Category Archives: Teacher Unions

National Teacher Survey Demonstrates Growing Support for Education Reforms

I have mentioned previously that I am a huge fan of the Association of American Educators. I am also a dues paying member. If you are a conservative in education, I believe you should be a member of this organization even if you are forced to pay union dues. The AAE conducts an annual survey of its members, and unlike the unions, it actually listens to it’s member survey. This has been sitting in my inbox for sometime. It was originally posted on the AAE website last month.


Alexandria, VA – Today the Association of American Educators (AAE), the largest national non-union educators’ organization, released its 2014 Membership Survey about high-profile education and labor policies. Survey results show progressive stances toward education and labor reform, particularly with regard to education spending, school choice, technology, safety in schools, Common Core State Standards, and collective bargaining.

With policymakers considering new ideas in education across the country, it’s critical that educators’ opinions and experiences are taken into account as these reforms are debated and implemented. As a member-driven organization, AAE brings an authentic teacher voice to the education reform dialogue, providing invaluable input from professional educators across the country.

“AAE takes policy positions directly from member feedback,” stated AAE Executive Director Gary Beckner. “The opinions expressed in this survey are those of real educators, not bureaucrats or union leaders with partisan political agendas.”

With regard to proposed ballot initiatives designed to increase education spending via tax increases, AAE members stress fiscal responsibility:

  • 63% of survey respondents do not support the failed Colorado amendment that would have increased income taxes to raise nearly $1 billion for public schools.

While the education establishment sees school choice as a threat to their unionized monopoly, AAE teachers support certain laws that advance school choice and promote options for both teachers and students:

  • 82% of members support public school open enrollment.
  • 59% of teachers agree with Wisconsin’s Parental Choice Program, allowing low-income students public funds to attend a school of their choice.
  • 72% of AAE members support Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs), which enable students to leave their assigned public schools, taking 90% of the state dollars with them. That money, deposited into ESAs, can then be used to access a multitude of education options that better meet their children’s needs.

As new technologies make flexibility a reality for all stakeholders, states across the country are implementing policies that offer and encourage online learning. AAE members embrace new technologies as a means to better prepare students for the 21st century:

  • 93% of AAE members incorporate technology in their daily lessons.
  • 65% of teachers would support a blended learning environment where students spend part of their day with a teacher and part of their day on a computer.

In the wake of several tragic school shootings, teachers are vocal about school safety measures:

  • While 75% of surveyed members feel safe in their school, teachers report increased safety procedures in their buildings.
  • 61% of AAE members support a proposed policy in Arkansas that would allow educators access to a locked concealed firearm after a training course.

Experts continue to debate the value of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Support for the standards has declined in 2014 with AAE members split on the initiative:

  • 51% of survey respondents have an unfavorable opinion of CCSS.
  • 30% of teachers believe the Common Core will make the U.S. more competitive on a global scale. 47% of teachers believe they would have no effect, and 22% assert that CCSS would have an adverse effect.

Collective bargaining and labor reforms are also considered by AAE member teachers:

  • 64% of those surveyed would prefer to negotiate their own contract so that they can negotiate a salary and benefits package that best suits their lifestyle.

“We are proud to represent educators who are thoughtfully considering education reforms,” stressed Beckner. “We hope these findings will be a useful tool for policymakers and administrators on all levels.

Complete results of the survey can be found at

The Association of American Educators (AAE) is the largest national, non-union, professional educator’s organization, advancing the profession by offering a modern approach to teacher representation and educational advocacy, as well as promoting professionalism, collaboration and excellence without a partisan agenda. AAE members are forward-thinking professionals who are committed to student-centered reform efforts including school/teacher choice, accountability and technology. AAE has members in all 50 states and welcomes professionals from all education entities. Membership is $15 per month which includes $2 million professional liability insurance, employment rights coverage, professional development resources as well as a host of other benefits. Visit for further information.

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Preventing Mobbing in Schools

This is a guest post from Daniel Helm, M.S. He is the author of Waterline: A Discussion of Education, Society, and their Mutual Interaction, available at Westbow Press and on Amazon.)

Bullying in schools is currently a topic of considerable interest.  Teachers and parents wish for children to learn in an emotionally safe place.  While teachers focus on the welfare of students, boards of education and administrators need to focus on bullying among staff.  When economic times are difficult, work place harassment seems to increase.  This is due to diminished opportunities for people who wish to leave a job, to find employment elsewhere.

