Campaign finance reports show the effort to repeal Idaho’s Students Come First education laws received more than a million dollars from the nation’s largest teachers union, the National Education Association. In response, the campaign to keep the laws in place is launching a new ad attacking the organization. The ad includes a clip from the retirement speech of the organization’s general council Bob Chanin.
"It is not because of the merit of our positions, it is not because we care about children, and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child,” you hear Chanin say in the ad. “ It is because we have power."
The ad claims those comments are Chanin explaining why the NEA opposes education reform. In reality, Chanin was answering the question "why is the NEA an effective advocate for its members." His comments were met with applause, then Chenin followed with this:
"This is not to say that the concern of NEA and its affiliates with closing achievement gaps, reducing dropout rates, improving teacher quality and the like are unimportant or inappropriate. To the contrary these are the goals that guide the work we do."
The ad also says Chenin was speaking "behind closed doors." He made the speech to thousands of attendees at the NEA’s annual meeting in 2009.
Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio