Ignore the attacks. The AEA is the only hope for public education in Alabama
It was important to know that the attacks on the Alabama Education Association were approaching. They were as easy to predict as the 90-degree temperatures in August in Alabama. Around the time the state, Republican-led legislature voted to delay implementation of a component of the literacy law that would hold back substandard third graders. reading.
The Literacy Act was an important bill in political circles because it allowed the state to manipulate Alabama’s pathetically low national reading rankings while barely lifting a finger to do so. (Oh, ALGOP apologists will tell you it’s all about kids and their ability to read, but ask yourself a question: why weren’t they successful until third grade? – graders, no. is this not ?)
Either way, when a bill to delay this component of the literacy law was passed by the legislature – and especially when Republicans interrupted debate by other Republicans on the delay – a number of people have noticed that the AEA, once the most dominant force in political Alabama, is back in the game.
Thus, attacks by the far-right anti-public section of ALGOP were inevitable. And predictably ignorant.
The most recent was a column published Monday by Dana Hall McCain of al.com, insisting that the AEA does not represent conservative teachers. His “proof”: This time the National Education Association voted to provide teachers with specific educational materials and information regarding critical race theory.
If you’re unfamiliar with Critical Race Theory, this is a 40-year-old academic concept that explores race as a social construct embedded in the U.S. legal system and government policies. It is not taught for a single second in any K-12 class, and its presence at a NEA conference was simply about the national organization supporting the theory and pledging to provide teachers with accurate information and already available. And, oh yes, no one from AEA voted for or has anything to do with the proposal.
But none of that matters. It was time to attack the AEA, so the croquemitaines came out.
And McCain did it all – CRT, his black friends, even the bible. True, it is apparently anti-Christian to point out that America has repeatedly failed to keep God’s command to do nothing out of selfish ambition. (And that’s not to mention the commandment to love one another.)
Honestly, this whole CRT “controversy” is so absurd. And nothing more than a bunch of white people worried about learning something and no longer being able to rely on tired stereotypes and easy racism.
But from McCain’s larger view – that the AEA does not represent conservative teachers – she writes that many of her family are conservative teachers and that they have struggled since the late Paul Hubbert took over. retreat and the organization has sort of shifted to the left.
Except, small problem, it is not.
The AEA is doing today what it has always done: protect public education and public education employees.
What has changed is the hyper-partisan atmosphere that has divided all of America, including Alabama, into political teams, where voters no longer vote for their own interests and benefits but instead get drawn into it. silly political game.
In Hubbert’s time, this was not the case. Very few people were concerned with the “liberal” or “conservative” labels. They wanted candidates who would support public education and a teachers’ union that would protect them, their jobs and their benefits.
That’s what they got then. And that’s still what they have today.
This is a problem for Republicans, as they have spent the past decade wooing candidates who have done everything imaginable to undermine public education in this state.
Once in power, these anti-public education politicians have spent the past 11 years vilifying teachers – calling them lazy and leeches – and cutting their pay and benefits – to the point that we’re just barely reaching levels of education. 2008 funding – and support the private schools and schools charter and any foolish effort that has allowed private companies to get their hands on public education dollars.
This is why the number of members of the AEA is increasing and the influence of the organization is once again being felt.
Because in real life, teachers were fed up with being repeatedly kicked. I got tired of being told their tenure was the problem – not being asked to buy their own classroom supplies and toilet paper. I got tired of hearing how wonderful all of these underachieving charter schools were. I’m sick of hearing how they fail in impossible situations from the very people who created those impossible situations.
Alabama public school workers have taken a hard look at the past 11 years of educational life in that state, and they don’t like what they see. The state’s largest electoral bloc is motivated and angry.
The only recourse for Republicans anti-public education is to attack the AEA. Don’t buy it.