Teachers Union President Deems Education Too Complex for Tax-Paying Rubes

Kyle Olson

12/21/2011 12:01:00 AM - Kyle Olson

It’s so reassuring to have the intellectual elites in our nation’s teachers unions, like Sandy Hughes of Tennessee, looking out for us rubes.

Hughes, a local union president, is pitching the idea that school board membership be limited to people who “have worked in the education field,” because the issues at hand are “so complex” and too complicated for average citizens.

In other words, all will be well if taxpayers just get out of the way and let the wise and wonderful union folks run our schools, no questions asked. All we have to do is keep paying the taxes, then mind our own business.

This is a perfect example of the snobbery and arrogance that is so pervasive in the public education establishment.

A stay-at-home mom that wants to be on the board? Sorry. Business owners who know how to control labor costs and balance budgets? They don’t have the right skill set, according to Hughes. Public education is too "complex" for them.

Hughes didn’t happen to mention the 80% graduation rate in her county, the 52% of 3-8 graders who aren't proficient in reading or the 62% who aren't proficient in math. Perhaps she thinks those statistics are acceptable, and the public school accept them, too.

There's another issue at play here. Most communities throughout the nation elect school board members. Teachers unions throughout the nation provide millions of dollars in campaign contributions to get their hand-picked candidates elected, then lo and behold, they negotiate juicy, expensive contracts with their pet board members.

Union leaders have clearly thought this through. Some have actually produced How-To manuals, such as the Michigan Education Association’s “Electing Your Employer – It’s as easy as 1-2-3!” In it, the union details every step necessary to elect union-friendly school board members.

The only problem is that, with a board full of union supporters, nobody is looking out for the interests of students and taxpayers. But of course, people who aren’t dedicated to the union agenda have no business on school boards, according to Hughes. We obviously don’t understand the process. It’s all too “complex” for us.