Entries by Rishawn Biddle

American Federation of Teachers Costly Staff Spending

Dropout Nation recently reported on the American Federation of Teachers’ 2015-2016 financial disclosure to the U.S. Department of Labor. As you would expect, the nation’s second-largest teachers’ union spent big on influencing Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her apparatchiks, as well as pouring heavily into what should be like-minded advocacy and nonprofit groups. But AFT’s […]

When Black Kids Don't Matter

Can’t understand why the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Movement for Black Lives have issued proclamations opposing the expansion of school choice and Parent Power for the very black families for which they proclaim to care? The answer can be found in the annual financial statements of the National Education […]

The National Education Association's Stagnant Finances

As Dropout Nation reported last week, National Education Association has had to deal with declining rank-and-file numbers as well as prop up affiliates struggling with pension woes and other issues. None of this, by the way, includes the nation’s largest teachers’ union’s own virtually-insolvent defined-benefit pension. Yet as NEA has shown in its 2014-2015 financial […]

The National Education Association's $131 Million Influence Buying Spree

The National Education Association just filed its latest financial disclosure with the U.S. Department of Labor, and as you would expect, it spent big on its efforts to preserve its influence over education policymaking. The union spent $131 million on lobbying and contributions to what are supposed to be like-minded organizations in 2014-2015, just slightly […]

Banish Rogue Cops and Bad Teachers

There’s no good reason why it took 13 months for prosecutors in Chicago to indict police officer Jason Van Dyke for murdering 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Not at all. There’s also no reason why the Second City’s police department withheld and even deleted video evidence that the 14-year veteran fired 16 bullets within 15 seconds into […]

Hillary Clinton's Teachers Union Alliance

The school reform movement was shocked last week when likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton declared to talk show host (and school reformer) Roland Martin that public charter schools fail to work with “the most challenging students”, and made other points about the schools that have no substance in fact. After all, the former First […]

Teachers Unions Spend $700 Million per Year Explicitly on Political Advocacy

As readers know by now, Dropout Nation determined in research released last October that National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers spend roughly $700 million per year on advocacy. This report undermined the unions’ preferred narrative that they are scrappy underdogs fighting for public schools. As you would expect, especially on Twitter, NEA’s and […]

American Federation of Teachers Increases Support for Progressive Pressure Groups

The American Federation of Teachers just filed its 2014-2015 financial disclosure to the U.S. Department of Labor, and as you would expect, it spent big on preserving its declining influence over education policy. The nation’s second-largest teachers’ union spent $42 million on political lobbying activities and contributions to what should be like-minded groups; this, by […]

Lessons for Reformers from Governor Scott Walker

Certainly there are scores of Beltway conservative reformers (and movement conservatives disinterested in education policy) who are dismayed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s decision yesterday to halt his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. After all, the onetime state legislator and former Milwaukee County Executive-turned-governor has been highly-touted by them for his success in abolishing […]

Reformers Successfully Pressure Torlakson to Restore Access to School Performance Data

Two things can be said about California’s state government when it comes to its efforts on school data. The first? That the Golden State has always blundered when it comes to developing robust comprehensive data systems that can be easily used by families, school leaders, researchers, and policymakers. As I reported seven years ago in […]

End the Solidarity Mindset of Teachers and Cops

Chances are that you don’t think that New York City Patrolman’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch has much in common with Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers. In fact, after Lynch sparred earlier this year with Weingarten protégé Michael Mulgrew, the president of the union’s United Federation of Teachers local, over the unit’s collaboration […]