February 1, 2007

Much Ado about the AFT

So I'm not the first off the mark in responding to the Ed Week story,  AFT No Longer a Major Player in Reform Arena. See the blogging responses by AFT policy staffers, Alexander Russo, and Andy Rotherham, and I'm sure there are others. I'm at the Tampa airport, waiting for my flight to Birmingham and much true Southern goodness (i.e., philosophy of ed), and I had to read the article (finally!) and laugh. Disclosure: I'm a faculty union member in Florida and as such am a member of the AFT (and NEA).

First, the weaknesses journalistically: Too many anonymous sources described as "observers." The first quoted source was Cindy Chance, in the 18th graf, and she was talking about unions in general, not the AFT specifically. Where was the editor on this story, allowing the use of shadow sources?

Then there's the timing issue: the use of an internal-voices memo with data from several years ago doesn't necessarily indicate where the AFT is now, given the leadership transitions inside the organization and the change on Capitol Hill.  To quote the complaint that the AFT didn't get inauguration tickets in early 2007 is, well, just plain silly.  I'm going to bet that the AFT leadership has plenty of symbolic as well as real ties to the Democratic leadership.

On the whole, the story smells strongly as if the reporter had an axe to grind, regardless of the facts.

And I have to get on the plane: I'll write from Alabama, I promise!

Listen to this article
Posted in Education policy on February 1, 2007 1:51 PM |