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Paige Blames It All On Teachers Unions

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Who knew that former EdSec Rod Paige was writing a book? Not I. Who knew it was going to blame pretty much everything on the teachers unions? Again, not I. But apparently that's what he's done.

Called The War Against Hope:How Teacher Unions Hurt Children, Hinder Teachers And Endanger Public Education, "offers the inside story of how teacher unions like the National Education Association (NEA) are selfishly shackling our students to a failing education system, while exposing the bullying techniques that are used to obstruct meaningful reform."

I guess that whole calling the NEA a terrorist organization wasn't a freakish outburst after all.

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The NEA, and teachers' unions in general, has improved the working conditions of teachers through collective bargaining over the past half century. They are to be commended for these efforts.

However, former Secretary of Education, Rod Paige, is correct with his evaluation of the National Education Association. The NEA is part of the educational establishment, in conjunction with local school administrators and school boards, who have fought education reform kicking and screaming every step of the way. This group of “experts” was in charge of the embarrassing system of education that existed in this country prior to a Nation At Risk and eventually state by state education reform.

At the time the NEA was content with the status quo, although there was little or no accountability from top to bottom, and wanted nothing to threaten their long standing monopoly. Any movement along those lines would have jeopardized the enormous control they enjoyed for far too long.

Pragmatism would suggest the primary responsibility of teachers is to educate their students. Instead, members of the NEA have historically been “more interested in protecting their members at the expense of their students, whose interests they are supposed to serve.”

In many instances teachers unions are not out to help solve the problems in our schools, they ARE the problem themselves.

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