NEA President Van Roekel Criticizes School Reformers

The “Answer Sheet” blog of the Washington Post (6/16, Strauss) reported this weekend on the response to the Vergara decision, highlighting a series of past headlines which claimed that teachers’ unions have been under attack for years. The article seems to imply that despite school reformers’ jubilation over the video and belief that teachers’ unions are struggling, unions are not under any more threat today than they have been in the past. The Post also focuses on a video and statement by National Education Association president Dennis Van Roekel, which criticizes school reformers for their “political attacks” on educators.

        In its coverage, Politico (6/16, Simon) reported that Van Roekel referred to an ad in USA Today which called on citizens to sue teachers unions as well as a Politico article on the decline of unions. “It’s easy to get discouraged when the rhetoric of our opponents dominates the headlines and the airwaves... But I, like you, don’t look at the world through the pages of USA Today or the headlines in POLITICO,” he wrote. Referring to the reformers who filed the Vergara lawsuit, Van Roekel said, “I have a message for those people who would seek to reduce children to a test score and teaching to a technological transaction. You are mistaken if you think we will see your attacks and get discouraged, that we will read the headlines and give up.”