NEA Strikes Again!
August 18, 2004
- Aaargh! The National Education Association
is at it again. This time they’ve given 1.8 million dollars worth of
teachers’ dues to fund the Communities for Quality Education’s attack ads on
No Child Left Behind, which suggests that the act "wastes money on
bureaucracy and paperwork," and leaves "classrooms overcrowded" with "fewer
teachers" as well as "out-of-date books and materials." Oh, please!
Let’s clear up a few ideas about the role the NEA plays in regards to wasted
money, overcrowding, teachers, books and materials. To begin with, every
time the NEA is challenged in court with regard to its misguided and
inappropriate policy decisions, it uses money gained through teacher dues to
defer the costs of defending itself…money which is supposed to help the
students and teachers in this country achieve excellence in education. But I
The money forced out of teacher paychecks and instead used to support the
union goes to further a union agenda that takes away from parental choice
and responsibility. Because of the NEA, public schools provide sexual
education in which abstinence is not seen as a priority and which takes away
from needed additional instructional time in core academic areas. Also, the
NEA believes that home schooled students should not be allowed to
participate in extracurricular activities offered by public schools. They
are against vouchers because voucher schools are not unionized. They argue
that parents should have no opinion over the books and curriculum chosen by
teachers and librarians. I wonder how many parents realize that their hard
earned tax dollars supports schools following the NEA agenda, not local
Furthermore, the NEA has no tolerance for religion. It condemns conservative
religious groups who dare criticize their policies. Through resolutions,
programs, or other expenditures, dues go to support groups such as NOW and
the ACLU who openly attack religious organizations. The NEA supports
abortion, contraceptives for children, family planning clinics in schools,
and affirmation of homosexuality –all of which many conservative religious
groups are against. None of these should be under the domain of the schools.
There is enough to think about with low academic achievement and discipline.
Getting back to the attack ads, it is estimated that the NEA uses 75% of its
collected money for politics. With this money, they have always endorsed
Democrats for president even though about 1/3 of its members are Republican.
The NEA has the largest number of PAID political organizers and lobbyists in
the United States. Unfortunately, teachers who request refunds for dues
going to political expenditures through the union, likely receive back a
fraction of what is actually spent on politics.
The No Child Left Behind act is trying to address the heart of the problems
in education. The arguments made by the attack ads are smokescreens to cover
up the fact that the NEA is harmful to education and our schools would be
better off without them. In fact, smaller class sizes have no significant
impact on learning unless the number of students making up a class is about
˝ of what currently amounts to typical class sizes. But the union is fully
aware that by lessening the class numbers by insignificant amounts, it will
be necessary to hire more teachers and more union dues will be collected for
NCLB requires teachers be qualified to teach the subjects for which they are
responsible. Testing will assure that students are being taught required
curriculum, that teachers are held accountable for what they are actually
teaching, and that the curriculum and methodology in which it is being
taught, have been scientifically proven as a legitimate means for
Parents who feel that a school is not providing an effective academic
environment should have more choices about where their kids attend school.
By including the element of choice, a public school monopoly will have to
reevaluate its instructional methods, curriculum, and teachers. Schools need
to be held accountable by those who don’t have a stake in the status quo.
Currently, the union is the driving force behind what happens in the public
schools. It is hoped that private schools, not under union control, can
demonstrate alternatives which foster better instructional environments.
Although the law has been criticized as being under funded and too
restrictive, in actuality federal education spending is higher than it’s
ever been. The people complaining loudest are from districts who have lost
control of the purse strings and are balking at the changes which would hold
them accountable for their actions or who have lost money because it has
been distributed more equitably under the new requirements.
The biggest waste I see is the money being spent on the negative ad
campaigns against President Bush and NCLB. But the NEA has boatloads of
money to spend on that because the alternative is that people might figure
out that the NEA and their tactics are akin to, dare I say it…a terrorist
Barrier to Learning: How the NEA prevents students
and teachers from achieving academic and professional Excellence
Education Group's Ads Assail Bush