Tag Archives: NEA

Conservative Teachers, Help Shine a Light on the Educational “Experts”

Karen professional photoThis is a guest post by Karen Schroeder, President of Advocates for Academic Freedom.

My Dear Fellow Conservative Teacher:

Thank you for all you do to assure that your students receive a quality education in spite of the encumbrances imposed by many unwelcome federal policies. The risks you take and the consequences you often endure are known and understood. Those of us who have been there and are now free of professional consequences are there for you. There are things we can and will do to help, if you wish.

My fellow teachers who value truth above social policy represent both political parties and reflect an incredibly generous spirit.

It is that spirit that I am relying upon as I offer unsolicited advice and ask that you add another task to your already overburdened schedule.

I ask that you do for each other what you do so well for students: provide knowledge and information. Provide your fellow teachers with information about the educational experts who have shaped the federal policies that create unnecessary struggles within the teaching profession. As your fellow teachers gain facts about those experts and ideologies, their support for the policies will wane. The opportunity for administrators to adopt practices that will limit actual academic success of your students will diminish. Your opinions and your support for new policies may even become a pre-requisite before adoption of any policy!

Your creativity is boundless. To get your innovative juices flowing, consider placing materials in the faculty lounge.

A copy of the Aspen Institute’s document A New Civic Literacy: American Education and Global Interdependence exposes the purpose behind educational policies. It is eleven pages of simply written, direct language which defines how educational experts view teachers from all political parties. It reveals how experts want to use students and their parents to accomplish ideological agendas. It suggests the federalization of education to free educational policy from interactions from “conservative” school boards, teachers, and parents. Underline some key phrases so those who deeply trust the experts need to see only a few lines to encourage the questioning to begin.

A single page flier with the picture of an educational expert, a key quote from him, and a short bio may stimulate thought and discussion.

For example: When Shirley McCune spoke at the Governor’s Conference on Education in 1989, she stated: “We no longer see the teaching of facts and information as the primary function of education… Building a new kind of people must be a part of the curriculum… More and more schools are the center of all human resource development… The earlier we can intervene in the lives of people the more effective we can be.”

At that time, McCune was the Senior Director of Mid Continental Regional Educational Laboratory (McRel) — one of ten regional laboratories under contract to the U.S. Department of Education.  Her resume included work with the National Education Association (NEA), the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and the Kansas State Department of Education in developing strategic direction for Kansas schools in the Schools for the 21st Century program.  She also owned a company called Learning Trends, based in Aurora, Colorado, and later in Washington, DC.

Providing only the picture of the experts and their comments elicits few objections from opponents. However, those threatened by the truth will typically confront those who provide truth. By excluding all personal comments from the flier, the retort to those objecting can be, “What about this upsets you? This flier simply provides a quote from [name of expert]. Isn’t that what teachers are expected to do, provide unbiased facts?”

Please share with me what wonderful ways you found to alert your fellow teachers to the truth behind the federal policies that too often plague our profession. Feel free to post your findings on the Advocates for Academic Freedom FB page.  We look forward to meeting the experts that you identify. There are so many who need to be introduced to the public and you are in the best position to provide those facts.

Since teachers usually refer to their students as “my kids” or “my children”, I want to say, “God Bless you all for your dedication to your children and to the teaching profession.”

 

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Filed under Guest Post, Speaking Out

WHEN #EDUCATION #UNIONS BETRAY MEMBERS

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.

http://www.eauclairejournal.com/news/story.phtml/5B88F64C/news/walker_exposes_misuse_of_education_funds/archive/

http://www.weac.org/member_benefits/WEA_Trust.aspx

https://www.nationalreview.com/sites/default/files/nrdpdf/20131014%20_0.pdf

http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20110216/GPG0101/110216041/

http://www.wiseye.org/videoplayer/vp.html?sid=10781 hearing testimony at 29:48-30:44

http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2013/03/this_week_aft_president_randi.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mercedes-schneider/nea-aft-common-core-and-v_b_4252679.html?utm_hp_ref=politics&ir=Politics

http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database#q/k=NEA grant amounts

http://stateimpact.npr.org/ohio/2013/05/13/aft-president-randi-weingarten-explains-how-she-would-teach-the-common-core/

http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database#q/k=AFT AFT grant amounts

http://schools.nyc.gov/documents/d75/math/Workshop%20model.pdf

http://www.knewton.com/flipped-classroom/

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 kpfschroeder@centurylink.net or by calling715-234-5072.

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Filed under AFT, Guest Post, NEA, Teacher Unions

82 Teachers Talk Back to NEA, Debunk Common Core

Here are 82 comments written by teachers who commented after this week’s National Education Association (NEA) promo article about Common Core. The article is here.

The teachers call the Common Core, and the NEA’s phony poll (that said that teachers love it) and the NEA’s shameless promotion of it, rubbish.

Read the comments over at Common Core: Education Without Representation

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Filed under National Standards (Common Core)