There is a work place form of harassment called mobbing.  It occurs in work places with weak leadership and a dominant culture of employees who are dependent on their power for their employment or sense of worth.  The practitioners of mobbing were defined by Housker and Saiz in their analysis of the works of  Namie and Namie: “The literature is particularly critical of the perpetrators of mobbing. According to Namie and Namie (2000) those who instigate mobbing tend to be bullies, who try to dominate people in nearly every encounter. They are described as “inadequate, defective, and poorly developed people”. They tend to be unpredictable, angry, critical, jealous, and manipulative (Davenport, Schwartz and Elliot, 1999; Namie and Namie 2000).

Among the benefits of mobbing for the practitioners of the art is what has been described by “Westhues (2002) as: “the euphoria of collective attack”.  Additional benefits may be of a financially substantial matter when mobbing occurs in schools.  Mobbing can occur when any employees choose to become a mob.  Due to the nature of such collective control in a workplace, school teachers need to be cognizant of the value a tool such as the union can be to teachers who engage in mobbing activities.  In schools, if there are cases where a school union controls the information presented to the Board of Education, there may be preferences given in the assignment of co-curricular duties.  This may be harmful to children who are being presented with less than ideal leaders in the activities in which they participate.  The salary scales may be adjusted to provide greater financial rewards to those co-curricular positions which are held by members of the mob.  There may be times in schools when a new contract is being put into effect, and the pay scale may be manipulated to shift money into the step of a member of the mob and away from the step of a target.  Various duties of union appointees may be done voluntarily, or may have stipends attached.

Ultimately, if mobbing is to be prevented, opportunities for leadership need to be made uniformly available, and decisions which impact teachers in a district must be made in a transparent manner.

One of the most significant aspects of mobbing is that it is done legally, although unethically.  It is worse within the confines of a workplace environment where people have been trained not to question the mob.  As schools work towards minimizing bullying for students, schools need to also be cognizant of the bullying which may occur amongst staff members.

One of the greatest threats to healthy schools exists when administrators and/or board members may be part of the mob.  In that schools serve communities, and teachers may at times return to the school where they grew up to find employment, and board members must by law be members of the community, it may happen that a board member is good friends with an influential staff member.  Friendship is a good thing, and there is nothing wrong with board members and staff being friendly.  In fact, were this an ideal world, everyone would be friendly with everyone, and it would not diminish objectivity in the performance of one’s duties.  It is harmful when mob allegiance carries into BOE activities.

In cases where a mob has great influence within a school district, there may be times when administration of the school requires one of two options:

1. Eliminate the mob

2. Pander to the mob

Based on the strength of the mob, it may happen that there are severe penalties for administrators who question the mob and great rewards for those who pander to the mob.

One of the most emotionally painful aspects of mobbing was captured by Dr. Sophie Henshaw: “Gossip and innuendo spread behind closed doors before the target is aware of what’s happening, as previously loyal co-workers are enlisted to provide personal information that substantiates damaging rumors.”  In the work place, the neutral, “I get along with everyone” type is one of the mob’s most helpful tools.  He or she will stay neutral even if they have a friend on one hand who is viciously trying to destroy another person’s career, and he or she has another friend, who lacks the mob’s power, trying merely to perform their daily duties in an efficient manner.  The neutral person will try to see the value in both sides of the conflict, and treat both sides with equal value; thus one person’s right to viciously abuse a coworker will be treated as being of equal value with another person’s right to work in peace.

There is a danger to America’s schools when mobbing influences staffing decisions.  A higher quality teacher may see what is going on in a school and rightly determine that they are employable elsewhere, thus they do not need to stay in such a situation, while the lower quality person fully knows that they are unemployable elsewhere, and thus they must continue to command control of the workplace as a safe haven for themselves and their friends.  When such situations arise, the power of the mob will increase, as the quality individuals most able to oppose the mob become fewer in number through attrition.

A victim of mobbing will in time go, and it is important for that person to know of themselves what has been written in an article found at bullying online:  “Bullying may be unwittingly provoked because the target is competent, popular, successful, has integrity or otherwise characteristics that the bully perceives as a threat to their own status, fearing that the target will – inadvertently or deliberately – expose some negative aspect of their activity.”  Moreover, the target of mobbing needs to embrace the advice of Dr. Janice Harper, when she says: “Don’t let yourself be destroyed. Let yourself be healed so that you can give to the world your own unique gifts, skills, and personality.”

