Ken Swanson. The former IEA President who was responsible for our Senate Bill 7. “Don’t ask questions. Do what you’re told.”


Well don’t that beat all?

Former IEA President Bob Haisman has recruited another ex-IEA President to join the attack on un-named members of the blogosphere who refuse to go along quietly with the leadership’s Dillard endorsement.

That  former IEA President would be Ken Swanson.

I am dismayed by those loud voices in the blogosphere who would rather rant and rave about what should have been done rather than embrace and support the efforts of IEA/IRTA/IFT to ensure we have a real choice in November. Please, pay no heed to those who would rather sling arrows than engage constructively with the reality confronting us.

That would be the Ken Swanson who told us to go along with Senate Bill 7 without debate.

And PERA, the Performance Evaluation Reform Act which tied teacher evaluation to student test performance. SB7 took away our tenure rights and our seniority rights. It included the provision which required the Chicago Teachers Union to get 75% strike authorization, which Stand for Children’s Jonah Edelman said was as good as getting a no-strike clause.

All this on his watch. Not only on his watch. Swanson pronounced SB7 a model for the nation.

Does Ken Swanson now think SB7 was a mistake?

My biggest disappointment as IEA President was the failure to enact school funding reform. Right behind was our failure to nominate Kirk Dillard when he lost to Bill Brady in the primary BY LESS THAN 200 VOTES. We did not do enough to persuade just enough of our members who voted Republican to vote Dillard.

Hell no. Ken Swanson thinks the failure to elect Kirk Dillard as Illinois Governor was his second greatest failure as IEA President.

The Kirk Dillard whose radio ads attack Bruce Rauner as being not right-wing enough.

The Kirk Dillard who is campaigning against the marriage equality law the Illinois legislature just passed.

The Kirk Dillard who claims Bruce Rauner is not sufficiently opposed to a woman’s reproductive rights.

The Kirk Dillard who was Chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council up until four months ago. And then resigned his post (not his membership in ALEC) quietly saying he needed the time to run for Governor.

That Kirk Dillard.

But why is former IEA President Swanson so worried about some bloggers?

What do we matter compared to the powerful organizational leaders they defend on their Dillard endorsement?

Just as Swanson tried to shut us up when he was President, he wants no dissent now.

Perhaps if we dissented louder back then, we wouldn’t be faced with the consequences of SB 7 now.

Just to be clear, I am currently President of the Skokie Organization of Retired Educators IEA Retired, Vice President of the North Lake Shore unit of the Illinois Retired Teachers Association, past president of the Park Ridge Education Association IEA/NEA, as well as a loud voice in the blogosphere – although someone should tell Swanson that nobody calls it the blogosphere anymore.

8 thoughts on “Ken Swanson. The former IEA President who was responsible for our Senate Bill 7. “Don’t ask questions. Do what you’re told.”

  1. Swanson and his pal Molly Phelan also engineered the TRS shakeup that led to teachers losing voting control of the Board and brought us COLA killer Ingram.

  2. It was and still maybe leaders such as these two that have allowed our profession to suffer as it is now suffering. It is a shame considering the impact it has had on the education of the kids.

  3. Isn’t it SB7 that brought us the awful health care situation?

    SURS members in Macomb had no choice for a Medicare supplement except to join a Medicare Advantage Plan that can deny coverage on what Medicare ordinarily covers, (a huge conflict of interest) and that enrolled us in Medicare Part D without our permission.

    And many top medical organizations won’t even take the plan, forcing people to change doctors.

    None of this was explained at the meetings or in the propaganda sent out by the plan, United Healthcare PPO, beforehand. (They did say the docs had to accept the plan, but who knew that many won’t take it!)

    Whoever selected this plan for state retirees, or signed on for it, should be fired!

    Our choice was to drop out of the state supplemental coverage, or take this.

    The state has screwed us. Now I wish we had dropped out. Co pays are expensive as are medications, and I already have had a bloody fight to get a procedure covered that the plan twice denied, something Medicare ordinarily covers. Beware, if any of you are in this plan.

    It’s costing us thousands of dollars, for a so-called supplement that last year was part of my husband’s retirement benefits, free.

    1. No Elaine. SB7 was about teacher evaluations and the right to strike. The health care issues were not involved in SB7.

      1. OK and thanks. But the health care issues are in some legislation, I believe, that stripped retirees of their free supplemental benefits and led to this ugly situation. Retirees would be better off with a tax than this.

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