Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Dems leave teacher unions hanging on DeVos

IEA graphic.
Hillary has her picture on milk cartons since she went missing after election day.  SNL even picked up on it. Seems like the entire old-guard leadership must be out in the Chappaqua woods with her, especially when it comes to resisting the Trump juggernaut.

Most notably, at least from this educator's perspective, is their deafening silence around Trump's nomination of Betsy ("Make America Christian Again") DeVos for Ed Secretary. While NEA and AFT leaders, Eskelsen-Garcia and Weingarten, have been outspoken in the opposition to DeVos, they have been left dangling in the wind by the very Clinton wing of the party they risked their reputations for with their premature endorsements of Hillary.  

As you might expect, this rift is reflective of much broader post-election inner-party conflicts over who will lead the Dems forward towards the mid-term congressional elections. Of note is Weingarten's defense of Keith Ellison who represents the Sanders/Warren progressives against the Podesta old-guard faction, for party chairman. That seems like a big shift to me. But time will tell. 

For the unions, it's not just a matter of the mid-term elections. DeVos represents an existential threat to public education itself as well as to the entire teaching profession. Her history in Detroit as an active supporter of privatization, Christianization, and vouchers has even garnered support from supposedly anti-Trump reformers and think-tankers like Fordham Institute's Michael Petrilli and former Arne Duncan aide, Peter Cunningham who calls DeVos the "champion of choice".  

Thankfully, the teacher unions aren't alone in their defense of public ed from the Trump/DeVos assault. The NAACP and other civil rights groups like Black Lives Matter and the Journey for Justice Alliance, have also been clear in their opposition to the DeVos program of vouchers and un-capped charter expansion.

Think-tankers go thumbs up on DeVos

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