Obama.
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.
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.
CWA, NAACP, GreenPeace Meet to End Voter ID, End Filibuster. Those in the meeting pledged BIG MONEY to supposedly remove
BIG MONEY from the politics they are trying so hard to dominate. The whole affair is known as the "Democracy Initiative." [...] Members
of the NEA, America's teachers, are apparently okay with the Democracy Initiative. If you haven't pulled your kids out of public schools,
make the sacrifice and do it.
America Has Begun to Reap What It Has Sown. [#7] Our first priority when it comes to schools is catering to the teachers'
unions, not educating our kids; then we're surprised at the poor quality of public education in our country. [...] [#16] We worry more about
children's self-esteem than their performance; then we're surprised when college kids aren't ready for the working world.
Teachers union spends millions from membership
dues on parties and conferences. Included in the United Federation of Teachers' $166.5 million in spending last year was a hefty
$33.4 million in salary for union staffers — a slight increase from the year prior. More than 90 staffers earned
six-figure salaries between July 2011 and June 2012, the records show — including President Michael Mulgrew, who took home $275,000.
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.
Only 7% of Detroit Public-School 8th Graders
are Proficient in Reading. In the public schools in Detroit, Mich., according to the U.S. Department of Education, only 7 percent of
the eighth graders are grade-level proficient or better in reading. Some public school teachers in the City of Detroit and around the state of
Michigan are reportedly taking a vacation or a sick day today [12/11/2012] to protest right-to-work legislation likely to be approved by the state
legislature. Under current law, Michigan public school teachers must pay dues to the teachers' union. If the right-to-work law is enacted,
Michigan public-school teachers will be free to join the union and pay dues to it if they wish, but they will also be free not to join the union and
not to pay it dues.
NEA, SEIU and AFSCME in Secret
Negotiations. The National Education Association is working more closely than ever before with its counterparts in organized
labor. NEA, SEIU and AFSCME teamed up to fund a series of ads targeting key lawmakers in the fiscal cliff negotiations and they are the
driving force behind today's [12/10/2012] "day of action" rallies in a number of cities.
Millionaires, Billionaires, and
Teachers. The main reason the US Post Office, the federal government and many state and local governments face unsustainable
debt, bankruptcy and default is due to the costs of public employee pensions. GM went bankrupt largely due to the costs of its retirees'
pensions and benefits. [...] Meanwhile, retired public school teachers, who had to work 9 months of the year during their careers, now
pull in checks 12 months a year, indexed for inflation and guaranteed by the government, in amounts that often make them millionaires,
maybe twice over.
A New Low From
The California Federation Of Teachers: Urine Indoctrination. If anything raises questions about the fitness of the California Federation
of Teachers to be around kids, just look at its new video pushing class warfare doctrine by graphically depicting "the rich" urinating on the poor.
The angry, hate-filled cartoon video was placed right up top on the California Federation of Teachers' website, where children could see it, if it's not
already being shown in classrooms.
Teachers Union VP Busted Participating in Midwest Marxism Conference. While a guest on a local Chicago radio show, Chicago
Teachers Union (CTU) VP Jesse Sharkey was questioned over his recent participation in the Midwest Marxism Conference and refused to answer
why he was there and what relationship the Chicago Teachers Union has with the conference and sponsoring organization, the International
And They Lived Happily Ever
After. Today's big controversy is the cartoon produced by the California Federation of Teachers and narrated by actor
Ed Asner. It's called Tax the rich: An animated fairy tale, and it contains all the wit and charm you would expect
from a video produced by a team of CFT apparatchiki.
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?
Irony: Teachers Union
Hosts Party at National Crime Museum. The Illinois Education Association chose an odd location for a party in Washington, D.C. in July:
the National Museum of Crime and Punishment. A new financial report filed with the federal Department of Labor reveals the union spent $11,008 on
the event, EAGnews.org found. [...] That wasn't the only odd news revealed by the government report. While rank-and-file union members struggle to
make ends meet working for many smaller school districts, IEA president Cinda Klickna saw a big boost in compensation over last year. She
raked in $220,359 — a whopping 23 percent increase.
Schools Close So Teachers Can Play with Dolls, Learn About Teaching Islam. Each year, Minnesota government schools close for two days
(just before the weekend, of course) so teachers' union members can gather at a conference organized by their union. [...] The union describes it this
way: "Used around the world, persona dolls are lifelike dolls with personalities and stories you create. The dolls become members of your
classroom community and children learn by empathizing with the dolls and giving them heartfelt advice on the same kinds of situations they struggle
with daily in the classroom and on the playground." That's weird. Teachers are taking time away from the classroom to learn how to play
with dolls? The conference also includes a workshop on how to teach about Islam.
Proposition 32: Ending Union Dominance Of California Politics. Is union money distorting California electoral politics? Many
think so. After all, public sector and trade unions are among the biggest donors in California elections. In the years 2000-2010 the
California Teachers Association (CTA) was the single largest contributor to California politics, giving twice as much as the second-largest
contributor, the California State Council of Service Employees.
Why unions fear this
film. Union protesters demonstrated outside the premiere of the new pro-education reform movie "Won't Back Down." [...] In an
outraged public letter, the head of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, complained that the movie traffics in "the most
blatant stereotypes and caricatures I have ever seen." Really? Weingarten must never have seen a World War II movie, or a
film featuring a hooker with a heart of gold, or pretty much any romantic comedy.
Online Schools Becoming
More Popular, Despite Union Resistance. Online schools, and other forms of digital learning, are an inevitable and promising form of
education for the 21st Century, unless special interest forces are able to keep technology from becoming more integrated into everyday education.
Professor Gary Miron of the National Education Policy Center is a leading voice for those special interests, which include teachers unions and the
education establishment in general.
Obama's America: Student Reading
SAT Scores Hit Record Lows. No doubt the Obama administration will combat this problem by complaining about racial discrepancies
in education and suggesting pouring billions more down the rathole that is the public education system — all the while avoiding
scrutiny for teachers unions. That's the all-purpose liberal solution: cash, cash, and more cash.
Teachers unions will pay a price for the
Chicago strike. In the wake of the strike by the Chicago Teachers Union, many people wonder what the union is complaining about.
After all, Chicago teachers make an average of $76,000 for a nine-month year, 60 percent higher than the average annual income for a family in
Chicago and 58 percent more than the average yearly pay for a Chicagoan with a bachelor's degree. They get a huge package of benefits on
top of that.
Illinois on the hook for $670 million more in
teacher pensions for next budget. The state will have to come up with another $670 million for the teacher pension system in the next
budget after a retirement fund panel crunched the numbers and adjusted its assumptions. The Teachers' Retirement System lowered what it expects from
investments from 8.5 percent to 8 percent. The pension fund's leadership also increased a variety of other assumptions, including how long
it expects retired teachers to live. The fund covers teachers outside Chicago.
Useless, Costly Teacher's Unions.
[Scroll down] Heartland's S.T. Karnick, Director of Research, noted that "The average teacher salary in Chicago is $74,839, plus
benefits far better than those available in the private sector. Yet Chicago Public Schools are among the nation's worst, which is saying
a lot." According their own data, Chicago's public schools "failed to make adequate yearly progress in student achievement last
year. Children in the city's private and charter schools do much better at a fraction of the cost."
Union strikes, publishes Gloria Steinem endorsement. Just after the Chicago Teachers Union released a statement on its
website declaring their intent to strike Monday morning [9/10/2012], the union published a solidarity statement from feminist and
honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America Gloria Steinem as the top item on their website.
Public Schools offer 16-percent raise to teachers seeking 35-percent hike. While the cash-strapped Chicago Public
Schools have offered a 16-percent raise over four years to its striking union, the Chicago Teacher Union has requested a 35-percent
pay hike and a guaranteed call-back of any educator who was laid off. Fox News confirmed those reports by The Daily Caller
and Time.com as Mitt Romney and his surrogates accused President Obama of quietly giving Chicago teachers the green-light to strike
as the historic standoff affecting nearly 400,000 students entered its second day.
the bragging teachers' union chief who has brought Chicago schools to a standstill with strike. The union chief
leading 26,000 public school teachers out on strike in Chicago bragged last year about 'smoking lots of weed' at college and
mocked the lisp of President Barack Obama's Education Secretary. Speaking at a North West Teaching for Social Justice
conference in Seattle, Washington in October 2011, Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union, pacing up and down a
stage, delivered a sarcastic tirade.
Chicago Bled Dry by
Striking Teachers' Unions. The coverage of the strike has obscured some basic facts. The money has
continued to pour into Chicago's failing public schools in recent years. Chicago teachers have the highest average
salary of any city at $76,000 a year before benefits. The average family in the city only earns $47,000 a year. Yet
the teachers rejected a 16 percent salary increase over four years at a time when most families are not getting any raises
or are looking for work.
Chi-Town Shakedown. Though
they are already among the best-paid educators in the country, making an average of $76,000 per year in salary — plus
benefits — the union is unsatisfied with an offer from the city's board of education that provides them a 16 percent
raise over four years, worth a total of $400 million.
Chicago teacher can't even spell neighborhood
right. CTU believes in 'NEIBORHOOD' schools ... but can't even spell 'neighborhood.' Yet one of their main
reasons for striking is because, even though they've just been given a 16% pay increase ... they don't want a condition requiring
teacher performance. As is glaringly obvious, we can all see why.
Strike, Just Another Corrupt Union Powergrab. The CTU wants a 30% pay raise and they want class sizes to be made smaller.
For his part, Mayor Emanuel is saying that teachers union reps are fighting his desire to allow local school administrators do the hiring
of any new teachers (because they know better what they need) but the union is insisting that they do the hiring. The
union also rejected a 16% pay raise offered by the city — itself an absurdly high number that shouldn't have been offered
in the first place.
Teachers Union Strike: Che Shirts, Anarchists Flags and Students as Props. To get their message across, these
protesters brought hundreds of Chicago Public School students to march and chant on behalf of the teachers. [...] When questioned,
the teachers who were leading their students in the march replied that it is appropriate to bring children — some as young as
seventh grade — out to the protest, "because it affects their future."
The anti-dissing strike. Let's get one thing
straight: the Chicago Teachers Union strike isn't about what's best for kids, no matter how much unionists insist it is.
It is ultimately about bruised egos, and staying unaccountable. That reality is made clear by the regular refrain of Randi
Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, of which the CTU is an affiliate.
The Chicago teachers strike is a Democratic feud.
This strike is about teachers unions testing their boundaries with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. They're hitting back at him for what
they perceive to be the anti-union hardline position he took shortly after assuming office last year. More importantly, the strike
is about something that isn't often discussed in the media or in politics: Democrats are divided on education reform.
Unelected Unions. New hires do not get asked if they want union representation.
They must accept it as a condition of employment, inheriting the representatives that previous employees voted for. Almost all union members received general representation this
way. Look at General Motors. The United Auto Workers organized GM in 1937. None of the union's current Michigan members voted for it. Their fathers or
grandfathers did. Or consider New York City public schools. The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) organized the school system in 1961. Everyone who voted in that
election has retired, but the UFT still represents every teacher in the district.
$100k 'public relations' payment from teachers union, Media Matters attacked Fox News. A document the National Education
Association filed with the U.S. Department of Labor in 2011 indicates that the teachers union donated $100,000 to Media Matters For
America nearly two years ago, describing it as a payment for "public relations costs." In the months that followed, Media Matters'
online coverage of teachers unions increased, focusing largely on attacking the Fox News Channel and other media outlets it considers
"conservative" in nature.
Teachers' Union Calls Black School Choice Group 'Pro-KKK'. On Thursday [8/30/2012], in the shadow of the hurricane
barreling down on the region, the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, a large teachers' union, launched an attack on the state's
chapter of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, a nonprofit organization working to improve black educational achievement
through education reform and school choice. On its official Twitter account, the teachers' union ludicrously alleged that
BAEO supports a "pro KKK curriculum," and sent out the statement to various followers.
Claims Black School Choice Group Supports KKK. A major state-level teachers union accused a group promoting school
choice for African-American families of supporting the notorious white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan in a series of statements
on Thursday [8/30/2012]. The Louisiana Federation of Teachers accused the Louisiana Black Alliance for Educational Options
(BAEO) of advancing a "pro-KKK agenda," in the words of one tweet sent from the union's official Twitter account. Another
claimed that the group "endorses teaching that the KKK is good."
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.
Education Association Shows Its Politics. The most powerful union of government employees is the National Education Association,
which held this year's annual national convention, as usual, over the Fourth of July weekend, attracting 9,000 delegates. To no one's
surprise, it resembled a re-election campaign rally for Barack Obama, with the pressure on delegates to identify themselves as EFO, Educators
for Obama. Many delegates wore Obama campaign buttons and T-shirts and sported banners with messages such as "You are our knight in
shining armor." The official NEA newspaper, called RA Today and published every day during the week-long convention, featured a very
political full-page endorsement of Obama headlined "Do your part and pledge to be an educator for Obama today!"
Teachers Unions Go to Bat for Sexual Predators .
In the last five years in New York City, 97 tenured teachers or school employees have been charged by the Department of Education with
sexual misconduct. Among the charges substantiated by the city's special commissioner of investigation — that is, found to have
sufficient merit that an arbitrator's full examination was justified — in the 2011-12 school year.
Teachers Union President Blames Woes on Class, Race. The Chicago School system is rapidly collapsing. Its graduation rate is a
horrid 56 percent, its finances are in tatters, and even though the Chicago Teachers Union was offered a 10 to 15 percent raise, CTU
officials still want to strike claiming it isn't enough. So, what went wrong? CTU President says it's all because of Chicago's "lower
class students" and "students of color."
NEA Expects to Spend
$25 Million on State Political Campaigns. Each year, each member of the National Education Association contributes $20 to two
segregated funds. Eight dollars goes to the Media Fund, which uses it for issue advertising and promotion both nationally and in
the form of grants to state affiliates. Twelve dollars is deposited into the Ballot Measures/Legislative Crises Fund, which contributes to
statewide ballot initiative campaigns in states that have them, and legislative advocacy in states that don't. The BMLC fund is the
primary source of NEA's political campaign spending at the state level.
