Allen B. West

Forewarned is forearmed: The empire of teachers unions strikes back this fall

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When you look at the state of education in America, you have to ask, is the problem with the children and how we’re preparing them or something else? Recently, California ruled against teacher tenure and the same is occurring in New York. There is a strong movement for school choice, charter schools and home schooling in America.

However, just like in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Democrats have called on their version of storm troopers, the teachers unions, for the 2014 midterm elections.

According to Politico, “Teachers unions are struggling to protect their political clout, but as the midterm elections approach, they’re fighting back with their most popular asset: the teachers themselves. Backed by tens of millions in cash and new data mining tools that let them personalize pitches to voters, the unions are sending armies of educators to run a huge get-out-the-vote effort aimed at reversing the red tide that swept Republicans into power across the country in 2010.”

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Silly me, I thought the Democrats were against big special interest money in politics — oops, there’s that political hypocrisy thing again. One would have thought these highly influential organizations — National Educators Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) — would leverage their funding and clout to support better educational opportunities for our children. I guess that’s me living in fantasyland. Nope, they have one singular goal: beat Republicans. So much for education in America.

As Politico reports, “the unions have plenty of money: They spent $69 million on state races in 2010 and are likely to top that this year. But as they gear up for the most intense and focused mobilization efforts they have ever attempted, they believe it’s their members who will give them an edge. Americans may be frustrated with public schools and wary of unions, but polls still show respect and admiration for teachers.”

It’s a very crafty ploy but I would hope the American electorate — at least some — are wise to this game by now. I remember the slick, purple-shirted SEIU gang and now I suppose there will be a new legion joining them. Never laugh at community organizers — they know how to organize.

So will we fall for the trick of those we trust to educate our children, the teachers, who are being leveraged against us for a very selfish political agenda — which ultimately damages the future of our children? I certainly hope not.

Politico reports “the American Federation of Teachers, meanwhile, has joined other major unions in funding a huge expansion of the Grassroots Victory Program, run by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and focused on state legislatures. The initiative already has deployed 236 field organizers across 27 states — up from 60 organizers in 10 states in 2012. And the NEA is partnering with Rock the Vote to bring more young people to the polls and with the NAACP to help voters intimidated by new ID requirements in some states.”

“When you stand up, others follow, because you are the trusted messengers in your communities,” AFT President Randi Weingarten told 3,500 of her members at the union’s recent convention in Los Angeles. “We need you to be those trusted messengers like never before.”

Here’s how the plan works: “If someone knocks on your door and says, ‘I’m Mark, I’m from the state Democratic Party,’ you take the literature and shut the door,” said Karen White, political director for the National Education Association. “If you say, ‘Hi, I’m Karen, I’m a third-grade teacher at Hillsmere Elementary and I’m here to tell you what’s at stake for public education,’ that gets a very different reaction from the voter.”

It gets a different reaction only if the person answering the door is clueless. This is why we must educate, enlighten, and inform more people about what is truly at stake.

Politico says “while other interest groups focus on the frenzied fight for control of the Senate, teachers unions are pouring their resources into state politics. They’re pushing to flip legislative chambers in several states to Democratic control and put allies in key offices such as attorney general and secretary of state in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. Above all, they’re out to oust incumbent Republican governors, especially Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, Florida’s Rick Scott and Michigan’s Rick Snyder.”

So here’s what my response would be to a “teacher” coming to my door. “Hi Karen, thanks for coming by. Do you support illegal immigrant children being allowed into our public school system at the expense of struggling American taxpayers? Do you think my taxes and property rates should increase to afford those entering our country illegally? Do you support the top-down driven government education policy known as Common Core and the fact that the Obama administration’s “Race to the Top” program blackmails states for federal funding by forcing them to accept common core? Karen, what is your plan to reduce the size and scope of the U.S. Department of Education and the overall bureaucracy surrounding education so we can focus more resources to you in your classroom? And finally, Karen, how much of your paycheck goes to unions for their political agenda advancement and how much are the unions paying you to be here?

Something tells me ol’ Karen would turn and run away quickly — especially as I ask her how much it took to fill up her gas tank to get here, as opposed to back in January 2009.

Well, all you folks there in Wisconsin, Michigan, here in Florida — and elsewhere — you have been forewarned. The Storm Troopers are coming. Get out your light saber and be prepared.

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