Is it the slow-moving nature of bureaucracy or is it politics that has turned a simple Freedom of Information Law request into a 94-day wait?
On December 20, 2010, Education Action Group filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request with the New York City Department of Education. The request was for the personnel file of former [...]
After years of obstructing efforts to reform public education, the nation’s teacher unions are using this week’s national education conference in Denver to push for a spirit of “collaboration” among education reformers and teacher unions.
It’s too bad that the unions’ new-found interest in “working together” has not been reflected in very recent teacher union behavior.
Somewhere back in our school days, we all had a special teacher who made learning fun or who pushed us into achieving more than we thought possible. If you were lucky, you had several teachers like that.
But we’ve all had that certain teacher who liked to show videos on Friday while he sat in the [...]
Former American Federation of Teachers President Albert Shanker made teachers’ unions what they are today. He was hard-nosed defender of teachers’ rights, but he also came clean about public school performance.
In the making of “Kids Aren’t Cars,” I unearthed a 25-year old PBS interview with Shanker. His indictment of the public education system was stunning.
The high school graduate who cannot read his diploma is a favorite cliché among education reformers.
But like all clichés, it holds a lot of truth. Difficult as it may be to believe, there high school graduates who are barely able to read and write and do basic math. Their schools hand them a worthless piece [...]
American Federation of Teachers’ President Randi Weingarten has been doing her best to make sure Big Labor has a say in education reform. She wants to drive the train. The National Education Association, on the other hand, is taking the tact of putting dynamite under the tracks.
While Weingarten says all the right things and uses [...]
Americans are beginning to understand that the government-run assembly-line education system is not working. As I point out in the upcoming “Kids Aren’t Cars” film series, thousands, of not millions of kids are being failed by a system that is geared more towards satisfying adults than educating children.
How else can a recent Detroit Public Schools [...]
Teacher union leaders have been known to bark back when their strongest job protection – tenure – is referred to as a job for life.
Typical rebuttals include: “It’s a necessary protection from overzealous administrators,” or “it’s critical to maintain academic freedom.”
But in a recent blog post, United Federation of Teachers honcho Jeff Kaufman sticks his [...]
There’s a weird thing happening in public education. Hardcore unions are attempting to rebrand themselves as “professional organizations.” In fact, the American Federation of Teachers bills itself as “A union of professionals.”
Both the AFT and the larger National Education Association attempt to portray themselves as associations yet negotiate collective bargaining agreements and oftentimes act like [...]
As “Waiting for ‘Superman’” so eloquently points out, the industrial assembly-line model of America’s public schools, created decades ago, isn’t working. In fact, it’s setting us further and further behind our global competitors.
Today, it is essential that our children graduate high school and college prepared for the fierce competition they will face in the global [...]
The irony would be humorous if it weren’t so sad: The United Federation of Teachers, the New York City branch of the American Federation of Teachers, which pushed ardently for ObamaCare has now requested – and received – a waiver from its mandates.
The UFT is a member of New York State United Teachers (NYSUT). In [...]
Progressives and radicals decended on Washington, DC Saturday demanding more government spending as the way to fix societal ills. Groups including the AFL-CIO, SEIU, NAACP, Democratic Socialists of America, Organizing for America, Communist Party USA, American Federation of Teachers, CodePink and National Education Association linked arms in a call for voters to keep Democrats in [...]
Now that the final bell has rung on NBC’s week-long Education Nation conference, we can ask the extra credit question: When did school choice go mainstream?
The “summit,” held at NBC’s New York studios at Rockefeller Center, almost felt like a publicity junket for Waiting for Superman, a highly praised new documentary advocating for charter schools. A national TV audience [...]
It hasn’t been a good week for American Federation of Teachers’ president Randi Weingarten.
After being on defense the entire time during NBC’s “Education Nation” multi-day event, she was put on a list of “Most Hated People in America,” alongside Osama bin Laden.
Now I know what you may be thinking: what conservative teacher-hater could be so [...]
There is common agreement between education reformers and the status quo protectors that the most important element to a good education is a good teacher.
Teachers unions suggest that the way to retain “good” teachers is to pay them all more. The collectivist mentality is that every teacher is equal, works equally hard and should be compensated equally.
As if the $10 billion “public education bailout” wasn’t enough to stomach, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has introduced a bill, titled Education for All Act of 2010, which would spend American tax dollars on education systems around the globe. It’s S.3797.
U.S. Rep Nita Lowey (D-CA) has introduced similar legislation as H.B. 5117.
I think Washington [...]
Reform of public schools in the District of Columbia is the biggest victim of the recent city election. Mayor Adrian Fenty fell victim to Vincent Gray – and $1 million in spending by the American Federation of Teachers.
The biggest winner in the election was not Gray, but rather Randi Weingarten, president of the AFT, the teachers’ union [...]
Members of the American Federation of Teachers, along with AFSCME, SEIU and several other national labor unions, are showing their true political stripes by joining the “Labor for Palestine” movement.
These groups are not just calling for a Palestinian homeland in the Middle East and a peaceful resolution to the Palestinian/Israeli standoff. They’re suggesting that the [...]
Will the madness ever stop? Just over two weeks ago, Congress passed a $10 billion “Education Jobs Fund” that gave money to cash-strapped states to keep teachers and other school employees on the job. It was spun as a victory for the kids, but the real winners were the teacher unions who were spared from [...]
Washington’s latest bailout of bleeding state governments, $26 billion worth, has gotten attention because, among other things, almost half the bailout is financed by cutting $12 billion from food stamps.
But isn’t food stamps a signature program for the liberal Democrats who passed this spending bill? Isn’t government money for the poor what Democrats are [...]
Unions moved one step closer to receiving their own bailout Wednesday when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the U.S. House back from recess to vote on a stimulus bill for unionized public employees.
The House will vote to create a $10 billion “Education Jobs Fund,” a euphemism for a public school bailout. Those aren’t my words [...]
There is a weird dichotomy in American education: many teachers across the country impress upon their students that they must succeed for our nation to remain competitive in a global economy.
But at the same time, teachers unions fear, and downright besmirch, competition.
Competition is what has made America the greatest country in the world. Capitalist inventors [...]
Senate Democrats were set to vote on a $10 billion bailout for public schools, claiming all along the measure was “paid for with spending cuts.” When the Congressional Budget Office revealed it was going to add $5 billion to the deficit, the vote was delayed until Wednesday.
The National Education Association, the biggest beneficiary of the [...]
The two top teachers unions and Senate Democrats are proving the old adage that dead bodies float to the surface. Just when we thought the wrong-headed “Education Jobs Fund” was dead, it comes back to life.
The U.S. Senate is poised to vote Monday on the “public school bailout,” the brainchild of teachers unions to stave [...]
Every now and then, I kind of feel sorry for President Obama. If there’s anyone that has seen bad schools, it would be a community organizer from the south side of Chicago.
President Obama has rolled out a series of education reforms, tepid as they may be, with the goal of improving America’s schools.
To say the [...]