The NEA collects dues in Brevard County.

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Me and Ken.

Ken Previti is a retired Illinois teacher and activist living in Florida. He sent this response to a recent story I posted.

In Florida, which is a right-to-work state, teacher unions are nearly meaningless, especially on the Space Coast which is Brevard County. There is a general dislike of unions and union members, in particular teacher unions and teachers who are pro-union.

It’s a Southern thing. Most of the teachers in Brevard County are registered Republicans. (Florida is a closed-primary state.) The county went strongly for Trump.)

Because they see no future for unions or for their own careers as educators, they willingly go along with scripted online lessons and testing. “Just do what you are told” is a mantra spoken about teachers and about what students should do. Since there is no attempt at real union leadership, there is no belief in teaching as a career. “Serving the needs of students” is perceived as “job training” for students – online instruction has often become more preferable than human to human education and the advancement of critical thinking skills.

Non-union adjunct teachers form the core of Eastern Florida State College, which is two miles from my home, and serve the largest department (that used to be called Engineering), Technology and Manufacturing. The half page newspaper and magazine ads are titled “Get Trained Today.”

Temp teachers in temp jobs train students for jobs. Education? The teaching profession? Union leadership for professionals? Critical thinking skills that allow people to adapt and grow as job markets change? These are non-existent.

Could decent unions with actual leaders help change and improve this situation?

Brevard County schools from pre-school through college cannot know and will not know.

The NEA in Brevard County, Florida collects dues. Period.

2 Replies to “The NEA collects dues in Brevard County.”

  1. This is just plain sad…Jeb Bush has also made FL his own personal charter school country. It’s funny (not the “ha,ha” kind), but in reading Diane Ravitch’s blog, there’s lots of news about FL, but I don’t see many comments from FL teachers; perhaps they’re afraid their identities might be revealed (I don’t blame them–“You’re not paranoid if they’re out to get you.”) Funny, too, there have been posts about Hillary, & the time in AK when she was going after teachers
    (&, that time, the ATA enlisted the national, & help was given). I wrote–many times, on numerous posts–asking for at least one Arkansas teacher to comment on the situation. Not one did. (I can’t presume that no Arkansas teachers read Diane Ravitch’s Blog!) Scared, I guess? (Opposite that, someone in Utah, “Threatened Out West,” always tells it like it is; kudos, T.O.W.!)
    Anyway, best to Ken & what he & his cohorts do in FL (lots of good, progressive political work, actually getting people into decision-making positions).
    Also, Floridians (snowbirds or not), do your best to help Tim Canova (he’s the real progressive deal–got such a raw one from the Dems {he’s running against Debbie Wasserman Schultz} that he’s running as an Independent).
    Bernie, he’s always supported you–now go out there, this time (where have you been?), & stump for Tim!

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