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Weekly Update: A teacher on unions, a tribute to a Parents Across America member and Mis-Education Nation

With all of the anti-union rhetoric that I have been hearing  particularly in reference to our teachers and their professional unions, I wanted to begin this weekly update with a post from a teacher in Wisconsin on the importance of unions. It’s a reminder of what conditions were like for workers and because of unions and demands made by workers, how life has changed for all of us. There is much that we take for granted in our daily lives that originated with union demands.

From One’s Teacher’s Perspective, Collective Bargaining is Vital to Public Education:

A study of history reveals that the development of teachers unions in Wisconsin gave rise to professionalism in education and, consequently, improved the quality of public schools. Before union growth, sexism was rampant in public schools, pay inequity was common for female and elementary teachers, health insurance for most educators was non-existent or inadequate, and many Wisconsin teachers qualified for food stamps (see WEAC history). Teachers unions fought against these injustices to improve the work conditions and the standard of living of professional educators. The growth of teacher professionalism, made possible by educators unions, empowered Wisconsin’s teachers to greatly improved Wisconsin’s schools.

To read the post in full, go to: One Teacher’s Perspective.

There was a tribute made to Rita Solnet, and Parents Across America (PAA), by the Palm Beach County School Board, specifically for Ms. Solnet’s hard work in ensuring that the Parent Trigger law was voted down in the state of Florida this month.

The Parent Trigger law did not pass the state legislature due to the coordinated effort on the part of several parent groups including the Florida PTA with PAA leading the charge.

It is a truly incredible tribute. Kudo’s to Rita for her successful efforts at keeping the Parent Trigger law at bay in the state of Florida. The tribute can be viewed at Palm Beach County School Board Past Meetings.

I am going to leave you with this video of the Mis-Education Nation meeting that was held last September in response to the Education Nation production put on by Bill Gates and Co. on NBC last year.

Here is an introduction:

With NBC airing a second Education Nation special that resembles an infomercial for charter schools and online learning, the media watchdog group FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in reporting) held an event on Sept. 27, 2011 to clear the air. The goal according to FAIR was to offer a more reasonable conversation about public education than the corporate-interest perspective featured in Education Nation.

The panelists at the MisEducation Nation forum in New York City said the coverage offered by NBC was, at best, misguided”a noble but seriously uninformed effort, said Leonie Haimson, a New York City public school parent and leader of Class Size Matters, which advocates for reducing the number of students per teacher.

At worst, Education Nation is a sounding board for the corporate education reform movement driven by the billionaires agenda, said Brian Jones, a Brooklyn teacher.

The panelists included Diane Ravitch, Leonie Haimson and Bryan Jones, co-narrator of “The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman,” and was moderated by Laura Flanders.


Mis-Education Nation: Sending NBC’s ‘Education Nation’ Back to School

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