If you sit at the table with dogs, don’t complain when you get up with fleas.


Statement from the Illinois Federation of Teachers, the Illinois Education Association, and the Chicago Teachers Union, regarding the comments by Stand for Children’s CEO, Jonah Edelman, recorded at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

For more information on this story, go to: http://bit.ly/nsijKz July 12, 2011 –

We were disappointed to hear the views of Stand for Children’s leader and his own assessment of his organization’s involvement in Illinois politics. We heard a lot from Jonah Edelman about power in politics, power over unions and management power over teachers. Sadly, we didn’t hear anything in that hour-long session about improving education. Frankly, Edelman was never actively engaged in that collaborative process. By falsely claiming to have manipulated people engaged in honest negotiations, Stand for Children’s leader jeopardizes the ability of education stakeholders to work collaboratively in the future. That can make it harder to improve education quality for children. That’s wrong. What’s worse is that these false claims clearly show an organizational agenda that has nothing to do with helping kids learn. Jonah Edelman’s mischaracterization of the SB7 negotiations will not change our commitment to do what is right for kids and to make sure the adults are treated fairly. However, his openness about Stand for Children’s tactics and agenda will make it very difficult for any education advocate or politician to interact with the organization in the future.

That’s it? That’s their statement?

According to the joint statement of the IEA, the IFT and the CTU, Stand for Children is an organization that has an agenda that has nothing to do with helping kids learn.

As the kids say, “duh.”

So what the hell were our union leaders doing sitting at the table with them and Advance Illinois, another corporate group who has an agenda that has nothing to do with helping kids learn, to negotiate a school reform bill?

Oh, and please. When do we get to put to rest the I’m for the kids argument?

In Jonah Edelman’s lengthy apology, he claimed he was for the kids.

Every stupid policy, program and organizational agenda is there for the kids.

Many of us were appalled at Edelman’s arrogance and boastfulness.

But  the union leaders go beyond that and say Edelman mischaracterized the collaborative process that led to Senate Bill 7. They say he lied.

On the other hand,  the statement from the Illinois union leadership also criticizes Edelman for being too truthful.

The statement says that his openness about SFC’s agenda and tactics will hurt their future work together.

Hey, guys. Pick one story and stick with it.

As for me, I thank Jonah for his openness.

Maybe the next time the IEA leadership argues their sit-at-the-table strategy, members will ask, “Don’t you guys ever learn? Not this again.”

Categories: IEA

2 thoughts on “If you sit at the table with dogs, don’t complain when you get up with fleas.

  1. Members need only ask two things of their union leadership after “negotiations”. First, what did you GET? Second, what did you GIVE? Give and take. Your leadership, and mine in this state, couldn’t get by the first question. But the members no longer ask that question. They’ve gotta learn.

  2. Michigan Education Association allowed the passage of so many harmful pieces of legislation for teachers and held protest afterward. Now there is a turnover in leadership- you can imagine why. Politicians are victimizing teachers who are regulated out of jobs. You certainly don’t see building inspectors, lawyers, or wall streeters dumped on like this. Big money pot in pensions and education funds- corporate education is after it. Slick Rick Snyder (R) of Michigan is only following the byline. Instituted Obama/Granholm “emergency manager” fascism to get at MI resources and turn over schools and local government. Oh, and there is the taxing of teachers, hard-earned contracted benefit pay reduction.. and no restrictions for the greedy looters. Victimizing does distract from the real crimes and crooks.

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