Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

National Evil Association

That’s what it amounts to in the end. Well, unless you want to make the argument that manipulating the political system to protect union boodling and power-buying at the expense of educating children isn’t evil, but is merely run-of-the-mill piggish self-interest instead:

On the final day of the National Education Association’s convention last summer, its outgoing general counsel, Bob Chanin, gave a speech for the ages. After sharing fond recollections of his 41 years as the NEA’s top lawyer, he switched gears and started lobbing grenades at “conservative and right-wing bastards,” including Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, and Forbes. The NEA and its affiliates, by contrast, were “the nation’s leading advocates for public education and the type of liberal social and economic agenda that these groups find objectionable.” Chanin’s glowing portrait of the NEA was wildly wrong, of course, but so was his characterization of the union’s opponents. People of all political stripes—not just right-wing “bastards”—are starting to realize that the single biggest impediment to education reform is the NEA itself.

Take the nation’s 4,000 charter schools—public schools that operate with less red tape, fewer suffocating union rules, and a higher percentage of minorities and poor students than regular public schools do. In California, 12 of the top 15 public schools are charters, including three in Oakland that cater to exceptionally poor children. Los Angeles charters’ median score on California’s Academic Performance Index was 728 in 2008, compared with 663 for regular public schools.

Who are the “right-wing bastards” who support charter schools? Well, there’s Los Angeles’s liberal-leaning school board, which looked at its large number of failing schools and voted 6–1 to turn 200 of the lowest performers into charters. There’s Steve Barr, a card-carrying Democrat who served in the presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton and Michael Dukakis and who now operates 17 successful Green Dot charter schools in L.A. And don’t forget Democrats for Education Reform, a political action committee that supports charters and that says, in its statement of principles, that American public schools, “once viewed romantically as avenues of opportunity for all, have become captive to powerful, entrenched interests that too often put the demands of adults before the educational needs of children.”

“Entrenched interests” is a thinly veiled reference, of course, to teachers’ unions like the NEA, whose position on charter schools is very clear. According to a resolution adopted at last year’s convention, “NEA shall oppose any initiative to greatly expand the growth of charter schools”—though “by no means should this effort conflict with the ongoing and necessary work of organizing charter school teachers.” Unfortunately, this “necessary” work hasn’t helped students. A study of charter schools in Boston by Harvard economist Tom Kane found that “students accepted by lottery at independently operated charter schools significantly outperformed students who lost the lottery and returned to district schools. But students accepted by lottery at charters run by the school district with unionized teachers experienced no benefit.”

Believe it or not, it actually gets worse from there. Meanwhile, another ingot of unalloyed common-sense brilliance from Doc Zero along those same lines:

The National Education Association is the largest union in America, and one of its most powerful political forces, donating millions to Democrat candidates and spending millions more in lobbying…including over a million dollars in donations to the criminal organization ACORN over the last two years. The NEA also provides invaluable political indoctrination, inserting propaganda for statist causes like global warming into education curricula. In exchange, the Democrats are universally sworn to oppose vouchers and school privatization, no matter how much it hurts other constituencies they profess to care about.  There are many fine teachers among the ranks of the NEA, but their individual merits vanish beneath the vast corruption of the union establishment.

…These events are entirely predictable, because where the supply of votes and political cash from unions meets the demand from Big Government, a transaction is bound to occur. In a centralized state, the power of a political collective is vastly greater than individuals, or most corporations. Plenty of big companies spend cash buying political influence, producing all manner of mischief…but they can’t deliver the kind of packaged voting power that a labor union or racial grievance organization can provide, because they cannot compel – or even encourage – their employees to vote a certain way. The NEA and AFSCME have a lot more than dollars to spend in the political marketplace.

This kind of thing is inevitable, as long as we allow political control over industry, and place huge amounts of tax money in the hands of our government. The depth of corruption can be measured with the value of a congressional vote…or the presidential seal. Despite its overwhelming presence in every aspect of our daily lives, Big Government acquires many characteristics of anarchy, in which the diminishing resources of a moribund economy become the spoils for feuding warlords.

And voila, here we all are: stuck with an incompetent, dysfunctional, hideously expensive, and bureaucratically bloated national “education” establishment that can be neither reformed nor removed. When it comes to corruption, economic enfeeblement, and raw liberal-fascist tyranny, the old crime-novel admonishment to cherchez la femme should be updated to a more modern refrain: look for the union label.


2 thoughts on “National Evil Association

  1. Nice post. This seems like such a no-brainer issue for anyone running against a Democrat.

    Make them defend their support of public schools (especially the ones that are absolute failures) – use some real-life examples like the Dems love to trot out for healthcare and such.

    Make them defend their restrictions on charter schools and voucher programs in spite of the evidence that these programs educate more kids for less money.

    Make them defend having their kids in private schools in DC while everyone else has to take whatever is on offer around the corner.

    The Dems (Party-of-Smart) will trot out ‘doing it for the children’ at any chance – so turn it around on them.

    Any mother with kids in those schools will understand the arguments and which side is defending the status quo.

    I don’t think either party deserves much credit re: public education. But the unions are crippling any hope for these kids, and they overwhelmingly support, and are supported by, Democrats.

Comments are closed.

CF Comments Policy Statement

Comments appear entirely at the whim of the guy who pays the bills for this site and may be deleted, ridiculed, maliciously edited for purposes of mockery, or otherwise pissed over as he in his capricious fancy sees fit. The CF comments section is pretty free-form and rough and tumble; tolerance level for rowdiness and misbehavior is fairly high here, but is NOT without limit. Management is under no obligation whatever to allow the comments section to be taken over and ruined by trolls, Leftists, and/or other oxygen thieves, and will take any measures deemed necessary to prevent such. Conduct yourself with the merest modicum of decorum, courtesy, and respect and you'll be fine. Pick pointless squabbles with other commenters, fling provocative personal insults, issue threats, or annoy the host (me) won't.

Should you find yourself sanctioned after running afoul of the CF comments policy as stated and feel you have been wronged, please download and complete the Butthurt Report form below in quadruplicate; retain one copy for your personal records and send the others to the email address posted in the right sidebar. Please refrain from whining, sniveling, and/or bursting into tears and waving your chubby fists around in frustrated rage, lest you suffer an aneurysm or stroke unnecessarily. Your completed form will be reviewed and your complaint addressed whenever management feels like getting around to it. Thank you.



Notable Quotes

"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

"To put it simply, the Left is the stupid and the insane, led by the evil. You can’t persuade the stupid or the insane and you had damn well better fight the evil." - Skeptic

"Give me the media and I will make of any nation a herd of swine." - Joseph Goebbels

"Ain't no misunderstanding this war. They want to rule us and aim to do it. We aim not to allow it. All there is to it." - NC Reed, from Parno's Peril

"I just want a government that fits in the box it originally came in." -Bill Whittle

Subscribe to CF!

Support options


If you enjoy the site, please consider donating:

Click HERE for great deals on ammo! Using this link helps support CF by getting me credits for ammo too.

Image swiped from The Last Refuge

2016 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards


RSS - entries - Entries
RSS - entries - Comments


mike at this URL dot com

All e-mails assumed to be legitimate fodder for publication, scorn, ridicule, or other public mockery unless otherwise specified

Boycott the New York Times -- Read the Real News at Larwyn's Linx

All original content © Mike Hendrix