Kamala Harris Panders to Teachers’ Unions and #RedforEd Ahead of Democrat Debates

California Sen. Kamala Harris talks to teachers during an education round-table at Eagle Valley Middle School in Carson City, Nev. during her first presidential campaign trip to northern Nevada on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. Harris says that in addition to raising teacher salaries she would vigorously defend the rights of …
AP Photo/Scott Sonner

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) used Twitter on Sunday to pander to teachers’ unions and the #RedforEd movement in advance of next week’s debates between 20 candidates vying for the 2020 Democrat nomination for president.

Arizona Democrat State Sen. Martin Quezada, who is also a member of a local school board, immediately responded to Harris with this tweet of his own:

Quezada was an early supporter of the #RedforEd movement, which began in Arizona in March 2018. That support has continued, as ArizonaCentral.com reported this year:

Sen. Martín Quezada, D-Glendale, is taking some online flack from Rep. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, for a comment he made this week during a conversation at a Capitol event for Arizona’s teacher’s union.

Quezada is seen on video telling the teachers, many of whom wore a shade of crimson now connected to the #RedForEd movement, to pressure his colleagues on social media to influence votes in the Legislature.

“You would think that we’re all politicians; we have thick skin. We don’t,” he told them in the video, to laughter. “They hate getting beat up. That’s often a part of the negotiation. They’ll say, ‘I’ll go with you but you have to call your people off, stop hammering me on Twitter’… This is mental warfare and you do, you gotta wear them down mentally.”

As Breitbart News reported in February:

A well-funded and subversive leftist movement of teachers in the United States threatens to tilt the political balance nationwide in the direction of Democrats across the country as Republicans barely hang on in key states that they need to hold for President Donald Trump to win re-election and for Republicans to have a shot at retaking the House and holding onto their Senate majority.

This teachers union effort, called #RedforEd, has its roots in the very same socialism that President Trump vowed in his 2019 State of the Union address to stop, and it began in its current form in early 2018 in a far-flung corner of the country before spreading nationally. Its stated goals–higher teacher pay and better education conditions–are overshadowed by a more malevolent political agenda: a leftist Democrat uprising designed to flip purple or red states to blue, using the might of a significant part of the education system as its lever.

Most of the candidates for the 2020 Democrat nomination for president have publicly supported the goals and objectives of the #RedforEd movement, which are primarily to advance a socialist left-wing political agenda and increase teachers’ pay.

There has been little mention by any of the 2020 Democrat contenders or at any #RedforEd events of how to address the big problems with our public education system, which include its failure to improve the performance of students in the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. As Breitbart News reported last October, “[A new] study, titled ‘Common Core, School Choice and Rethinking Standards-Based Reform,’ published by the Boston-based Pioneer Institute, observes that since Common Core was implemented in 45 states and Washington, DC, students have demonstrated sharp drops in academic performance. Additionally, those students who were already performing poorly– many of them minority students – declined even further”:

Results of national and international assessments over the last several years have documented a dramatic decline in U.S. student achievement since Common Core was broadly implemented. Common Core was sold not only as a set of standards that were “rigorous” and designed to encourage higher levels of achievement, but also as a program that would shrink the achievement gap between middle-class students and those from the lower socioeconomic levels.

In April of 2016, only about 37 percent of U.S. 12th graders were shown to be prepared for math and reading at the college level, according to the 2015 NAEP – also known as the Nation’s Report Card.

Additionally, results released by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) showed that, in 2016, the average score in the U.S. on the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) dropped to 549 out of 1,000 from the average score of 556 in 2011. The results translate into the nation’s decline from fifth in international ranking in 2011 to 13th in 2016 out of 58 international education systems.

In addition to the public education system’s inability to improve student performance on the basics, many academic studies have shown that it fails to provide students with even a basic understanding of civics.

“There is a crisis in American civic education,” the American Council of Trustees and Alumni reported in 2016:

Survey after survey shows that recent college graduates are alarmingly ignorant of America’s history and heritage. They cannot identify the term lengths of members of Congress, the substance of the First Amendment, or the origin of the separation of powers. They do not know the Father of the Constitution, and nearly 10% say that Judith Sheindlin—“Judge Judy”—is on the Supreme Court. Studies show that our colleges and universities are doing little or nothing to address the knowledge gap. A recent survey by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) of over 1,100 liberal arts colleges and universities found that only a handful—18%—require students to take even one survey course in American history or government before they graduate.

A number of conservative critics of the public education system also argue that instead of focusing on civics education, it now promotes left-wing progressive activism among students.

Addressing those problems, however, does not appear to be on the agenda for Harris or any of the other leading candidates for the 2020 Democrat presidential nomination, many of whom are on the record as supporting various #RedforEd teacher walkouts, which have been held across the country in 2018 and 2019.


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