The meltdown of the AFL-CIO has opened the door to a wide range of idealists, visionaries, snake-oil salesmen, and crackpots who know an opportunity when they see one. The fact that recent leadership of the labor movement has resembled Boss Tweed more than Eugene V. Debs says a lot about how the rise of Big Money in our institutions now makes political allegiance and ideological commitment seem like quaint, old-fashioned notions. Over at ARN-L, there is a discussion warming up between voices for the NEA and New Democracy editor, Dave Stratman.
NEA these days is particularly sensitive to criticism that they have been out of the loop, or too much in the Loop, busy, nonetheless, protecting their privileged positions at power centers in Washington, rather than speaking out against NCLB's planned destruction of public education and the intellectual/emotional genocide against children that has been the principal by-product of that effort.
NEA responds that, whoa, there, even Kennedy and Miller got snookered on the NCLB deal when they signed on, thinking that the elimination of the voucher requirement had meant a real victory. Well, it may be forgivable for a politician to be that stupid, but politicians depend on people who should know better, LIKE THE NEA. It seems to me that NEA got caught napping, not doing its homework, or, I don't know, playing golf with Ron Paige? Whatever the excuse, it is not good enough to take them off the hook for letting legislators, who might have acted differently had they had different information, do what they did--support the greatest educational boondoggle and assault against children in our history.
If the NEA's defense is that they are only now starting to "get it" in regards to NCLB's intent, then they have admitted to the inexcusable. Their chief tactic of resistance, suing the Feds for not fully funding NCLB, indicates that they did not get it. Court action along these lines only allows the White House more time to shovel out money for its stupidifying programs that become embedded in the fabric of school, and to continue their annual failure demonstrations that are documented ad nauseum by the lamest of media whores who will write any lie for nice lunch with a rep from the Business Roundtable.
If NEA is really "getting it," let Reg Weaver step out of the shadows and annouce a lawsuit against the DOE on grounds of civil rights violations, or for violating the intent of Brown v Board of Education, or for devising policies that encourage segregation, dropouts. There are enough crimes against humanity here to keep all of NEA's lawyers busy for the foreseeable future.