Larry Sand on Teacher Union Officials’ “National Day of Action”
Once again, Larry Sand has his finger on the pulse of teacher union officials’ hypocritical agenda. Corporations cannot force unwilling consumers to pay for services or goods they neither need nor want. Teacher union officials can collar unwilling teachers to pay up for representation they don’t want or need, as well as political activity and noneducational issues. Check out his article on Unionwatch.org.
American Federation of Teachers led “National Day of Action” is a clear indicator that teachers unions are losing clout.
On December 9th, we will be treated to the “National Day of Action,” a day cooked up by the American Federation of Teachers and supported by the National Education Association and various fellow travelers.
After reading through some of AFT’s pointed literature, the union’s bête noire becomes obvious.
Its manifesto, “The Principles That Unite Us,” includes numerous references to corporate reform, the corporate agenda, corporate interests, etc. But of course it can’t be that all corporations are evil.
After all, teachers unions are corporations. In fact, according to their latest tax returns, the two national teachers unions brought in over $550,000,000 in revenue in 2011. (Unlike conventional corporations that are taxed at the world’s highest rate, union corporations don’t have to pay one cent in taxes … but I digress.)
So what it comes down to is market share. You see, the teachers unions’ emphasis on collective bargaining, seniority, tenure, endless dismissal statutes, etc., are in a death battle with reformers – parents, privatizers, charter schools and taxpayers and the unions are losing the fight.
But unlike other enterprises, they don’t bother trying to come up with a better education product. Instead, they just demonize the competition – in this case, other corporations.
One of their sillier arguments is that corporate interests are involved in reform for the money. Really? Bill Gates, one of the chief corporate entrepreneurs of our time, has so much money he can’t give it away fast enough. Actually, Gates, the Walton Foundation, Eli Broad, etc. are not pushing education reform to get wealthy; they are doing it to ameliorate what has become a very troubled education system that is dominated in most states – and greatly damaged – by the teachers unions.
(Interestingly, the teachers unions are biting the corporate hand that feeds them: Gates has given the NEA and AFT over $20.7 million in grants since 2008.) Perhaps the most outspoken of the anti-corporate crowd is writer David Sirota, an avowed leftist who at one time was an aide to the socialist congressman from Vermont (now socialist senator) Bernie Sanders.
Sirota declares that school reformers “are full of it.” And the more education “reformers” try to distract from it, the more they will expose the fact that they aren’t driven by concern for kids but by the ugliest kind of greed – the kind that feigns concerns for kids in order to pad the corporate bottom line.
In a 2011 Salon.com screed, Sirota spells out his abject hatred for all things corporate, claiming that these entities are in it for “self-interest” and mentions why in three bullet points.