BLOG: The Nation’s Largest Teacher Union to Show True Colors at Radical Leadership Summit

The nation’s largest teacher union, the National Education Association (NEA), is about to spend the weekend training activists to advance its radical woke agenda.

The agenda items for the NEA’s National Leadership Summit reveal an organization with far left progressive political goals and virtually zero concern for actually educating students. The breakout sessions at this conference are designed to create good activists, not good educators.

One such session teaches union leaders to use the “Race Class Narrative” to elect left-wing politicians. The Race Class Narrative is a product created by several progressive advocacy groups, chief among them being Demos Action. Demos Action says this narrative “integrates both race and class [to] energize and persuade a truly multi-racial cohort to support progressive policies and vote for progressive candidates.” It continues, “The key…is mobilizing around the connections between racial divisions and economic hardship.”

The NEA knows it cannot defend keeping schools closed and routinely failing to educate students, even well before COVID. Instead of improving teacher quality and bringing students up to speed, the NEA would rather sow division based on identity politics.

In another session, “One Voice: NEA’s Interim National Message with Race-Explicit Narrative,” participants “will explore communications theory before diving into NEA’s interim message framework and the fundamentals that support our race-explicit narrative.” The unions are deliberately injecting race into politics, just like they have injected Critical Race Theory into schools.

The indoctrination at the Summit doesn’t stop with race. It extends into “Fighting the Patriarchy and Internalized Misogyny,” in which participants will learn ways to “break-up [sic] the patriarchal systems that dominate both our work and union lives.” It bears mentioning that more than three-quarters of all public school teachers are women, begging the question of how much patriarchy could possibly exist in a sphere that is so female-dominated.

The description of another session, titled “How Educators and Their Unions Can Lead in the Fight for Environmental Justice,” contends that “For too long, the education sector has been forgotten in the battle to address climate change…America has over 100,000 public schools that can be models for climate action, climate solutions, and sustainability, and the 50 million children in these schools should be prepared to succeed in a clean economy and lead a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable society.” Of course, we all want students to be able to succeed in the future economy. But they will never be able to succeed in any economy without the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic, which teacher unions continually abandon in favor of forcing their politics onto students.

No teacher union event is complete without a concerted effort to cut families off from accessing options other than government-run schools. The Summit dedicates a session to “Fighting the Privatization of Education and Winning Community Schools,” pretending that failing public schools serve the communities in which they’re located. In reality, terrible government-assigned schools let down their communities by robbing children of the education they deserve.

To enter the NEA’s upside-down worldview is to cast aside logic and ignore the reality that government schools are failing millions of kids. Judging by the summit schedule, the NEA is not worried about students who cannot read, write, or do math. It certainly has no plan to help them learn. But it does, however, have detailed plan for how to keep students trapped in public schools that don’t meet their needs. That plan relies on people who will bring its radical vision to life in states and districts across the country.

For the union bosses, it’s not enough for a member to pay his or her dues and believe the far-left ideology the union espouses. Instead, the NEA offers a Maoist-style union member loyalty session: “A loyal member is an educator who sees the value of the union far outweighing the cost of membership. And more importantly, a loyal member is a member who will actively work to advance the union’s agenda.”

The NEA wants activists for the union, not teachers for your kids. Your child is simply a means to an end: the acquisition of political power for the benefit of the union’s leaders and activists.    

Angela Morabito serves as the spokesperson for Defense of Freedom Institute.