Sunday, July 23, 2006

Columnist Comes Close Attacking the NEA

Today's major Sacramento newspaper has an opinion piece by San Diego Union-Tribune columnist Ruben Navarette regarding the National Education Association, ostensibly the national teachers union. He chides the union for trying to gut the No Child Left Behind Act because that law shines a light on educational problems.

His attacks on the union come close but slightly miss their mark, and I explained why in the comments attached to the end of the link above. For those who aren't interested in going there or in free registration to read web material, I wrote that Navarette doesn't understand the depth of the malignancy of the NEA. Yes, his comments on the racial component of the anti-NCLB folks are dead on:

If these people get their way, the practical effect would be a lower bar for students of different racial, ethnic or economic backgrounds -- and by extension, those who teach them. And they would do all this not for the good of students but for the professional welfare of those who are supposed to be teaching them and who have, for too long, been coming up short.

He completely misses the mark, though, with this statement:

I always assumed that the NEA was focused primarily on what any union tends to focus on: the interests of its members.

As I (and many others) have pointed out before, the NEA is a gravy train of money for left-wing political causes that often have nothing to do with NEA members or even with education. Members are nothing more than cash cows whose sole purpose is to bankroll the political agenda of the union bosses. Mooo-o-o-o-o-o.


Thespis said...

I have sent a ping for this article.

Thanks for your work.


Polski3 said...

I read Navarette's latest anti teacher diatribe this am.....this line of thought is nothing new for him. He does make some valid points, but like many members of the press, he does not comprehend that the teacher's "unions" are not out there to get fully paid benefits and COLA salary increases and more teacher empowerment for its conscripted membership....

To his credit, Navarette claims to have been a sub teacher in the past. But, like so many other members of the press, he fails to truly educate himself about teachers and the teacher's unions.

Thespis said...

Darren: I think it was my post that was unclear.

I meant to say that accountability is fine, but thank goodness that NEA is there is challenge the flawed accountability set up in Ohio and across the nation under NCLB. NEA/OEA has proposed portfolio assessments for many years. This avoids the flaws of high stakes testing.

While NEA gives lots of money to liberal organizations, it is hardly a gravy train. The NEA funds are meager in comparsion to the budgets of the organizations that you name.

IF NCLB is so great, why would anyone worry about having it challenged? The challenges should just make the programs stronger.

Darren said...

I'm against portfolio assessments and see nothing wrong with so-called high-stakes testing.

I don't see NEA's challenges as potentially making NCLB stronger; rather, their explicit goal is to dilute it. *THAT* is why I don't like their challenges.