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NEA is still spinning Senate Bill 7 as “teacher led reform.”

August 6, 2012

The National Council of State Legislators is meeting in Chicago this week. More than 1,200 legislators and their staff will wine and dine on lobbyists’ money. Included among the lobbyists will be some from the National Education Association.

I am concerned with what my union lobbyists will be telling state legislators and their staff while taking a knife to a steak at Morton’s Steak House.

Will they be telling them how great Illinois’ Senate Bill 7 is?

Yes. That is exactly what they will be doing.

NEA Tweet yesterday:

#NCSL12 #Education Caucus beginning now with @UTEA Pres. Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh, @avosmond, IL Sen. Kimberly Lightford, @IEANEA‘s Soglin

Then another:

IL Sen Kimberly Lighthouse speaks about SB7, bringing all to the table. See @IEANEA info on SB7: http://www.ieanea.org/featured/get-information-on-the-school-reform-bill-sb7-here/ …#NCSL12

That link is to an April, 2011 IEA statement about how Senate Bill 7 was a win for teachers.

Since then we know just the opposite is true. SB7 takes away tenure and seniority, ties teacher evaluations to value added measures, created the now infamous 75% threshold for a strike authorization vote by the Chicago Teachers Union and formally removed issues that could be collectively bargained in Chicago that weren’t wages and benefits.

That the Chicago Teachers Union has been able to so far out-maneuver these restrictions changes nothing about their intent.

I Tweet to the NEA:

@NEAMedia @IEANEA Why is the NEA still spinning IL Senate Bill 7 as a national model when even the IEA’s own members have repudiated it?

They respond:

@fklonsky @IEANEA This is a discussion about Union-led Reform and politicians working with #unions.

Holy crap! This is the message our lobbyists are taking to other state legislatures?

I tell them:

@NEAMedia @IEANEA No. It’s a story about corporate reform which led to a bill that took away tenure and seniority. Ask IEA members.

At the last IEA Representative Assembly delegates directed IEA Executive Director Audrey Soglin to report back on the negative impact of Senate Bill 7 on teachers throughout Illinois. But apparently she is continuing to tell a different story.

  • @NEAMedia @IEANEA Why are you still spinning this now? This was Rahm Emanuel’s bill and Jonah Edelman.
  • @fklonsky @Ieanea Again, not “spinning” anything. Just highlighting importance of collab with unions at NCSL.
  • @NEAMedia@IEANEA Why is the NEA still spinning IL Senate Bill 7 as a national model when even the IEA’s own members have repudiated it?

And then I Tweet two more.

@NEAMedia @IEANEA This was corporate led reform. But why are you bringing it up now? When the CTU is locked in negotiations with Rahm?

@NEAMedia@ieanea No. It is spin. Your insistence on pursuing this is disturbing to say the least.

The NEA doesn’t respond. They shut down.

I add one more: @NEAMedia @ieanea Clearly this is worthy of a blog post. Will do tomorrow. Amazing.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 6, 2012 7:54 am

    I don’t get it. What is Audry Soglin getting out of this?

  2. Fred Klonsky permalink*
    August 6, 2012 8:26 am

    You ask the right question, Cynthia.
    In the video of Jonah Edelman’s talk at Aspen, he describes the IEA as being pragmatic and says of Audrey that at the end of the day she was glad to do away with tenure, seniority and the creation of a value added measure of teacher performance.
    This was not a concession or a compromise on her part. SB7 represents her core beliefs on school change. And she was willing to dump the CTU in order to get it. I think on this there is a difference between her and the elected leadership of the IEA. And as long as she or anyone shares her outlook is running our Association, we will be at their mercy.

  3. Sig Lisowski permalink
    August 6, 2012 8:59 am

    The Lemont meeting was a good indication of what you state (we are at their mercy). 1). By participating in it the IEA seems to be saying it is a valid fix(state walking away from pensions). 2). IEA membership well aware that SB7 is not good nor representative of their views.

  4. Bob permalink
    August 6, 2012 11:20 am

    Unfortunately, my local stuck its head in the sand and is toeing the IEA “everything is wonderful” line and shunning my emails.

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