Teachers' union kills a Democratic bill to remove criminals from
California's classrooms. Early this year, Los Angeles police arrested Mark Berndt, a longtime teacher at Miramonte
Elementary School, on 23 counts of committing lewd acts on children between the ages of seven and ten. The sickening
details of the crimes Berndt is charged with committing horrified the community and the state. More stories about California
teachers accused of sexual misconduct with children have now surfaced. The Berndt case casts new light on the tortuous legal
process that makes it nearly impossible for schools to rid themselves of even these depraved teachers. Perversely, the case
also shows the extent to which teachers' unions will go to protect their prerogatives.
Teachers Unions Give Broadly.
What do the American Ireland Fund, the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network have in common?
All have received some of the more than $330 million that America's two largest teachers unions spent in the past five years
on outside causes, political campaigns, lobbying and issue education. [...] Some of the spending that the two teachers unions
identified to the Labor Department as "political and lobbying" activities from fiscal 2007 through fiscal 2011 went to election
consultants, voter mobilization and advertising. Additional millions went to PACs that donate almost entirely to Democratic
candidates and committees.
Convention Doesn't Reflect Mainstream Teacher Values. While most Americans were enjoying a festive Independence
Day last week, the National Education Association was holding their annual convention in Washington, D.C. Beaten down after
another solid year of negative press, declining membership, and legislative and legal battles, the NEA convention took on a
hyper-partisan tone best reserved for partisan political rallies. [...] Despite a record level of spending in America, students
from 16 countries are outperforming their American counterparts. To top it all off, educators are losing confidence in
teacher unions in record numbers. This is not the recipe for a well-educated public — and stakeholders are
GOP teachers balk at
Obama-centric NEA convention. It had all the trappings of a re-election rally: thousands packing a convention
center, Barack Obama T-shirts, videos celebrating the health care law, and a wall-size banner with encouraging messages to the
Expelled from School District. The trouble with education in this country starts and ends with unions. They are
out-of-touch museum relics, fitting for a day that used rotary presses to distribute the news, but wildly inappropriate for an age
that's both wired and wireless. Unions have prevented, and continue to prevent, much-needed reforms in education, public finance
and government. They cultivate a sense of entitlement wholly out of order for the times, which call for more self-reliance and
Pols set to block teacher
ratings' release. The [New York] state Legislature is likely to pass a last ditch bill that would prevent the release
of teacher evaluations, while letting parents see the ratings only of their kids' instructors.
School system lays off "Teacher of the Year".
A California woman who was named her school district's "Teacher of the Year" has a new title — "job seeker." The district
laid off Michelle Apperson along with thousands of other educators across the state. California has a budget crisis and this is how
officials are dealing with it.
The Editor says...
You might be saying to yourself, "That doesn't make any sense. Why would they do that? And the answer is ... the teachers' union!
'Teacher of the Year' Fired for Lack of Union
Seniority. It doesn't matter anymore how good you are at your job if you live in the failing state of California; if you're on a lower
rung of the ladder in terms of seniority, you're toast. Michelle Apperson, a teacher at the Sutterville Elementary School in Sacramento who was
named "teacher of the year" by the school district, was fired because she was outranked in seniority.
Union Workers are not Scientists.
Public union workers were never supposed to make more than the people in the private sector. They bought into the low wages of public jobs
for the security. High school teachers are not rocket scientists. They are people making a compromise with excellence in order to get a
regular pay check. Only now their paychecks have been extended beyond where they should be. Plus union workers are getting pensions
coming out of their ears so that they cannot hear their own greed, their own excessive demands, their own lack of talent and competitiveness.
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.
Teachers Suffering From Paycheck ADHD.
It was striking to me how many of the hostile teachers complained about dealing with children. It's like a surgeon griping about cutting people open.
Kids are unruly, there are too many of them, they clutter up the hallways, they turn in papers that need to be graded. According to those emails, working
conditions rivaled that of a Chinese iPad assembly line worker. With long hours, oppressive supervision and no noodles for lunch.
Teachers' Unions Trained by Well-Funded Alinsky Group. Breitbart.com has learned that teachers in Wisconsin have been
attending routine training workshops with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), a radical organization founded by Saul Alinsky in
1940. In a video produced by the MacIver Institute, organizers are seen arriving at a March 17 training session with the
Wisconsin Education Association Council, Wisconsin's state teachers union.
Still the Alinsky Playbook.
[Saul Alinsky's] enduring influence may have been to inspire the National Education Association to become a political powerhouse.
Sam Lambert, the executive secretary of the NEA in 1967, when it hired Alinsky as a political trainer, boasted that it would "become a
political power second to no other special interest." The NEA delivered on that promise.
Hellbent on blaming the
messenger. The teachers and various free-lance agitators attacked The [New York] Post for publishing Department of
Education ratings revealing that several educators scored a big, fat zero. Their response? How dare anyone know this!
Opt for Plastic Sugery on Taxpayers' Dime. The health plan for teachers union members in Buffalo, NY apparently includes
liposuction and nose jobs — and we pay for all of it. ... Now, we all love our teachers. But the fact is that teachers
unions — and the contracts they negotiate with the politicians they elect — are greedy, cash-sucking vampires.
The union comes first, education second. 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.
free ride. Everywhere you turn, incredible people are doing amazing things. Then there are the
teachers unions. To cut through the complexities of the deals the unions made with Mayor Bloomberg and Gov.
Cuomo, consider this: Under the terms, no public-school teacher in New York state can be fired for
incompetence until June — of 2014!
over school closings: Jackson says 'apartheid' exists in system. The Rev. Jesse Jackson and members of the
Chicago Teachers Union called on the board to table a vote and put off any closings and turnarounds until it addresses funding
inequalities between poor and affluent schools. ... As he waited in line this morning [2/22/2012] to attend the meeting, Jackson
said inequities in Chicago's public school system amount to educational "apartheid," echoing sentiments expressed in a
Chicago Teachers Union report last week.
on civility: The crowd of more than 2,000 — bloated by swarms of Occupiers and their
teachers-union promoters — shouted down any opposition via a standard Occupy trick, the so-called
"peoples' microphone," in which one speaker's words are picked up and relayed in short phrases. Naturally,
four-letter words flew. The goal was to thwart a legal and democratic process through disruption and
Union Staffers Set Sail on 7-Day Caribbean Cruise. Following an "Advocacy Retreat" with the theme
"Building Our Unionism," members set sail on a 7-day cruise from Miami on February 5th "with stops at Cozumel,
Grand Cayman Island and Isla Roatan." Sounds fun! Guess what union staff? There are going to be
cameras all over the ship documenting your every move — from every Fuzzy Navel to every game of shuffle
board. Just think how your rank-and-file members might appreciate seeing all the "fun in the sun" you're
having, courtesy of their dues dollars.
NEA's Plan: Keep Your 'Kids' Captive Longer. Is it wise for sixteen-year-olds to drop out of high
school? The answer is almost always no. But requiring them to remain in school five more years is
unlikely to produce good results either, since that just means more time in the same education system that
already has failed them. Keeping "kids" in school until they are legally adults may save or create
jobs in the field of public education. But that is all it is likely to accomplish.
Public Union Hero of the
Day. This is working the rules exactly as the unions have negotiated it. The rubber rooms,
by the way, were for teachers accused of questionable behavior — not the totally incompetent.
And there are plenty of totally incompetent teachers in the NYC system.
'rubber room' dean impregnated student: probe. Sent to a "rubber room" for alleged improper conduct with a student, this
teacher just couldn't keep his hands off himself. [...] The 40-year-old married father exchanged 132,000 text messages and calls with
the female student, had sex with her for several years, got her pregnant and paid for her abortion, says a report by Special Commissioner
of Investigation Richard Condon, which The Post obtained through a Freedom of Information request.
SI teacher puts himself on camera languishing in the
rubber room. This Staten Island teacher wants the world to know he is paid $75,000 a year to do nothing all day long. More than two
years after the city shut down the so-called rubber rooms that served as detention centers for teachers, Francesco Portelos sat in front of a live cam
Thursday [10/4/2012], killing time. "I want people to see where their tax dollars are going," said Portelos, 34, who taught technology at
Intermediate School 49 until last spring, when he got yanked from the classroom, he said. "I'm getting paid $75,000 to sit around."
One year on the job, 13 years in
rubber room earns perv teacher $1M. He worked just one year as a full-time teacher in New York. But he has collected
nearly $1 million for 13 years for doing almost nothing. Aryeh Eller, 46, a former music teacher at Hillcrest HS in
Queens, is the longest-sitting "rubber room" teacher in the city. He was yanked from the classroom in 1999 and confessed to
repeated sexual harassment of female students, according to a 2000 investigative report.
NYC teachers banned from classrooms who rake in millions. Three of the city's
longest-running "rubber room" teachers have raked in more than $1 million each for a decade of not
working in classrooms, and a fourth is paid a top salary — $100,049 a year —
not to teach. The Foul Four — who beat sexual-misconduct charges — can't be
fired by the Department of Education because they are entitled to job protections under state tenure
laws, which require "due process." Educators are entitled to a trial with an independent hearing
officer who decides whether any misconduct warrants termination.
The return of
'rubber rooms' — another step backward for de Blasio's schools. Under Mayor de Blasio, New York public schools seem to be moving
in only one direction — and it's not forward. For evidence, note Susan Edelman's story in Sunday's [1/17/2016] [New York] Post.
The ridiculous "rubber rooms" — where the city Department of Education keeps teachers it's trying to fire for incompetence or misconduct —
are back. The power of the United Federation of Teachers is such that out-and-out firing these teachers is a nonstarter. Thus the rubber
rooms — officially, "reassignment centers" — where these teachers get paid to twiddle their thumbs.
The Rubber Room:
It's a June morning, and there are fifteen people in the room, four of them fast asleep, their heads lying on
a card table. Three are playing a board game. Most of the others stand around chatting. Two
are arguing over one of the folding chairs. But there are no children here. The inhabitants are all
New York City schoolteachers who have been sent to what is officially called a Temporary Reassignment Center
but which everyone calls the Rubber Room.
Child Molester Scandal That Isn't: What the MSM Doesn't Report. In researching my article
on "Rubber Room" teachers, who are paid not to teach after being accused of a crime, I came across some
information that deserves further discussion. The problem is much worse than the media would have
you believe. The teachers in these programs are the ones who managed to escape prosecution but are
considered too great a risk to be allowed to return to teaching. Or else they're the accused waiting
for judgment. Or they're people the schools can't get rid of due to tenure deals.
room's 'dirty' old man. He just won't leave. At age 75, Roland Pierre is the granddaddy of
the rubber room — 13 years in the purgatory of teachers yanked from the classroom for alleged
wrongdoing. But the Department of Education can't fire Pierre, and he's stuck around long past the
minimum retirement age.
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.
"No Child Left Behind" Hasn't Worked: For decades, I've been telling my readers that the federal
government ought not to be in the education business and that constitutionalist members of Congress are duty
bound to close down the Department of Education. The Cabinet-level department was created during the
Carter administration as payback for the National Education Association's help in getting him elected.
President Reagan wanted to dump the department but was prevented from doing so by his own big-government
Rooms' Kissing Cousin: New York City's Absent Teacher Reserve Program. New York City government
schools have had some pretty outrageous policies. Rubber rooms were a great example. They were
special places created for teachers accused of crimes, incompetence and the like. Due to state tenure
laws, it actually cost less to house the failed teachers in a location where they couldn't inflict more
damage on students, than to go through the lengthy and expensive legal process necessary to fire them.
Thanks Big Labor! Now New York administrators are trying to deep-six a program created a few years ago
in the collective bargaining agreement with the United Federation of Teachers: the Absent Teacher Reserve.
Losses, Budget Cuts Continue to Plague NEA. It may take some time, and will probably happen under
cover of darkness, but soon the claim that the National Education Association represents 3.2 million members
will be adjusted downward, as the latest figures show the union's total membership at well under 3.1 million.
Pay Teachers More For Poor Student Performance? Does anyone poor-mouth their pay more than public
school teachers? A new study finds that to the contrary, teachers make 50% more than comparable private
workers. So what do taxpayers get for this premium? The short answer is poor schools, falling test
scores, high dropout-rates, foolish policies, a free ride for the academic bottom dwellers and a growing home-school
movement fleeing the system. In sum, a Big-Labor dominated system that serves itself — not the
The NEA's Progressive Turn.
Since March, when governors in Ohio and Wisconsin successfully passed bans on requiring districts to bargain collectively
with NEA and American Federation of Teachers affiliates, the NEA has taken a more militant approach to beating back reformers.
In July, the NEA successfully enacted a two-fold increase in the member dues dedicated to political campaigning. The
$10 a member increase adds another $40 million to the union's war chest, easily boosting its position as one of the
biggest donors in American politics.
day payouts for teachers. In the 43 years Bill Meisch taught in the Rockwood School District, he
rarely took a sick day. ... Meisch's unusually long tenure with Rockwood schools was a major factor in his
large payout, although two other teachers had accumulated values of $79,558 and $63,671 for unused sick days.
The average takeaway was about $24,000. In total, Rockwood spent $1.42 million to pay departing
administrators and teachers this benefit during the last school year.
NEA Down 100,000 Active Members Since 2009-10.
If the strength of the National Education Association is in its members, then the nation's largest labor union is
clearly not as strong as it once was. According to its latest figures, NEA has lost 100,000 active members
since the 2009-10 school year. Active members are working teachers, certified staff and education support
employees — not students or retirees.
Occupy until '2025'!
Determined Occupy Wall Street demonstrators have vowed they're not leaving Zuccotti Park anytime soon, and their
online agenda suggests they mean business — with events scheduled through Oct. 26, 2025. ... The
leaderless anti-greed movement has racked up $750,000 in donations from supporters and unions and gotten space for
storage and portable toilets from the United Federation of Teachers.
