"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Union Education Must Begin In Elementary School

AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Liz Shuler said, in an interview for People’s World, the on-line newsletter of the Communist Party USA, that the unions need to bring their message to elementary level education. "High school is too late" to educate students about unions and workers, said Shuler. To support her contention, she pointed to the students who went with their teachers to the recent protest in Madison WI. Wisconsin had passed a mandate for labor education within the public school system years ago. Perhaps she didn’t really pay attention to the interviews with some of those students who said they weren’t sure why they were there. Another group of students freely admitted they were just there to get out of going to school. Is it possible to sincerely protest in support of better conditions for the people most directly responsible for keeping you where you don’t want to be?

It would appear from Ms. Shuler’s comments that the goal is not improved education for the child, merely a more union friendly student. One commenter noted on another site that picked up this story that, while she did receive some education about labor while in school, she got all the education about unions she needed from seeing them strike in her home town of NYC, seeing the damage they did to private property in their protests and watching what they did to her chosen profession, teaching. Now, after 40 years of teaching, she said she had “not encountered a high school teacher possessing the knowledge that [she] had in tenth grade.”

Never was there a more clear case of a group viewing your children as human capitol to be shaped by the needs of the workforce. "When school children start paying union dues, that's when I'll start representing the interests of school children."- Albert Shanker (President of the United Federation of Teachers from 1964 to 1984 and President of the American Federation of Teachers from 1974 to 1997.) Need we say more?


  1. Shankar's quote about floored me until I realized the NEA said a similar thing just recently.

  2. You can see the video here of the retiring General Counsel of the NEA saying the same thing as Shanker:



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