It’s a good thing the AFL-CIO’s name isn’t difficult to spell, because by the looks of the website of an AFL-CIO-aligned organization, Douglas County Classrooms, created to attack the Douglas County School Board, the union operatives don’t spell so good.
Those watching the political wrestling match in Douglas County know that last month a union operative boasted that the AFL-CIO and its local education affiliate were standing-up a non-profit to carry the water of national union bosses during the Douglas County school fight.
Our friends at Media Trackers and The Colorado Observer have done some excellent reporting on it, for those not keeping up. Here’s a good summary from The Observer:
DENVER – The nation’s largest federation of union organizations is gearing-up for a fight to oust school board members in Douglas County, members whose tenure has been defined by ambitious reforms that have helped notch high marks for student achievement – and rankled state and national union bosses.
But when the powerful AFL-CIO, and their constituent arm the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), flex their financial and political muscle in the form of campaign commercials, attack mailers, and paid union canvassers in Douglas County neighborhoods, the familiar AFL-CIO and AFT monikers won’t be anywhere in sight.
Instead, the AFL-CIO and AFT will be funneling their activities through a group with a name that is more local, and far more Mom and Apple Pie – Douglas County Classrooms.
Mandy Sheets, a representative for the teachers union, told Clayton Woullard of The Denver Post in December that the Douglas County Classrooms group was created to oppose the school board’s reform efforts.
So the AFL-CIO is for all practical purposes one and the same as Douglas County Classrooms. Following along? Ok, good.
Now for the fun part.
The website of the AFL-CIO-aligned Douglas County Classrooms…a website that proudly boasts a vision of “putting kids and classrooms first…” is marred with multiple spelling and grammatical errors, including a hilarious sentence where the DougCo Classrooms boasts of its focus on making sure that “all students understand basic subjects like reaidng (sic) and writing…”
The irony here is rich. Douglas County schools have been at the forefront of the movement for choice and performance pay. The school district has been called one of the best in the state and nation.
The unions hate choice and performance pay, however, and they have fought these reforms at every step. The leaders in the school district do not suffer fools lightly. The school district got tired of the AFL-CIO-affiliates’ obstruction, so they cut off the spigot of taxpayer cash that for years had been filling union coffers.
In the aftermath, the unions have been all over town saying all kinds of bad things about the district. As a recent TV ad pointed out, the AFL-CIO wants the money back.
In retribution, the union operatives stood-up this group called Douglas County Classrooms to attack the Douglas County School Board, setting the stage for everyone in power to be thrown out at the next available opportunity.
Good idea, but bad execution.
We don’t doubt that Douglas County Classrooms cares about “reaidng”. We would never judge their “focs” on the best interest of kids.
But maybe the AFL-CIO-led group should spend more time educating themselves on the success of Douglas County schools and the reforms behind that success. There is plenty of good “reaidng” on the subject.