Public School Teachers
Aren't Underpaid. Good teachers are crucial to a strong economy and a healthy civil society, and
they should be paid at a level commensurate with their skills. But the evidence shows that public school
teachers' total compensation amounts to roughly $1.50 for every $1 that their skills could garner in a private
Concludes Public School Teacher Salaries $120 Billion Over Market Value. Those on the left are
wont to complain that government employees are under assualt these days because GOP politicians are going after
public sector unions and generous deals they've leveraged through collective bargaining. The standard defense
of civil service workers is, yes, they might have good benefits and more job stability but these things are
necessary because public sector workers earn significantly less than private sector counterparts.
Classrooms. Fox News has reported that ... Acorn has partially recrudesced as something called
New York Communities for Change, a group aligned with teachers. The Acorn group collected funds for what
it claimed was an American Federation of Teachers fundraiser to replace dangerous lightbulbs in schools. The
money, according to Fox, went to Occupy protests instead. AFT denied any knowledge of the scam, but its
endorsement stands. The union is known for shoveling out members' dues for political activity —
$34 million in 2010 alone.
Teachers' Union Fat Cats.
There's something rather hilarious about the appearance of the nation's two largest teachers' unions at a
protest against allegedly pampered fat cats. Few organizations have managed to become so
influential — and build such vast coffers — at the expense of taxpayers and their
children. The AFT alone collected $211 million a year in dues during its 2010-2011 fiscal year
(most of it by force from the very teachers whose interests they proclaim to represent), while the far-larger
NEA pulled in $397 million during its 2009-2010 fiscal year period. ... When one adds in the revenues
collected by their affiliates, the two unions are billion-dollar organizations with budgets that match their
Boosting Teacher Morale One Reheated Casserole at a Time. Virtually no state is immune to the
red ink found in school budgets, which is a result of routine overspending. For too long, schools have
not kept spending in check. ... The nation's economy has been slipping for the past several years, forcing
school districts everywhere to reacquaint themselves with reality. Meanwhile, the unions believe they
have a restraining order against reality, and have taken to what they do best: protesting.
What if the NFL
Played by Teachers' Rules? Imagine the National Football League in an alternate reality.
Each player's salary is based on how long he's been in the league. It's about tenure, not talent.
The same scale is used for every player, no matter whether he's an All-Pro quarterback or the last man on the
roster. For every year a player's been in this NFL, he gets a bump in pay. ... If you haven't figured
it out yet, the NFL in this alternate reality is the real-life American public education system.
Lipstick on a Union
Pig. For some strange reason, some union activists prefer their organizations be referred to as
"associations," as opposed to unions. That's odd, given that the National Education Association has grabbed
the union mantle with both hands, and the American Federation of Teachers adopted the slogan "A union of
professionals." ... There's nothing professional about the NEA or AFT. They have never cared much about
teacher quality until recently, when they realized that politicians from both parties are demanding it.
Third Teachers' Union Bailout Fund Obama's Re-Election? By my estimates, about three
quarters of unionized teachers are represented by the National Education Association. Every
member pays dues, including $166 per year that goes to the national union, according to a secret
union document posted on PublicSchoolSpending.com. The White House says up to 285,000 teaching
jobs — that is, dues payers — could be saved. Given these facts, the
NEA would be looking at about $35.4 million in "saved" dues.
A secret primer
from the teachers union on how to thwart parents and stop charter schools. Almost without fail,
teachers unions respond to school reform drives by declaring their commitment to improving education collaboratively
with parents and community leaders. In one example, the United Federation of Teachers used just such an argument
in fighting in the courts of public opinion and law to block the city from closing 22 failing schools.
Now, though, an internal report produced by the political shop of the Connecticut chapter of the American
Federation of Teachers reveals the cynical falsity of the labor leaders' claims to have the best interests
of students at heart.
group endorses Obama for 2nd term. The nation's largest teachers union voted on Monday [7/4/2011]
to recommend that President Barack Obama be elected for another term. The vote from National Education
Association delegates at a meeting in Chicago was 72.03 percent, a bit down from the last time the NEA
recommended Obama in 2008, when the "yes" vote was 79.75 percent.
Price: $10 Tax for Union Teachers. It's just the latest example of far-left union reps fleecing
hard-working teachers by aligning themselves against teachers', kids' and parents' interests, in a quest for
power, money and greed. As former NEA president Bob Chase said "[The NEA has] used our power to block
uncomfortable changes, to protect the narrow interest of its members, and not to advance the interests of
students and school."
NEA convention, mixed feelings among teachers for Obama. When her union endorsed Barack Obama
for president in 2008, retired Montgomery County teacher Jane Stern wrote checks to his campaign and spent
hours calling voters in swing states to support a Democrat she though would stand strong for public schools
and break from a federal education policy of "testing, testing, testing." Three years later, all the
standardized tests are still there.
coming teacher-union offensive. Already, national political fundraising machines are beginning
to hum and sputter toward early targets in their quest to break another election cycle's worth of spending
records. ... Along with its state affiliates, the NEA took in $1.5 billion in revenue in 2008-09, the
Education Intelligence Agency notes. Nearly all of this revenue came from member dues, and most of
the war chest will be spent seeking to increase spending and to block those school reforms deemed most
threatening to union clout.
Teachers, Untrained Substitutes. About 5.2 percent of teachers miss any given school day,
many more than in our peer countries. In Australia and Great Britain, for example, the figure is near
3 percent. The rate is also much lower among other professional employees in the U.S., around
1.7 percent. Teachers most often miss Mondays, Fridays, and the days surrounding
holidays — a pattern that suggests illness is not the main cause for their absences.
education, Hoosier-style. This year, Indiana lawmakers made dramatic improvements to the state's
K-12 education system to empower teachers and principals, put students on a path to success, use taxpayer money
more effectively and provide families with new schooling options. One of those acts reformed collective
bargaining so that only school employees' wages and benefits can be negotiated. No more will school leaders
be hamstrung by such inane contractual provisions as "faculty meetings are limited to one per month."
union: $60 million for reelect. The National Education Association, the largest education
union, is preparing for a long, tough fight to re-elect President Obama. In an interview with
POLITICO, the group's executive director, John Wilson, said he's prepared to invest resources and manpower
to reelect Obama, despite disagreements with the administration on education policy.
Trumps Wisconsin: Kills Teacher Collective Bargaining. Dead. To fix public schools, you have
to control public schools. And there's little control when teachers unions, with their self-serving
agendas, question every cost-cutting proposal and reform on the table. That's why so many state
governments have taken swift action to limit the power of organized labor in public schools.
Check" Used To Unionize Unsuspecting Mass. Teachers. Now we know why unionists were fighting so
hard for a federal "card check" law. Organizers can unionize private and public employees, forcing them
to pay hundreds in union dues, before they even know anything about it. That's the situation at the
Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School in Orleans, Massachusetts.
NAACP vs. Black
Parents. The New York state chapter of the civil rights organization and the United Federation
of Teachers, the local teachers union, have filed a lawsuit to stop the city from closing 22 of Gotham's
worst schools. ... The teachers union wants to keep these abysmal schools open to preserve jobs for their
members. This is bad enough. But the union and NAACP also want to limit better educational
options for low-income families who can't afford private schools and can't afford to move to an affluent
neighborhood with decent public schools. The union knows that in a place like New York City, where
space is at a premium, blocking charters from operating in public buildings will hamper charter growth.
Don't Believe What Teachers Tell
You. Teachers unions say California must not roll back annual increases in public school spending.
And they're not too careful about facts when they make that case. Teachers frequently claim, for example,
that California is in either 49th or 50th place among the 50 states in per-pupil spending. In fact,
the Golden State is 31st in per-pupil spending.
Antiques Preserved in Political Amber. Politicians defer to the teachers' unions; it's
national news when one doesn't. The unions protect the teachers from both competition and hard work and
all dig in their heels to prevent change to the system; it therefore plugs on unaltered. Anyone paying
attention knows that though many changes are discussed, only one change actually occurs: increased
spending. The mass production of brainwashed incompetence chugs on unimpeded.
Pays Off With Obama Teachers Union Endorsement. [Scroll down] In other words, teachers
unions want more spending, through government grants or collective bargaining, so they can increase their
salaries and get more lucrative benefits. Very little money is directed toward increasing opportunities
for students. It's simply used to reward thousands of teachers who are not getting the job done in the
classroom. The stimulus has not stimulated American education at all. But it's stimulated the
bank accounts of teachers unions, and that's really all they care about.
Union Takes First Step Toward Endorsing Obama 2012. The National Education Association — which
represents 3.2 million teachers and education professionals across the country — took its first step
Thursday [5/5/2011] toward endorsing Barack Obama for president in 2012, TPM has learned. The NEA is the country's
largest union, and the news makes it the first to signal formal support for Obama's reelection bid.
The 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
Unionized Teachers: Quit Yer Bellyachin'. Thousands of union protesters from around the country
converged on [Madison, Wisconsin] in an effort to intimidate and stop Gov. Scott Walker and his allies from
passing a bill that would not only balance the state budget, but allow schools and municipalities to dramatically
cut labor costs. Unionized teachers have been at the head of the line to complain loudly that the public
is "ungrateful" for their work. They speak of being "demoralized" and "undervalued." Poor souls.
If the private sector has it so good, go join it and see for yourself.
Pay as Union Chickens Come Home to Roost. Several months ago, Education Action Group published
a scathing exposé on the Wisconsin Education Association Council-affiliated WEA Trust, a union-contrived
insurance entity that is forced upon the majority of Wisconsin schools during collective bargaining negotiations.
It is difficult to determine the extent to which the union benefits from this cozy arrangement, but judging by a
similar set-up in Michigan, the union is likely doing very nicely.
Pet. The widow of a slain police officer wants to know why the California Federation of Teachers
has taken up the cause of the man convicted of murdering her husband in cold blood.
Teachers support cop-killer.
Between negotiating for more benefits and teaching their students, the California Federation of Teachers has
adopted a resolution of support for convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Teachers' Mumia Abu-Jamal Resolution Out of Sync
Morally and Historically. What is it about cop killers that incites almost religious devotion
from radicals? The California Federation of Teachers (CFT) passed a resolution at its most recent
convention claiming that "the continued unjust incarceration of Mumia Abu-Jamal represents a threat to the
civil rights of all people." Thirty years ago, Abu-Jamal took away Philadelphia policeman Daniel
Faulkner's foremost civil right: his life. How obtuse of the CFT to disregard "the threat to
the civil rights of all people" represented by someone capable of gunning down a man tasked with protecting
governor assails teachers union. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey said it would be an
"obscenity" to not take on the teachers union, which is protecting "lousy" educators as he seeks to
overhaul tenure and improve student performance. The education union is "universally self-interested,"
Christie, a first-term Republican, said during a speech yesterday [4/7/2011] in New York. Good teachers do not need
unions, he said. "They're there to protect the lousy ones so they continue to pay their dues every year."
Sweatshops And Classrooms: To compare, as some have done and are doing, the plight of
workers in the garment district in 1911 with the issues du jour facing public workers is beyond
ludicrous. ... Are the classrooms of America akin to "sweatshops" of old (or in many countries today)?
Do schoolteachers and other public employees face the same dehumanizing conditions as immigrant workers
before World War I? Do the deaths of 20 workers on an inadequate and overburdened fire
escape in 1911 compare to the "plight" of public school teachers in Wisconsin who receive over $50,000 in
annual salary, full medical coverage, and ten weeks off in the summer?
System Has 'Managed Well' Without Teacher Unions, Governor Says. Virginia's Republican Gov.
Bob McDonnell said his state has "managed well" without teacher's unions. "We banned public sector
bargaining 20 years ago in Virginia," McDonnell said on Tuesday [3/22/2011]. "If you're a manager,
you take care of your people, you motivate them, you make sure they're compensated well, you treat people
fairly — I think that's the right approach in the public or private sector, and really it
kind of minimizes the need for a union," he said.
School Teachers and Unions are Failing Children and Bankrupting America. Corruption,
greed, incompetence, bureaucratic bungling: Those are the things most likely to be found when
the charade of public union outrage is peeled back to reveal the inner workings of collective bargaining.
There is no doubt America is engaged in an ideological battle. On one side are the public sector
unions and "workers" demanding the taxpayers cough up more to fund their fat paychecks and bloated
pensions. On the other side are the majority of Americans who work in the private sector, fund
their own retirements and health care, and have no entitlement programs they haven't designed
themselves. The public sector is asking for more blood while the private sector is beaten
unconscious and bleeding from every major artery.
Let's hear it for the
'working class' teachers of Illinois! There has always been the unwritten understanding that working
for the taxpayer as a teacher involved sacrifices. Teachers would measure their value to society based on how
many young minds they were able to reach, how much they were admired by the community, and how much personal
satisfaction they received from the teaching. The job was largely its own reward — at least,
that's the way it used to be. Now, teachers are just another bunch of special pleaders, grasping for as
much as they can get from the taxpayer regardless of their performance.
Dance of the
Tenured Lemons. Teacher tenure is considered holy gospel in most of America's public schools.
But this policy does nothing for children, and tends to protect teachers who don't necessarily deserve
job security. Why is it we never hear stories about tenure protecting "good" teachers instead of
helping "bad" ones?
Reasons Unions Are Bad For America. Every few years, it's the same old story. The teachers'
unions claim that public education in this country is dramatically underfunded and if they just had more money,
they could turn it around. Taxpayer money then pours into our schools like a waterfall and....there's no
improvement. A few years later, when people have forgotten the last spending spree on education, the
process is repeated.
Unions on the Ropes. The teachers' unions are on the ropes. So is the whole idea of
tenure. Let's keep pushing until "We the People" are in control of how we spend our money educating
our children; letting the unions decide for us the past 30 years hasn't been working.
Unions 101: "A" is for "Agitation". If public school teachers spent more time teaching in classrooms
and less time community-organizing in political war rooms, maybe taxpayers wouldn't feel as ripped off as they do.