The danger for schools at this time is that with more stringent, yet subjective means of assessment coming down the road, better teachers who are less skilled playing what teachers call “the game” may be lost, and less capable teachers who are skilled in the manipulation of others, may be left in classrooms.

It is imperative that this form of harassment be extinguished as a factor in public schools.  Therefore, it must be asked: How can this be stopped?

Unions provide power for teachers to stop mobbing or to empower mobbing and must be monitored.  This is done by setting up universally accepted expectations for teachers’ unions.  No person should be permitted to be a local union’s president for more than one term.  There should be a set of union representatives in addition to the officers who are always fully aware of everything going on with the union, and who must provide transparency for the rest of the staff.  Decisions should be made at union meetings, which should happen monthly with full notice of when and where they will be held.  When voting occurs, it must be done in public, and the ballots must then be counted with access to the counting process being provided to those who wish to verify the count.  In a dysfunctional union, there may be a union “captain” who holds the ballots over night for “security purposes” and then allows any absentee members to add in their votes the next morning.  This way it is fair to all involved; and the ballot box, having been guarded by the captain, will have its content’s security guaranteed (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).

Hence, mobbing is minimized through uniform distribution of opportunities to all, and by preventing of any one person or clique from taking control of the union.  It is also important to note that in a healthy union, the job of union president is tiring, and if done well, the president would want to pass it off at the end of their term.

Boards of Education must not allow members to serve for more than a few terms.  Towns spend a huge amount of their budget through the schools.  Distribution of contracts and appointment of candidates to six figure jobs all occur through the boards of education; despite the members serving as volunteers they may control tens of millions of dollars of township resources.  A good reputation in a town is important for a candidate to enter the board, a few years to learn the processes as a general member, and a few years in a leadership position while availing all newer members a through understanding of the processes will insure that those newer members may move into leadership positions at the appropriate time.  In both cases: union leaders and board members, it is important to note that each person has his or her own professional responsibilities beyond their political functions.  A good teacher wants more than anything to spend their time educating students, and finds union responsibility an added, but worthy, burden.  A BOE member most likely has their own family to raise and a full time job to maintain.  Political positions of any nature were intended to be a temporary means of serving the community, not a life long power seat.

By making training opportunities for future leaders available to all who seek them, there can be no selection of lower quality leaders who are disciples of the old power clique via ostracism of more qualified candidates.  When training opportunities for future leaders are limited to those chosen by current leaders, an oligarchy can form and dysfunction can become generational.

For those readers who see mobbing happening in their workplace: understand that defending the victim will possibly make you a victim, but it must be done at some point if change is to ever occur.  For readers who are victims of mobbing, you should understand that you are a threat to a dysfunctional status quo.  It is a compliment, yet one you should not embrace.  Document the abuse you receive, carry a tape recorder as a means of collecting evidence that you are the victim, not a deserving recipient of the attack, and take care of yourself.  Your emotional and professional welfare are more important than the obligation you, through your conscientious nature, believe you owe to your workplace.  If you start to question the actions of “friends” who seem to be changing, they may use the word paranoia; actually, the correct term, for a victim of mobbing, is hyper-vigilance.  As previously mentioned, often the mob will seek some form of assistance from the friends of the victim, even if it is merely information about how the victim is holding up, and which attack seems to be getting the best response.  Finally, when a mobbing victim has done all he or she can for their company or school, he or she should accept that it is time to go elsewhere.  A healthy company or school will value the skills and character of a good employee; those traits are only threats in a work place controlled by a “mob”.


Cyber Abuse Awareness (2010)


Harper, Janice (3/28/2013) Beyond Bullying; Psychology Today

Henshaw, Sophie (2013) Bullying at Work: Workplace Mobbing is on the Rise

Housker, Jody; Saiz, Stephen (2006) Warning: Mobbing is Legal, Work with Caution







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This is a guest post by Karen Schroeder of Advocates for Academic Freedom.

Embracing corporate influence and policies of greed, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers betray teachers and their students. Unions and their affiliates overcharged teachers for health insurance and accepted corporate money to wield political influence. Now they accept money to support the unpopular Common Core Standards.

Governor Walker’s ACT 10 exposed the Wisconsin Education Association Council for negotiating contracts which made Wisconsin Education Association Trust the sole provider of health care for many Wisconsin school districts.

Once given protected access to health care premiums, WEA Trust gained tax dollars by overcharging for those health benefits. Those districts which enacted ACT 10 could reinstate free-market principles to balance their budgets, hire additional teachers, and decrease class sizes while providing quality health insurance for teachers.

