…many of these voucher advocates claim they simply want to expand school choice and improve the quality of education for all.
Yet one group that has been influential in the school voucher push — the Independence Hall Tea Party, which has run a major PAC that operates in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania — is finally admitting that its true goal is to abolish public education.
Here’s what the head batshitloonitarian thinks:
“We think public schools should go away,” says Teri Adams, the head of the Independence Hall Tea Party and a leading advocate — both in New Jersey and Pennsylvania — of passage of school voucher bills. The tea party operates in those two states and Delaware. They should “go away,” she says, because “they are hurting our children.” [...] Adams says the current voucher program “discriminates” against wealthier students by providing public subsidies only to inner-city children in allegedly failing schools. Her group’s e-mails pushing vouchers caught the attention of James Kovalcin of South Brunswick, a retired public school teacher who asked Adams for clarification. She responded via email: “Our ultimate goal is to shut down public schools and have private schools only, eventually returning responsibility for payment to parents and private charities. It’s going to happen piecemeal and not overnight. It took us years to get into this mess and it’s going to take years to get out of it.”
Meanwhile, the more ‘moderate’ reformers only want to bust unions and subvert open democratic processes, such as Jonah Edelman, head of the misnamed Stand for Children:
In the video, which was taken at the corporate-funded Aspen Institute’s “Ideas Festival”, Edelman lays out how his organization parachuted into Illinois, and cajoled the state legislature, and even statewide teachers unions, into backing legislation largely crafted by his organization that took an axe to the negotiating and bargaining rights of Illinois teachers.
Illinois teacher and union activist Fred Klonsky has been all over the story, and offered this observation:
It was fascinating to watch as Edelman frankly, proudly, described how his group, Stand For Children, outfoxed the CTU, IFT and the IEA into supporting Senate Bill 7. The bill, Edelman openly admits, was designed to fool the union leadership into giving up the right of Chicago teachers to strike.
…Watch the video, and imagine how anyone would “wrongly conclude” that Edelman is against unions. Watch him boast of being able to cajole union reps, because he was amassing the political muscle necessary to ram anti-union legislation “down their throats.” Hard to imagine anyone jumping to the wrong conclusions, based on rhetoric like that….
The truth be told, Edelman has no reason to apologize. His remarks were, to say the least, illuminating. Many in the “educational reform” community will spout all the proper platitudes about respecting the work of teaching. Many, like Michelle Rhee, will point to their own “time in the field” (which, among the reformist crowd, is often limited to sojourns of a few years in the classroom). But, when push comes to shove, they are almost always advocating for teachers having less control over their work environment. They love those teachers, as long as those teachers are not afforded any professional rights of consequence.
Edelman is apologizing because someone caught him saying it out loud, and brought it beyond the friendly confines of the Aspen Institute. He is apologizing because he knows how bad it looks. Like so many people thrust into circumstances like these, he is not apologizing for the agenda he has lobbied for. He apologized for the wrong people hearing him brag about it.
(seriously, watch the video to get the full effect)
They are as committed to improving public education as creationists are to teaching evolution along side creationism–which is to say not at all. When progressives start babbling about how busting teachers unions is vital, they are serving as unwitting stalking horses for well-funded opponents of public education.
They are what Stalin called “useful idiots.”