Before the Big Labor bosses start complaining about "teacher-bashing," let's be clear: An increasing number of
rank-and-file teachers feel exactly the same way.
for Superman' Director Feeling Heat from Teachers Unions. Needless to say, [Davis] Guggenheim's
film did not play well with the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers.
They set up websites to attack his film. They dispatched high profile speakers around the country to fight
back. And they cheered when Guggenheim was snubbed out of a nomination for another Oscar. I have
first-hand experience of how vicious the left's attacks can get, so I can only imagine how they treated one
of their own who had dared to step out of line.
A Union Education.
The raucous Wisconsin debate over collective bargaining may be ugly at times, but it has been worth it for
the splendid public education. For the first time in decades, Americans have been asked to look under
the government hood at the causes of runaway spending. What they are discovering is the monopoly power
of government unions that have long been on a collision course with taxpayers. Though it arrived in
Madison first, this crack-up was inevitable.
U.S. Public Education. [Scroll down] The Wisconsin Education Association Council leads the
pack of lobbyists, spending two times as much and five times the amount of time as its closest lobbying competitor
in order to buy, bribe and bamboozle legislators to do as it wants. What also chaps my hide is that a
gigantic chunk of the WEAC's gangster money and time is used to lobby against alternative choices in schools
(including charter schools) and against tuition tax credit programs, which aid parents in sending their children
to private schools. The fact is that teachers union-sponsored protests spreading the land are not
primarily about the teachers or the students. They are about the unions and feds maintaining their
Mafia-style rule over education and our kids and preventing people from choosing educational alternatives.
Teachers' Unions are on the Ropes. They were marching in Madison. And they'll be on a
street in a state capitol near you in the coming weeks and months. The teachers' unions are on the
ropes, and they know it. They know that public opinion has shifted, and the public mood has shifted
with it. And they know why. The people now know all about the racket the teachers' unions and
other public employee unions have been running for the past twenty years.
paid to do union business and miss class. The [New York City] Department of Education pays
about 1,500 teachers for time they spend on union activities — and pays other teachers to
replace them in the classroom. It's a sweetheart deal that costs taxpayers an extra $9 million a
year to pay fill-ins for instructors who are sprung — at full pay — to carry out
responsibilities for the United Federation of Teachers.
unions are out of step with students needs, financial realities. [Scroll down] But are
union leaders really doing the right thing for kids? They are often against alternative teacher
credentialing and flexibility in hiring and firing teachers, which allow for better recruitment and retention
of highly effective teachers. They support reforms like smaller classrooms, which have not been shown
to make significant improvements to student performance. Teachers unions want more money and smaller
classrooms and usually blame social issues like poverty as the main culprit in preventing educational
attainment. Vouchers are vehemently opposed by the teachers unions. ... Even Democratic Los Angeles
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called the local teachers union the "one unwavering roadblock to reform."
UFT spends millions on dinners, parties, parking, coffee.
As nearly 5,000 city teachers face the ax, their union shells out millions of dollars on feasting, boozing and
partying, the Daily News has learned. Free-spending United Federation of Teachers brass last year spent
nearly $1.4 million for the UFT's 50th anniversary gala at the Hilton — complete with a movie,
a book and a paperweight.
teachers union chief trying to skip out on his restaurant tab. Cops booted an unruly group of
city teachers union officials from a posh Albany eatery after they caused a ruckus over their dinner tab,
the Daily News has learned. ... The union's political and legislative director set off the fracas — claiming
the quail he was served, and finished, wasn't large enough — sources said.
and Unions: Foes to Educational Reform. Do you think it's just a coincidence that
the two largest teachers unions, the National Education Association and the American Federation
of Teachers, are the largest campaign contributors in the nation — $55 million in
just the past two years, more than the Teamsters, the National Rifle Association or any other
organization — and that 90 percent of those contributions fund only Democratic candidates?
It's the Teachers, Stupid!
Unionized teachers outnumber other government workers and run the schools in every state; why do we keep on
accepting their decades of miserable results? A careless airline pilot, a lazy waitress, a crash-prone
cabdriver, an unproductive salesman, an innumerate cashier will all have to find other work; poor teachers keep
teaching and receiving raises as years go by and kids don't learn. Of course; they, with their unions,
run the show.
Failure: Detroit Public Schools. Few school districts in America rival the dire condition
of Detroit Public Schools: staggering dropout rates, functionally-illiterate high school graduates, a
dysfunctional school board and a sea of red ink. Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb has been
trying to fix the city's public schools which are historically awful. At times, it seems that he is
the only one trying to fix a school system that is failing its students. The Detroit Federation of
Teachers has consistently called for Bobb's removal. The radical socialist group, By Any Means
Necessary, makes every effort to stir up racial division and strife. One of BAMN's leaders was nearly
elected president of the teachers union, which shows how radical the union has become.
Spending on education has increased more rapidly in the past two years than any sector other than
alternative energy. Yet the president reports that America continues to fall behind its
competitors. There is no measurable evidence that Obama's injection of funds has had any effect
other than to enrich teachers' unions, which are then able to contribute to the political campaigns
of Democratic candidates. Obama's call for more spending on education is nothing more than another
payoff for his political constituency.
seniority" rules are harmful to American education. Since the 1960s, the National
Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) have used their massive
campaign war chests — they spent some $59.3 million in the 2009-10 election cycle alone — and
collective-bargaining power to insulate teachers from the kinds of performance management found in the
private sector. For Baby Boomers, who account for 26 percent of the nation's teachers, the
deals are especially sweet.
Special Interest: Blocking School Choice. A new spate of documentaries and media
coverage have all centered on the role teachers unions play in blocking necessary change and
innovation in public schools. At this point in the national discourse, a majority of
Americans are convinced that our education system is in crisis and are looking for someone or
something to blame. Unfortunately for effective teachers across America, the finger has
been pointed in the wrong direction. It is the teachers unions — the NEA and the
AFT — that are largely responsible for a system that is failing far too many of our
children, especially those trapped in the inner cities.
Obama Forget About the Teachers Union? When Obama started to speak about the need to
improve education, upgrade our schools and attract quality teachers, an elephant appeared in the
living rooms of most Americans who were watching. Obama never mentioned the beast, but most
of the country saw clearly the three letters on his back — AFT. American Federation
of Teachers — the union that, along with its counterpart, the NEA, National Education
Association, has destroyed public education in America. How can we take seriously any proposal
to improve schools that does not deal with the force that has dragged them down — the
Film Documents Unions' Destruction of Public Education. "Kids Aren't Cars" is a new short film
series set for release February 1st. Using examples from the Midwest, it documents the impact organized
labor has had on the American education system, creating a one-size-fits-all assembly line model that leaves
students behind and treats teachers equally, stifling innovation and improvement.
Union Claims Member's Scalp. The Grand Rapids Education Association, a local affiliate of
Michigan's largest teachers' union, is attempting to pick off one-by-one 90-some members that have refused
to pay their dues. About 18 months ago, the school board voted to no longer deduct dues from
employees' paychecks, which meant union members had to physically write a check to the union. Many
saw it as their opportunity to protest the obnoxious behavior of union leaders during a previous contract
negotiation period. The union president, Paul Helder, was particularly pompous during negotiations,
claiming the union was fighting a "war on terrorism."
to Link Teacher Tenure to Results. Illinois lawmakers are considering sweeping legislation that
would link teacher tenure to student test scores, make it easier to fire ineffective teachers and curb teachers'
right to strike. The measure, debated during a Senate panel hearing Monday, moves Illinois to the
forefront of states' efforts to hold teachers more accountable for student performance, while taking on
the powerful teacher unions, which often oppose such changes.
diverging from unions. As the late president of the American Federation of Teachers, Albert
Shanker, so honestly put it, "When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that's when I'll start representing
the interests of schoolchildren." Until they do, Mr. Villaraigosa's call on UTLA leaders to drop their
opposition to his administration's reform efforts and join him in making Los Angeles' public schools better is
likely to continue falling on deaf ears. Likewise, government employee unions exist to represent the
interests of their members, not taxpayers.
Child Molesting Teacher Can't Be Fired Thanks
to Union. In 1997 a Brooklyn teacher was accused of attempting to molest a sixth-grade girl at
PS 138. As it happened, he admitted the behavior, but no criminal charges were filed when all was
said and done. Still one would think the fact that he inappropriately fondled a teen should be enough
to get him fired from his teaching position. But then again, in New York you can't even fire a child
molester if he happens to be a teachers union member.
Teachers, Then and Now.
[Scroll down] Thomas Lifson recently wrote [an article] about the enormous salaries of teachers in Illinois, a state where
14,000 teachers make more than $100,000 a year. Do you think such well paid public employees could chip
in 2 percent to help those less fortunate than themselves, people who are their neighbors? Or has
the habit of having the government administer aid sapped them of their charitable inclinations?
The good life on
36 weeks a year of work. Champion News has just published data on the top teacher salaries in
Illinois, making it clear that unionization has enabled a massive raid on the taxpayers' funds. Teaching
can be a noble profession, but many of these teachers are cleaning up like bandits for a 9-month work year.
In all, over 14,000 teachers in this one state make more than 100,000 a year in salary. When you add in
pension, health care, and other benefits (15 days a year of sick leave, payable upon retirement if not
used), which can add another 40% or more to salary, these teachers are doing much better than most college
professors and many doctors.
Chris Christie blasts teachers' unions (again). In his 50-minute speech on education reform — one
of Christie's most passionate topics — the governor left no room to question how he feels about teachers' unions,
most specifically the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA). In short: he doesn't like them.
The War on Conservative Teachers.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is having considerable success in its drive to organize American
college and university faculty members. Often the Union is able to gain a toehold at a university by
organizing a portion of the faculty. The Union will hold multiple elections, and after each vote it
loses winnow out those segments of the faculty who voted against having to join a union, until it comes up
with a subset of the faculty who vote to turn the university into a Union Shop.
Unions Not Representative of Teachers' Changing Views. The unions have done a masterful job at
branding teachers and their unions as essentially the same. This could not be further from the truth.
The fact is that there are hundreds of thousands of teachers who are not members of the teacher unions and do not
support the unions or their positions.
teachers unions in question. A nationwide school reform movement with bipartisan support has
collided head-on with unions over three ideas that labor has long resisted: expansion of charter schools,
the introduction of merit pay for teachers and the use of student test scores in teacher evaluations.
Even the long-held protections and prerogatives conferred by seniority and tenure no longer seem sacrosanct.
Mutually Assured Destruction.
Congressional Democrats angered centrist school reformers, MoveOn.org-style progressives, and other party activists
in August when they voted to ladle $10 billion in federal subsidies to school districts in order to stave
off layoffs of 160,000 teachers. In turn, the National Education Association and the American Federation
of Teachers poured more than $40 million of their hefty campaign war chests (including more than $15 million
by the NEA in the last weeks of the election season alone) to help the Democrats keep full control of Congress.
It didn't work.
De-Unionize Public Schools now.
[Scroll down] Both kids were high school drop-outs — but both had stayed in school until they
reached the tenth grade before doing so. How deficient were these boys? Totally, unambiguously,
shockingly deficient. Where was I forced to begin their re-education? With the alphabet.
That's right. Neither of these kids knew their ABCs, despite sitting in classrooms until they were fifteen
years old. Nor did either of them have the slightest clue about money. They couldn't distinguish
the difference between a one dollar bill or a ten dollar bill. "How do you know you're not getting ripped
off when you go shopping?" I asked one. "I bring my girlfriend with me," he replied.
Jersey Governor Chris Christie responds to O'Keefe video. New Jersey Republican Governor Chris
Christie's spokesperson responded to videos conservative activist James O'Keefe released Monday [10/25/2010] apparently
showing unionized educators at a New Jersey Education Association conference attacking the governor and his
policies in crude language. ... In the video, the unionized teachers also appear to boast about how it's
almost impossible to fire tenured teachers, even those who make racist remarks to students.
Teachers Fight Release
of Data. The New York City teachers union is fighting the release of data that tries to gauge the
effectiveness of 12,000 of its members, saying the measuring system is too flawed to make teachers' names public.
The city Department of Education was set to release the data Wednesday, spurred by public-records requests from
news organizations, including The Wall Street Journal. But the United Federation of Teachers threatened
a lawsuit, and the DOE delayed its plans.
sides with union in Chicago teacher layoffs. In a blow to the Chicago Public Schools, a federal
judge on Monday [10/4/2010] sided with the Chicago Teachers Union by ruling that last summer's layoffs of more
than 700 tenured teachers was handled improperly. The decision by U.S. District Judge David Coar follows
a months-long battle between the union and district officials over the termination of teachers who are
typically protected by their union contract.
strikes. It's the film the teachers unions don't want you to see. The revelatory
documentary "Waiting for 'Superman'" opened Friday [9/24/2010] to parents' cheers — and union
howls. The film follows five families trying desperately to escape failing traditional public schools in
favor of charter schools — and it profiles education reformers rebuilding a national school system
that's in ruins. The unions panned the flick, naturally: It exposes how they drag kids down into
the swamp, spotlighting how bad teachers are passed from school to school and how all-but-automatic tenure
allows even the worst teachers to stay on the job.
Superman' fuels parents' furor at broken schools, union. It's class warfare! Fed-up
parents and teachers who saw the explosive education documentary "Waiting for 'Superman'" yesterday were
left either seething or in tears — and calling for revolutionary change after the film's Big
Apple debut. "The passing along of children through the system is just disgusting," said Barbara
Levinson, 63, who was crying by the film's end. "Every child should be treated as an individual."
Viewers were also rocked by the work's portrayal of the teachers unions' protection of subpar educators.
Greatest Failure? [Scroll down] Is there another major area of American public policy that
is more screwed up and more completely the fault of one ideological side? Which party do the teachers'
unions support overwhelmingly? What is the ideological outlook of the bureaucrats at the Department of
Education? Which party claims it "cares" more about education and demagogues any attempt by the other
party to reform it? Who has controlled the large inner city school systems for generations?
