EIA is proud to present the 2013 Public Education Quotes of the Year, in countdown order. Enjoy!
10) “A lethargic membership is more cancerous than reforms, charter schools, and excessing. Members’ expectation of any president must be tempered with what they are willing to do for themselves.” – Nathan Saunders, outgoing president of the Washington Teachers Union. (July 31 letter to members)
9) “We’re not about picking a mayor. We’re about making a mayor, making the winner. And that’s what we’re gonna do…. I talk to them (the mayoral candidates) constantly. All of them. I know all about all of their families. I know about their dogs and this and that.” – Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, two weeks before the union endorsed Bill Thompson for mayor of New York City. (June 4 Politicker)
8) “Once at City Hall it became clear that the union — especially under its current leadership — was an enormous impediment to reform. Watching the parade of candidates genuflecting before the UFT and pledging fealty to its positions is an embarrassment. The prospect of the next mayor handing the keys of Tweed over to Michael Mulgrew makes me fear for the future of the city.” – Howard Wolfson, deputy mayor of New York City and former consultant to the United Federation of Teachers. (June 19 Capital New York)
7) “Where is the line in terms of how far the government gets involved in the operation of a private business, which is what MEA in its essence is.” – Doug Pratt, the Michigan Education Association’s temporary director of member benefits, testifying before a state senate committee about the union’s compliance with the right-to-work law. (December 5 MLive.com)
6) “As we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of CTA, we must remember that we were founded for one reason – and one reason only – and that was to engage in politics. We were founded to engage in the political process in order to create an organized system of public instruction and to elevate the profession of teaching in California.” – Carolyn Doggett, executive director of the California Teachers Association, in a January 27 speech to the union’s State Council.
5) “Anytime there’s an audit of Title I dollars, you’re going to see errors at the school level because schools spend money for what they need, and then sometimes they worry about if it fits the parameter of the grant later.” – Andres Alonso, CEO of the Baltimore City Schools, after a federal audit revealed that Title I and stimulus dollars were used for dinner cruises, meals, theater performances and a mother/daughter makeover. (May 23 CBS Baltimore)
4) “We don’t blame the firefighters when there’s a fire, and we don’t blame the police for crime! Why would we? Then why are educators being blamed for the struggles of our public schools? Let’s look at the policies and the policymakers instead of the people doing the work every day.” – Earl Wiman, current member of the National Education Association Executive Committee. (April 12 speech to the Virginia Education Association Delegate Assembly)
3) “It would be akin to making you and your wife redo your marriage license every year.” – John Havlicek, president of the La Crosse Education Association, describing Wisconsin’s annual recertification requirement for teachers’ unions. (November 27 La Crosse Tribune)
2) “Because maybe these teachers have an ungodly fear of interviews. Or maybe they’re on vacation in the Netherlands and don’t want to return for an interview. Or maybe they think interviews are a sham. It doesn’t matter.” – Lynn Nordgren, president of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, explaining to school district negotiators why unplaced tenured teachers who refuse to show up for job interviews should not be dismissed. (September 27 MinnPost)
1) “Since a teacher’s working conditions are a child’s learning conditions, attacking teachers is the same as attacking children.” – Randy Mousley, president of United Teachers of Wichita. (February 9 Wichita Eagle)