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The Union That Killed Education ^ | Monday, Feb. 17, 2003 | Paul Craig Roberts

Posted on 02/18/2003 12:14:52 PM PST by paltz

If you have a child in public school, you need to read "The Worm in the Apple: How the Teachers Unions Are Destroying American Education," a new book by Peter Brimelow.

Public schools are run by the National Educational Association. They are not run by people you can hold accountable, such as teachers, superintendents and school boards. The NEA opposes merit pay, charter schools and any decision by any school administrator that has not been determined in advance by collective bargaining.

Simply put, the NEA opposes everything except its own power.

In Connecticut, the teachers union filed a grievance demanding pay for an extra two minutes a week that the union claimed teachers worked. In Pennsylvania, a grievance was filed because coffee and doughnuts were not provided during a teacher training day.

Jaime Escalante, a teacher whose extraordinary success in teaching calculus to inner-city Hispanics resulted in a Hollywood movie, was run out of his California school district by the teachers union. Escalante, it seems, violated union rules by complaining about teachers who used the teachers' lounge as a real estate office and called in sick to extend their weekends.

A high school principal who requested that teachers write daily objectives on the classroom board was denounced by the union as a "draconian zealot."

Meanwhile, kids aren't learning. The vocabulary of the average American 14-year-old has dropped from 25,000 words to 10,000. San Francisco Examiner reporter Emily Gurnon asked teen-agers to identify the country from which America won its independence. Among the answers: "Japan or something, China. Somewhere out there on the other side of the world." "It wouldn't be Canada, would it?" "I don't know; I don't even, like, have a clue." "I want to say Korea. I'm tripping."

Brimelow next introduces the teachers. Sara Boyd, a recipient of many awards and accolades during her teaching career, experienced difficulty passing a mathematics competency test. She sued the state of California, claiming the test was racially discriminatory. But at her deposition she was unable to answer the question "What percent of 80 is 8?"

Teachers can't teach because the union won't let them. Perhaps it is just as well. Here are some course listings in the education department at the University of Massachusetts: Embracing Diversity, Diversity and Change, Oppression and Education, Introduction to Multicultural Education, Black Identity, Classism, Racism, Sexism, Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Oppression, Jewish Oppression, Oppression of the Disabled, Erroneous Beliefs.

Schools of education have turned teachers into agents of the therapeutic state, a new form of government analyzed by Paul Gottfried in his recent book, "Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt." Indoctrination and social reconstruction have replaced the traditional emphasis on reading, writing and arithmetic.

When you can stop laughing or crying, pay attention. Brimelow is serious. He knows the NEA inside out. But the media do not. Brimelow has a chapter describing how the NEA bribes the media for favorable stories by handing out "media awards." The Dallas Morning News won three awards for promoting a trip by area teachers to the state capital to lobby for money for teachers raises.

In 2000, when NEA delegates voted to strengthen their policy against merit pay for teachers, The Associated Press reported the opposite. Newspapers across the country then editorialized on the basis of the erroneous AP report.

The problem, says Brimelow, is that the NEA is the backbone of the Democratic Party and public education is a government monopoly. Brimelow asks Lenin's question, "What Is to Be Done?" and replies with 24 reforms.

One senses that Brimelow believes reform has little hope when it is opposed by NEA lobbying. If the NEA is to be undone, its undoing will come from parents and teachers deserting the schools. Homeschoolers, without benefit of fancy facilities, science labs and huge expenditures of money. outscore public school students.

Teachers themselves are dropping out, demoralized by lack of professionalism, chaos and crumbling educational standards. As readers recently pointed out to me, teachers are being imported from India and other Third World countries under the H-1B visa program to take the jobs that American teachers are abandoning.

Brimelow uses the wrong tense when he writes that "the teacher unions are destroying American education." They have destroyed it.

Dr. Roberts' latest book, "The Tyranny of Good Intentions," has been published by Prima Publishers.

Copyright 2002 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: academialist; education; educationnews; nea
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1 posted on 02/18/2003 12:14:52 PM PST by paltz
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To: paltz
NEA = "Not Educating Anyone"
2 posted on 02/18/2003 12:16:19 PM PST by Sgt Hulka 123
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To: paltz
If my tech job goes by the wayside I'm thinking of becoming a teacher. Yes, I have a slight masochistic streak in me.

