Thanks to The Washington Examiner for publishing my piece today bout how the teachers unions in Connecticut worked behind the scenes to neuter the Parent Trigger school reform. The AFT bragged of their success on their website for days — until the cynical documents started to gather attention, at which point the union erased it from the site.
An excerpt of my op-ed:
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 touts as “karma” that “the chief legislative proponent of the original parent trigger bill lost his re-election in November 2010” and “the House Co-Chair [who allowed the bill to move forward] lost his race for Majority Leader and has a thorny relationship with the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus on education issues.”
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.
It’s a sad truth, but one Americans must understand: Teachers unions don’t fight for children. And that’s not why teachers join them. Teachers, as much as they love children and their jobs, know unions provide excellent job insurance.
Read the whole thing here.
(Photo: Around Dublin.)