High Honors

The Colorado Education Association, carrying the state’s largest anti-reform-in-education banner for years, has bestowed on me high honors. The new October-November 2006 edition of CEA Journal included yours truly, the proprietor of this blog, in a select group as “[one] of the most virulent *anti-public education individuals in the state.” Incidentally, this appeared in the same issue where union officials also endorsed an astonishing (gasp!) 73 Democrat candidates vs. 6 Republican candidates – oh so clearly not reflecting the political affiliations of their rank-and-file membership.

The badge of honor has now assumed a permanent place at the top of the page. I believe I now can say I’ve truly made my parents proud, and my life’s work has not been in vain.

* “anti-public education” = CEA code speak for anyone who disagrees with their agenda

Update: I scanned and uploaded the page in question as a PDF, so living proof is here. It’s easy to find … just go to the last paragraph in the far right column to view it for yourself.

Comments

  1. says

    Ben,

    Congratulations!! You know what they say… If you’re not over the target you’re not receiving fire.

    Jim

  2. says

    Hmm….been on *waaay* too many Mike Rosen shows. Congrats, it’s not everyone that is honored in this fashion.

  3. Pat says

    Congratulations!!! You should put the CEA code for anti-public education at the top banner as well for any naive persons who stumble across your blog.

  4. Wendell says

    Democrats have been more consistent supporters of public education, so it’s not surprising the CEA supports more Democratic candidates than Republicans.
    You were one of several Independence Institute employees mentioned. All of II’s writings on education I’ve seen have been geared towards introducing a profit layer between our tax dollars and our kids’ schools. No one needs to get rich off public education, and the experiments we’ve seen thusfar with Edison and other corporate managers have been frankly horrendous.
    Lee Kunz is eminiently qualified to coach sports, and after November will be able to continue that good work.

  5. says

    “Democrats have been more consistent supporters of public education….” What does that mean, Wendell? Supporters of the outdated infrastructure of the existing system? Supporters of the employee interest groups that have stakes in preserving the current system?

    “All of II’s writings on education I’ve seen have been geared towards introducing a profit layer between our tax dollars and our kids’ schools.” You obviously haven’t read too much, but that’s okay.

    If you want to have a real debate sometime, please feel free to jump in. But you don’t even take it from me … talk to some other Democrats out there who are education reformers and are not pleased with the agenda of the unions & education establishment.

    If Karen wins (which I wouldn’t count on), it’s because her campaign has been heavily funded by dollars collected through the public payroll system from professional teachers, many of whom would not support her with a dime on their own if asked.

  6. lalo says

    Ben, what it means is that Democrats have a more credible claim to putting education first, by focusing on improving the public school system for all students. In contrast, Republicans often see public schools as a lost profit opportunity.

    Just like privatizing Social Security, the idea that introducing yet another for-profit middleman in between our tax dollars and our children will somehow reduce costs and improve services is nonsensical. Thusfar it has not been supported by the privatizing experiments that have been undertaken.

    I understand that you have a strong hatred of professional educators and teachers’ unions. I have perhaps an equally strong dislike for corporate and religious interests who want to profit off the public school system. But the only thing that really matters is the quality of education our kids are getting, and that’s where we should focus.

  7. says

    Any party bent on “improving the public education system for all students” would not be in political bed with the teachers unions. Your caricature of the Republicans’ agenda for education is wrongheaded, while really your only defense for saying the Democrats do better at putting “education” first is that they are willing to spend more money that benefits the adult interest groups who prop up the current system, rather than the customers the system should be serving.

    You say: “[T]he idea that introducing yet another for-profit middleman in between our tax dollars and our children will somehow reduce costs and improve services is nonsensical.” Quite a vague and general assertion, and essentially a strawman. We’re talking about consumer empowerment here, not for-profit schemes.

    If you are indeed interested in reducing costs and improving services in the education system, I have lots of ideas you can try to get implemented that will find resistance from self-interested groups like teachers unions – eliminating the single salary schedule, reforming tenure, introducing transparency to collective bargaining, rolling back federal bureaucracy, to name a few.

    You say: “I understand that you have a strong hatred of professional educators and teachers’ unions.” If the unions best represented the interests of the most successful professional educators, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. No, I don’t hate them. I oppose the unions’ self-interested agenda, which often blindly leads them to do things that are not in the best interest of students.

    I am glad we are both focused on “the quality of education our kids are getting,” since our schools could be doing a lot better. Giving parents more choices is an important part of the equation, as is reforming our schools of education and K-12 schools to ensure the highest quality of instructors is available. But these ideas will have to wait for next time.

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