Skip to comments.Outing the NEA
Posted on 06/26/2005 6:13:48 AM PDT by SteveH
Outing the NEA
Lawrence Sand frontpagemag June 24, 2005
Sending me to a public school in New York in the 1950s was an easy decision for my parents. The schools were good, discipline was taught and practiced, and my parents knew that when I stepped inside the schoolhouse the values they instilled in me would be shared and reinforced by my teachers, the principal, the guidance counselor, and everyone else. At a minimum, no one would challenge their parental authority. Unfortunately, this is often not the case anymore. Academic standards have been lowered, grade inflation is prevalent, multiculturalism is rampant, and student violence toward other students and teachers is not uncommon. And the most prominent teachers unions are leading the charge to impose its leftist agenda on young people -- and teach them graphic sexuality.
There is much happening behind the scenes, however, that most parents arent aware of when they send their little ones off to public school. Perhaps their greatest area of ignorance is the agenda of the National Education Association, the largest teachers union in the U.S. with more than 2.7 million members. The NEAs politics have become more and more left-wing, especially over the past 20 years. Through diversity training classes, teachers are emboldened to introduce new definitions of family and sexuality to young children; religious and cultural traditions and holidays are being replaced by worship of the earth, and the 3 Rs are taking a backseat to an aggressive progressive agenda that is more indoctrination than education e.g., anti-Bush protests (in concert with the ultra liberal MoveOn.org), gun control legislation, gay rights, hate crimes legislation, and abortion on demand. While the NEA does not directly make school policy, they do create curricula that school boards adopt. Additionally, local union affiliates spend millions through their political action arm to get their people elected to school boards.
And woe be to any politician who commits the sin of challenging the teachers union. The NEA and its junior partner, the American Federation of Teachers, have committed millions of dollars to oppose California Governor Arnold Schwarzeneggers attempts to implement much-needed reforms in education and to limit spending increases in a state swimming in red ink. For his efforts, the governor has had to endure an onslaught of negative ads, painting him as an insensitive right-winger who doesnt care about teachers or kids, and his approval ratings have plunged.
Reg Weaver, the current NEA president, has stated that the unions rank and file is roughly 1/3 Democrat, 1/3 Republican and 1/3 independent, yet a huge percentage of the unions political contributions -- some estimate it as much as 95 percent -- go to leftist politicians and causes. In 2004, Kerry supporters outnumbered Bush supporters there by more than 61. Predictably, they roared in approval last year when Hillary Clinton stepped in for John Kerry, who cancelled at the last minute, and gave a warm-up speech for a showing of Michael Moores controversial Bush-bashing film Fahrenheit 911.
While the NEAs activities are very disturbing, there is a David to fight the Goliath. A small but energetic faction within the union called the Conservative Educators Caucus was formed by Sissy Jochmann, a second grade teacher in Pennsylvania, Jeralee Smith, a teacher of physically handicapped children in California and Judy Bruns, a junior high school language arts teacher in Ohio. They formed the CEC four years ago because they felt the NEA leadership was not being responsive to a significant proportion of their membership that disagreed with the unions left-wing political and social agenda.
The issue that galvanized the group at the annual convention in 2001 was the introduction of a resolution to integrate radical homosexual themes -- a central part of the NEA agenda -- into the public school curriculum. In 2003, when Jochmann once again objected to this endorsement, she was shouted down by a vast majority of the delegates of the Representative Assembly. Compounding conservatives frustration, at its 2004 convention the NEA gave its prestigious Human Rights Award to Kevin Jennings, the founder of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN). This is the group that presided over the infamous Fistgate conference held at Tufts University in Massachusetts in March 2000, where state employees gave explicit instructions (about fisting and other forms of gay sexual activity) to children as young as 12. The conference was secretly recorded and can be heard here. The contents are extraordinarily vile.
Unfortunately, Fistgate was not an isolated incident. On April 30 of this year GLSEN held an event at Brookline High School in Massachusetts, and distributed an obscene booklet to hundreds of middle and high school students. With headings like F**kin, S**kin and Spit or Swallow?, it describes various sexual practices that can only be described as perverse.
Because the CEC has protested this outrageous misuse of the classroom, they are branded homophobic. However, the CEC will not back off. Jochmann, who shrugged off being shouted down by more than 9,000 fellow NEA activists, and Smith, an acknowledged ex-homosexual demonized as a traitor to the cause, will not be intimidated by namecalling.
The NEA hardly appears to be acting in the best interests of our nations youth. If our children are our most precious commodity, then we, as a people, must speak up for them. The CEC is stepping up their efforts to change NEA policy. They want their union to fight for education, not to bring sexual how-to classes into elementary school or attempt to manipulate the values of pre-teens. We owe our children nothing less.
I doubt it.
This organization has got to be among the sickest and vilest on the planet. They should be considered equally vile to pedophiles and child molesters--, their desire to sexually warp children's minds, promote parental rebellion, and indoctrinate children into the global "collectivist" / Socialist mentality is reprehensible.
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When newly hired teachers can boldly declare to parents on 'Parent's Night' that their role is not to act as someone who knows 'all the answers' but to help their brilliant students recognize what they already know - and STILL demand $40K plus benefits and some 15 or so holidays spread over 9 months (elapsed time) in front of room of 25 kids (with a teacher's aide or two)- it ain't just the NEA that is screwed up.
