If You F%$# Your Base Long and Hard Enough, They Won’t Be Your Base Anymore

Attempts by mainstream Democrats to turn education into another private sector profit center from which they can extract campaign donations is starting to piss off teachers:

The strike by public school teachers in Chicago this month drew national attention to a fierce debate over the future of education and exposed the ruptured relationship between teachers’ unions and Democrats like Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Over the past few years, even as Republicans have led efforts to thwart unions, lawmakers previously considered solid supporters of teachers’ unions have tangled with them over a national education agenda that includes new performance evaluations based partly on test scores, the overhaul of tenure and the expansion of charter schools.

As these traditional political alliances have shifted, teachers’ unions have pursued some strange bedfellows among lawmakers who would not appear to be natural allies.

In Illinois, the top two recipients of political contributions from the Illinois Education Association through June 30 were Republicans, including a State House candidate who has Tea Party support and advocates lower taxes and smaller government.


“The notion that just because you’re a Democrat” you can take the teachers’ unions for granted has changed, said Jim Reed, director of government relations for the Illinois Education Association.

As teachers grapple with a reform agenda backed by hedge funds and large philanthropic donors and championed by the Obama administration as well as some conservative Republicans, the unions are navigating a delicate political landscape where they increasingly pursue friends in unlikely places.

There are way too many Democrats, including Barack Obama and his Secretary of Education Arne Duncan who think that handing our schools off to hedge funds is a good thing.

It’s not.

The creation of the educational-industrial complex, much like the creation of the prison-industrial complex, and their granddaddy, the military-industrial complex, are a disaster for our society.

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