Unions, Struggling, Increase Marxist Rhetoric

Unions, Struggling, Increase Marxist Rhetoric
June 18, 2014

Joy Pullmann

Joy Pullmann is a research fellow on education policy for The Heartland Institute and managing... (read full bio)

School Choice Weekly #41

Although unions likely will appeal a California judge’s decision that union-backed teacher tenure laws cause poor and minority children to get worse teachers, his ruling is just the latest in a series of significant problems for teachers unions, as Politico points out:

Long among the most powerful forces in American politics, the unions are contending with falling revenue and declining membership, damaging court cases, the defection of once-loyal Democratic allies – and a multimillion-dollar public relations campaign portraying them as greedy and selfish …

‘People increasingly view teachers unions as a problem, or the problem,’ [said] David Menefee-Libey, a politics professor at Pomona College who studies education politics. That’s a striking shift, he said, because ‘for decades the unions were viewed as the most likely to contribute to the improvement of public education.’

It looks like public opinion is finally catching up with reality, as it sometimes does. With the California judge, regular folks are realizing that kids don’t benefit from union-backed policies such as last in, first out or making it nearly impossible to fire rotten teachers.

Union-friendly politicians--mostly Democrats--have stalled this public realization by protecting their political cash cows with rhetoric and laws. They preserved their power at the expense of telling the truth and protecting children’s well-being, and may history judge them for it.

Now that their greed for money and power is becoming more obvious, teachers unions are in full “messaging mode.” Mike Antonucci notes the presence of new, poll-tested rhetoric coming from both major national teachers unions and California’s major teachers union in the wake of the California Vergara decision. None use the words “tenure” or “seniority.” They prefer instead to talk about teachers’ “experience” and “professional rights.” Then they pivot to mudslinging, with words such as “privatization,” “ultra-rich,” “funding inequities,” and (laughably) “special interests.”

In other words, expect unions to attempt to preserve their existence by playing on people’s ignorance of the economic and cultural failures of Marxism.

SOURCE: Politico, Education Intelligence Agency


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Joy Pullmann

Joy Pullmann is a research fellow on education policy for The Heartland Institute and managing... (read full bio)