We’re All Right-Wing Bastards Now, writes teacher Larry Sand of the anti-union California Teachers Empowerment Network in City Journal. Sand is responding to a speech by Bob Chanin, the outgoing general counsel of the National Education Association, who called critics of the union “conservative and right-wing bastards” who oppose public education.
People of all political stripes—not just right-wing “bastards”—are starting to realize that the single biggest impediment to education reform is the NEA itself.
. . . Just two days before Chanin’s speech, the Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights released a report, National Teachers’ Unions and the Struggle Over School Reform, maintaining that the teachers’ unions consistently blocked meaningful education reform and accusing the NEA of trying to end enforcement of the No Child Left Behind act. The unions “almost uniformly call for the spending of more money and the creation of more teaching positions which, of course, result in an increase in union membership, union income and union power,” wrote one of the authors, David Kilpatrick. . . . Kilpatrick spent 12 years as a top union officer, while the study’s other authors include former senators Bill Bradley and Birch Bayh, D.C. congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, and civil rights leader Roger Wilkins—all liberals.
“People of goodwill across the political spectrum” are fighting for “real education reform,” Sand writes. I think that’s right.