The Department of Education — Who Needs
it? To the horror of some members of the media a couple of Republican candidates including Nevada's
Sharon Angle are pledging that if elected they will fight to abolish the Department of Education. From the
howls from the media and the nation's long-coddled educrats you'd think the candidates were proposing to close
all of America's primary and secondary schools and fire the teachers ... It seems obvious that the principal
function of the DOE has nothing to do with improving the quality of public education and everything to do with
doing the bidding of the nation's powerful teacher's unions and supporting politicians such as Mr. Obama.
The myth of the underpaid teacher.
"One of the most consistent complaints among teachers is that they don't get paid enough," CNNMoney.com
reports. Of course, that's the perception of educators. And the popular culture. The
Hollywood version of the overworked, underpaid teacher is the mother's milk of the teachers' unions.
"Low teacher pay comes at a high cost for schools and kids," the National Education Association declares
on its website as if it's discussing a law of physics.
Who Can't Teach Still Do. Public school teachers are unhappy with the growing campaign to grade
their performance. They shouldn't be. It's almost impossible to fire a union teacher, even those who
are profoundly incompetent.
Association Selling its Saul. The National Education Association (NEA), the U.S.'s largest
labor union, is promoting communism to the millions of American public school teachers it represents.
Teachers who are influenced by their union's efforts are more likely to indoctrinate American children into
communism. For the past several months, the NEA website has recommended that its members read books by
communist sympathizer Saul Alinsky. And, for a time, the website listed October 1 as a day for
teachers and students to celebrate the anniversary of the Communist takeover of China by Mao Zedong.
Tells Community Organizers 'Read Saul Alinsky'. President Barack Obama started his political
career as a community organizer in Chicago. Apparently, the National Education Association intends to
train more community organizers to grab political power by recommending on its official website for them to
read 'Rules for Radicals,' by Saul Alinsky. Mr. Obama appears to have closely followed Mr. Alinsky's
guidebook for seizing power.
Garden Thorn. Public school employment, the Cato Institute reported in its @ Liberty blog,
has increased 10 times faster than public school enrollment since 1970 — and the result has
been stagnant test scores. Despite these facts, Democrats continue to funnel money into teachers'
pockets, rewarding them for a job poorly done. And the party is getting a rich return. Democrats
are heavily supported by teachers union money — the top two teachers unions make 95% of their
political donations to Democrats, according to opensecrets.org — and union members' votes.
fairy tales from Obamaland. [Obama, Reid and Pelosi] spun two new fantasies just this week.
The first was that without the latest Obama-Reid-Pelosi government bailout, at least 100,000 teachers would lose
their jobs this fall. ... [But] the vast majority of those dire warnings of 100,000 teachers being laid off
were mostly just hot air. And here's something else to ponder: If it cost $10 billion to save
100,000 teachers' jobs, they are each being paid $100,000 a year. Since the national average teacher salary
is just over $54,000 a year, somebody — federal bureaucrats? — is making a bundle on
Putting Government First. Where
a man's purse is, there his heart will be also. If you would know where the heart of the Obama party
is today, consider. In the dog days of August, with temperatures in D.C. rising above 100, Nancy
Pelosi called the House back to Washington to enact legislation that could not wait until September.
Purpose: Vote $26 billion to prevent layoffs of state, municipal and county employees whose own
governments had decided they had to be let go if they were to meet their constitutional duty to balance
a jobs bill but a special interest bill. According to the Washington, D.C.-based Labor Union
Report, the National Education Association in 2009 "raked in a whopping $355,334,165 in 'dues and agency
fees' from (mostly) teachers around the country." It spent close to $11 million more than it took
in — $50 million of which union leaders poured into "political activities and lobbying" for exclusively
left-wing and Democratic partisan causes and candidates. Its primary mission? No, not educational
excellence. Not "the children." Political self-preservation.
Bailing Out Teachers.
Democrats on Capitol Hill are literally taking food out of the mouths of the most needy to pay back their political
cronies. Today, the House will vote on the infamous Bill with No Name, H.R. 1586 (originally the
FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act), which contains a $26.1 billion bailout
for financially strapped state governments. Much of the money will go to public employee unions, in the
form of a $10 billion "Education Jobs Fund" to supplement state education costs. This comes on top
of a $53.5 billion bailout of unionized teachers in the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund — some
of which is still unspent.
Stimulating the unions.
As President Obama's poll numbers continue to slide, congressional Democrats faced with increasingly tough
re-election contests are turning to their best remaining friend, Big Labor, for help. Tuesday's [8/10/2010]
enactment of a $26 billion "jobs bill" was carefully tailored to please public-sector unions,
especially those representing teachers.
Union Votes With Food Stamps. In an election year in which Democratic majorities in both
houses of Congress are threatened, no price is too high for extra votes — even if it means
taking from the poor.
Left's Special Interest Human Shields. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi deserves a swift rap on the
knuckles for hiding underneath the desk of the American schoolteacher. In a cynical ploy to evade accountability
for the Democrats' continued fiscal recklessness, Pelosi accused opponents of the $26 billion public
employee union bailout bill of "demeaning" teachers — and nurses, police officers and firefighters.
Pelosi took great offense at Republican leaders who called out the Big Labor special interests pushing the
emergency summer rescue. But if they walk, talk, spend and lobby like special interests, let's call
them what they are.
unions cash in at expense of food stamp recipients. House members return to Washington this week
for a special session that will include a vote on a $26.1 billion spending package intended partially to keep
states from laying off teachers, a move some critics have called a "bailout for teachers unions." The Senate
last week passed their own version of the bill, which cuts $12 billion beginning in 2014 from the Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance, or "food stamps," program to help make the measure deficit neutral. Anti-hunger
advocates and conservatives alike decried the move.
Latest Shenanigans. What does diversity mean to you? Same-sex marriage? Building
a giant mosque on the 9/11 spot in New York? Elena Kagan on the Supreme Court? To the largest
teachers union, the National Education Association (NEA), diversity means celebrating the anniversary of
the Communist takeover of China by Mao Zedong. The NEA posted this on its website calendar as a
diversity event for Oct. 1.
Educrat Funds, Dumbed-down Standards. Consider the teachers in Seattle, for example. According
to a study by the Washington Policy Center: Teachers in Seattle receive an average of $70,850 for a 10-month
year, plus $9,855 in benefits. Teachers can earn up to $88,463, or $98,318 including benefits. Educational
staff associates are paid an average of $76,339 for a 10-month year, or $86,194 including benefits. It
is mandatory for teachers to pay union dues or an equivalent. Seattle District officials transfer about
$290,000 per month in education funds to union accounts in the form of dues. Over the course of a year,
about $3.2 million is forwarded to the Seattle teachers' union.
Marine: Union bullying me
to pay $500. A retired U.S. Marine who runs a high school ROTC program in Worcester says he
faces the boot for refusing to pay local union dues, leaving the 58-year-old father of two crying foul and
school administrators bewildered.
over $10 billion for teachers delays Afghanistan war money. [Scroll down] At issue is
the $22 billion in additional spending that the House added to the Senate bill on July 1, including
$10 billion to hire teachers or prevent widespread teacher layoffs this fall, $5 billion to cover
an expected shortfall in Pell grants for college students, and $700 million for border security.
Obey vs. the White HouseRep. David Obey (D) of Wisconsin, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee,
initially proposed $23 billion for teachers. But he had to pare it back to $10 billion after
protests from fiscal conservatives in the House Democratic caucus.
Your Child's Teacher Stinks, and What You Can Do About It. There are certain professions that
carry an implicit mandate, one that goes beyond performing the required duties of that profession. A
social contract exists in these specialized lines of works that requires the performer to place the needs to
those he serves above his own. Police officers, soldiers, and firemen are three such professions.
There is a fourth, but this profession's mandate has been corrupted by union greed and politics.
I speak of the Teacher, especially the teacher of the American high school and university.
Teachers Unions shaking down kids to pay their exorbitant salaries.
A mother in New Jersey got a rude surprise from her child recently: ["]I am looking for your
opinions and insights based upon a very distressing situation my youngest daughter brought to my attention
last week involving a school fundraiser. As both she and the letter she handed me stated, my daughter
was to accomplish chores around the house with the goal of being paid by me for those chores the sum of $20.
She would then have to hand the full $20 over to the school to make up for the shortfall in their overall
Murdering America. [Scroll
sown] There are other government worker's unions such as the teacher's unions that exert political
power in money, campaign manpower, and votes. The teacher's unions have largely failed their mission
to impart the most basic skills, leaving American students behind their counterparts in other nations.
Their health and pension benefits, well in excess of the private sector, are a massive drain on the public
treasuries of state governments.
Journalists Finally Getting Over their Pro-Teacher-Union Fetish? Let's face it. From
the 2004 New York Yankees to that statue of Saddam Hussein, most of us get a kick out of seeing the mighty
fall. And that's essentially what's happening to teachers' unions all over this nation. For all
the good they did when they were first formed 50 to 75 years ago, teachers' unions have devolved into
opponents of meaningful educational reform. Teaching is steady work and in most states the pay is now
about the same as a mid-level manager in business, but the profession requires substantially fewer days of
work per year.
$23b — Lifeline or Bailout? Education Secretary Arne Duncan is asking lawmakers to
put aside "politics and ideology" as they consider a request for $23 billion in "emergency" funding for
public schools — a measure Republicans reject as a massive federal bailout for the teachers'
public 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.
Here's Another $23 Billion
Bailout That You May Have Missed. It didn't get much attention, but this week The White House
announced its support for a bailout of one of the President's most important constituent groups: public
school teachers (teachers unions, basically). A post on The White House blog (via ABC News) late
Wednesday evening [5/12/2010] announced that it was time for "bold action" to save teachers' jobs.
abusive public employees can't get fired. Some of the most stunning articles I've read in a long
while were in the Los Angeles Times' 2009 investigative series, "Failure gets a pass," which documents the near
impossibility of firing unionized public school teachers in the massive Los Angeles Unified School District —
even those teachers credibly accused of sexually molesting or harassing their students.
goes after charter school supporters. The New York State AFL-CIO is targeting two of the Legislature's
staunchest charter school supporters — Sens. Jeff Klein of the Bronx and Craig Johnson of Nassau —
claiming they're anti-union. The 2.5 million member union umbrella group blitzed the two senator's
districts today with flyers accusing them of "siding with big corporations and against teachers and students"
by voting for a bill last week to expand charter schools "with no real reform."
has tainted schools. "They don't want another voice in the room," Mr. Horowitz said. "The
teacher unions and the Democratic Party have a monopoly on the public school systems. ... Teachers get paid for
showing up. No one in the world gets paid for showing up." And, he continued, "the kids fail and
there's no incentive to teach." The nation's capital is a microcosm of that comment. The Washington
Teachers Union has consistently rejected attempts to hold teachers accountable for undereducated students for
two decades. All the while, D.C. students in traditional schools have been stuck on the lower rungs of
the regional and national academic ladders.
Cat California Teachers Union Misses the Education Mark. The California Fair Political Practices
Commission released a report last week detailing the fifteen most influential special interest groups in the
state. Over the course of the last ten years, these fifteen groups — consisting of unions,
Indian tribes, and corporations — spent over $1 billion on lobbying, candidates, ballot
measures, and other political activities. ... But among the top fifteen big spenders, one special interest
group particularly stands out: the California Teachers Association.
California Teacher Union Rallies Around Bad Ideas.
The California Teachers Association (CTA), the state's largest teachers union and National Education Association
affiliate, organized a statewide rally of teachers and students on March 4 to protest education spending
cuts. The CTA's "solution" indicates it is out of touch with economic and educational reality.
How Teachers Are Poisoning Our Children.
On their official web-site, the NEA is currently promoting the radical anti-establishment doctrines of Saul
Alinsky. The NEA is actively, and openly, advocating the overthrow of capitalism, free enterprise, and
conservative (read that, pro-American) values. The NEA is recommending that teachers familiarize themselves
with Saul Alinsky's books "Reveille for Radicals," and "Rules for Radicals." They then can then pass the
seditious information on to their students — our children.
NEA Website Promotes Communist Guide Books
for the Violent Overthrow of the U.S. Government. The NEA's recommended reading list includes
two books by Brother O mentor and communist community organizer Saul Alinsky that advocate the violent
overthrow of the U.S. government. The Democrat-controlled teachers' union praises Alinsky's Reveille
for Radicals and Rules for Radicals as "an inspiration to anyone contemplating action in their community!
And to every organizer!"
Them All' At Central Falls High. If you've ever taken a look at the shoddy excuse that passes for
"education" in our public schools, and ever thought that the solution might just be to "fire 'em all," then you'll
love Rhode Island's State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist: "It was her [Gist's] Jan. 11 order to
overhaul the state's six lowest-performing schools that triggered the chain of events leading to last week's decision
to fire the entire teaching staff at Central Falls High School, effective at the end of the school year."
this what they mean by 'it's for the children'? Students in San Francisco public schools
are being organized by their unionized teachers to protest cuts in tax-supported education budgets,
according to SFPublicPress. "On Thursday [3/4/2010], San Francisco public school students as young as five
will get a real-life learning experience about civic engagement — through protest.
Students from kindergarten through college plan to convene at Market and Powell streets in the late
afternoon to protest cuts to public education during a coordinated political action called the Rally
for California's Future."
through to unions. It's amazing what a mass of pink slips can do to make a teachers union see the
light — especially when the layoffs are publicly hailed by the president of the United States.
On Monday [3/1/2010], President Obama endorsed the decision by Rhode Island's smallest, poorest city to fire the
entire unionized faculty of its notoriously underperforming high school.
Sector Unions Tarnish the Golden State. Last week, teachers in the San Francisco area planned
to take their students out of school in order to attend a protest about proposed cuts in education spending.
According to a piece in the SF Public Press, children as young as five years old were slated to attend under
the auspices of their schools, until the superintendent quashed the idea because of safety concerns.
Aside from the disturbing specter of children being used as political props by their teachers, the spectacle
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.
