In a recent emailing, EAGNews “reports” that a recent meeting of the International Socialists Organization is proof that teachers are socialists. First, writer Steve Gunn runs through a long list of evil beliefs of those attending: disarming the police, free Palestine, free abortions. Having established the crazy-talk level of discourse, he then uses the ultimate insult to public education by referring to it as “government education,” about which the attendees “consumed Marxist propaganda.”
The existence of some education-related sessions is enough for Gunn to conclude that there were “many teachers in attendance.” He signs off with the kind of fear mongering that is common in the right wing villanizing world:
Their militancy must be closely watched so we can understand what our children will be subjected to when the activists return to their classrooms.
Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel recently agreed to sit for a EAGNews interview, which was used in a YouTube video narrated by Fox News’ Juan Williams. Williams described the Chicago teacher’s union as ““radically politicized” and “repeatedly providing terrible examples for Chicago’s schoolchildren.”
The reaction was immediate and negative, leading Emanuel to issue a press release stating that he didn’t share those views of the union, but the controversy of a sitting major of a major city aligning himself with a right wing union-bashing out-of-state group continued.
“We’re upset with all the teacher-bashing that’s so fashionable today,” said Erica Clark of Parents For Teachers. “It’s a complete distraction from the real issues facing our schools.”
“If you listen to the rhetoric of so-called school reform, you would think there are no good teachers in the system,” she said. “But if you talk to parents – if you look at the data CPS collects in the surveys where parents rate schools and teachers – there’s a lot of support for teachers.
In the video, Williams refers to Chicago charter schools as a “Chicago miracle” and a solution to poorly performing public schools, although state achievement test data released last year showed charters schools performed nearly the same as neighborhood schools. Chicago charter schools are not unionized.
The Truthout news report took the time to do some research on EAG before filing its story and reported that:
EAG’s leader, Kyle Olson, blogs on the Big Government website of journalist-provocateur Andrew Breitbart, whose exploits include doctoring video to make U.S. Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod look like she was fomenting racial division.
Two years ago Olson was forced to apologize after he was exposed for videotaping an interview with Frances Fox Piven, the activist academic who was a frequent target of Glen Beck, under false pretenses.
Context means everything.
- Parents’ group voices support for teachers (suntimes.com)