We here at Conservative Teachers of America stand firmly on two issues: the Federal Department of Education is a waste of money and should be eliminated and teacher unions are harmful to the educational process in American schools. Recent events regarding the behavior of the National Education Association should cause all educators and Americans to take a pause and ask themselves: What good does the NEA even provide to education?
A recent post on the Association of American Educators blog shows just how confused the NEA has become; Stranger Than Fiction: NEA Partners With WWE. No, we’re not making that up, the National Education Association has partnered with World Wrestling Entertainment. Now, here’s where things get even stranger. The reason for the partnership, is to “ensure a positive and equitable social environment for everyone regardless of age, race, religion or sexual orientation through grassroots efforts beginning with education and awareness.” The WWE, the same organization that on a regular basis portrays violence, bullying, and the disrespect and belittling of women, is going to help the NEA in an anti-bullying campaign. What planet are these people from?
Rosalind Wiseman, author of the book Queen Bees, and Wannabes (highly recommend this book for any secondary educator) put together a piece on her website complete with videos that demonstrates just why this is so ludicrous. If you want to have your stomach turn, watch the video of Vince McMahon and the woman Trish. McMahon forces her to strip down to her underwear in front of a screaming crowd, tells her to get down on all fours and bark like a dog, and treats her as if she is sub-human. Ah yes, if you want to promote good values this is the organization you partner with, way to go NEA!
As if this partnership wasn’t the latest in insanity from the NEA, they decided to continue and endorse President Barack Obama 16 months before the election and months before the Republican party has even chosen a candidate. Now, we’re not fooling ourselves here, we don’t expect the NEA to endorse a conservative candidate, but it’s just amazing that they would take this step so early in the process. They have endorsed the same President that chose Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education. Duncan is quite possibly the most unqualified individual to have ever held this post, he has no degree in education, and never was an educator or principal a day in his life. The strange thing is that the NEA is on record as criticizing Duncan.
There is obviously something driving this behavior. We suspect it has something to do with the fact that the NEA is losing money and members at an alarming rate.
The recent NEA convention in which they endorsed President Obama was held over Independence Day weekend in Chicago. Now, call us crazy, but isn’t it odd that the NEA would have their convention on this weekend? Of course, when you consider that many devout union members are usually devout progressives politically, this shouldn’t really surprise you too much. Independence Day for them is, well, just another day, not too much different than last Wednesday or the Monday before that.
The AAE reports that the convention was a major disappointment. Only 7500 delegates were in attendance and this was the lowest amount since 1998. We’re a bit surprised at this, especially considering they had Vice-President and Gaffe King Joe Biden speak to them. Financially things are not much better, NEA Secretary-Treasurer Becky Pringle reported that the NEA faces a $14 million dollar shortfall and has lost 39,000 active members since 2010. (We’re going to offer a free tip to the NEA here; you’re doing something wrong when you lose money and members in such large quantities.) The NEA has decided to try and alleviate the problem and is raising the PAC portion of member dues by $10.
It’s exciting to see so many union members beginning to see the light and leave the NEA. This is a prime opportunity, and conservatives around the country need to speak out louder and larger against this organization. Do you know a teacher in your life that is an NEA member? Question them with boldness. Do they really want their money to be going to the NEA? If they don’t, consider providing them with an option.
We here at CTA are huge fans of the Association of American Educators. The AAE is a non-union teacher advocacy organization that truly helps focus on what’s important in our profession, the child! Membership in the AAE is only $15 per month and benefits include $2,000,000 in liability insurance, legal protection and employment rights coverage. The real beauty of the AAE is the liability insurance, it’s twice the NEA’s coverage, with none of the politics.
Some interesting facts about the NEA that are worth mentioning:
Not all NEA members are liberal, a survey conducted in 2005 showed 50% of members were conservative or tended conservative. This is why it’s so important for conservatives to begin to speak out against the NEA. The NEA promotes an agenda that is in contrast to what so many conservatives stand for. This is a great way to cause further financial damage to the NEA, and to marginalize their impact on our profession.
The NEA-PAC donates a disproportionate amount of money to Democrat candidates. In the 2008 election NEA-PAC gave Democratic candidates 13 times the amount of money it gave Republicans (93% Democrat/7% Republican).
The NEA has a Labor Solidarity Partnership with the AFL-CIO. The same AFL-CIO whose President is Richard Trumka. For an interesting read on Mr. Trumka, please check out the Trumka fact sheet: An Ugly History of Union Violence and Corruption.
Updated 7/13/11: Just saw this on Big Government, the NEA is now using students to raise PAC money. Sad. National Education Association Thanks Students for Raising PAC Funds