News & Politics

Leader of ‘Non-Partisan’ #RedForEd Arizona Spoke at 2018 Socialism Conference

Teachers chant as they continue to protest at the Arizona Capitol Thursday, May 3, 2018, in Phoenix. After an all night legislative budget session the legislature passed the new education spending portion of the budget and Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed that part of the budget. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Noah Karvelis, one of the leaders of the #RedForEd teacher walk-out in Arizona, spoke at the Socialism 2018 conference earlier this month. Karvelis was featured on the special Friday night plenary titled “Striking Back: Voices of the Teachers Rebellion.” Attendees would “hear first-hand from teachers who led the rebellion about their struggle, what they won and the fights to come in the fall.” The #RedForEd movement billed itself merely as a fight for better education in Arizona but questions about Karvelis’ partisanship were raised at the beginning of the strike:

Questions were raised last week regarding the background of Noah Karvelis, a teacher who has been the face of the highly visible #RedforEd push for increased teacher salaries, after Arizona governor Doug Ducey (R.) labeled him a political operative and chose to keep him out of talks on education spending.

“What I don’t want to do is get into these political operatives’ political circus,” Ducey said, calling into question the political motives of Karvelis’s group, which says it is nonpartisan. He said he would work with “decision makers” and separate out “political activists.”

However, his history of left-wing activism is well-documented.

Karvelis wrote an op-ed at lefty ZCommunications where he described the education sector as “a system that was crippled and dictated by capitalist society.”

“This type of education is extremely valuable for a capitalist society that has no need (or room) for anything other passivity and certainly does not want revolution or progressive challenges to power … Education is and has been a system that was crippled and dictated by capitalist society. We must recognize that as fact. However, this system may no longer operate in the hidden work of schools or in historical deceptions that create passive consumers.”

In April 2018, while sitting in his public-school classroom, Karvelis granted an interview about #RedForEd to Radio Sputnik — which is owned and operated by the Russian government.

“You know, I got seven keyboards in here right now — looking at my classroom — and sometimes I have 30 eighth-graders” … (sounds in the background) HOST: “I think we hear a little bit of musical activity in your background there.” KARVELIS: “Yeah. It’s, uh — these kids are walking in to start the day here while we’re talking, so you might catch some announcements and stuff.”

What does he teach his students? He’s very clear that teaching children is “political” and if your children are in his class they might learn “workers’ rights, labor movements, civil disobedience, and fighting for necessary social change.”

He also wants to talk about masculinity and guns and #blacklivesmatter.

If you wonder how all these crazy left-leaning socialists appear to be gaining support in the political realm, it’s because your children are being indoctrinated long before they go to progressive-controlled colleges.  Karavelis was an active Bernie Sanders volunteer and is bringing his political leanings to the tax-payers’ classrooms.

A public résumé for Karvelis says he also began working last year as an organizer for Knock Every Door, a group formed in January 2017 by Bernie Sanders campaign alums led by the woman who built his national field operation. The group planned to do “deep canvassing” across the country and share the data it collects to local candidates across the country, according to Mother Jones.

Karvelis volunteered for the Sanders campaign in 2016, according to his résumé, but he insists his work for Knock Every Door was “not for a candidate or an agenda.”

“I worked with Knock Every Door to help schedule canvasses in the area to talk with voters about their general political beliefs, not for a candidate or an agenda, but to get a sense of the political landscape in the region following the 2016 election,” he said.

The group’s stated aim is to “start conversations about the progressive change our country needs” and “pave the way to defeating Trumpism.

The #RedForEd teachers’ strike in Arizona lasted for five days by the time the schools reopened. “As the fourth day of demonstrations at the state Capitol came to a close, AEU organizer Noah Karvelis and AEA President Joe Thomas called for teachers and public education employees to return to school starting on May 3 if Legislators adopt a budget by then.”

But it’s not entirely over:

AEU organizer Noah Karvelis said the group’s fight was not over, and insisted public education employees would not be returning to work with nothing to show for their efforts.

They will most certainly be back since “Both Ducey and the Legislature ignored four other demands: competitive pay for all public education employees, restoration of public education funding to 2008 levels, no new tax cuts until per pupil funding reached the national average, and ongoing teacher raises until that, too, reached the national average.” Be aware this movement isn’t just about properly compensating teachers, this is just another attempt for the socialist movement to gain political power.