For a union that is supposed to represent teachers and stand up for public education ISTA has done a lousy job of doing its homework. Of course, this really shouldn’t surprise anyone looking at their track record of late.
They perpetually whined about cuts to education and how it was hurting schools and student performance, however I-STEP test scores go up.
They gave $40,000 in an effort to beat former Indiana Department of Education Chief of Staff Todd Huston in a proxy fight against Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Tony Bennett and lost, big time.
They bullied their way into getting Indiana Democrats to nominate Glenda Ritz to be their candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction. Ritz not only voted as a Republican in every Hamilton County primary from 1990-2006, but was also the head of the teachers union in Washington Township Schools which is in the middle of a major cheating scandal involving ISTEP test scores.
They cut off their noses to spite their faces and started an internal war with some of their fellow Democrats over the endorsement of Republican Brent Waltz over Mary Ann Sullivan Senate District 36.
And they recently circulated an e-mail asking for donations because of Bennett raised more than half a million dollars back in May…
Now we have to get to work. Educators don’t have the personal wealth to compete with the incumbent State Superintendent who has already raised a half million dollars, 90% of which has come from out of state.
I did some checking of Bennett’s finance records and anyone capable of doing simple math could easily that while he did raise quite a bit of money from out-of-state, it was nowhere near 90%. But then again, this is the same organization that sent out a fundraising e-mail accusing Bennett of changing the sign outside the door at his office to read the Superintendent of the Department of Education, when in fact, that was done by Sue Ellen Reed.
It’s people like this that give real teachers a bad name. However, this behavior would explain the rumors I hear that rank and file members are leaving left and right. Maybe I will explore that in my next gossip column.