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No time to let up. Fire Duncan.

June 15, 2012

A reader sent me a comment yesterday. She had been on one of the conference calls with NEA President Dennis Van Roekel that lead up to the NEA Representative Assembly. The NEA RA starts June 30 in Washington D.C.

The reader reports that one of the participants in the conference call asked DVR why the NEA hasn’t been pressuring the Obama administration to fire Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

You may remember that at last year’s NEA RA, in spite of an unusual early endorsement of Obama by our national Association, delegates (of which I was one) passed a multi-point indictment of Duncan and the policies he promoted as Education Secretary.

I wasn’t part of the conference call, but my reader paraphrased DVR as saying, “We aren’t going to tell Obama what to do anymore than he would tell us what to do.”

Remarkable. Apparently DVR thinks Obama elected us.

Obama’s decision today to bypass Congress and enact the policies of the Dream Act show that this is no time to let up on the President.

In fact the time has never been better.

Obama needs Latino votes more than ever. So he enacts the policies of the Dream Act.

And if you have talked to a teacher lately, you know there is not a lot of excitement around his candidacy.

DVR is wrong.

Now is the time to tell Obama what to do about education.

DVR can start by telling him to fire Arne Duncan.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 15, 2012 8:22 pm

    One hopes that NEA members can elect somebody the next go round who isn’t a sell-out and who remembers that it is the members who elect and pay his salary. If we tell him what we want him to do , what we are feeling and what we think, then perhaps he should relay those concerns and follow through on it. With that kind of thinking you can write off unions in a few years. Why join? What are we getting? Obviously people like Dennis and Randi have forgotten who they represent and their place in the grand scheme of things. One more thing, DVR is mistaken when he states, “We aren’t going to tell Obama what to do anymore than he would tell us what to do.” He’s correct on the first part. Wrong about the second. What he doesn’t seem to realize is that teachers have already been told what to do by Obama and Duncan. It’s called NCLB/RttT, Common Core and by their surrogates: Rhee, Rahm, Kopp, et. alia.

  2. June 15, 2012 9:12 pm

    Glenn Greenwald just wrote a terrific article on this in Salon (though without addressing education directly). It is worth a read http://www.salon.com/2012/06/15/the_imperative_of_political_pressure/singleton/

    He later includes the comment:
    “With some exceptions, there are few groups more subservient to the Democratic Party than labor union management, which is why they’ve been so ignored over and over and over.”

    Cinda Klickna, are you listening?

  3. filly4rrights permalink
    June 16, 2012 9:49 am

    You should realize that most of the public doesn’t understand why you’d advocate this.. Been on several llberal sites where people don’t KNOW anythng about Obama’s educatonal policies and i’ve been saying all along that he’s been mum before an election. If you want to fire Arne, then people should know why.

    • Fred Klonsky permalink*
      June 16, 2012 11:27 am

      So, let me understand. You don’t think that for the past three and a half years and for the time he was in Chicago before that, I haven’t sufficiently talked about Arne Duncan’s reform policies and what is wrong with them? I guess I’ll try harder.

      • filly4rrights permalink
        June 16, 2012 12:46 pm

        Those who know are mostly in an inner circle of educators, its not about you.in particular or your message. People in the general population just go along thinking Obama’s education polices are fine, because they back him in general. They think RTTT is great because they don’t know about anything that’s in it, but what they do know is “it was Bush who gave us NCLB.” Here’s Obama, “we need more teachers in the classrooms, and Congress needs to pass a jobs bill to put teachers back to work.” Period.

      • filly4rrights permalink
        June 16, 2012 12:57 pm

        Democrats are not GOING to go bold, because privatizing education is not purely a Republican issue.

        http://www.nationofchange.org/democrats-must-oppose-republicans-education-1339860973

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