Chipping Away at CEA’s Whitewash

The Colorado Education Association (CEA), the state’s largest teachers’ union as well as the largest roadblock in the path of true education reform, was called to the carpet today in an awesome column by the Denver Post‘s David Harsanyi – “True or false: Union backs school choice.”

Of course, the answer is a resounding “False,” though you have to wade through the garbled doublespeak of union officials to see it clearly. Harsanyi’s column unravels a recently published letter from CEA President Ron Brady written in response to one of his earlier pieces. With today’s offering, Harsanyi again proves that he is at his best when he exposes union officials’ duplicity:

Being accused of having a “narrow view” on education by a group that opposes virtually any choice for parents and works overtime to strand academically at-risk children in failing schools doesn’t sting one bit.

What was most fascinating about Brady’s letter of complaint, however, was his boast that Colorado “has a long history of school choice.”

Brady points to the Public Schools of Choice Act of 1990 and 1993′s charter school law, which created “another kind of public-school choice.”

Brady, who did not return my calls, is right about one thing: Colorado does indeed have a superior record to most states when it comes to public school choice. It’s Brady’s CEA that has a truly embarrassing record.

In what can only be described as deceptive advertising, he is now trying to take credit for programs his organization has vigorously opposed in the past.

Yet, however hard he may try, there is no obscuring the fact that the CEA has been a force of obstruction to school choice, even in public education, something most Colorado parents support.

And he’s got some good evidence to back it up, evidence teachers’ union officials wish to keep in history’s dust bin. Sit back and marvel, if you will, at the chutzpah of CEA’s public relations department in their efforts to rewrite history and whitewash their image. Sadly for them, however, an excellent Denver columnist has scraped away some of that top layer of white paint.

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