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Press Release



July 29, 2011
Contact: Alexandra Schroeck

AAE Denounces Union-Led SOS March

Alexandria, VA – This weekend, union leaders and liberal advocacy groups from across the country will march in Washington, D.C. for what they call the "Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action."

With declining membership, unilaterally negative press, and countless brewing legislative and legal battles, union leaders are struggling to win the messaging war. This made-for-media rally is their solution.

AAE Executive Director Gary Beckner shared his thoughts about the rally today, releasing the following statement:

"Union leaders and various far-left talking heads have spearheaded an event in Washington, D.C. this weekend called 'Save Our Schools' in an attempt to portray an authentic grassroots movement amongst teachers, parents and other education stakeholders.

As a membership organization for educators, we work with teachers everyday who are frustrated with the massive transformation occurring in public education. It's important to recognize, however, that this is a direct result of citizens demanding change at the voting booth. They want a higher quality of education for their children. The process to meet these demands is a tall order and cannot be done overnight. Educators, what we are experiencing is change in its most difficult hour.

The solution is not an expensive rally to turn back the clock to a time when union-driven policies were not challenged. The solution is for individual teachers to be part of public discourse. We caution teachers not to confuse a union-led publicity stunt with credible teacher voices.

To give this event some perspective, this rally comes on the heels of a decision in Wisconsin where the teacher union is outright refusing to represent their members on a taskforce with the Governor and other policymaker to overhaul school accountability measures. The unions make it clear that instead of representing their members in a meaningful, professional and compromising dialogue, they would rather take their status quo mentality to the streets in a made-for-media rally. While this strategy may turn some heads, it is not productive for the advancement of the profession.

Teachers absolutely need to be part of the conversation as we reform a system that works for students, communities and teachers. Sadly one needn't dig deep to realize that this rally is not about what's best for schools and teachers, but the same old union fight to preserve the status quo, but this time in the spotlight. Teachers– don't take the bait.

The Association of American Educators is the largest national, non-union, professional educators' association, offering an alternative to the partisan politics and non-educational agendas of the teacher labor unions. AAE does not endorse, support or contribute to any political cause or candidacy. AAE has members in all 50 states and welcomes professionals from all education entities. Membership is $15 per month.