As Thomas Jefferson said, "To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is both sinful and tyrannical."
This is NOT a surprise.
Years ago, I read Phyllis Schlafly's book "Child Abuse in the Classroom" and it changed how I saw the public schools. My kids were babies then and until they went to high school, I did everything I could to keep them in private school- two, three jobs, nothing was too big a sacrifice to protect them from the "change agents" of the NEA. I just wish home schooling had been as evolved as it is now.
Happily, my daughters are going to home school their own babies.
It's probably true . I taught for 35 years and there are a LOT of CLOSET conservatives in education . Most keep quiet as to not cause problemswith their career . Policy is not made by the teachers , it is made by the legislatures and governing body of NEA .
Don't miss the Association of American Educators - a far more conservative group that provides professional liability insurance to teachers who are sick of the ultra-liberal NEA. This group also provides many opportunities that the NEA provides, without the liberal agenda.
I droped the NEA membership about 3 years ago - I was sick of my money going to the ultra-left, ultra-liberal, pro-homosexual NEA's pet causes and agenda. And to top it off, AAE membership is FAR less expensive than NEA membership - but meets the same needs for me that the NEA supposedly did.
I always say , If its such a "cake" job why are YOU not a teacher ???
I taught for 28 years in both public and private schools. I've been awarded several times as a teacher. The reason I was a very effective teacher had nothing to do with curricula, mission statements, or workshops. Behind closed doors, I directly taught basic skills first, than I taught how to effectively use those mastered skills. The typical class average for entering third graders was 2.0 - 2.5 in math and lauguage areas. The class average for exiting third graders was typically in the range of 5.5 - 6.5. Unfortunately, more and more teachers are simple-minded handmaidens of the NEA, and PC driven state and local curricula.
i taught middle school science for 35 yesrs and did it my way. Had kids mainstreamed that were way below grade level . The teachers of science in our building were a different breed . We taught ( our way )!! Always was a hoot when the state scores for our building had the highest scores in Science over Math and Language Arts ..
My guess is that about 40 percent of the teachers are Republicans.
It would be interesting to learn if effective teachers such as yourselves used or still use so-called contemporary pedagogical practices to help your effectiveness in the classroom-- that is, group learning, social learning, diversity/multiculturalism instilled in the lessons and curriculum, etc., etc., or (alternatively) if you simply taught the students directly (eg what is now referred to as "drill and kill" and "teaching to the test" in ed schools), or some combination...
I tried it, I was bored to death and my 'colleagues' none to stimulating. It was at a well known public school in Illinois. I couldn't see being retiring intellectually at the age of 24.
I survived the bull$hit with an attitude that I am better than ANY administrator . I taught by the "toilet fish" theory of administration---"$hit Floats To The Top"
Besides, my building was three blocks from the ocean and my wife and I ( who also taught middle school science ) put enough $$$ away each year to not work and crab ,clam, and drink huge quantities of beer in the summer months as well as travel around the country to take courses in our field that we could write off. ( JUST LIKE THE DOCTORS DO!!!!)
I'm glad for you that you're retired but the kids who got you were lucky!
First of all, the expressions "drill and kill" and "teaching to the test" were probably invented in teacher's colleges in the 1950's and 60's to cast aspersion on more traditional teaching methods. I acquired my elementary and secondary credentials in 1967 and 1968. And to put it nicely, most of my teacher prep classes were plain "poppycock". Most of what I know about effective teaching I learned during my first three years in the trenches as a 4th grade teacher. The school was in a mixed neighborhood. About 1/3 of the students were non-English speakers. About a 1/3 had a parent in the military. I never had less than 36 students in the class.
At a conference sponsored by Johns Hopkins a highly honored teacher from an inner-city high school laughed when a progressive professor of education scornfully called direct instruction as "drill and kill". The high school teacher whispered to me, "Phrases like that are cop-on excuses given by crummy teachers."
The goal of multicultural studies and diversity appears to be the opposite of what it implies. All cultures and civilizations are equal, but some are more equal than others. [Aztecs capturing and sacrificing countless thousands of non-Aztec neighbors - that's okay. Spanish capturing and killing several thousand Aztecs - that's definitely not okay.]
What those who proclaim "Celebrate Diversity" seems to believe is that all civilizations (except Western) and religions (except Christian and Jewish) are good.
I taught in an upscale school for the last fifteen years before retiring. Seven of us teachers formed an informal club we called N.P.C. [Not politically correct], it was in reaction to several E.P.C. (Exquisitely politically correct] teachers and administrators on the staff. One observation noted by my fellow N.P.C. members was that the more experienced and effective the teacher was, the less she or spoke "teachereze". Here are some examples of teacherese: "the learner will discover" and "pedagogical studies imply".
As a teacher I use a variety of methods from direct instruction to team learning to individual exploration. And these strategies were not new when I first tried them in the late 1960's. Just because a teaching method has a new name, it does not mean its new. see and say > sight reading> integrated reading > total reading> whole language > Four Block > guided reading > ...
Whew! Does that answer your question? It's late, it's time for bed.