Anybody know if one can be a teacher without being forced to join the NEA?
3 posted on 02/18/2003 12:27:45 PM PST by VeniVidiVici
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To: paltz
When Peter Brimelow dissects something, it stays dissected; he cuts them up fine.

Put a toe-tag on the NEA. ;^)
4 posted on 02/18/2003 12:28:36 PM PST by headsonpikes
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To: TxBec; Vic3O3; cavtrooper21
Tx, please add this to your home school list.

Vic, this looks like a book we should add to the library.

Cav, something your Mother might want to read also.

Semper Fi
5 posted on 02/18/2003 12:30:03 PM PST by dd5339 (Home schooling is education, not indoctrination!)
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To: paltz
"They are not run by people you can hold accountable, such as teachers, superintendents and school boards." Say what? If someone could give me some advice on how to hold my school board accountable for putting money into the pockets of their real estate chums, I'd greatly appreciate it.
6 posted on 02/18/2003 12:31:15 PM PST by neefer
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To: paltz
The NJEA spent most of 2001 trying to convince the voters of New Jersey that Jim McGreevey was the best candidate in the governor's race. The NJEA then spent most of 2002 complaining that he was an @sshole for failing to live up to his campaign promises.

I don't know why they bother -- it's not as if they would ever endorse anyone but a Democratic candidate.

7 posted on 02/18/2003 12:31:32 PM PST by Alberta's Child
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To: paltz
The sad part is that many teachers do not have any idea (nor do they care) what the NEA stands for. They simply turn over their money for their dues, content in the fact that their paid membership supplies them with liability insurance. Meanwhile the leftists in the leadership move on, unchallenged, with their agenda.
8 posted on 02/18/2003 12:34:01 PM PST by Faith
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To: paltz
How the Teachers Unions Are Destroying American Education

Actually, it is compulsary government education that has destroyed American education. It provided the juicy spoils for the union parasites to latch onto.

Separation of School and State


9 posted on 02/18/2003 12:35:54 PM PST by Hank Kerchief
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To: Stand Watch Listen; joanie-f; snopercod; mommadooo3; JeanS
10 posted on 02/18/2003 12:40:45 PM PST by First_Salute
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To: VeniVidiVici
As sad as it is, being in the NEA is probably the best option if you're going into public school teaching for one reason: legal representation.

If you want to be ambitious, look into organizing a co-op or starting a charter school in your area. I'd be surprised if a good many homeschoolers' parents didn't jump at the chance to use economies of scale to further enhance their childrens' educations.

11 posted on 02/18/2003 12:53:05 PM PST by jz638
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To: jz638
Do you know how hard it is to start a charter school? The NEA doesn't like them either.
12 posted on 02/18/2003 12:57:10 PM PST by ladylib
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To: paltz
The nasty part of the whole buisness is that so many of us parents can't afford to pay to send our kids to private school because we are forced to pay for the public school via taxes. Moreover, here in California, the NEA is comming after the home-schoolers as if they were child-abusers.

We really need a national voucher system to break the monopoly.

13 posted on 02/18/2003 12:58:25 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: paltz
The following paragraphs are from an article about textbooks in the Mt Diablo USD that appeared in the Contra Costa Times yesterday. Note that the teacher's criticism isn't that the new textbooks aren't effective: it's that they force the teachers to actually teach.

"What's more, in K-8 schools, the district has to choose from textbooks approved by the state Board of Education. If they don't, they have to apply for a waiver from the state board or find a way to pay for the books themselves.

Districts have only two choices for language arts in kindergarten to sixth grade, and some teachers prefer the old textbooks.

The new textbooks, being piloted this year in the Mt. Diablo district, are heavy on phonics. One curriculum, Open Court, is so methodical and scripted that some teachers say it leaves little room for creativity. They are put off by being told exactly what to say and how to teach.

The new textbook choices reflect the state's new instructional standards, guidelines for what students should learn at each grade level."

14 posted on 02/18/2003 1:03:35 PM PST by eaglescout
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To: paltz
There is a very few competent teachers who agree that the NEA is a blood sucker that defends incompetence. Teachers(?)who don't know their butts from third base CAN NOT be fired. Congresscritters who acept money from the NEA should be identified and removed from Congress.

A fine example of NEA low lifes is the local officers of the D.C. Chapter currently under investigation for stealing more than $3,000,000.00 from the union coffers.

