Dems v. Teacher Unions: More Cracks in the Facade

(Guest post by Greg Forster)

Do not miss Mickey Kaus’s firsthand account of stunning anti-teacher-union backlash from delegates at the Democratic National Convention:

I went to the Ed Challenge for Change event mainly to schmooze. I almost didn’t stay for the panels, being in no mood for what I expected would, even among these reformers, be an hour of vague EdBlob talk about “change” and “accountability” and “resources” that would tactfully ignore the elephant in the room, namely the teachers’ unions. I was so wrong.

In front of a gathering of about 500 delegates, four “smart, young, powerful, bald** black state and local elected officials” (Kaus’s description; the asterisks lead to a note conceding the presence of some hair on one guy’s head – but only on the sides) denounce teachers’ unions, explicitly and in strong terms, and recieve vigorous applause. “In a room of 500 people at the Democratic convention!” (emphasis in original)

Most satisfying line: “John Wilson, head of the NEA itself, was also there. Afterwards, he seemed a bit stunned.”

Promising signs that the facade is cracking faster than we may have thought. And my pals at the Friedman Foundation who decided to make this topic the cover story of the latest issue of the School Choice Advocate sure do look prescient.

3 Responses to Dems v. Teacher Unions: More Cracks in the Facade

  1. I think this is big. Black urban democrats favor school choice more than any other demographic. Black urban politicians shy from choice for the reason stated by Cory Booker.

    “”The politics are so vicious,” Booker complained, remembering how he’d been told his political career would be over if he kept pushing school choice”

    The teacher’s unions are telling people that ‘If you support school choice you are finished in this town’. Politicians can’t search for viable alternatives for the children in their districts without aggressive scrutiny and opposition. And when people like Booker break the veil it is no surprise that other people in the same political system give him a “Hell Yeah!”, because they all know the oppressive ties of the system.

    It is about time, and to mix metaphors the time is ripe for the pickin.

    I love your work and that of Mr. Greene. This blog was a fantastic idea and I check it every day.

    What you guys do will change lives. Real lives. You will change the trajectory of many Americans. Don’t ever forget that. Your work has an awesome power to benefit the people that need that benefit more than anyone else.

    I have faith in you and the Foundation. I have pride in you in my support. I wish I could speed up time, because at some point school choice will seem like an after thought. In the mean time though I console myself that time is on our side.

    The tide is turning. Keep fighting. May God Bless You.

    I think this is fantastic news.

  2. Greg Forster says:

    Thanks for the encouragement. I try my best.

  3. Ryan Marsh says:

    What makes this even more interested is that the most recent (or upcoming, I’m not sure the mailing status) edition of Education Next (that unscholarly journal) shows a poll in which a relevant political bloc for this election, African-Americans, are 90% in favor of vouchers while simultaneously 90% think that the Democratic Party is better at advancing their interests in education. Perhaps with more progress like this–led, as mentioned, by African-American Democrats–those numbers may seem a little less contradictory.

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