Not much, if I'm reading the November 2007 issue of its mouthpiece rag, California Educator, correctly.
The cover story is about Professional Learning Communities. I can take them or leave them, but I don't get overheated on them either way (until they're forced on me). The letters section, though, had two interesting tidbits.
One letter chastised the magazine for comparing apples to oranges in an article. "While I recognize this (a legitimate comparison) does not support the argument you are trying to make in your article, it is irresponsible to skew the information so blatantly...I believe the article does a disservice to your teacher population...."
The next letter was even better. The boldface is in the original: "I am so very disappointed in my CTA. How could you possibly align yourself with someone so far on the left as Michael Moore? ... We teach our children to get the facts from both sides of an issue before determining a conclusion on any issue. Did you check out the facts in his film? ... I'm embarrassed that my teachers union would fall for such propaganda."
Now, I give kudos to California Educator for printing those two "contrarian" letters. I genuinely do. But when CTA members call them on bad stats and being too far left, that's saying something. Maybe CTA isn't doing such a good job of representing all its teachers.
Or maybe it's not doing a good job at all. On page 32 I see a chart listing "CTA-sponsored and co-sponsored legislation for 2007". There are 7 bills listed:
1 mandating universal health care
5 relating to community college or CSU issues
1 relating to mandatory kindergarten
How many of those bills relate to K-12 teachers, the vast majority of the people paying extorted dues to CTA? None! In fact, only one--mandatory kindergarten--relates to K-12 education at all! And let's not forget: a union should focus on the pay, benefits, and working conditions of its members. Do you see that occurring above? Only for the community college professors.
So what exactly is CTA doing for California teachers? I'm hard pressed to find an answer--besides bilking them of their hard-earned money, that is.