Every once in a while, I read an article that is so packed with insight and new information that I want to share it. In the past, I would use Twitter to send it out. Now that I have this blog, I can not only share it but tell you why I think it is important.
The article tells the story of how Stand for Children came into Massachusetts, did some constructive work in a few communities, then launched its now-typical campaign to reduce teachers’ rights and status. It brought the Massachusetts Teachers Association to its knees by threatening to put a heavily-funded initiative on the ballot that would be far worse than a negotiated agreement. In the present anti-teacher climate, MTA capitulated to Stand’s demands.
What’s new in the article? The revelation of the big money players behind Stand; the Machiavellian techniques that it employed in Massachusetts, echoing its bare-knuckle campaign to crush the Chicago Teachers Union; the bald-faced presumption of an out-of-state organization imposing its will on teachers in the nation’s most educationally outstanding state.
And what’s familiar is the nagging question: Why did Jonah Edelman sell out? Why did the son of iconic figures in the civil rights movement become a pawn for big money and big business? Was it for money? Was it for power? I try not to speculate about people’s motives (usually unknowable) and to judge them by their actions, but this puzzle is just too puzzling and too hard to crack.