Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Teachers' Union Criticizes County Union over Campaign Contributions

In an e-mail sent out to Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA) members, the MCEA president appears to criticize the County employees union (MCGEO) for backing a Board of Education candidate.  MCEA's president Doug Prouty says,
 "Voters are left to wonder what the discussions were that led to MCGEO's contribution to Ms. Ortman-Fouse's campaign; and how her ability to advocate for our students' needs would be affected."
Thanks for bringing up this issue Mr. Prouty! 

Voters also wonder what discussions led to the $16,000 in MCEA's contributions to Board of Education candidates and to the newly formed PAC?  

How will the funds from MCEA impact the ability of the MCEA chosen candidates to advocate for our children?

We look forward to Mr. Prouty's explanation of the relationship between the MCEA contributions to campaings and the ability of MCEA endorsed (Apple ballot) candidates to serve independently on the Board of Education.  

October 2014 Contributions from Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA)
4000 O'Neill, Pat Friends Of
4000 Evans, Shebra, Friends of
4000 Durso, Mike Citizens For
4000 Committee for the Public Schools PAC


  1. Not sure that an entity supporting continued service for anyone on a Board which OK'ed a huge tech purchase while needed school building repair and renovations get deferred yet again gets to be overly critical of another entity that doesn't....

  2. Gerson's gone (as MCEA Chief Political Strategist), but the game playing continues. It represents the entrenched MCEA culture of playing dirty and then yelling fowl, when other organizations act in similar ways.

  3. Now that the election results are in for the Ortman-Fouse/Evans race, glad to see that the teachers didn't listen to Prouty.

  4. This is just silly. Yes, the apple ballot recommended candidates received money ($4000 each) from MCEA. Ortman-Fouse also received money ($6000) from a union. Why is it SO much better to vote for one candidate who may be beholden to a union than to another? The proud "we won't vote for apple ballot candidates" (presumably because those not on it are more independent, transparent, etc.) stance is delusional and ridiculous. It is just as thoughtless to vote based on someone NOT being on the apple ballot as it is to vote for someone based solely on the fact that the person IS ON the apple ballot. Seems like if someone is uninformed as to the actual experience, positions, etc. of the candidates, then going for the people who ARE recommended by teachers might make more sense than trying hard NOT to vote for candidates teachers tend to support.

    1. Actually, no, it's not at all thoughtless to vote against the Apple.
      The Apple ballot is looking to have a lock on each and every BOE seat. They want 100% control of each. Voting against the Apple actually means a lot and opens up the door for parents to have access to their elected Board members, to have discussion and to have public votes on major issues. The Apple is opposed to transparency, accountability and responsiveness.

    2. I personally know people who vote "against the Apple" with no consideration of who those other candidates are in terms of their qualifications, etc. This is not good citizenship, no matter how much someone may hate the power of the unions. To say that such a vote will necessarily "open(s) up the door for parents..." in advance of seeing what the newly elected member might actually do is speculative and premised only on the anti-MCEA rhetoric. The valid and useful information-gathering, document-publishing, etc. that goes on here (the blog) gets lost when the content becomes nit-picky, out of touch with the reality of the way large groups of people are managed, and, mainly, when it begins to seem impossible that anything here could ever see anything good, useful, or reasonable come out of MCPS. If anything associated with the bureaucracy or the union is characterized as automatically horrible, secretive, destructive, conspiratorial, etc. without any possibility of saying, hey, the union sucks, but there is this one board member who has done something good,etc. Well, I've gone on too long, but when thoughtful evaluations seem to be extince, this site begins to sound like a bunch of wingnut conspiracy theorists-- which is a shame, because good work has been and should continue to be done here. Just as union = definitely 100% terrible doesn't make sense, neither does non-union = 100% transparent and good.

    3. Well, I guess there are a lot of "not good citizens" out there because what you (anonymous - can't bear to sign your name?) described is EXACTLY how people vote the Apple ballot. They vote it without thought, without consideration of qualifications, without any idea of how those candidates will perform. They trust the Apple to have vetted ALL of the candidates. They trust and support teachers.

      How incredibly sad when the Apple abuses that trust, doesn't vet all candidates and doesn't look for candidates with qualifications to serve the public. Tricking voters into imagining that the vetting process was fair and bullying anyone who dares to run without the Apple stamp of approval is unconscionable. The Parents' Coalition has been involved in local Board of Education elections for over a decade. If you can't stand to hear the facts, there are thousands of other blogs out there for lovers of fantasy.

    4. I agree with you that it is equally thoughtless to vote for all of the candidates on the Apple ballot without thinking about each one individually.

      I can stand to hear facts. What I can't stand is interpretations of those facts which are entirely cynical and negative at all times, even if there may be other, equally supportable or understandable, versions of those same facts. It sounds like you are implying that if I disagree with your interpretations, I should, instead, read other blogs instead. I actually try to read and follow a good mix of opinions, blogs, etc. because I work hard on being open-minded and considering multiple interpretations (and candidates) before making up my mind. I would like to think that the parents coalition commenters and posters do the same.

      As to posting anonymously-- I have posted with my name on this site in years' past. In this one particular case, I have good friends who feel strongly the opposite of my views, take everything posted here as the gospel truth (as one might do when parroting lines from Fox News or MSNBC), and, frankly, it is not worth possibly offending my friends to use my real name. I am not ashamed of my views or my arguments; I simply know that I can't convince my friends (or you, possibly) to consider the good side of any of the Apple ballot candidates. So, with no hope of changing their minds, I prefer to avoid damaging any friendships for nothing. However, I still think it's worth posting here, even if it only causes one reader to open up to the possibility that all is not lost. There are still good people working in and for schools, well-intentioned people, even if they are members of the union, and we are not all mindless, evil drones, out to keep information from the public and exclude parents from decision-making at every turn. I think people reading this blog sometimes forget that.

      I am an MCPS parent and a teacher, too, and I think we want the same things. It just makes me sad to think that differing views can't be tolerated and the being endorsed by MCEA is a total poison pill that, in itself, is enough to consider certain candidates unelectable and unqualified.


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