June 30, 2004


John Kerry sells out to big education (Armstrong Williams, June 29, 2004, Townhall)

The National Education Association, the nation's largest professional employee organization, is fundamentally opposed to any education reform that seeks to hold public schools accountable for their failures. On July 3, it will hold its national convention in Washington, D.C. That's when the association is expected to endorse John Kerry for president. Along with the endorsement will come thousands of votes from teachers across the country.

In return, Kerry will talk about how school vouchers will tear apart our public education system.

Far more instructive, however, are the remarks Kerry made about education before he won the Democratic nomination and became beholden to the big interests of the teacher unions.

"We must end teacher tenure as we now know it," said Kerry in 1998 speeches delivered in Boston and Washington. During those speeches, Kerry took shots at a public education bureaucracy that shielded public schools and teachers from accountability and bemoaned that "those going into teaching have the lowest SAT and ACT scores of any profession in the United States."

In a 1998 New Republic article, Dana Milbank wrote that Kerry told her he'd "even approve government-funded vouchers - good for tuition at any accredited private school - as part of an overall education reform. ..." At the time, Kerry was proposing turning all public schools into charter schools. The reasoning was that, since students are assigned to public schools, the system has no incentive to improve and no accountability for failure. Stated otherwise, the public school system is a monopoly. But if poor families could send their children to any charter school, with the government paying all or part of the tuition, public schools would be forced to raise their standards or risk having their students flee.

"I'm for tough love here, folks," Kerry said. "It's time to come in and kick some butts. Democrats can't be viewed as somehow protecting these practices. You can't do this in some loosey-goosey ... way."

Six years later, Kerry is toting a different tune.

Who pays the piper calls the tune...

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 30, 2004 10:54 AM

Ah, who cares, nobody can remember back as far as 1998 anyway - as we've seen with the crowd who insists George W. Bush came up with the idea of removing Saddam Hussein.

Posted by: Jeff Brokaw at June 30, 2004 12:03 PM

Wonder what happens to the Dems if the NEA and Planned Parenthood ever find themselves on opposite sides of an issue.

Posted by: Mike Morley at June 30, 2004 1:58 PM

>Who pays the piper calls the tune...

And Cabana Boy's got a new Sugar Mommy.

Posted by: Ken at June 30, 2004 3:12 PM


All my teachers wished I'd been aborted.

Posted by: oj at June 30, 2004 3:33 PM

I shot my teacher with a rubber band. All hail Saddam!

Posted by: Emilia at July 22, 2004 2:20 AM
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