Bill Lyne, a professor of English at Western Washington University, and the president of the United Faculty of Washington State (the union representing faculty at Washington's four regional universities), jumps into the charter school debate with "An Open Letter to Nick Hanauer."
Writing in response to the normally progressive kajillionaire's inflammatory comments accusing teachers unions of "literally strangling our public schools to death," Lyne pulls a Cienna with a devastating that's-kinda-like-this:
[Y]ou say that it’s not the hard-working, dedicated teachers who are ruining education but rather their nasty, child-hating union. I grew up as an upper middle class white boy in the American South, where all of the white grownups had their favorite Black people—the cook, the person who looked after the kids, the guy who took care of the cattle for a share of the corn crop. But God forbid that one of those favorites be seen gathering on a street corner with Black people from out of town, or at an NAACP meeting, or having coffee with a union representative. At the first hint of any organized activity, our grownups would turn on their favorite Black people faster than a summer squall could dump an inch of rain on the pasture. Suddenly the individuals who had been so tender, wise, and trustworthy were scary, too stupid to know better, and not to be let into the house. Everybody loved the solitary black person, nobody liked it when they started to bunch up and talk crazy.
That’s kind of the way it is with teachers. Everybody loves a teacher, nobody likes the big, bad teachers’ union. As long as they’re staying after school to give the extra help to the kids who need it or reaching into their own pockets to pay for the supplies that the state doesn’t anymore, teachers are saints. But when they collectively advocate for decent wages, adequate health care, and working conditions that don’t erode by the minute they’re a threat to the moral fabric of the state.
(Representative Glenn Anderson (R-Fall City) should learn a lesson from Professor Lyne on how to make a powerful allusion to racism without stupidly accusing one's opponents of being racist.)
In its entirety, Lyne's open letter amounts to a pretty thorough undressing of Hanauer and other pro-charter "business elite school reformers" who claim they do not presume to tell teachers how to teach, while doing exactly that. It's quite an education. Read the whole thing.