Guest Column: Illinois Education Association endorsement of candidates is not bipartisan
By John Kight
Just for fun, I visited the Illinois Education Association (IEA) website the other day, hoping to find the hysterical wails of a socialist organization whose “bought and paid for” candidate was in the fight of his career. IEA did not disappoint!
Article after article, left-wing rant after left-wing rant raved on and on about the supposed disaster that Bruce Rauner would bring to Illinois education.
El Presidente Cindy Klickna had the audacity to comment on the “bipartisan” nature of IEA’s endorsement process, yet their “Decision 2014” thread contains the following “report”: “Quinn campaign says districts stand to lose big with Rauner, look up your own.” This “report” was presented by IEA as fact. That doesn’t seem very “bipartisan” to me! Clearly, the only fact is that there are no facts on the IEA website, especially their self-serving “bipartisan” baloney.
In real fact, candidate Rauner is quite supportive of Illinois education. After years of witnessing the complete failure of public education in Chicago and here in Rockford, Rauner threw his support behind charter schools. By the way, last year Chicago Public Schools barely graduated 50 percent of their students, but don’t bother looking for this little gem on the IEA website.
If the teachers’ union spent half as much time worrying about what goes on in the classroom as they do criticizing charter schools, we just might have a world-class education system in Illinois.
The IEA compared Rauner to Scott Walker, proclaiming that he would be as great a disaster for Illinois as Walker was for Wisconsin. Interestingly, Wisconsin teachers are leaving their union in DROVES! That seems to be an unexpected reaction from a group of angry teachers who “hate” Scott Walker? Perhaps they hated their union a little more than they hate Scott Walker?
The more likely reason for the IEA hysteria is that their fat-cat union officials know their days are numbered under Governor Rauner. Like hogs being shooed away from the taxpayer trough, the IEA leadership is not happy.
My bet is that if we ended forced unionization in Illinois, that would lead to a mass exodus of teachers fed up with the union’s socialist agenda. If Wisconsin is an indicator, teachers would abandon the IEA in masses if given a chance.
One hundred years ago, we taught Greek and Latin in our high schools. Here in 2014, we teach remedial English in college. Nonetheless, school districts across Illinois reward themselves year after year, oblivious to their own failure. Let me make this point clear; public education in Illinois is a FAILURE! Seems to me that the kids could stay at home in front of the TV and probably do just as well.
As a taxpayer sick and tired of public employee unions robbing me with the help of their hack politicians like Pat Quinn and Mike Madigan, I pray for the day I can say the words, “Governor Bruce Rauner.”
I will end with a quote from a Michigan Teachers Union official. When asked if it was “all about the kids”, he replied, “it will be ‘all about the kids’ when the kids start paying dues.”
John Kight is a resident of Rockford.
From the Oct. 29-Nov. 4, 2014, issue