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Bruce Bialosky

Teachers Are Not Your Friends

Parents who send their children to public schools have difficulty having bad thoughts about the teachers with whom their children are in classrooms every day. These teachers are not serving in the best interests of parents or their children. Until parents come to that stark realization the educational system in this country will continue to flounder and the children of this country will suffer the consequences.

A perfect example of the problem comes from Paul Taylor, former counsel for the House Judiciary Committee who now writes on Substack.

Taylor wrote, “The teachers my kids have had in public school have been wonderful, and it’s been a joy to see them teach. Individual teachers, however, are wholly separate from teacher’s unions.”

Mr. Taylor goes on to explain in an overly legalistic manner that unions exist for the purpose of serving the interest of their members. In this case, it means the unions do not serve the interest of the customers – the students and their parents. What Mr. Taylor does not define is that the teachers are the unions, and what the unions do is what these teachers want.

As delineated in this column previously, the teachers’ unions have taken many political positions that are in stark contrast to the beliefs of parents. The teachers’ unions in Los Angeles County made a bold statement in 2020 demanding the passing of multiple public policies (that have nothing to do with educating their students) before they would return to classrooms during the pandemic.

Regarding a lost year in the classroom, the head of the United Teachers of Los Angeles, Cecily Myart-Cruz, stated: “Our kids didn’t lose anything. It is OK that our babies may not have learned all their times tables. They learned resilience. They learned survival. They learned critical-thinking skills. They know the difference between a riot and a protest. They know the words insurrection and coup.” Among the many things wrong here, she says “our babies” as if the children are her wards not that of their parents.

Since public employee unions began legal across this country in the early 1960’s, teachers’ unions have been particularly effective in changing who controls the public schools. The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest union in the United States with an estimated three million members. The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has an estimated 1.7 million members.

The teachers do not only control the unions, but they also control the political entities with which they negotiate. In cities and states like California, New York and many more, their power controls the city councils and legislatures with whom they negotiate for salaries and benefits. When the unions negotiate, they control both sides of the table.

An organization that has recently come to the forefront, National School Boards Association (NSBA), represents 90,000 school board members on about 15,000 school boards in 49 states. The NSBA sent a now infamous letter asking the federal government to step in because they asserted that parents at school board meetings were acting like domestic terrorists and asking for the Department of Justice to treat these acts as hate crimes.

The crux of the problem is that parents who are busy with their everyday lives working and raising their children have often ceded control of school boards to operatives of the teachers’ unions. The seven members of Board of the Los Angeles Unified School District (second largest school district in the country) are all former teachers. What are the chances that any of them divert from the interests of the teachers’ unions?

In New York City, where the largest school district exists, the Board of Education is appointed by borough presidents and the mayor. Since most of the board is appointed by Bill de Blasio, an affirmed Leftist, what are the chances they are making decisions for the parents and the kids against the teachers?

Since the pandemic has opened the eyes of parents across the country to what is going on in their schools and the curriculum that is being forced on their children, the parents have taken their case to the school boards. They have now found out that the game is rigged. And it is rigged by the teachers who they used to trust to educate their children.

If there was any remaining doubt that parents are thought of as merely the taxpayers funding the schools, that was obliterated by Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe. He stated, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” The establishment which is bought and controlled by the teachers’ unions think that the schools are there to primarily serve the interest of the employees (teachers); not the consumers (children and parents). Parents are considered a nuisance.
Parents have lost control of their public schools across the country. There may be school districts where the children (and parents) come first, but they are the aberration and not the norm. Teachers’ unions with their massive political funds have bought the city councils, school boards and legislatures across the nation, not to mention mayors and governors.

The first step in curing this problem is to realize those unions are the teachers, and the teachers are the unions. They are the ones creating these bizarre educational environments and lowering standards. They are the ones who are the center of devolution of quality education where students are not meeting bare minimums, and where Blacks and Hispanics are being sentenced to second class existence because of the dismal education environment.

The next step is to run to replace these laggards at all levels and then have a real say in the children’s’ education. Otherwise, what parents will be doing is just carping.

Note:  The NSBA has retracted the part of their letter accusing parents of being domestic terrorists and apologized for what they wrote.  The question now is whether our Attorney General Garland will retract his letter.