Unions once had value when they improved working conditions for teachers and set professional standards. When their focus changed, making them complicit in the destruction of America’s educational system, it was time to leave the union.

Teachers of the Kenosha Education Association did just that. They voted against re-certifying the union as a bargaining entity. Yet, 37% of the Kenosha teachers voted to remain with the union. Did pressure from the Gates Foundation influence these teachers?

AFT President Randi Weingarten admits to the Huffington Post that pressure from having accepted Gates’ dollars may soon force rejection of additional dollars.

NEA and AFT’s acceptance of millions of dollars from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support implementation of Common Core Standards and to support the controversial teacher assessment programs is proving detrimental to the integrity of the profession.

NEA members indicate that many had NOT been surveyed, that many did NOT like Common Core Standards, and that many believe their union is NOT representing teachers or the best practices for their profession. Yet, an NEA Today article titled “10 Things You Should Know about the Common Core claimed that 75% of NEA members supported Common Core.   Gates sure bought a lot of influence for his seven-million-dollar donation while creating a chasm between union leaders and their members.

A National Public Radio article quotes AFT President Weingarten as supporting Common Core but calling for a pause in using the results of the testing because “teachers have not had enough time or help understanding the new standards and how to change how they teach.” Could this tacit support occur because AFT received more than eleven million dollars from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation?

As a teacher, I am appalled that a union leader would blame teachers for the shortcomings of Common Core Standards. What retraining is needed? My teacher-preparation education made me competent in my subject(s). The substance of math, science, and the English language has not changed significantly for centuries.

Basically, teaching methods available today were used by Plato and Socrates. Yes, technology has made those methods easier and often more fun, but little additional training should be necessary.

Apparently, teachers can no longer rely on their unions to place the best interests of children, teachers, and the profession above an appetite for greed, power, and influence. Preserving the integrity of the educational profession rests with teachers who must continue resisting obligations to those unions which fail to serve their members. hearing testimony at 29:48-30:44 grant amounts AFT grant amounts

Karen Schroeder is President of Advocates for Academic Freedom, a member of the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board, an experienced public school teacher, and an educational consultant. Karen can be reached at or by calling715-234-5072.

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“I’m Randi Weingarten (@rweingarten) and Now, the Fake News.”

by Larry Sand of California Teachers Empowerment Network

Teachers union makes news with meaningless words and a misleading poll.

Norm MacDonald is famous for opening the comedic news segment on Saturday Night Live by introducing himself and telling the audience that it’s time for the “fake news.” I thought of this when, at the recent American Federation of Teachers convention, President Randi Weingarten essentially said that bad teachers should find new jobs. Her words were dutifully reported by a compliant press, but it didn’t take much to see that the comment was devoid of any conviction whatsoever.

Responding to Weingarten’s comment that “…if someone can’t teach after they’ve been prepared and supported, they shouldn’t be in our profession,” EAG’s Ben Velderman pointed out,

Notice the huge caveat in Weingarten’s comment: “after they’ve been prepared and supported.”

Weingarten is actually saying that incompetent and ineffective teachers should have lots of time and assistance to improve their classroom performance.

In fact, “lots of time” would be an eternity or so, with the teacher in question going through a battery of master teachers, on-site administrators, coaches, peer assistance review teams, and then various administrative panels, lawyers, endless appeals, all with a tree-killer paper trail. Hence, there is nothing but empty rhetoric here.

Mike Antonucci gives Weingarten’s comment an historical perspective, enumerating high- sounding teacher union leader’s past proclamations which did nothing to change the moribund status quo. He links Weingarten’s merit pay speech in 2008 in which she says she is “willing to discuss new approaches to issues like teacher tenure and merit pay.” Yet when the rubber hit the road in 2010, Weingarten fought DC Chancellor Michelle Rhee tooth and nail on these very issues. It was as if the union boss had forgotten that she made any noise about tenure and merit pay.

Antonucci goes back to 1997 when National Education Association president Bob Chase made a feel-good speech in which he acknowledged the existence of the “vast majority of Americans who support public education, but are clearly dissatisfied. They want higher quality public schools, and they want them now.”

Since his speech a full generation of children has passed through the entire pre-K to 12 public school system. What changes we have seen during that time have come with the teachers’ unions trailing behind, yelling “stop!” I have seen the future, and it is more of the same.

Just as fraudulent as Weingarten’s tough talk on bad teachers is a new AFT “poll,” the results of which were reported on solemnly by union cheerleaders like The Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss. This push poll’s intentionally skewed results were used by Weingarten and the true believers in the press to hammer home the idea that parents are against education reform.

