Saturday, May 26, 2012

MEA: Excellence in education ‘for the children?’ Or eminence in progressive political advocacy?

“When school children start paying union dues, that's when I'll start representing the interests of school children.”

Albert Shanker - President of the United Federation of Teachers [1964-1984] & the American Federation of Teachers [1974-1997]

You may have read that the Maine Education Association recently endorsed the same sex marriage referendum that will be on our November ballots again this year.  If you haven’t, you can read about it here.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Education Association voted Sunday to endorse the referendum on the November ballot that would allow same-sex couples in Maine to marry.

We have little doubt that the endorsement comes with a healthy campaign donation, since generating funds for political advocacy is a core competency of the MEA.

Some months ago, a member of the Maine Legislature penned an op-ed about MEA advocacy:

For MEA, education excellence takes a back seat to politics

By Jonathan McKane, Special to the BDN

Not long ago the Maine Education Association — the teachers union — promoted educational excellence in public schools and worked for better pay and benefits for teachers. Certainly, that was the public image the MEA enjoyed.

But times have changed. Today, it has dropped any pretenses and has shown itself to be a well-financed, partisan lobbying group that advocates a progressive ideology.

You can read the rest of it here.

We don’t know if Albert Shanker is still vertical, but if he is and we could find him, we’d ask him to revise his classic quote above to be more current.  Perhaps something like this would work:

“When school teachers can provide us the influence and prestige that politicians give us for our campaign funds, maybe we’ll get back to considering their wishes and the education system.  When school children start paying union dues, maybe we’ll find the time to think about them every now and then.  As for the rest, let them eat cake.”

Hey, Al; if you should see this, feel free to make it yours, as they say.

No comments:

Post a Comment