Teacher union memo reveals agenda to undermine parents

From the Washington Examiner.


American Federation of Teachers officials have disavowed an internal report after it was posted on the union’s website following its annual conference, embedded on each of its 19 pages with the union’s logo and signed by a union official.

The report, titled “How Connecticut Defused the Parent Trigger,” was replaced on AFT’s website with a note saying “we have received complaints about these materials and have removed them because they do not represent AFT’s position.”

Education activist RiShawn Biddle copied the report before it was removed from the AFT website. The report describes in detail AFT’s strategy for subverting school reform legislation in Connecticut, a strategy that relied greatly on deceiving legislators and interested parents.

The Parent Trigger proposal originated in California and was adopted by education reformers in Connecticut last year. The proposal empowers a majority of parents with children attending a persistently failing school to force education officials to either close it, convert it to a charter school or replace its staff.

The union was blindsided when thousands of minority parents thronged in the Connecticut capitol to support the measure. Many of them expressed concern that their state’s public schools posted the biggest gap in the country on standardized test scores between minority and Caucasian students.

But where California teachers unions lobbied to block the bill in their state legislature and state education department, AFT’s Connecticut affiliate began an offensive that ultimately neutered the bill.

And, according to the now-disavowed report, they succeeded because the proposal’s “name is a misnomer,” since school governance councils “are advisory and do not have true governing authority.”

The bill approved by Connecticut legislators allows the councils of elected community members only to advise school officials rather than empowering them to force needed reforms.

[…]The report also makes clear AFT officials must be hoping Biddle’s discovery does not become more widely known because it destroys the union’s carefully erected image as reform-minded partners who love to “collaborate” with parents and communities.Though the union’s biggest concern is not serving children or parents, it cannot have the public aware of this, or that its strategy includes the “absence of charter school and parent groups from the table” during political shenanigans that simultaneously target lawmakers with lobbying pressure while appearing to “[discuss] shared concerns” with parent and reform groups.

The union says it learned from past “mistakes” to avoid “inflammatory rhetoric” and the appearance of “saying ‘no.'” So, instead, it preaches “collaboration” and “allowing teachers to have a voice,” while working behind the scenes to make sure no one but the union does.

Read the whole thing, and consider homeschooling.

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5 thoughts on “Teacher union memo reveals agenda to undermine parents”

  1. ironic post…I’m currently watching a documentary titled “The Cartel” on our primary/secondary schools. Right now it’s focusing on New Jersey as they have the best funded schools in the nation…and guess what only 39% of their students test proficient in math despite an average teacher salary of $55K and an average classroom average of over $317K per poor school district!!

    Now to your idea of homeschooling – I think that would be one of the worst ideas around – right up there with teacher unions, especially as all of the tests have shown how our schools have been doing the past couple of decades – the very same graduates you propose teach their kids. If the average US student isn’t proficient in reading/writing/math, why do you propose they’re now qualified to teach their own kids?


  2. I’ve lost faith in the public (or private!) education system a long time ago… I would seriously consider homeschooling my children, should the day ever come.


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