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“Educate, collaborate, AGITATE!”: Alinsky’s teacher corps

By Michelle Malkin  •  March 1, 2011 10:49 AM

I’ll get to the above image in the moment. First, a few refreshers.

In 2009, I noted that Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals was a featured item on the National Education Association reading list.

I reminded you of Weather Underground terrorist and FOO (Friend of Obama) Bill Ayers’ 2006 speech at the World Economic Forum in Caracas, Venezuela, in which he declared education “the motor-force of revolution” while singing dictator Hugo Chavez’s praises.

This blog has documented the radical activism of President Obama’s White House Teaching Fellows; the overzealousness of public school educators who have turned classrooms into Obama campaign offices; the influence of the left-wing social justice crusaders of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge on Team Obama; and the activist tradition of government schools using students as junior lobbyists to pressure legislators for higher education spending, pro-illegal immigration protests, gay marriage, environmental propaganda, and anti-war causes.

And I’ve been telling you about more and more rank-and-file teachers speaking out against the prog power of their unions.

Well, here’s one more: The above image was sent to me by retired New York teacher Vinnie Cusimano. He writes: “I have been a teacher for 32+ years, retired several years, and am STUCK in the union dues…I dislike most of the union activities and usually throw out their papers. This one caught my attention and instead of having dinner, I copied this thing with OUTRAGE… You have to read the cover of the paper… “Defend What Matters, Educate, Collaborate, AGITATE.” Where are we going? …[E]ncouraging intelligent people to “AGITATE” in the streets???”

My favorite part of the image: The description of the New York teachers’ union as a “union of professionals.”

Professional grievance-mongers, that is.

Mr. Cusimano has complained to the head of the NYSUT, an afilliate of the AFL-CIO and NEA:

To: Richard C. Iannuzzi, President

I just received a copy of the NYSUT paper and I am outraged at the cover. As a member for over 40 years, I have never been so disappointed at the stand you are taking to call members to AGITATE! We are trying to tamp down the rhetoric and you are outwarding inciting agitation. How dare you! You are supposed to be for the students/teachers, and are setting some disgusting example. How can you support “EDUCATE”; “COLLABORATE”; and then encourage agitation????

I am looking forward to your direct response to how you possibly can justify this cover and call to agitation.


“Agitation,” of course, is what teachers’ union bosses live for…via NEA Exposed:

The Public Service Research Foundation issued a newsletter calling former NEA official John Lloyd one of the NEA’s “golden boys” and a UniServ director. Lloyd was “what the NEA wanted at that time — a very vocal, if not aggressive, bargainer/spokesperson on teachers’ rights,” according to the newsletter, which is also provided in PDF format, should the link disappear.

When asked about the NEA’s note-worthy training program, Lloyd responded:

Oh sure. To understand NEA — to understand the union — read Saul Alinsky. If you read “Rules for Radicals,” (Saul Alinsky’s bible of radical organizations) you will understand NEA more profoundly than reading anything else. Because the whole organization was modeled on that kind of behavior which was really begun when NEA used Saul Alinsky as a consultant to train their own staff. That’s a very important thing to understand. You cannot possibly understand NEA without understanding Saul Alinsky. If you want to understand NEA, go to the library and get “Rules for Radicals,” by Saul Alinsky. Then you will understand the NEA.

With regards to Alinsky’s tactics being applied to the school setting, Alinsky said:

Many Liberals, during our attack on the then school superintendent, were pointing out that after all he wasn’t a 100 per cent devil, he was a regular churchgoer, he was a family man, and he was generous in his contributions to charity. Can you imagine in the arena of conflict charging that so-and-so is a racist bastard and then diluting the impact of the attack with qualifying remarks such as ‘He is a good churchgoing man, generous to charity, and a good husband’? This becomes political idiocy.

Learn-USA.com provides a training document from the NEA on applying Alinsky’s tactics to public education, entitled “Alinsky for Teacher Organizers.”

Remember: “You cannot possibly understand NEA without understanding Saul Alinsky.”

It’s at the heart of their forced dues racket and it’s at the heart of their battle in Wisconsin and Washington.

It’s not about children. It’s not about fairness. It’s about Alinsky’s angels organizing for political power.

Can’t repeat enough: Remember the words of former NEA top lawyer Bob Chanin, which I posted here in 2009

Despite what some among us would like to believe it is not because of our creative ideas. It is not because of the merit of our positions. It is not because we care about children and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child. NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power.

And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues each year, because they believe that we are the unions that can most effectively represent them, the unions that can protect their rights and advance their interests as education employees.

…This is not to say that the concern of NEA and its affiliates with closing achievement gaps, reducing dropout rates, improving teacher quality and the like are unimportant or inappropriate. To the contrary. These are the goals that guide the work we do. But they need not and must not be achieved at the expense of due process, employee rights and collective bargaining. That simply is too high a price to pay.

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Categories: Education