This video concerns America's future, tomorrow's leaders, and the direction in which the next generation will lead us. Notice that its main speaker is Juan Williams of National Public Radio fame. Recall also that O-buma turned his back on some 1700 economically disadvantaged inner city children in Washington, DC, in favor well-to-do campaign supporters in the National Education Association. In the film, Williams asks incredulously, "you mean you're not standing with the kids?"
Open Secrets reports that between the NEA and the American Federation of Teachers, educrat unions donated over $67M to politicians during 2007-2008. The NEA alone "spends more on campaign contributions than ExxonMobile, Microsoft, Walmart, and the AFL-CIO combined," and they send "95% of their contributions to Democrats." What a neatly convoluted funding loop.
With states hurting financially, their leaders are searching for ways to trim budgets and to maintain essential services. One effective way is through vouchers or school choice. The old guard education unions represent an expensive failed experiment. We cannot afford economically or socially to continue pursuing past mistakes. "Empowering parents to choose the best school for their children...makes good fiscal sense."
In New Jersey, both Republican and Democratic legislators are supporting Governor Chris Christie's proposals to eliminate lifetime tenure and benefits that are cost free to education employees. Teaching union claims that without tenure good teachers could be fired arbitrarily are specious. "In 2008, there were 35 education tenure challenges for school employees," out of some 120,000 total workers.
In contrast, National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel claims that teacher evaluations should "not root out bad teachers." That's right, Roekel believes that a teacher evaluation should be a cozy, hand holding exercise to determine the amount of teacher's raise. No valid reason exists to justify why education employees should not face the same occupational uncertainties as those who pay their salaries.
We have thrown good money after bad for so long that few people have any concept of a reasonable baseline for student and teacher performance. Tests have been re-centered, revalued, and otherwise made irrelevant until they are useless as tests; they no longer evaluate what they claim to examine, which is exactly what union leaders want. They desperately want to avoid any system that requires individual and total accountability. Union "officials invariably respond to the deterioration in schools by seeking to abolish the gauges of decay, tests, for one."
Author Peter Brimelow observes about union leaders how "masterful the educrats are at mounting a noisy, well-masked offensive at the slightest threat to their Soviet-style status quo." They have two main objectives, to maximize the financial aggrandizement of union members and to increase the numbers in their bureaucracy.
For union leaders, it's actually all about the kids, really.
May your gods be with you.