The PJ Tatler

American Federation of Teachers Union: Hey, Sorry About Lying to Parents!

Well, it’s big of the lying teachers union to pull the campaign of lies from their website, after they got caught.

American Federation of Teachers officials have disavowed an internal report after it was posted on the union’s website following its annual conference, embedded on each of its 19 pages with the union’s logo and signed by a union official.

The report, titled “How Connecticut Defused the Parent Trigger,” was replaced on AFT’s website with a note saying “we have received complaints about these materials and have removed them because they do not represent AFT’s position.”

That should read “they do not represent AFT’s position anymore, since we got caught posting a report by a lobbyist we pay, festooned with our seals and signatures, at our official website. Our bad. Keep the tax-funded gravy train rolling.
Education activist RiShawn Biddle copied the report before it was removed from the AFT website. The report describes in detail AFT’s strategy for subverting school reform legislation in Connecticut, a strategy that relied greatly on deceiving legislators and interested parents.

The Parent Trigger proposal originated in California and was adopted by education reformers in Connecticut last year. The proposal empowers a majority of parents with children attending a persistently failing school to force education officials to either close it, convert it to a charter school or replace its staff.

The union was blindsided when thousands of minority parents thronged in the Connecticut capitol to support the measure. Many of them expressed concern that their state’s public schools posted the biggest gap in the country on standardized test scores between minority and Caucasian students.

But where California teachers unions lobbied to block the bill in their state legislature and state education department, AFT’s Connecticut affiliate began an offensive that ultimately neutered the bill.

And, according to the now-disavowed report, they succeeded because the proposal’s “name is a misnomer,” since school governance councils “are advisory and do not have true governing authority.”

The bill approved by Connecticut legislators allows the councils of elected community members only to advise school officials rather than empowering them to force needed reforms.

The report also touts as “karma” that “the chief legislative proponent of the original parent trigger bill lost his re-election in November 2010” and “the House Co-Chair [who allowed the bill to move forward] lost his race for Majority Leader and has a thorny relationship with the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus on education issues.”

The report also makes clear AFT officials must be hoping Biddle’s discovery does not become more widely known because it destroys the union’s carefully erected image as reform-minded partners who love to “collaborate” with parents and communities.

Read the whole thing. As the story notes, teachers unions are not about delivering quality education for our children. They’re about power, they’re about influence, and they’re about keeping teachers employed whether they’re any good or not.

And if you want to see the original report, AFT has yanked it but DropOutNation has it linked in this post.