Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Parent Trigger and the Corporate Nature of the AFT and Other Status Quo Defenders

Here's more from RiShawn Biddle on this, making the spot-on point that it's the unions, not we reformers, who are corporate:

Dropout Nation's revelations that the American Federation of Teachers aren't all that fond of the Parent Power movement and other elements of the nation's overall school reform movement has shattered Randi Weingarten's three-year-long effort at triangulating reform. For the union and its charming, cunning president, it will be more-difficult to convince the public that they welcome parents to the table of education decision-making. And the rank-and-file won't be too pleased either.

But the "Diffused Parent Trigger" affair (their misspelling, not ours) also proves lie to one of the biggest myths perpetuated by education traditionalists: That their efforts to defend even the most-atrocious of traditional public education practices is simply a homegrown grassroots affair fighting against supposedly "corporate" school reformers interested in filthy lucre. The very anti-intellectualism of this mythology — based on the failure to realize that the entrepreneurs and corporate institutions are the very reasons why America has a high standard of living, are the ones who provide the tax revenues that sustain American public education, and finance the very institutions that give education traditionalists their jobs — makes such statements rather ridiculous. More importantly, this myth fails to consider the reality that education traditionalists are themselves defenders of an institutional, or, I'll dare say, corporate, culture.

Consider this: At the national level, the AFT, along with the NEA, generate $622 million a year in dues — and this is the tip of the iceberg. When one drills down into the finances of all of their affiliates, the two unions are billion-dollar organizations with the sizeable staffs that one would find in the average corporation. Weingarten and her counterpart, Dennis Van Roekel, are just as well-paid as their counterparts in the corporate world


Parent Trigger and the Corporate Nature of the AFT and Other Status Quo Defenders

August 5, 2011 2 Comments by RiShawn Biddle


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