The Teachers' Unions
that Stole Christmas. As Christmas grows closer, the hopes of thousands of D.C. schoolchildren and
their families are appearing dimmer and dimmer, and no one is celebrating more than the teachers' unions.
Congress's failure to reauthorize the federally-funded D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), which has
provided more than 3,300 schoolchildren scholarships to attend private schools of their choice in the District
of Columbia, has proven fatal. The program could end even earlier than expected.
mentality a cancer in Detroit. Detroit is not bankrupt — not officially,
anyway. But it may as well be. The former mayor, forced to resign in disgrace, is back in
court to defend his spending practices. A member of his inner circle cops to a bribery charge,
auguring more to come. The city is borrowing money to pay its bills. Public schools
students deliver the worst performance in the 40-year history of a national standardized test, even
as teachers angrily denounce proposals to inject accountability into their next contract.
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.
Myth that Liberals Care About Education: Actually, educating our kids comes last
to the Left — behind indoctrinating students and supporting their political allies in the
teachers' unions. This is why the Left has supported laughable nonsense like teaching
Ebonics and bilingual education programs. It's also why the Left opposes vouchers and
even merit pay for good teachers — because the teachers' unions don't want the sad
sacks in their ranks to look bad by comparison. Liberals love to talk about education, but
education in what? Global warming? Gay marriage? Self-esteem
exercises — or reading, writing, arithmetic, science, and history?
Teachers strikes are
different. [Scroll down] If you're shutting down schools, you'd better have good reason.
A reason that's morally unassailable. "We want fewer meetings" doesn't cut it. The Kent teachers
say they're forced to have too many staff meetings. Fair enough. (One minute of meetings is too
many for me.) The teachers want to limit these staff and training meetings to two 60-minute sessions
per month. The administrators want four per month. Two versus four. Really, Kent teachers
and administrators? You've shut down a district of 27,000 students over this?
The NEA's Latest Trick. Public school
teachers are supposed to teach kids to read, so it would be nice if their unions could master the same skill. In a
recent letter to Senators, the National Education Association claims Washington, D.C.'s Opportunity Scholarships aren't
working, ignoring a recent evaluation showing the opposite. "The DC voucher pilot program, which is set to expire
this year, has been a failure," the NEA's letter fibs. "Over its five year span, the pilot program has yielded no
evidence of positive impact on student achievement." That must be news to the voucher students who are reading
almost a half-grade level ahead of their peers.
How's that attack on
capitalism working out for teacher unions? A number of reports are making their way into the press
about how various teachers' unions are being hurt by the drop in the stock market. It is realistic to assume
that the leaders and many, though not all, members of the teachers' unions are liberal Democrat Obama supporters.
So, let us see how it is going for them.
to Five:' A scam to help teachers union. Next to universal health care, President Obama's top
domestic goal is government financed pre-school for all three- and four-year-olds, regardless of family income.
Obama promised his supporters at the National Education Association that he will spend billions on his "Zero to Five"
early childhood education initiative, while assuring taxpayers of a $10 return for every dollar spent on the
program. ... What "Zero to Five" is likely to do is drive small, privately-owned pre-schools out of business in order to
create more jobs for NEA members — who will be the real beneficiaries of this latest educational scam.
Torture in America's Schools. At
a public school in West Virginia, a 4-year-old girl with cerebral palsy and autism "was 'uncooperative,' so teachers
restrained her in a chair with multiple leather straps that resembled a 'miniature electric chair.'" The girl was
later diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder. "At least one of the three teachers responsible" is still at
the school. At a Texas public school, a 230-pound "special education teacher" placed a 129-pound boy of 14 "into a
prone restraint and lay on top of him because he would not stay seated." The student died. The case was
ruled a homicide but no charges were filed. The teacher "currently teaches in Virginia and is licensed to
instruct children with disabilities."
Trump Students In Arizona. State laws that prohibit school boards from giving money to private
educational institutions are now the reason disabled kids in Arizona can no longer attend specialized classes
that meet their needs. A unanimous Arizona Supreme Court ruling on Wednesday [3/25/2009] held that
vouchers were illegal in their state, and the children who used them to attend private, specialized schools
can no longer do so.
Buy A City Council. Eyebrows shot up last week when teachers-union operatives handed out pre-printed
questions for City Council members to ask at a hearing. But the UFT was merely calling in an IOU. As
Chuck Bennett reported in yesterday's Post, the United Federation of Teachers paid good money for those council
members. And the union expects value for its cash.
in Bid to Expel Union. Charter-school teachers to their union: Butt out. The
educators, at two city charter schools, have filed for permission from the state to cut their ties with the
United Federation of Teachers. The action, at KIPP Academy in The Bronx and KIPP Infinity in Manhattan,
came after the UFT recently tried to meddle in the schools' business without consulting the staff first,
teachers at both schools told The [New York] Post.
California's Hefty Union Dues.
Jobs are fleeing the Golden State, where unemployment has spiked well above 10%. Taxes are soaring, and a new
budget shortfall of $8 billion, following the $42 billion gap that was patched up earlier this year,
could hike them even more. But California is still not a bad place to be — that is, as long
as you have a secure job (which most are) on the public payroll. According to the latest salary survey
by the American Federation of Teachers, California teachers are the highest paid in the nation.
tale of card check. One reason so many parents want their children in charter schools is precisely
because they operate free of union contracts, so that when administrators want to try something new, they can
implement it quickly. For this, charter schools are fiercely resented by teachers unions as a competitor
to failing public schools. Charter schools use a merit system, rewarding teachers according to results in the
classroom. They don't have complicated work rules that smother creativity, nor are they burdened with
termination rules that make it almost impossible to dismiss an incompetent teacher.
There is no hope in Obama. In
the last election, unions spent $450 million to elect candidates who favor their agenda. They have succeeded
beyond the dreams of avarice. The federal government is now virtually the empire of Big Labor. Especially
gleeful are the teachers' unions, who helped elect a president explicitly and vociferously opposed to vouchers. Even
as America's students have dropped to their lowest level on standardized tests compared to students internationally, and
even as drop-out rates soar past the 50 percent mark in most of the largest urban school districts, President-elect
Barack Obama has shown contempt for school choice — even as he exercised school choice in enrolling his own
children in the most expensive and exclusive private prep school in Washington, D.C.
On the other hand... Obama takes on teachers' unions.
After weeks of pleasing Democrats by overturning policies set by the previous administration, President Barack
Obama Tuesday for the first time confronted a powerful constituency in his own party: teachers' unions.
Obama proposed spending additional money on effective teachers in up to 150 additional school districts,
fulfilling a campaign promise that once earned him boos from members of the National Education Association.
NEA Teachers Have Become
Re-Educators. NEA resolutions cover the waterfront of all sorts of political issues that
have nothing to do with improving education for schoolchildren, such as supporting statehood for the District
of Columbia, a "single-payer health care plan" (i.e., government run), gun control ... The NEA fiercely opposes
any competition for public schools, such as vouchers, tuition tax credits, parental option plans or public support
of any kind to nonpublic schools. The NEA strongly opposes designating English as our official language even
though such a designation is supported by more than 80% of Americans.
NEA, the labor union
for teachers. Surprisingly and sadly, many parents, perhaps many teachers, are unaware
of the political agenda of the National Education Association, to which some 2.7 million public
school teachers belong. NEA is a labor union despite its self-characterization as a professional
association for teacher training and educational goals.
union label: Back in February, I wrote in this space about Senate Bill 73. Sponsored
by a freshman Democrat, Sen. Chris Romer, it would have required Colorado public schools to adopt competency
in the English language as a graduation requirement for high school students starting in 2012. The
merits of this are so obvious, it's a sad commentary on our public schools that such legislation would even
be necessary. But remarkably, the knee-jerk reaction to Romer's bill by Democrats who represent the
interests of the teachers' unions in the state legislature was nothing short of scorn.
NEA Dues & Don'ts: It
is not the job of the NEA to issue mandates on social and moral issues. To do so is a misuse of members'
dues and a misrepresentation of teachers' views.
Change Our Public Schools Need.
Democrats are fervent supporters of public education, and the party genuinely wants to help disadvantaged kids
stuck in bad schools. But it resists bold action. It is immobilized. Impotent. The explanation
lies in its longstanding alliance with the teachers' unions — which, with more than three million members,
tons of money and legions of activists, are among the most powerful groups in American politics. The
Democrats benefit enormously from all this firepower, and they know what they need to do to keep it. They
need to stay inside the box.
Politics: Each year, NEA members pay into a "Ballot Measure/Legislative Crises Fund" that allows
the union to spend tens of millions of dollars on all manner of state and national political issues. Mike
Antonucci of the Education Intelligence Agency reports that during the current fiscal year the NEA sent
the Hawaii State Teachers Association $20,000 to conduct polling on a state constitutional convention. It
sent the Massachusetts Teachers Association $60,000 to oppose a state income-tax repeal. And it sent the
Florida Education Association $200,000 to oppose property-tax cuts in the Sunshine State.
shortchange teachers. In 28 states, a teacher is essentially forced to join a costly union.
A typical teacher in Southern California, where I teach, pays $922 every year to his or her local, which then
sends $611 of that amount to the state affiliate, the California Teachers Assn., or CTA, and $140 to the national
affiliate, the National Education Assn., or NEA. (One has to wonder, if the unions are so beneficial, why do
teachers need to be forced to join and to fork over such hefty dues in most states?) And just what are all
of these forced dues spent on? Untold millions go to political causes, whether a teacher agrees with the
cause or not.
Abolish the Department of Education.
The U.S. Department of Education, created as a political payoff to the National Education Association by former
President Jimmy Carter, is a sewer for taxpayers' money and ought to be abolished outright. Since then,
although a few politicians — notably former President Ronald Reagan — have paid sporadic
lip service to abolishing this useless organization, most have pushed for additions to its
budget in order to curry favor with NEA members at election time.
Obama: Part III. The education situation in Obama's home base of Chicago is one of the
worst in the nation for the children — and one of the best for the unionized teachers. Fewer
than one-third of Chicago's high-school juniors meet the statewide standards on tests. Only 6 percent
of the youngsters who enter Chicago high schools become college graduates by the time they are 25 years
old. The problem is not money: Chicago spends more than $10,000 per student.
The Real Issues:
Part IV. [Senator Obama] is 100 percent behind the teachers' unions in their fight to
preserve their grip on the public schools and exempt their members from being judged by performance instead
of seniority — which is to say, he is throwing the students, and especially minority students, to
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.
Reviled, Merit Pay Gains Among Teachers. For years, the unionized teaching profession opposed
few ideas more vehemently than merit pay, but those objections appear to be eroding as school districts in
dozens of states experiment with plans that compensate teachers partly based on classroom performance.
NEA lists its goals and the Democratic Party agrees. Some critics complain that the issue of
education has been conspicuously absent from presidential television debates. But Democratic presidential
candidates did sound off with their pro-federal government, pro-spending policies at the annual convention of
the National Education Association, and the nation's largest teachers union liked what they heard.
American Education Fails Because It
Isn't Education. Every American should understand that these three items:
higher pay, smaller classrooms and more money for schools are the specific agenda of the
National Education Association (NEA). The NEA is not a professional organization for
teachers. It is a labor union and its sole job is to get more money into the education
system, and more pay for its members. It also seeks to make work easier for its
members — smaller classrooms. Clearly the NEA is not about education — it's
about money and a political agenda.
Paige on Unions, and a Primer for
Reporters. Reporters newly assigned to cover an "education beat" are often woefully
unprepared for the job because they do not understand the ins and outs of "the most powerful
[force] in public education today" — teacher unions — or the "single biggest
influence on what happens in schools" — the teachers union contract.
What is the Teacher Unions'
Real Agenda with Your Children? Many non-governmental organizations have been influential in the
orgy of spending tax money to corrupt education, for their selfish interests, while claiming the pure motive
of helping our children acquire quality education. The two most powerful of these are the American
Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.
California: Giving Home-Schoolers
the Shaft. There are still excellent public school teachers out there, but mediocre ones are increasing and so
are the downright terrible ones, thanks to teachers' union protection. They may be happy now, but California's decision
on home-schooling will touch off a firestorm the unions are going to regret.
The Union War on the No Child Left Behind Act. To
the NEA and other change-resistant teachers' unions, accountability and transparency are not worthy goals. They are
nefarious plots to embarrass and shame bad teachers. Union leaders are generally unwilling to admit that not all
teachers are great at what they do. That isn't true in any other profession, and cannot possibly be true in
NEA Allies Itself With Far Left Groups. The
National Education Association is getting in bed with far-left groups like MoveOn.org, ACORN, and Campaign for America's
Future to launch a new campaign called "National Mobilization for Great Public Schools." This "coalition certainly
isn't about any new policy directions," says Capital Research Center's David Hogberg in an article in the American Spectator
Online. Rather, the "purpose of the coalition is mobilizing the grassroots to pressure politicians to spend more money
on public education." The NEA seems unconcerned that they are allying themselves with the far left for this campaign.
NEA Gives Liberally ($12 million) to Advocacy Groups.
Groups receiving funding include:
ACORN — $218,452
Amnesty International — $7,500
Citizens for Education — $2,316,000
NAACP — $56,500
National Council of La Raza — $14,700
People for the American Way — $275,000
Sierra Club — $50,000
The Teachers Unions' Fight for Universal Preschool.
The National Education Association (NEA) wants the state to control most or all preschool programs as a boon to public education
and to the union's membership. Universal preschool is part of the NEA's broader strategy to increase public school work
hours at all levels of education, using the dubious argument that more time in school ensures a better education.
wins fight on where to donate union dues. Vancouver teacher Susan Wiggs may donate her
union dues to Shared Hope International, after all, the state Public Employment Relations Commission
has ruled. The Vancouver Public Schools teachers union has appealed the decision. Wiggs, a
teacher at Jason Lee Middle School, has been embroiled in a two-year dispute with the teachers union about
where to direct her dues. Two years ago, Wiggs withdrew from the union as a religious objector.
