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March 10, 2004

Teachers = Terrorists?

I just got the following email from

Last month, President Bush's Secretary of Education, Rod Paige, called America's largest teachers' union a "terrorist organization." Why? Because the union had the gall to insist that President Bush live up to his own promises to adequately fund education. Please sign our petition demanding that President Bush fire Secretary Paige.

This is typical behavior for the Bush administration. It says one thing - "no child left behind" and does another - under-funding its promises to our schools by $9.4 billion in its latest budget proposal. And when people dare to disagree with its policies, it questions their patriotism or labels them terrorists.

Secretary Paige uses insult to defend the indefensible. Not only did the president break his promise to fund the reforms, his current budget calls for cuts in support for schools over the next five years. And he still wants to take billions from public schools to pay for private school vouchers. So Paige resorts to slurs: even in his supposed apology, he dismissed teachers' growing concerns as "obstructionist scare tactics."

We teach our kids that name calling is not the right way to win an argument - in fact, itís usually a sign that you don't have the facts on your side. Making our schools better is a tough job. We need a Secretary of Education who sees teachers and their representatives as partners in this effort rather than as enemies. Join us in calling on President Bush to find a better person for the job.

First I've heard of the incident, and a Google News search for "teachers terrorists" doesn't turn up much. Does anyone know in what context this statement was made? Seems odd that it wasn't reported more widely.

Posted by david at March 10, 2004 01:18 PM | TrackBack
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Actually it received a lot of press, but since he apologized so quickly everyone let it go (I am surprised that you didn't find anything on it). Here is a link to an article

I think that he was referring to the lobbying efforts made by the organization against Bush's proposals. He said it was a bad joke.

I think this nation's education policy is the bad joke.

Posted by: Marti on March 10, 2004 01:40 PM

This is similar to Oklahoma's former Republican Governor, Frank Keating. When asked what he planned to do if the Oklahoma Education Association made good on a threat to strike, he responded with one word: "Homicide." Funny, huh?

Posted by: jay on March 10, 2004 02:33 PM
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