Tag Archives: Vice-President Joe Biden

Radicals and the Common Core State Standards

During the debates you may have heard President Obama hint out his federal school reforms. Just as everything else that comes out of his mouth, his belief that he has “reformed” anything is laughable on its face, and the reality of what is actually going on is dangerous at its Core. In all of the chaos of the last four years, the one thing patriotic Americans have paid little attention to is the education “reforms” pushed by our President and his non-educator Secretary of dis-Education Arne Duncan. The Republican response to many of their “reforms” have been similar to cows being herded for slaughter. Please take a few minutes to read and share these two articles by Mary Grabar the relate to what has been going on, she writes over at dissidentprof.com.

Terrorist Professor Bill Ayers and Obama’s Federal School Curriculum

Three years after the Department of Education announced a contest called Race-to-the-Top for $4.35 billion in stimulus funds, some parents, teachers, governors, and citizen and public policy groups are coming to an awful realization about the likely outcomes:

  • A national curriculum called Common Core
  • Regionalism, or the replacement of local governments by federally appointed bureaucrats
  • A leveling of all schools to one, low national standard, and a redistribution of education funds among school districts
  • An effective federal tracking of all students
  • The loss of the option of avoiding the national curriculum and tests through private school and home school

Working behind the scenes, implementing these policies and writing the standards are associates from President Obama’s community organizing days. In de facto control of the education component is Linda Darling-Hammond, a radical left-wing educator and close colleague of William “Bill” Ayers, the former leader of the communist terrorist Weather Underground who became a professor of education and friend of Obama’s.

‘ObamaCore’: Radical Education Bill Set to Take Effect After Election

Barack Obama, having little else in his arsenal, began his first debate by touting his signature education program“Race to the Top.” Joe Biden also cited “education” in his debate with Paul Ryan. Last Tuesday, Obama even turned a question about gun control into an opportunity to boast about his education policies. During the final debate, Obama repeatedly claimed that continued government investments in education are necessary to compete with China and to develop “clean energy technology.”

Race to the Top may have been the one domestic policy initiative that did not garner the universal ire of Republicans — indeed, it has many GOP supporters. They likely do not realize what a monster they have birthed by promising to follow federal Common Core curriculum guidelines (in math and English/language arts, so far) as part of the Race to the Top contest for $4.35 billion in stimulus funds.

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Filed under National Standards (Common Core)

2012 NEA Convention: Membership Declines & Hyper-Partisanship

We wanted to cross-post this piece from the Association of American Educator’s (AAE) blog. For those that are not familiar with the AAE, they are a non-partisan, non-union alternative to the National Education Association. It is our opinion that the AAE is the organization for education professionals. The AAE offers dues that are $15 a month, no donations to any political cause, and liability insurance that surpasses that provided by the NEA.

While most Americans were enjoying a festive Independence Day last week, the National Education Association was holding their annual conference 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 somber and partisan tone in 2012.

The convention was meant to be a rallying cry for union members as the NEA tried to create an atmosphere resembling a political party convention complete with theme music and intense cheering. Despite best efforts, the conference was noticeably lacking delegates and talk immediately turned to harsh budget realities.

NEA Secretary-Treasurer Becky Pringle predicted an even more challenging time in the years ahead calling budget numbers “devastating.” Projected losses total 287,000 active teachers and 21,000 additional personnel over the 2010-14 school years. The numbers amount to a $65 million budget reduction over that same time period, undoubtedly leading to staff reductions and declining political power.

In light of the upcoming election and the union-crippling legislation in states across the country, the speeches at the convention were meant to rally the members in attendance to stay strong despite the obvious setbacks. One of the more partisan speeches came from NEA Executive Director John Stocks who called NEA members “Social Justice Patriots,” according to the union-watchdog Education Intelligence Agency. Stocks said union members’ roles should be to fight “opponents of the DREAM Act and voter ID laws, CEOs who make too much, and big corporations.”

The NEA’s most high-profile guest was Vice President Joe Biden, who was sent in place of President Obama. Vice President Biden mainly stuck to the union staples, including expressing support for their collective bargaining plight and accusing Governor Mitt Romney of not supporting public education. After some grumblings from delegates about his no-show status, President Obama did call in to thunderous applause stating, “The folks on the other side, they want to take us back to the policies that didn’t work in the last decade, they want us to go back to a policy that just does big tax cuts for the wealthiest, [to] cut education spending, cut investments in all the things that help us grow.”

Following the President’s call, NEA President Dennis Van Roekel promised that the union would put its full support behind the president’s re-election: “We believe in you, Mr. President, and we’re behind you all the way.”

Despite the mass applause for candidates and partisan speakers, news broke that Republican and independent teachers among the delegation were expressing frustration with the hyper-partisan tone of the convention. In interviews with The Associated Press, dozens of teachers said they felt pressure from union leaders to support Obama’s re-election — and felt marginalized when they wouldn’t. Some teachers said they were so worried about retribution from their colleagues that they wouldn’t provide their names for publication in newspapers.

Delegate teacher Maureen van Wagner expressed her concern to the media. “What I don’t like is the harassment going on for people to be an ‘EFO’ — an educator for Obama.” Other teachers were offended that NEA leaders had been urging members to hold house parties to educate their friends about why President Obama deserves a second term.

