Green Room

Top 10 Public Education Quotes of 2013

posted at 3:40 pm on January 6, 2014 by

The Education Intelligence Agency is proud to present the 2013 Public Education Quotes of the Year, in countdown order. Enjoy!

10) “A lethargic membership is more cancerous than reforms, charter schools, and excessing. Members’ expectation of any president must be tempered with what they are willing to do for themselves.” – Nathan Saunders, outgoing president of the Washington Teachers Union. (July 31 letter to members)

9) “We’re not about picking a mayor. We’re about making a mayor, making the winner. And that’s what we’re gonna do…. I talk to them (the mayoral candidates) constantly. All of them. I know all about all of their families. I know about their dogs and this and that.” – Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, two weeks before the union endorsed Bill Thompson for mayor of New York City. (June 4 Politicker)

8) “Once at City Hall it became clear that the union — especially under its current leadership — was an enormous impediment to reform. Watching the parade of candidates genuflecting before the UFT and pledging fealty to its positions is an embarrassment. The prospect of the next mayor handing the keys of Tweed over to Michael Mulgrew makes me fear for the future of the city.” – Howard Wolfson, deputy mayor of New York City and former consultant to the United Federation of Teachers. (June 19 Capital New York)

7) “Where is the line in terms of how far the government gets involved in the operation of a private business, which is what MEA in its essence is.” – Doug Pratt, the Michigan Education Association’s temporary director of member benefits, testifying before a state senate committee about the union’s compliance with the right-to-work law. (December 5

6) “As we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of CTA, we must remember that we were founded for one reason – and one reason only – and that was to engage in politics. We were founded to engage in the political process in order to create an organized system of public instruction and to elevate the profession of teaching in California.” – Carolyn Doggett, executive director of the California Teachers Association, in a January 27 speech to the union’s State Council. 

5) “Anytime there’s an audit of Title I dollars, you’re going to see errors at the school level because schools spend money for what they need, and then sometimes they worry about if it fits the parameter of the grant later.” – Andres Alonso, CEO of the Baltimore City Schools, after a federal audit revealed that Title I and stimulus dollars were used for dinner cruises, meals, theater performances and a mother/daughter makeover. (May 23 CBS Baltimore)

4) “We don’t blame the firefighters when there’s a fire, and we don’t blame the police for crime! Why would we? Then why are educators being blamed for the struggles of our public schools? Let’s look at the policies and the policymakers instead of the people doing the work every day.” – Earl Wiman, current member of the National Education Association Executive Committee. (April 12 speech to the Virginia Education Association Delegate Assembly)

3) “It would be akin to making you and your wife redo your marriage license every year.” – John Havlicek, president of the La Crosse Education Association, describing Wisconsin’s annual recertification requirement for teachers’ unions. (November 27 La Crosse Tribune) 

2) “Because maybe these teachers have an ungodly fear of interviews. Or maybe they’re on vacation in the Netherlands and don’t want to return for an interview. Or maybe they think interviews are a sham. It doesn’t matter.” – Lynn Nordgren, president of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, explaining to school district negotiators why unplaced tenured teachers who refuse to show up for job interviews should not be dismissed. (September 27 MinnPost)

1) “Since a teacher’s working conditions are a child’s learning conditions, attacking teachers is the same as attacking children.” – Randy Mousley, president of United Teachers of Wichita. (February 9 Wichita Eagle)

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I’d have made it the Education Intelligence Office, or EIO.

GWB on January 6, 2014 at 4:51 PM

And some of those comments are insane. Just … wow.
But, sadly, not surprising at all.

GWB on January 6, 2014 at 4:53 PM

I look back on the immense amount of money we’ve spent on educating our children from middle-school through high school in Private Schools and I am relieved after reading these statements.
I fondly reflect that they both have Bachelor of Science degrees and might not have succeeded if they were products of Public Education. (Which I am coerced to fund until death via endless and ever rising property taxes.)

Examining people and their employment paths I believe the following ratings applies to their general worth: TV ‘talking head’ news readers are, as a group, perhaps the least informed and least interesting people you’ll encounter. Next come the real-estate folks tied with the folks (NEA labor leaders) who are responsible for the quotes found above. Overpaid scoundrels.

Missilengr on January 6, 2014 at 7:10 PM

…oh yes!….we need to throw more money….toward those clowns!
…the sky’s the limit!

KOOLAID2 on January 6, 2014 at 8:31 PM

As always, I am forever grateful to the Big Scot for working so hard to let me stay home and teach our children!

herm2416 on January 6, 2014 at 8:36 PM

No Karen Lewis quotes?

“Do not think for a minute that the wealthy are ever going to allow you to legislate their riches away from them,” Lewis told the audience at the event. “However, we are in a moment where the wealth disparity in this country is very reminiscent of the robber baron ages. The labor leaders of that time, though, were ready to kill. They were. They were just — off with their heads. They were seriously talking about that.”

Fallon on January 6, 2014 at 9:25 PM