Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Fight Against Teachers Unions

by Leo Casey

Michelle Rhee and others, on teacher unions.
How does that compare to the resources and spending of the leading education reform actors? In a matter of days after she publicly announced the formation of StudentsFirst, an explicitly anti-union political lobbying organization, Michelle Rhee had raised pledges of more than $100 million, with a goal of raising $2 billion over five years. Rhee’s donors list includes many high profile corporate leaders and foundations with an anti-union bent, including Murdoch (NewsCorp), Walton Family (Wal-Mart), Fisher (The Gap), Langone (Home Depot), Tepper (Appaloosa), Arnold (Enron), New York City Mayor Bloomberg (Bloomberg Inc.), Fournier (Pennant), Loeb (Third Point), Tudor Jones (Tudor Investment) and Broad (SunAmerica-AIG). [8]
And StudentsFirst is only one of many such organizations. Wealthy individuals and foundations are literally pouring billions of dollars into various anti-union, privatization and corporate “education reform” efforts on a scale that teacher unions could never hope to match. [9]…

As one examines the issues, the struggles over the future of public education and teachers unions in America comes to resemble the classic populist conflict of wealth and money on the one side and masses of ordinary people on the other. One cannot understand the real power and role of teacher unions, nor the balance of political power between unions and their corporate-funded opponents, without coming to grips with this central premise. And, in truth, when attacks on pubic education and teacher unions are cast as a concerted campaign by the rich and powerful against ordinary working teachers, they lose a considerable portion of their potency. [16]
By Leo Casey.  The Shanker Institute.
Read the entire essay. http://shankerblog.org/?p=8177
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