NEA “Cognitive Linguistic Analysis” Conducted by Wile E. Coyote

February 9, 2015

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(Guest post by Greg Forster)

ALELR draws our attention to Conor Williams’ reporting on a rich, rich vein of hilarious tomfoolery at NEA. Williams has a leaked memo in which the NEA uses “cognitive linguistic analysis” to change reality by using magic words. As ALELR points out, some items in Lily Eskelsen’s “cloven hoofed minions” speech appear to have been driven by this magical thinking.

But wait, it gets better. One of the union’s magic words is “the right ZIP code.” Apparently people aren’t much moved by complaints about “inequality” so the unions will seek to advance the redistributionist agenda by saying that a quality education should not depend on living “in the right ZIP code.”

How long do you think it will take the NEA’s soooooooper geniuses to figure out the problem with that approach?


Scandal! Big Education Conference Subordinates Education to PROFIT!

May 22, 2013

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(Guest post by Greg Forster)

Kudos to ALELR for this shocking expose – a major education conference is trying to destroy our schools by subordinating education to greedy profiteering BUSINESSES!


Do As WEAC Says, Not As It Does

March 15, 2011

(Guest post by Greg Forster)

For weeks, Wisconsin teachers represented by WEAC, the state’s NEA affiliate, called in “sick” so they could join the union protest in the state capitol. Schools closed, and parents were left to take care of their kids on no notice – to say nothing of the loss to the kids’ education.

Priceless development: ALELR points out that WEAC has a contract with the union that represents its own employees – the union’s own union – and in that contract WEAC’s employees are forbidden to engage in union activities during normal work hours.

Pot, this is kettle. Kettle, pot.

In other Wisconsin union news, ALELR reports that the Milwaukee union is dropping its notorious Viagra lawsuit. The teachers who want this medication, he observes, are now left to stand on their own.


Seriously, What Is Up at UFT?

February 28, 2011

(Guest post by Greg Forster)

I’m catching up on this a little late, but ALELR has connected a couple of dots and drawn a picture of things at the UFT that can only make you say “Epic Facepalm.”

OK, you do remember the whole Cue Card Check scandal? At the time, Randi Weingarten was so embarrassed that she was forced to go out and claim she knew nothing about all this – cue cards? what cue cards? – and would “make some changes in the union.”

I missed this at the time, but last summer Elizabeth Green (who also broke the Cue Card Check story) reported that Marvin Reiskin, the UFT political director, had taken early retirement in the aftermath of the scandal. He was lined up for retirement at the end of the year anyway, but forcing him out early – even a month early – beats doing nothing. It sends an internal signal, however muted.

Obviously UFT had to be looking for a replacement who would restore credibility. Their number one priority after such a humiliation must have been to bring in someone who would restore adult supervision – and, more importantly, be seen to do so – show the watching world that the grownups were back in charge at UFT.

So get this: the person tapped to play that role was Paul Egan.

I think the question now becomes: why does UFT have an organizational culture in which people like this consistently rise to the top, no matter how strong the external incentives against it?


Blogs at Ten Paces!

May 17, 2010

(Guest post by Greg Forster)

Over the weekend, ALELR ran the numbers on Technorati and posted the Top 20 Education Blogs on his blog, Intercepts. Coming out on top – Joanne Jacobs. But what do you expect given that she’s married to royalty?

Tied for #10? Jay P. Greene’s Blog and . . .  Intercepts.

I say we settle this like men – on the field of honor. There can be only ten!


Ignorance May Be Bliss, But It Makes Bad Policy

September 4, 2009

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(Guest post by Greg Forster)

ALELR draws attention to some problematic details in the Gallup/PDK poll finding on Americans’ support for charter schools.

 I hate to draw attention to the PDK poll, since its voucher support question has been shown to be misleading in a way that drives down the appearance of voucher support by an astonishing 23 percentage points. But I feel pretty safe because the PDK voucher question has lost so much credibility that it’s not really very dangerous any more.

So back to the charter school question. PDK finds 64% of Americans support charter schools. That’s the topline. But guess what else you find if you look below that?

A majority of Americans don’t think charter schools are public schools.

57% believe charter schools charge tuition.

71% believe charter schools can select their own students.

Perhaps vouchers and charters were separated at birth.

Bear that in mind the next time you hear charters are more popular than vouchers. First of all, I doubt that it’s true – I’ve seen plenty of polls with around 64% support for vouchers. But on top of that, how sure are we that when people say they support charters they don’t think they’re supporting sending children to private schools of their choice using public funds, which is the very definition of a voucher?

Image HT I Think I Believe


More Teacher Union Sock Puppetry

April 29, 2009

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(Guest post by Greg Forster)

Recently we had a lot of fun with the Leo Casey/UFT “cue card check” story. But one fact that I don’t think got a lot of attention (here or elsewhere) is that this is far from the first instance of teacher union sock puppetry.

In this week’s Communique, ALELR highlights another one – the NEA’s longtime practice of setting up dummy organizations that are entirely controlled by the union, but conceal this fact and present themselves as independent voices. This week he highlights ROVE (Republicans Opposing Voucher Efforts), which, from the evidence ALELR presents, sure looks a whole lot like it has the NEA’s arm sticking out the bottom.

Apparently their strategy is to pay a whole chorus of voices to sing out of the union songbook, while hiding the singers’ union connections.

Say, I think I feel a song coming on myself…

Why are there so many songs about unions?
And choruses on their side?

The singers are honest and independent
And they have nothing to hide

So we’ve been told and some choose to believe it
I know they’re wrong, wait and see
Someday we’ll find it – the union connection
The reformers, the reporters, and me!