In October of 1999, the Lexington Institute, a “free market think tank” and active member of the nefarious Koch-financed State Policy Network, hosted a national conference entitled “The Teacher Unions: How School Choice is Breaking Their Monopoly.”
According to the conference agenda, three of the major themes were:
- Expanding voucher, tax-credit and charter school programs as well as the teacher unions’ actions to prevent such programs;
- The brisk growth of independent teacher associations, which now have more members than the NEA or AFT in three states;
- Education outsourcing and privatization issues, recent unprecedented concessions by teacher unions in contract agreements, curbing the political abuse of compulsory dues and other related topics.
Here we see a perfect example of the collusion between the “free market think tanks” that belong to the State Policy Network and are part of a national strategy for advocating for the privatization of public schools and the growth of “independent education associations” (I prefer the term “yellow unions”) that claim to represent teachers, but are actually front groups created for the intentional purpose of undermining the largest and most politically organized opposition to the corporate reformers and their privatization agenda: teacher unions.
These “free market think tanks” and the yellow unions work hand in glove, one advocates for the privatization agenda while the other weakens the agenda’s main opponents.
Guess who is listed at the very top of the conference’s list of speakers?
None other than the current executive director of the Professional Educators of Tennessee: J.C. Bowman.
How about that.
Download the agenda here: capital-hill-teacher-union or see below.