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Why AFT and NEA Abandoned Seattle Teachers

Teachers in two high schools in Seattle have joined together and refused to give a standardized test. They have decided to do what, as professionals, they know is best. You would think that AFT and NEA would make this into a national issue. It is a Lexington and Concord moment. This is the moment to show the nation how much time and money is being wasted on testing.

But AFT and NEA have been silent on a national level. As Exxon Mobile continues to mislead with commercials- our professional organizations are silent. I would have a commercial on TV already.

AFT and NEA say they oppose the fixation on testing yet their actions show they are not so opposed. They should be organizing and helping teachers (around the nation) follow Seattle and refuse to give tests they feel are harmful or a waste of time and money.

AFT and NEA shrugged

AFT and NEA are part of the crowd sitting by while Common Core takes over our schools and brings more testing than ever before. They have an interest in more testing for teachers and students.

AFT and NEA missed the Lexington and Concord moment. Teachers must now throw their own Boston Tea Party.


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6 thoughts on “Why AFT and NEA Abandoned Seattle Teachers

  1. In general, across the board, our ‘mother’ unions have abandoned us during our greatest time of need. Last year, the Buffalo Teachers Federation had to hold its own, as it stood up against APPR. The Chicago Teachers Union stuck its neck out and held the first strike in 25 years. Meanwhile, NYSUT president Richard Iannuzzi has failed to keep Governor Cuomo, Merryl Tisch and John King in check, just recently praising the recommendations of their Education Reform Commission. AFT president Randi Weingarten seems to get caught talking out of both sides of her mouth, as she was instrumental in initiating merit pay in the Newark teachers’ contract. She may not have smooth edges, but CTU president Karen Lewis (along with BTF president Phil Rumore) has provided much more inspiration and courage to me and my colleagues than Dick and Randi have in the past five years. Today, I add Chris Cerrone (Hamburg, NY) and Jonathan Knapp (Seattle) to the list of union leaders that I would trust and follow. Solidarity!

  2. Kris Nielsen on said:

    Perhaps the major unions have a vested (financial) interest in keeping those tests going? Just a thought…I have no evidence…yet.

  3. We need more than district strikes – we need county, state, and a national strike of ALL teachers. We need to be heard more than the people holding the money bags.

  4. Bill Morrison on said:

    We need to take our unions back NOW! Our unions in CT seem to have rolled over to the “reformers” and our governor. They are unresponsive to our letters and emails. Imagine if we teachers started to picket our own unions!

    If there are any leaders out there who would like to help me form an ORGANIZED national movement, please contact me at And, please go to Washington to occupy the DOE!

  5. If you disagree with the current excess in standardized testing and mismanagement of funding, please share:

    • Thanks for your comments. People do not realize that Common Core is a test driven mandate that increases testing beyond belief. It is an utter waste of time and money. Sadly, groups like AFT, NEA, NCTE and IRA have lied to memberships by backing Common Core without telling them about the massive testing increase. Common Core assumes that schools are broken and we have a teacher/standards problem. There is no empirical evidence to support this.

      AFT should be calling for all states to follow the “Seattle Revolution.” It is an act of cowardice and malpractice to be silent at this time.

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