Wednesday, February 25, 2004
On Ron Page:
For those of you who don’t know Ron Page, he currently serves the W administration as the Secretary of Education. It is a thankless job, mostly due to the fact that, according to conventional wisdom as held by liberals, there is never enough money spent on education at the state, federal, local, or any other level. Never mind the fact the US spends more on education than it does on nearly any other program – Defense and Homeland Security included.
Ron Page made a private comment during a meeting of the nation’s governors the other day in which he referred to the National Education Association as a terrorist organization. Liberals were outraged. The NEA called for Page’s immediate dismissal, as though they believed in some parallel universe they have the clout to dictate who serves in W’s cabinet. All in all it was a pretty normal day inside the beltway.
Now for a short overview of the facts. The National Education Association (NEA) is a union made up predominately of teachers, school administrators, and other such people. Let me first state, for the record, that I hold teachers in a very high regard. They have a very thankless job. Anyone who doubts that should spend a few hours taking kindergartners on a field trip. I did, yesterday, and I still have the headache. They are, for the most part, vastly underpaid and under-appreciated.
The NEA does not represent the vast majority of the people making up its ranks. The NEA, as an organization, forces teachers to join as a condition of employment and then deducts from their meager paychecks union dues used for political purposes regardless of the views of the union members from which said funds are forcibly extracted. I don’t know about you, but I define that as Thuggery.
My questions to the NEA are many. Have schools improved on your watch? Has student performance on standardized tests improved on your watch? Why is it so hard to fire incompetent teachers/principals/administrators?
We spend so much money on public education in this country, yet around this great nation, millions of children are trapped in failing, crumbling, and inadequate school systems. Never the less, the NEA blocks each and every effort to introduce reform measures such as teacher competency measures and school choice. Every single time. And the do it with the money confiscated from the very people they claim to represent.
The NEA is not about doing what is best for students, or even its own membership. The NEA is all about protecting itself. It does so at the expense of several generations of Americans it has poorly prepared for the reality of life beyond the graduation platform. That, my friends, is a crime.
Perhaps Mr. Page did choose his words poorly when using “terrorist” to define the NEA. If that is the case, he really isn’t that far from the truth.
Here endeth the lesson.