The Iron Law of Oligarchy

“Public schools are government schools.  The inherent insulation of education from real accountability aggravates a phenomenon known as the Iron Law of Oligarchy.  This law says that in almost any group endeavor, a small (group of) elite will emerge as the most active in determining the activities of the group.”  Sheldon Richman, “What’s Wrong with Public Schools”

Teachers throughout this country who belong to their state’s Education Associations are “donating” a portion of their dues to the National Education Association, one of the largest labor union and professional interest groups in the U.S.  Originally thought to be on the conservative side of US politics, by the 1970s, the NEA emerged as a factor in progressive policies.  Not only do they lobby Congress and other federal agencies on left-wing causes, they are also active in the nominating process for Democratic candidates.

The NEA advocates leftist positions on a host of issues that include abortion, sex education, teen pregnancy, school prayer, socialized medicine, affordable housing, drug testing, prisoner rights, bilingual education, reparations, the LBGT agenda, polygamy, mandatory kindergarten, affirmative action, amnesty, gun control, open borders and global warming while opposing merit pay for teachers, school vouchers and home schooling.  

During the first week of July of this year, thousands of teachers gathered in Houston for the NEA’s annual convention.  Over 160 new business items were proposed, including a motion pledging the NEA would “rededicate itself to the pursuit of increased student learning in every public school in America,” and “make student learning the priority of the Association.”   Yet, when put to a vote of 6,000 NEA delegates in a closed door session, the motion failed.

Resolutions that did pass say a lot about the NEA and its left-leaning policies.  Over the course of the convention, delegates endorse the fundamental right to abortion, reparations for slave descendants, called upon the government to “accept responsibility for the destabilization” of Central American countries as a root cause of asylum seekers to the U.S., voted in favor of “helping” with the 2020 Census, voted to support the Black Lives Matter movement and voted to teach the concept of “White Fragility,” which they explained is produced by white supremacy. 

Starting to get the general idea where the 2019-2020 school year indoctrination is headed? If you haven’t seen the light yet:  there were breakout sessions on topics like Racial and Social Justice, ethics and minority affairs, and women’s issues.  Along with those discussions, delegates heard from a smorgasbord of progressive left-wing warriors like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Bill de Blasio.

Meanwhile, per the convention agenda, there wasn’t a single session devoted to curriculum and instruction, nor raising student test scores.  Of course that shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Today, along with financial support for Democratic left-wing candidates, the NEA is a member organization of the America Votes coalition of get-out-the-vote organizations.  America Votes is itself a member of the so-called Shadow Party, a nationwide network of activist groups whose agendas are ideologically Left, and which are engaged in campaigning for the Democrats.  They are affiliated with a number of left-wing organizations such as American Coming Together, the American Association for Justice,  AFL-CIO,  the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); the American Federation of Teachers (AFT); the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN); the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund; Democracy For America; EMILY’s List; the League of Conservation Voters (LCV); the Media Fund; the Voter Fund; the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, the  NAACP National Voter Fund,  People for the American Way (PFAW); Planned Parenthood Action Fund, SEIU,  the Sierra Club; USAction; and 21st Century Democrats.

The NEA represents 3 million members, mostly public school teachers of all walks of life, from all political persuasions, 60% of whom have identified as Republicans or independents. The vast majority of these members undoubtedly care deeply about teaching so why continue supporting the NEA?

Thanks to the Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME on June 27, 2018, teachers are no longer required to be part of a teachers union in order to keep their jobs. You can stay a member if you’d like, but you are also now free to resign from your teacher union and stop paying dues. 

If you do opt out, any current teaching contract you have still stands, whether you’re a member of the teacher’s union or not.  Your job, seniority, and tenure are protected by your contract and state and federal law. Additional job protection is also available through non-union education associations.  And, there are affordable alternatives for liability insurance, job protection, and other resources.

SourceNEA embraces the woke agenda — but votes down “student learning” by Nat Malkus and RJ Martin, International Takeout; What You Need to Know About Teachers’ Rights & Options, Teacher

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *