"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Keep the Education Revolution Alive: Stay Away from NEA/AFT

In the Fall of 2015, both AFT and NEA presidents colluded with the DNC to back the Clinton education agenda for more charter schools, big data intrusions, Common Core, and more standardized testing.  This brazen manipulation occurred without a debate that this important decision deserved and with scant support among teachers who pay an estimated $1,750,000,000 every year to make sure that the corporate education reform agenda is pushed forward.  In effect, over three million teachers continue to pay into their own funeral funds every year when they send hard-earned dues money support the collaborationists who run AFT and NEA.

Today AFT and NEA continue to operate as a lobbying and organizing arm of Wall Street Democrats who still control the DNC.  As for teacher salaries and benefits, school resources, equitable funding, and standing up against the charter industry, the suits of the AFT and NEA are nowhere to be found.

At least that was true until the education revolution recently emerged in West Virginia.  Now having spread to Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona, and beyond, the corporate teacher unions are working overtime to get out ahead of this teacher-led movement that seeks to reclaim the pride of their profession and to restore sanity to national and state education policy.  As a result, both Randi and Lily continue busily tweeting their support and showing up at teacher-led rallies to grab a mic and some much-undeserved attention.

The New York Times has these observations today about the new grassroots teacher movement and the irrelevancy of the national union leadership:
Today, two women — Lily Eskelsen GarcĂ­a and Randi Weingarten — lead the two national teachers’ unions, and state affiliates in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Kentucky are also led by women. Even so, many of the most visible grass-roots leaders of this new protest movement are young men who started Facebook pages to help organize protests, rallies and walkouts.

 . . . .This is a movement that was largely organized on Facebook by rank-and-file teachers, who moved faster and more aggressively than their union leaders in demanding action from lawmakers. In conservative states like these, union membership is optional for teachers.

That said, the state and national unions have stepped in with crucial organizing and lobbying muscle, and are now coordinating closely with grass-roots leaders.
My advice to the decentralized leadership of the education revolution in the states:  steer clear of the AFT and NEA, who are known for showing up with bags of cash and an agenda to co-opt any legitimate resistance to the corporate education agenda.  Both AFT and NEA have been particularly effective in wresting control of resistance movements and putting them on the road to irrelevancy.  United Opt Out and the Bad Ass Teachers are just two recent examples of national union success in turning real opposition groups into virtual resistance games. 

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