Teachers and EFF Win Unanimous
Victory at U.S. Supreme Court. The cases are the culmination of a decade's worth of work by
concerned teachers and the Evergreen Freedom Foundation (EFF), a Washington state think tank. The
Court's ruling could potentially affect millions of union-represented workers nationwide.
NEA Moves Even Further from Mainstream at Annual
Convention. Sissy Jochmann, a second-grade teacher in Pittsburgh, took issue with non-educational
recommendations adopted by the NEA Board of Directors — such as incorporating sexual orientation and
gender identity in teacher education standards; enhancing gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT)
partnerships; expanding the union's GLBT Web page; and supporting federal hate crimes legislation. 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."
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,
oppose the 2014 deadline of No Child act. As Congress prepares to renew the controversial
No Child Left Behind Education Act, California teachers announced Wednesday their intention to try and
gut its core: the requirement that every student score at grade level by 2014. … They were sponsored
by the California Teachers Association.
union sues Ohio. The state's largest teachers union sued the state over its charter school program
on Friday [3/23/2007], saying it lacks proper oversight and takes needed money from traditional public schools.
Court Ruling May Force NEA
Disclosures. State affiliates of the National Education Association may be required to disclose
details of their operations, including financial information such as income and expenses, salaries and
benefits, and election rules, according to a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, DC.
court: Justice Clarence Thomas stayed mum, as usual, but all eight of his colleagues got into the
act two weeks ago when the Supreme Court heard argument in the case of a teachers union. When oral argument
ended at noon, most observers probably thought the union's luck had run out with the clock, but these things are
tough to call.
The NEA Keeps Tilting to the Left.
NEA resolutions promote the gay rights agenda in public school curricula by demanding funds to alleviate
"sexual orientation discrimination," to use multicultural education to reduce "homophobia," and even to
put "diversity-based curricula" and "bias-free screening devices in early childhood education." Another
resolution demands that schools hire "a diverse teaching staff." But the NEA certainly doesn't believe in
diversity when it comes to schools. The NEA is positively paranoid about any kind of competition, passing
resolutions against voucher plans, tuition tax credits, parental option or choice plans, sectarian schools,
for-profit schools, distance learning, and home schooling.
Is Obama Another Elitist Limousine
Leftist? The left in America pretends to care about poor people, but many of them seem more interested
in serving the interests of powerful lobbies such as trial lawyers and teacher unions. The education issue
is a great example. Leftists such as Ted Kennedy and Al Gore have been fierce opponents of school
choice and other proposals to reduce the power of the government education monopoly. Yet they send their
children to private schools.
NEA Seeks Peace Academy,
College, Citizenship for Illegal Aliens. Some of the almost 10,000 members of the National Education
Association (NEA) attending the teachers union's annual conference this week in the nation's capital spoke out on the
issues they hope their lobbyists will fight for during next year's legislative session ... Susie Jablinske, a first
grade teacher at Central Elementary School in Edgewater, Md., said children who are in the country
illegally should have the same educational rights as American children.
Teachers cheer, boo Obama.
Barack Obama got a few boos Saturday [7/5/2008] when he told the National Education Association convention in Washington he
supports merit pay.
enlists teachers union in fight for his education plan. Trying to convert teachers into a
political force behind his new business tax plan, Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Saturday fired up the Illinois
Education Association for a brutal fight in the Legislature. "It will be Armageddon, but we are on the
side of the Lord and we will prevail," Blagojevich told more than 1,200 cheering delegates at the IEA's annual
meeting in suburban Chicago.
[If a Republican had said that, the Democrats would be howling about
Wake-Me-Up-When-Class-is-Over Governor. Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, politically in debt
to the teachers' unions, is attempting to eviscerate his state's successful school reforms and its independent
board of education. His drive to ensure that No Teacher-Union Hack Is Left Behind has serious implications
for public-school choice nationally. Can Democrats who are committed to school reform summon the political
will to sustain it in the face of union opposition?
NEA Conventioneers Promote
Gay Agenda. For the past dozen years, NEA resolutions have each year adopted more and more of the
gay rights agenda. Whereas, gay rights goals such as same-sex marriage are steadily losing at the polls
(20 states have passed state constitutional amendments restricting marriage to a man and a woman), the gay
rights agenda is moving ahead full speed in the public schools, with assistance from the NEA.
NEA opposes the use of IDs in order
to vote. The [NEA] convention approved Legislative Amendment 6 to oppose the use of
voter ID in U.S. elections. However, in order to vote in NEA elections held during the convention,
delegates were required to show photo ID. Apparently it's more important to prevent voter fraud in an
election for the NEA Board of Directors than in an election for U.S. President or Members of Congress.
Follies and Failures of the National
Education Association: The largest teachers union, the National Education Association (NEA), held
its annual convention this summer in Los Angeles displaying its usual favoritism toward the gays and the
feminists, hostility to parents, and support of liberal causes. The badges worn by the delegates
included messages bashing President Bush and supporting gays and lesbians.
curious case of NEA priorities: The toughest question was undoubtedly the first one: where
do we start, when it comes to fixing America's schools? Well, they figured it out. And, really,
faced with so many incredible challenges, their priority makes sense. This is, after all, the NEA.
They know the classroom. They know the teachers. They know the real challenges of education. Which
is why their elected leaders decided that, before anything else, the first thing our teachers have to do
is win popular support for homosexual "marriage."
When Teachers Flunk, They Sue. By
requiring minority teacher applicants to pass a basic competency test, the Board of Education of New York City
may have discriminated against them, a federal court of appeals has ruled. The test measures their
mastery of basic college material, including science, math, history, and the arts, as well as written
communication skills in an essay. To pass, applicants must answer about 66 percent of the questions
correctly and score at least 60 percent on the essay. The applicants demonstrated their scores on
the examination were consistently lower than white applicants, the court stated. "Between 1993 and 1999,
the average pass rate for white test takers ranged from 91% to 94%, while the average pass rate for African
American candidates ranged from 51% to 62%, and the average pass rates for Latino candidates ranged from 47%
to 55%," the court stated. All of the minority applicants "tended" to do the worst on the essay section
of the test, according to the court.
California Law Changes the Rules for Bad
Teachers. It can take years to fire a bad teacher. So some principals don't even bother
trying. Instead, they make a deal. The principal asks the teacher to look for a job elsewhere in
the district. In exchange, the teacher gets a good evaluation. Now here's the rub. Since
there's plenty of competition for plum jobs at affluent schools, the bad teacher gets funneled to a
struggling school serving a needy population.
Riley says AEA leader is political. [Alabama Gov. Bob] Riley says Alabama Education Association
Secretary Paul Hubbert is opposing his plan because he is also vice chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party
and not out of concern for the teachers he represents. "You can't be vice chairman of the Democratic Party
and totally support the Democratic agenda and then say it's not political," Riley said Friday [8/4/2006].
Union Adopts Positions on Iraq, Lebanon Wars. Just weeks after the National Education Association
came under fire for adopting a controversial resolution that critics said didn't apply to public education,
another teachers union has adopted resolutions opposing the war in Iraq, supporting Israel in its struggle
against Hizballah and opposing Wal-Mart.
teachers: Teacher certification in most states has been a joke for years. In the
District of Columbia, for example, teachers can be certified by scoring barely above the 20th percentile
on the Praxis test, an exam used by 29 states to test who is fit to teach. The other states aren't
much better, granting certification to teachers so long as they score above the bottom third of all test
takers. Yet the National Education Association, the largest union in the nation, has fought tougher
standards all the way.
Washington Teachers Union Scandal:
For years, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) failed to protect the members of its subsidiary, the
Washington (District of Columbia) Teachers Union. And according to a March 2003 AFT publication, WTU
president Barbara Bullock — along with a small group of co-conspirators — bilked
$5 million from the union between 1995 and 2002. That amounts to $1,000 per member stolen,
laundered, or used for the personal expenses of union officials.
Approves Pro-Homosexual Resolution. The nation's largest teachers' union voted to amend its
resolutions Wednesday [7/5/2006] to include support for homosexual "marriage." The amendment, which
met with harsh criticism from conservative family groups, passed with little resistance from delegates.
Orwell in Orlando, as the NEA Constructs
Fascist, Anti-Child Policies. Child-damaging, teacher-centered discussions and policy formation
transpired at the NEA's annual convention, defying reason, morality and constitutionality. … The word
"tolerance" will be replaced by "acceptance and respect" in current NEA policies, including those covering
"gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered" behaviors, orientations, etc. among students, teachers and
staff. So the concept of cross-dressing third graders must now be "respected."
Union Investments Deliver Poor
Returns, High Fees. Public school teachers might want to recalculate the money they stand
to collect on their 403(b) plans when they retire. That's assuming, of course, the money will be
there. In a lengthy expose in its April 25 edition, the Los Angeles Times revealed
how cozy relationships between teacher union officials and investment companies result in retirement
plans that charge unusually high fees but deliver below-average returns.
The Union Label on the Ballot Box: From
their origins in the 19th century until the present day, school boards have been regarded as shining examples
of local democracy, the keystone that links public education to ordinary citizens. But this is one of
the enduring myths of American folklore. The reality is that, while some 96 percent of school
boards are elected (according to data collected by Frederick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute), these
elections are usually low-turnout, low-interest affairs in which the vast majority of ordinary citizens play
no role at all.
Profile of the National Education
Association. Lavish salaries for union staff, and vast sums of money spent on a radical
political agenda, demonstrate the wide gap between this union's leaders and the teachers they claim to
represent. The American Federation of Teachers reports that the average U.S. teacher's salary was
below $46,000 in 2002-2003. But [NEA president Reg] Weaver's salary was $439,000 last year, and
more than half of the NEA's 600-person staff took home more than $100,000 in compensation, according
to analysis from The Wall Street Journal.
Connecticut Public Employees Live On Easy
Street. Connecticut's teacher-retirement fund has a $5 billion gap between assets and
liabilities. The unfunded liability for all state employees is $7 billion. Unlike
the use-it-or-lose-it policy of the private sector, it is common for unused sick and vacation days
to be "purchased" by Connecticut's government entities when employees retire.
union loses its force in storm's wake. When the Orleans Parish School Board gathered last
month and voted to fire virtually the entire work force of 7,500 teachers, custodians, bus drivers and
kitchen staff, union brass might have been expected to clamor loudly in opposition. Instead, but
for one or two nonunion gadflies who spieled and sat down, you could practically hear the crickets.
Unions fight to
protect the nightmare. The unions use their clout to fight against the interests of the best
teachers. Union leaders make sure the teachers who work hardest don't get raises or bonuses.
Everyone with the same seniority and credentials must be paid the same. That guarantees that no
teacher will take home a dime for making extra sure that students learn.
How Republicans Get Teacher Union
Endorsements: When a teachers' union endorses a Republican in a major race, or at
least fails to endorse a Democrat, it is newsworthy. The unions themselves claim otherwise,
cleaving adamantly to the focus-group-tested, talking-point-sanctioned line that they choose
candidates not according to party, but according to their pro-public education track
records. Since this topic arises so often, I thought it prudent to simply list
the four circumstances under which a teachers' union will endorse and/or financially
support a Republican running for major office.
Seek High Court Ruling on Dues for Politics. Numerous conservative groups are asking the U.S.
Supreme Court to reinstate a Washington state law that requires unions to get permission from non-union
employees before spending their mandatory dues on political causes and activities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
little tidbit of totalitarianism. The Oklahoma Education Association … wants to
silence citizens petitioning to place an initiative on the ballot. … Sure, I know that's too
strong a word. It's just that squelching speech and strong-arming people to prevent the free
exercise of individual rights are the hallmarks of totalitarianism.
Class-Action Lawsuit Pending Against
California Teacher Union. While a class-action lawsuit against the California Teachers
Association (CTA) was pending, a U.S. District Court judge on October 6 refused to temporarily
freeze funds the union seized from teachers statewide without due process in order to fight
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and several measures on the November 8 special-election ballot.
Power Motivates Unions. Some
wonder why the teacher unions, long so fervently opposed to charter schools, are now aggressively trying
to recruit their teachers.
Look for the Union Label. American
workers are forced to fund political activities they disagree with. Like virtually all national labor
unions in America, the NEA devotes a huge portion of its manpower and money to political action. But it
also serves as the collective bargaining representative for a large group of public employees. So its
particular political action is aimed at hand-picking the taxpayers' representatives too — and thus
controlling both sides of the negotiating table.
These are your
teachers? The National Education Association recently concluded its annual meeting in Los
Angeles — and you might be surprised what the largest teachers' union in America talked about
and decided. … The state of public education in American today is not exactly state of the
art. You might think falling test scores, higher drop-out rates, and functional illiteracy of
graduates — despite ever increasing taxpayer commitments — would be causes for
concern and debate at a forum like this. You would be wrong.
Union Fights Governor, Wants More Spending and Power. What is the
substance of the schools funding debate? Including all sources of education
spending, the governor has proposed spending $10,084 per student for 2005-2006. …
Mind you, all of this is for a system that, according to the National Education
Association website, pays its teachers the most in America. California teachers
are paid an average of $58,287 a year, 25% above the national average.
The 65 percent
solution: The 65 Percent Solution solves the misallocation of resources, but
there is scant evidence that increasing financial inputs will, by itself, increase a school's
cognitive outputs. Or that a small reduction in class sizes accomplishes much. Or that
adding thousands of new teachers would do as much good as firing thousands of tenured
incompetents. However, firing a bad teacher is, according to a California official,
less a choice than a career — figure two years of struggle and $200,000 in legal
costs. That is why in a recent five-year period only 62 of California's 220,000
tenured teachers were dismissed.
Paying teachers to
teach. Study after study shows the quality of teaching is paramount to student achievement. Next
to parents, teachers are the most important factors in determining a student's academic success. Yet, instead of
rewarding our best teachers and removing the poor ones, we cling to an antiquated, bureaucratic compensation model
that is flawed at its core.