15 posted on 02/18/2003 1:05:51 PM PST by sandydipper
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To: paltz
read later
16 posted on 02/18/2003 1:06:46 PM PST by LiteKeeper
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To: paltz
bump for later reading
17 posted on 02/18/2003 1:12:05 PM PST by Orangedog (Accept No Substitutes)
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To: neefer
Birmingham, AL school board never has adequate funding, yet somewhere between $16M and $26M (that's correct, no one even knows how much) is "missing, unaccounted for".
18 posted on 02/18/2003 1:23:50 PM PST by banjo joe
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To: paltz
For Bay Area freepers: I recently recieved the following in an email from the Alliance for the Separation of School and State. Should be an interesting evening.

"SOLVING AMERICA'S PUBLIC SCHOOL CRISIS" -- Next Independent Policy Forum, Feb.
20, 2003

The weakening standards of public education have been at the forefront of American
politics for years. Politicians ceaselessly pledge their "support" for education,
but public-school performance continues to decline. Why has educational quality
deteriorated in recent decades while funding has increased and the quality of
other goods and services has improved dramatically? Why has real public-school
reform remained elusive? And what reform strategies have the best chance of giving
school children the high-quality education they will need to thrive in a dynamic,
information-based economy?

Please join us as journalist PETER BRIMELOW and economist JOHN MERRIFIELD discuss
the causes of and cures for America's faltering public schools.


-- PETER BRIMELOW is columnist for CBS MarketWatch and former senior editor
of FORBES magazine. His new book is THE WORM IN THE APPLE.

-- JOHN MERRIFIELD is professor of economics at the University of Texas, San
Antonio, and research fellow at The Independent Institute. His new book is SCHOOL
CHOICES: True and False.

Thursday, February 20, 2003
Reception and book signing: 6:30 p.m.
Program: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

The Independent Institute Conference Center
100 Swan Way
Oakland, CA 94621-1428
For a map and directions, see

TICKETS: $30.00 per person: includes one copy of THE WORM IN THE APPLE by Peter
Brimelow or SCHOOL CHOICES by John Merrifield. Admission without a book is $12
per person ($10 for Independent Institute Associate Members). Reserve tickets
by calling (510) 632-1366.
19 posted on 02/18/2003 1:23:59 PM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
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To: Hank Kerchief; joanie-f; snopercod; mommadooo3; Stand Watch Listen
The Constitution authorizes funding for public education for the purpose of educating people regardless of age (etc.) in all the requirements necessary for understanding the foundations of our liberty. That is why that section of the body of the Constitution is in there; and it was one of George Washington's strongest interests.

Unfortunately, failing a study of the Constitution, is what "the left" "prays" upon, in other words, purposefully absent the "requirements necessary for understanding the foundations of our liberty" ... is the syllabus-manifesto of the N.E.A. whose soul purpose is to strip people of sensing even the opportunity to be free, and whose sole purpose is to subjigate people by leaving them helpless --- educationless --- and eternally vulnerable to that deprivation.

I'm a supporter of the Constitution and the public education it authorizes, including the truthful comprehension by the public, of the construction of our Constitution.

As yet another proxy for totalitarianism, the N.E.A. is against that instruction about limited government.

Our education problem, in general, is that Americans refuse to instruct themselves where George Washington, et al, believed we must: in the law --- not the statutes, but in the law, which we use to limit government excess and abuse of powers.

Sitting around, waiting for some change in "the system," expecting some relief from government power gone wrong in our schools, will not do our work for us: We must teach, every day, dare to speak the truth and explain our worthy American Heritage in examples and illustrations which take the "student" back to our construction and runs them through participating with The General at Valley Forge, in the Wilderness, and Constitutional Convention.

"I did not know that." I hear that alot. What attracts people, is your passion for the truth. They want the truth. They want to be informed.

They are turned OFF by lies, and thereby they lose interest.

We cannot sit and wait around while "the powers that be" try to solve the N.E.A.'s injustices by passing some bill in the Congress or in the states' legislatures ... or, considering the current climate, awaiting judge-made laws that bend with the forces coming from the nation's cultural research wind tunnel: the A.C.L.U.

Unfortunately, that is what "the powers that be" on "the right," are doing; sitting; waiting; for somebody else to pay the bill; instead of just plain digging into the work at hand.

It would help tremendously, if Republicans and "Republicans" would renounce their college alumni donations that are supporting institutional totalitarianism at university.

It would help alot; but that would mean giving up those football and basketball seats.

That is the lesson for today.

20 posted on 02/18/2003 1:31:05 PM PST by First_Salute
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