Friday, March 14, 2014

Regarding the Illinois Education Association’s Former Leadership

In a democracy, there must be dialogue, for “[the] silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility” (John Stuart Mill, On Liberty).   

This revival of absolutism today forecloses the right to be heard and exiles truth from being openly examined.  Moreover, it extinguishes critical thinking and the understanding of the relationship among ideas and matters of fact. In regard to making an informed decision that affects the entire membership of an association, for instance, the closest we can arrive at an acceptable course of action before an endorsement of a candidate or the sponsoring of a bill is by considering the counterarguments that are presented. 

The following e-mail was sent to Ken Swanson in April 2011. It was not about endorsing a political candidate. It was about sponsoring a possible despotic bill and the dissension among its members:

Your response to my e-mail is precisely the reason why we need to know what IEA is doing for its membership!  How can I give you "credit" when IEA does not communicate important information to both retired and active teachers?  

You believe, and the small clandestine group that advises you, that your "engagement" with Stand for Children most likely “prevented some of the more radical changes” Advance Illinois and “Performance Counts” would attempt to mandate.  Nonetheless, Robin Steans said in Naperville last Monday that legislation was going forward today anyway.
Do you know how many teachers walked out of last Monday’s Naperville board meeting feeling both confused and betrayed by Jim Reed when he sat quietly acquiescing while Steans' revealed her bulldozer tactics?  We were blind-sided and left the meeting apprehensive. 

Your defensiveness about my so-called “uninformed criticism” about this situation is both condescending and authoritarian. The best way to placate your memberships’ anxieties and to address their “naiveté” is through honest, open communication. Though I have written to legislators who use the same modus operandi as you, I will continue to engage them, and I will continue to write about these issues for active and retired teachers.
The IEA membership needs a leadership that keeps it well-informed and utilizes its Grassroots' activists, especially members of the IRTA.  The IEA does not effectively communicate with its retired and active membership, especially through its out-of-date and inconsequential website. To purposely keep activists in the dark on the most important issues that concern all of us is unwise. 
Finally, I know “the world is changing” as you state in your e-mail, and partnerships and negotiations, or “bending” as you call it, are still reliable strategies of choice for positive change.  However, your unnecessary innuendo and personal attack are not successful strategies for effective communication between members of the same association. Instead, your condemnations terminate the indispensable exchange of opposing ideas and viewpoints that can bring to light new evidence before supporting a decision on a vital issue.
Though, you request that I "no longer need to send e-mails to [you]," I hope this kind of puerile hubris is not passed on to your successor, Cinda Klickna. For her accomplishments will be inextricably bound to her members’ trust in her leadership and her willingness to listen to opposing viewpoints before crucial decisions are made that will affect every one of us.


Today's afterthought:

Bob Haisman’s spasmodic bile and rage against those of us who question the decision making of the IEA’s leadership necessitate no further response; neither does Ken Swanson’s current sourness. However, before you forget about their personal diatribes, read Ken Swanson. The former IEA President who was responsible for our Senate Bill 7. “Don’t ask questions.Do what you’re told” by Fred Klonsky. 



  1. Over the years I have found that, at least at the local level, IEA/NUEA leadership had spent the majority of it's time placating and snuggling up to local administration and politicians than they did representing their membership's issues.

  2. The NEA/IEA is a Trojan horse. There is a great book about it. They work for the bankers, the elite. We aeeruled by a central bank, 12 families and the baby family foundations are wanna bees like the Steans Family Foundation. Harrison is basically in control of Chico, Heather passes all the banker helping legislation.

    They get away with it because the American people eat, sleep and live by the right and left paradigm so the divided and conquer tactic still works and is alive and well in Illinois.

    Radical Education Transformation has been in the works at the hands of family banking cabales in the US since at least 1913. Dodd tried to pass house resolution 217 in the fifties but her was Alinskied out, called a racist before Alinsky wrote his little communism for dummies, Rules for Radicals.

    Dodd is on you tube. He exposed the Rockyfellers and Carnagies, oops, they are behind the inBloom data mining system, my how things never change.