Aha! Where Do Public
School Teachers Send Their Kids to School? Public school teachers in urban areas
are far more likely than city residents in general to send their children to private schools,
according to a new analysis of 2000 Census data by researchers led by Denis P. Doyle, who
previously analyzed 1980 and 1990 Census data. While just 12.2 percent of U.S.
families send their children to private schools, that figure rises to 17.5 percent among
urban families in general and to 21.5 percent among urban public school
teachers, almost twice the national average.
Must This Teacher Teacher
Be Fired? Albert Einstein revolutionized Physics, Alan Turing helped invent
computer science and Richard Feynman won the Nobel Prize in Physics while maintaining
a reputation as the best science teacher of his generation. … None
of these individuals, according to the state licensing board, would
be qualified to teach in an Oregon public school.
and think: Part III. No special interest group within the Democratic
party has as much influence — domination might be a better word — as
the teachers' unions. The top priority of the National Education Association and the
American Federation of Teachers is their members' jobs. … Parents may think that public
schools exist to educate their children but, to the teachers' unions, these schools exist
to provide their members with jobs, with iron-class tenure, and with pay increases based
on seniority, not performance. If maintaining that status quo means sacrificing the
education of a whole generation of young blacks, the teachers' unions will do it.
NEA's Lobbying Agenda: The NEA's lobbying goals for public
schools include federal funding for public school child care, early childhood
programs that are school-based, before- and after-school programs, big spending
for school counselors, school-based health care for children, and of course
increased federal spending for education. The NEA's non-education-related
lobbying goals include funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, a national
universal health care system, reparations to African Americans, statehood for the
District of Columbia, taxpayer funding of federal elections, and a national
holiday for Cesar Chavez.
News: Disputed Elections and Missing Funds. The Washington
Teachers Union and United Teachers of Dade (Florida), currently under administration
by the American Federation of Teachers, are enduring accusations of vote fraud by
losing candidates for the office of president in elections designed to allow the
two unions to undertake local self-rule.
Texas Teachers Learn
to Cheat: A loophole in the law allows them to pay as little as $3 in Social
Security taxes and receive Social Security benefits worth about $5,200 a year for the rest
of their lives. How can teachers expect their students to behave honorably if they
intend to cheat the Social Security system to get more benefits than they deserve?
Labor Union Masks Motives Behind Teacher
Facade. Why do top teacher union officials, like NEA President Reg Weaver, describe
themselves as "classroom teachers" rather than union representatives? The annual Harris Poll provides
a ready answer: Teachers are regarded by almost half of the American public as belonging to an occupation
of "very great prestige," whereas only 15 percent regard union leaders that way. The teacher union
has been so successful in downplaying its identity as a labor union that a survey of members of the Alabama
Education Association in 2000 showed only 19 percent regarded the NEA as a union, with an overwhelming
77 percent saying it was "a professional association."
New Slogan: No Teacher Left Behind. The traditional greeting at the Democratic
National Convention is, "Where do you teach?" On rare occasions, the greeting is modified
to, "Where does your husband teach?" or "Where does your gay lover teach?" (Democrats
could save a lot of money by holding the Democratic National Convention and the National
Education Association Convention at the same time.)
John Kerry sells out to big
education. The National Education Association, the nation's largest professional employee
organization, is fundamentally opposed to any education reform that seeks to hold public schools accountable
for their failures. On July 3, it will hold its national convention in Washington, D.C. That's
when the association is expected to endorse John Kerry for president. Along with the endorsement will
come thousands of votes from teachers across the country.
NEA. The District of Columbia cell of the Communist Party USA has been revealed
as holding a monthly luncheon in the cafeteria of the National Education Association (NEA),
without the sponsorship but not with the disapproval of the huge, politically powerful
unions get active. School's out, but the nation's teacher unions will be
working overtime this summer to help elect John Kerry president.
Other Teacher Union
News: In March , more than half of Philadelphia's middle school teachers
failed their content exams for certification as "highly qualified" teachers. Nearly
two of every three teachers who took the math exam failed it, though one teacher who
achieved a perfect score said the test "mostly included seventh- and eighth-grade math
and touched on high school math."
Democrats: About 28 percent of the delegates and alternates to the
Democratic convention were members of the AFL-CIO or the National Education
Association. This is unrepresentative of the population of the whole — only
about 15 percent of the work force belongs to unions. Nor is it representative
of union members themselves, many of whom have been forced to join unions against
their will to hold a job. While the labor leadership is almost unanimously
Democratic, 40 percent of union voters supported the GOP in 1994.
The Gathering: You
may be under the impression that teachers teach because they are "called in life" to help
build a better society. Hearing this suggestion, one union representative said, "That
is only for public distribution." They put up with these undisciplined,
uncontrollable [illegitimates] for the money.
Oklahoma Teacher Salaries Compare Favorably to
Other States: In May 2003 the National Education Association reported Oklahoma is "47th in the
nation in public school teacher pay." Unfortunately, Oklahoma's efforts on behalf of elementary and
secondary school teachers are rarely put into proper perspective. When differences in tax burden, living
costs, employee benefits, and working conditions are taken into account, Oklahoma teacher salaries actually
compare favorably to teacher salaries in other states, as well as to salaries of other workers in Oklahoma.
The Education Costa
Nostra: Since the job of unions is to accumulate leverage and money, they've fought President
Bush and Rod Paige on every meaningful education reform they've proposed.
ACLJ Letter to
the National Education Association: The purpose of this letter is to
formally object to your recommendations to parents and teachers regarding the anniversary
of the terrorist attacks of one year ago included on your "Remember September 11th"
website. In particular, we take issue with your advice for parents and
teachers: "Do not suggest any group is responsible." The problem with this
advice is that there is a group responsible, and we know who that group is - an
organization of radical Islamic terrorists called al-Qaeda. By advising
teachers not to suggest that any group is responsible, you both shortchange our children's
education and risk undermining our nation's effort to eradicate terrorists and prevent
further terrorist attacks.
education against all odds: Teachers unions recoil from accountability and
resent evidence that all is not well, or that whatever is wrong cannot be cured by
increased funding of current practices. But per-pupil spending, adjusted for
inflation, is three times what it was 40 years ago, and the pupil-teacher ratio is
40 percent lower, yet reading scores are essentially unchanged.
confirms spending audits: The National Education Association has confirmed
that the Labor Department as well as the Internal Revenue Service are investigating whether
the 2.7 million-member school union properly reported millions of dollars in political
Unions: Are the Schools Run for Them? Public education is the most
expensive "gift" that most Americans will ever receive. Government school
systems are increasingly coercive and abusive both of parents and students. Government
schools in hundreds of cities, towns, and counties have been effectively taken over by
unions, and children are increasingly exploited, thwarted, and stymied for the
benefit of organized labor.
"for the children": When corporate moguls get nabbed for ripping off
shareholders, the media go ape-wild. Last year's front-page headlines were filled
with Big Business scandals and barrels of op-ed indignation about capitalist greed. But
when teachers' union officials plunder their members' coffers in Enronic proportions, the
media go ... AWOL.
IRS Audits Nation's Top Teachers'
Union. The IRS is auditing the nation's largest teachers union, scrutinizing an organization
that works energetically to elect candidates but files tax returns reporting zero political expenditures
from member dues.
the NEA. The Internal Revenue Service is auditing the nation's largest
teachers union — one that works energetically to elect candidates, lobbies the Congress
on legislation, but files tax returns reporting zero political expenditures from member dues.
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.
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.
State Think Tank Takes on the NEA: This past April, , the Evergreen
Freedom Foundation sued the National Education Association (NEA) for illegally using
member dues to influence state electoral politics.
looters liberals ignore: Peter Jennings and the New York Times couldn't
get enough of the looting stories out of Iraq. But they couldn't care less about
a massive, systematic looting scheme here at home that is robbing America's schoolchildren
and rank-and-file teachers blind.
unions: [I]t is insufficient that the public schools should
be public. More to the point is that they should teach.
Gary, Indiana, cancels
school amid strike. Officials on Thursday [8/24/2006] indefinitely canceled classes citywide
after teachers, striking for a fourth day, blocked streets and swarmed a car attempting to park at an
elementary school. Two picketers were slightly hurt as the car rolled through the crowd.
Teacher strikes are illegal and poorly
timed: Even if teacher strikes were legal (they are not), the timing of the union's latest demands
(cost-of-living increases plus ten percent and expanded health benefits) is poor and unprofessional.
education establishment: According to The Washington Times
and D.C. Watch, the FBI, IRS,
Department of Labor and the D.C. Inspector General's Office have been looking into
suspected criminal conduct by officers of the Washington Teachers Union.
Christian Educator Perturbed by NEA's
Post-Sept. 11 Stance: Dr. Robert Simonds, president of the National Association of Christian
Educators, says American schoolchildren should be warned about the severe threat that Islam poses to their
country. "We are at war with the Muslims. We are at war with right and wrong. We are at war
with evil. And we are war with that Islamic religion because that's the religion that specifically names
the Jew and the Christians to be destroyed," Simonds says. "So how can anybody say that it's not going
to harm our children?"
Terrorism? NEA-linked article says not to "suggest any group is responsible"
for 9-11 attacks.
disarmament: The National Education Association has weighed in with
suggestions to guide teachers on the first anniversary of the terror attacks. "Do not
suggest," the NEA advises, "that any group is responsible. Do not repeat the speculations
of others, including newscasters. Blaming … is especially difficult in terrorist
situations because someone is at fault." Well, yes, someone is always at fault. And
unless those "someones" are right-wing radio hosts, liberals just hate to see them
blamed for anything.
collect 8 times teacher pay: A public-policy think tank says the leadership
of the National Education Association, the country's top teachers' union, is so far
removed from ordinary classroom environments they can no longer relate to the tasks
facing working-class teachers.
NEA: Let the Indoctrination Begin! The one-year anniversary of the
September 11 attacks is only weeks away, and the National Education Association
is all revved up and ready to help public school teachers indoctrinate
malleable young minds.
Some of the NEA Resolutions Passed at 2002 Convention in Dallas:
[The NEA] "believes that closed public school buildings should be sold or leased only to those organizations
that do not provide direct educational services to students and/or are not in direct competition with
public schools." [This shows that the NEA is protecting its education monopoly and
Decoding the (1999) NEA
Resolutions: Because so many NEA resolutions are written in a jargon that obscures
their real purpose, here is a glossary to explain what some terms really mean.
Slapped With $800,000 Fine for Misappropriating Union Dues: The
National Education Association is crying foul play after a Washington state
judge slapped the country's largest teachers union with an $800,000 fine for failing
to show up for court on charges that it was illegally spending members' dues on politics.
Evergreen Freedom Foundation President Bob Williams testified June 20 in front of
Congress that the NEA's treatment of members "may be the last institutionalized
civil rights violation remaining in our nation."
Called the Shots on Democrats' Agenda: A complaint, filed with the
Internal Revenue Service on July 20,  alleges not only that the NEA extensively
coordinated campaign activities with the Democratic National Committee but also — despite
reporting zero spending for political activities — that the teacher union used millions of
dollars of tax-exempt funds for political purposes.
Carolina Concerned About Teacher's Union: The more-than-cozy
relationship between the North Carolina Association of Educators
and the Democratic Party should be a matter of concern for the
parents of this state's youngsters. One problem, of course, is
that the NCAE and the National Education Association have consistently
adopted positions on social and political issues which
are far to the left of mainstream.
Pro-Family Leaders Continue to Rip National
Educators' Union: The NEA's guidelines for commemorating the September 11 terrorist attacks have
been called "outrageous," "un-American," "pro-terrorist," and "treasonist" by critics. The suggestions
that no individual or group be blamed for the attack — and that America is to blame — have
been subjected to harsh criticism.
schools? Don't make me laugh! As parents prepare to send their children
back to school, more and more of them at some point discover that their local school board has
no control whatever over what is taught in their schools. They discover that the schools
are controlled by a combination of the teacher's unions and the federal government.
and the School Fraud: Over two thousand years ago, Socrates told us
that if someone started charging money for teaching the youth things that are well
known to virtually every adult in the society, it would be fraud. Today, that fraud is
well established in our country. Schooling has been taken over and adulterated by
government for political purposes and enforced by laws of compulsion. It has been
corrupted by teacher unions that keep well educated people out of the public schools
by requiring the teachers to be not only "certified" but union members. Those
requirements guarantee that only mediocre caliber people will work in
the government-run schools.
In Search of… the "Certified"
Teacher: It is a farce and a fraud when teachers' unions talk about a need for "certified"
teachers, when certification has such low requirements and when uncertified teachers often have
WEA orders teachers and their representatives
to be quiet, or else… After an annual arbitration hearing last week, the Washington
Education Association (WEA) drafted a retroactive "gag order" for staff of the Evergreen Freedom
Foundation (EFF) and several other individuals. The order, signed by attorneys from the WEA and an
American Arbitration Association arbitrator, attempts to prohibit teachers and their representatives from
ever talking about what took place at the union's hearing.
Complaint accuses NEA of misusing
funds to aid DNC: The National Education Association concealed its use of millions of dollars in
tax-exempt teachers' dues and fees for political activities, primarily for Democratic candidates and causes,
according to a complaint filed yesterday [4/22/2002] by the Landmark Legal Foundation.
Boards: Tainted By Liberal, Union Bias? Eighty percent of school board members in a recent
survey describe themselves as either moderate or conservative, with only 15.9 percent owning up to a
liberal philosophy. Yet many conservatives believe school boards have lost sight of their
mission — to serve the interests of kids, parents and the public. The National School Boards
Association (NSBA), which conducted the nationwide survey, and many of the nation's school boards
individually, have fought school choice reforms like charter schools and vouchers.
for outrage! In exchange for NEA money and votes, Democrat
politicians will not allow consequential school reforms to take place. Only
an informed and outraged people can change this.
young minds. Between them, the NEA and the American Federation of Teachers
(NEA's ideological twin) represent upward of 85 percent of the nation's public school
teachers. In terms of shaping the content of public education, the NEA is more powerful
than all the school committees and education boards in the land.
"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."