Katherine Kersten’s Star Tribune column is about the current million-dollar advertising campaign of Minnesota’s teachers’ union, Education Minnesota: “So why is teachers union running costly TV ads?” Short answer: Because they expect a big return on their investment. It will be a profound shock to the Star Tribune editorial board to read these heterodox observations in the paper’s Metro news section:
Last year, our state’s K-12 schools got one of the biggest two-year funding infusions since the 1980s from the Minnesota Legislature. But Education Minnesota, with its insatiable appetite for taxpayer funds, is already back at the public trough.
Is Education Minnesota a serious education organization, dedicated to academic excellence and innovation? Or is it, first and foremost, a union concerned with increasing its members salaries and benefits?
“Education Minnesota did not support statewide testing for accountability,” [Joe] Nathan [director of the Humphrey Institute’s Center for School Change] told me. “It vigorously opposed successful programs that now have the support of 60 to 80 percent of people in this state, like open enrollment, charter public schools and post- secondary options.”
I’ve got a modest suggestion for Education Minnesota’s next million-dollar campaign. Don’t call it Schools First, but Students First. And work from that premise.
Coming soon, I fearlessly predict: The editorial page fights back with a full boat of letters to the editor condemning Kersten and an op-ed column from Education Minnesota President Judy Schaubach tearfully proclaiming her union’s devotion to students.