In conjunction with their commitment to another Obama endorsement, the NEA approved a series of controversial measures. Among their many policy recommendations, NEA delegates considered resolutions opposing any policy of U.S. military action against Iran, an initiative to gather information on groups that “discourage NEA membership,” and a failed effort to recommend the ousting of reform-minded Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Information from the convention continues to surface following an eventful week. Be sure to read the AAE blog this week for the latest developments. As NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen stated, “Times have been bad before, but they’ve never been this bad.”

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It’s Time for Conservatives to Stand Against the NEA

We here at Conservative Teachers of America stand firmly on two issues: the Federal Department of Education is a waste of money and should be eliminated and teacher unions are harmful to the educational process in American schools. Recent events regarding the behavior of the National Education Association should cause all educators and Americans to take a pause and ask themselves: What good does the NEA even provide to education?

A recent post on the Association of American Educators blog shows just how confused the NEA has become; Stranger Than Fiction: NEA Partners With WWE. No, we’re not making that up, the National Education Association has partnered with World Wrestling Entertainment. Now, here’s where things get even stranger. The reason for the partnership, is to “ensure a positive and equitable social environment for everyone regardless of age, race, religion or sexual orientation through grassroots efforts beginning with education and awareness.” The WWE, the same organization that on a regular basis portrays violence, bullying, and the disrespect and belittling of women, is going to help the NEA in an anti-bullying campaign. What planet are these people from?

Rosalind Wiseman, author of the book Queen Bees, and Wannabes (highly recommend this book for any secondary educator) put together a piece on her website complete with videos that demonstrates just why this is so ludicrous. If you want to have your stomach turn, watch the video of Vince McMahon and the woman Trish. McMahon forces her to strip down to her underwear in front of a screaming crowd, tells her to get down on all fours and bark like a dog, and treats her as if she is sub-human. Ah yes, if you want to promote good values this is the organization you partner with, way to go NEA!

As if this partnership wasn’t the latest in insanity from the NEA, they decided to continue and endorse President Barack Obama 16 months before the election and months before the Republican party has even chosen a candidate. Now, we’re not fooling ourselves here, we don’t expect the NEA to endorse a conservative candidate, but it’s just amazing that they would take this step so early in the process. They have endorsed the same President that chose Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education. Duncan is quite possibly the most unqualified individual to have ever held this post, he has no degree in education, and never was an educator or principal a day in his life. The strange thing is that the NEA is on record as criticizing Duncan.

There is obviously something driving this behavior. We suspect it has something to do with the fact that the NEA is losing money and members at an alarming rate.

The recent NEA convention in which they endorsed President Obama was held over Independence Day weekend in Chicago. Now, call us crazy, but isn’t it odd that the NEA would have their convention on this weekend? Of course, when you consider that many devout union members are usually devout progressives politically, this shouldn’t really surprise you too much. Independence Day for them is, well, just another day, not too much different than last Wednesday or the Monday before that.

The AAE reports that the convention was a major disappointment. Only 7500 delegates were in attendance and this was the lowest amount since 1998. We’re a bit surprised at this, especially considering they had Vice-President and Gaffe King Joe Biden speak to them. Financially things are not much better, NEA Secretary-Treasurer Becky Pringle reported that the NEA faces a $14 million dollar shortfall and has lost 39,000 active members since 2010. (We’re going to offer a free tip to the NEA here; you’re doing something wrong when you lose money and members in such large quantities.) The NEA has decided to try and alleviate the problem and is raising the PAC portion of member dues by $10.

It’s exciting to see so many union members beginning to see the light and leave the NEA. This is a prime opportunity, and conservatives around the country need to speak out louder and larger against this organization. Do you know a teacher in your life that is an NEA member? Question them with boldness. Do they really want their money to be going to the NEA? If they don’t, consider providing them with an option.

We here at CTA are huge fans of the Association of American Educators. The AAE is a non-union teacher advocacy organization that truly helps focus on what’s important in our profession, the child! Membership in the AAE is only $15 per month and benefits include $2,000,000 in liability insurance, legal protection and employment rights coverage. The real beauty of the AAE is the liability insurance, it’s twice the NEA’s coverage, with none of the politics.

Some interesting facts about the NEA that are worth mentioning:

Not all NEA members are liberal, a survey conducted in 2005 showed 50% of members were conservative or tended conservative. This is why it’s so important for conservatives to begin to speak out against the NEA. The NEA promotes an agenda that is in contrast to what so many conservatives stand for. This is a great way to cause further financial damage to the NEA, and to marginalize their impact on our profession.

The NEA-PAC donates a disproportionate amount of money to Democrat candidates. In the 2008 election NEA-PAC gave Democratic candidates 13 times the amount of money it gave Republicans (93% Democrat/7% Republican).

The NEA has a Labor Solidarity Partnership with the AFL-CIO. The same AFL-CIO whose President is Richard Trumka. For an interesting read on Mr. Trumka, please check out the Trumka fact sheet: An Ugly History of Union Violence and Corruption.

Updated 7/13/11: Just saw this on Big Government, the NEA is now using students to raise PAC money. Sad. National Education Association Thanks Students for Raising PAC Funds


Filed under NEA, Teacher Unions