But the Cato Institute’s Jason Bedrick wasn’t buying it, and wrote that the “Teachers Union Poll Is Not Credible.” One example of how the AFT phrased their questions:

With which approach for improving education do you agree more?

APPROACH A) We should focus on ensuring that every child has access to a good public school in their community. We need to make the investments needed to ensure all schools provide safe conditions, an enriching curriculum, support for students’ social and emotional development, and effective teachers.

APPROACH B) We should open more public charter schools and provide more vouchers that allow parents to send their children to private schools at public expense. Children will receive the best education if we give families the financial freedom to attend schools that meet their needs.

It’s no surprise that 77 percent agreed with the first approach and only 20 percent agreed with the second. Either “invest” in “good” public schools in your “community” and receive all sort of wonderful goodies (“enriching curriculum!” “effective teachers!”) or forgo all that so that some parents can send their kids to private school “at public expense.” Aside from the fact that this is a false choice (competition can actually improve public school performance and school choice programs can save money), the wording is blatantly designed to push respondents toward Approach A.

Bedrick then writes about a 2012 Harvard poll that was worded fairly. Its findings:

  • 54% of parents favor giving all families a “wider choice” to “enroll their children in private schools instead, with government helping to pay the tuition” compared with 21% opposed.
  • 46% of parents favor giving low-income families a “wider choice” to “enroll their children in private schools instead, with government helping to pay the tuition” compared with 21% opposed.
  • When not given a neutral option, 50% of parents favor giving low-income families a “wider choice” to “enroll their children in private schools instead, with government helping to pay the tuition” compared with 50% opposed.
  • When the question omits the words “a wider choice” and only asks about using “government funds to pay the tuition of low-income students who choose to attend private schools,” 44% of parents are in favor with 32% opposed.

Education Week’s Stephen Sawchuk also had problems with the AFT poll, reminding us to take it “with a grain of salt and examine the questions’ phraseology carefully.” (I would suggest adding an ample amount of Maalox to the salt.)

Take, for instance, a bunch of paired statements asking parents to select the one they most agree with. Unsurprisingly, they tend to favor the idea that it’s better to “treat teachers like professionals” than to “regularly remove poorly performing teachers.”

…  A few results appear contradictory. Nearly half surveyed had a negative impression of using test scores in teacher evaluation, but 68 percent approved of paying teachers more if their students show gains in academic achievement.

In another refutation of the biased AFT poll, The Heritage Foundation’s Lindsey Burke writes that “Unions Can’t Ignore Support for Choice in Education.”

PDK/Gallup poll released last summer found that, when asked nearly the same question—whether they supported allowing students to choose private schools at public expense—44 percent of Americans said yes. Gallup has asked respondents the same question for the past decade and found that support for school choice has jumped 10 percentage points in just the last year alone.

Something that may be of interest to Ms. Weingarten is the result of a Rasmussen poll in which we learn that “only 26% of Likely U.S. Voters rate the performance of public schools in America today as good or excellent.  Thirty-four percent (34%) rate public education as poor.” Unlike the AFT poll, Rasmussen used straightforward language:

Overall, how would you rate the performance of public schools in America today?

No deception here, unlike the AFT pedaled “fake news.” But then again, when you have nothing legitimate to sell, snake oil will do the trick.

Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues.

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The Media and Teachers Unions: Creepy Crass Actors

by Larry Sand

Joining a racially charged situation, largely inflamed by the media, the nation’s teachers unions hypocritically play the civil rights card.

To acknowledge the obvious, the February 26, 2012 events in Sanford, FL were tragic. Trayvon Martin is dead and George Zimmerman will be haunted – and very possibly hunted – for the rest of his life. While there are gray areas of the incident where good people can disagree, there is one overarching truth that cannot be denied: Much of the nation’s mainstream media behaved in a downright despicable way. They have done everything possible to stoke racial tensions with exaggeration, misrepresentation, pandering, deceit and lies. Just a few examples:

  • March 21, 2012 – CNN accused Zimmerman of using a racial slur, which two weeks later it later retracted.
  • March 22, 2012 – Zimmerman, of mixed race, was dubbed by the New York Times a “white Hispanic.”
  • March 27, 2012 – NBC edited a tape to make Zimmerman appear to be a racist.
  • March 28, 2012 – ABC News falsely claims Zimmerman wasn’t injured the night of shooting. 

