Consensus: Teachers Unions Invest Huge on Election, Bad ROI


Despite tens of hundreds of thousands of bucks spent by teachers unions pushing their favored folks and policies in this year’s election, they came away with little to present for their efforts.

The American Federation of Teachers and Nationwide Training Association committed a mixed sum of over $ 60 million in hopes to send a message to lawmakers with conservative education reform agendas, writes Sean Higgins for the Washington Examiner.

“The industry-primarily based reforms, the best-down reforms, the testing and sanctioning as opposed to supporting and strengthening has taken hold so much and has been so incorrect-headed that you’re seeing this fight back,” Weingarten told the liberal magazine The Nation last month. AFT even developed a Tumblr webpage referred to as “You Received Schooled” to hit Republican candidates.

The investing went largely to backing Democrats in six various states: Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. They misplaced in 4 out of the 6 states.

The only win for the unions in gubernatorial races was Pennsylvania Democrat Tom Wolf who won towards his opponent incumbent Republican Tom Corbett by 10 points.

The unions fared better in Senate races where they also invested heavily.  Democrat Gary Peters beat Republican Terri Lynn Land for Michigan’s seat, 55 % to 41 %, and Minnesota’s Al Franken was capable to keep his seat towards Mike McFadden, 53 percent to 43 %.

In what was the unions’ only high-profile schooling win, California’s Tom Torlakson, who was backed by the unions, won in a shut race against Marshall Tuck for the state Superintendent of Public Instruction, reports Phil Willon for the Los Angeles Times.

“We knew that when Californians search for course on how to enhance schooling – they really don’t appear to Wall Street. They really don’t look to Silicon Valley,’’ Torlakson said in a statement. “They seem to the individuals who are in the schools in their community each day – the teachers, the college employees, the teacher’s aides, the nurses, the counselors.”

The gubernatorial races and Senate seat losses weren’t the only ones felt by the unions.  College chiefs who oppose Widespread Core won in Arizona and Georgia. In Nevada a ballot measure to raise funds for public schools by raising corporate taxes lost. A proposal in Washington State to lessen class size and retain the services of new educators failed in spite of promising final results in pre-polling. In Seattle, folks voted towards raised wages for childcare employees and expanded accessibility to pre-K, reports Catlin Emma and Stephanie Simon for Politico.

This demonstrates the NEA’s and AFT’s influence might be on the decline. This is not breaking news, but it has turn into clearer with the passing election. Strong ties between the unions and the Democrats have loosened. The NEA and AFT have shown they will back Democratic candidates irrespective so they have no determination to comply with their demands, writes Rishawn Biddle for Dropout Nation.

Internally the unions are faltering as well. Youthful, reform-minded teachers, who make up the bulk of the union membership, are significantly less loyal than ever.

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