Among the glowing coals, heating up the developing political campaigns, are paid advertisements by the Illinois Education Association, featuring the comments if IEA President Cinda Klickna. She bemoans the difficulties of attracting and retaining "the best teaching corps in the country." It is debatable that the Illinois teaching corps is the best, but it is not debatable that the students they massage are not.
Klickna says that nearly half of all teachers leave education within five years, particularly the newer ones, which costs taxpayers about $7 billion per year. However, she also suggests that the reasons are not only pension problems, low pay, and insufficient school funding. The principal reason for the flight from teaching, she says, is "demonization of education professionals by politicians and special interest groups across the state," How droll! Does anyone really believe that politicians and other special interest groups actively demonize anyone other than themselves with a bill of $7 billion per year?
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The root causes for most of our educational problems include the precipitate destruction of the family, the transformation of unions into political action committees, the tyranny of the statistical rule of school tests, and the convenience of outsourcing most of the school room to computerized techniques. The current version of our social fabric leaves no doubt that politicians have much to answer for, the least of which is demonization of anyone. However, they won't "change their spots" unless, and until, the voters withhold ballots and/or campaign funds. Politicians, as a group, display no greater morality than any other group in our society.
It should not go unnoticed that the IEA expends considerable effort, and money, in trying to influence political action. Does that make the IEA a political action committee? Probably, but Cinda Klickna may prefer to think of the IEA as a crusader for right and justice. I don't.