The whole narrative of Zimmerman as a rabid Klansman also disintegrates when you look at what the vast majority of the media didn’t report:

  • He is of white and Afro-Peruvian descent.
  • He and a black friend partnered in opening an insurance office in a Florida.
  • He’d engaged in notably un-racist behavior, such as taking a black girl to his high-school prom.
  • He tutored underprivileged black kids.
  • He launched a campaign to help a homeless black man who was beaten up by the son of a white cop.

Now here’s where we go from contemptible to perverse. The heads of the two national teachers unions – Dennis Van Roekel (National Education Association) and Randi Weingarten (American Federation of Teachers) – are leading the charge to put Zimmerman behind bars by any means necessary. The two bosses urged their members to sign petitions to the Justice Department, saying that “Zimmerman must face the consequences of his actions.”

All of a sudden the teachers unions are worried about civil rights??!! What a brazen and sleazy attempt to divert attention from their day-to-day “we-really-don’t-give-a-crap-about-the-kids-but-can’t-come-out-and-directly-say-it” modus operandi. To wit:

  • In 2009, desperate to kill Washington, D.C.’s popular and successful opportunity scholarship program, NEA President Dennis Van Roekel wrote a threatening letter to every Democratic member of Congress. The union boss clearly declared that NEA strongly opposes the continuation of the DC private school voucher program. He went on to say that he expected that any member of Congress whom the union has supported will vote against extending the program and warned that, “Actions associated with these issues WILL be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 111th Congress … Vouchers are not real education reform. . . . Opposition to vouchers is a top priority for NEA.”

The sad fact is that DC public schools have the lowest NAEP scores and the highest dropout rate in the country, whereas just about every student in the voucher program graduates from high school, almost all of them going on to college. The fact that thousands of children, a great majority of whom are African-American, would be forced to remain in their failing schools, thus closing the door on their future, didn’t seem to faze Mr. Van Roekel one bit.

  • In 2011, AFT’s state affiliate in Connecticut neutered a Parent Trigger law and bragged about how it managed to snooker the mostly-minority parents. The union went so far as to post the step-by-step process on its website. Fortunately, writer RiShawn Biddle managed to save the document before AFT pulled the webpage, having realized that their gloating might not be in sync with its pro-minority persona. Parent leader Gwen Samuel, an African-American mother of two, saw through the union’s malfeasance, however. “When will parents matter?” she asks.
  • In 2011, the ACLU filed a lawsuit that would have exempted 45 of the worst schools in Los Angeles – predominantly black and Hispanic – from teacher union-mandated seniority rules, enabling those schools to keep good teachers instead of being subjected to constant turnover. In an Orwellian statement, United Teachers of Los Angeles elementary vice-president Julie Washington fumed,

This settlement will do nothing to address the inequities suffered by our most at-risk students. It is a travesty that this settlement, by avoiding real solutions and exacerbating the problem, actually undermines the civil and constitutional rights of our students.

The suit was successful, but subsequently the ruling was overturned on a technicality. Having no concern about the rights of the minority children disparately affected by the archaic last-in, first out statute, UTLA was thrilled.

  • If successful, the Students Matter  (Vergara v. California) lawsuit in California will remove the tenure, seniority and arcane dismissal statutes from the state education code, thus making it easier to get rid of incompetent and criminal teachers. While this lawsuit will help all students in the state, inner-city kids would benefit the most.

Collectively, the laws Vergara v. California challenges deprive those students arbitrarily assigned to the classrooms of ineffective teachers of their fundamental and constitutionally guaranteed right to equal opportunity to access quality education.

Though not named in the suit, the teachers unions just couldn’t sit idly by and accept a change in the rules that would benefit kids at their expense.

Two state teachers unions – the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers – released a joint press release … announcing that they had filed a motion “to intervene in litigation.” This means that CTA and CFT would like to be become involved in the case because they feel that the current defendants – the state and the school districts – are not adequately representing the interests of their teachers, whose rights they maintain could be adversely affected by the case.

There are countless other examples which exemplify the fact that the teachers unions’ raison d’être is preserving their influence, and doing so by any means necessary. That minority children are the ones who suffer the most from the unions’ ongoing power-lust is of no concern to them. That these raving hypocrites are now grandstanding and calling for the scalp of George Zimmerman boggles the mind.

Of course, it is highly unlikely that you will be reading about this latest outrage in the mainstream media. Like the teachers unions, these bad actors are doing their best to push their agenda and con the public.

Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues.

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