Responding to the Attack on Public Education and Teacher Unions

Table of Contents:

Title Page


Section 1 – The Goals of Those Attacking Public Education

Demonization of Public Schools, Teachers and Teacher Unions

Complete Privatization of Schools Is the Ideological Goal

Beyond Ideology – Two Other Goals

Defunding Teacher Unions – The Political Agenda, Part 1

Breaking up the Traditional Democratic Alliance – The Political Agenda, Part 2

Section 2 – The Right’s Overall Strategic Approach

Primary Strategy: Creating a Network of Advocacy Organizations

Primary Strategy: Focus on Ideology

Some History of the Modern Right-Wing Movement

A Response to the “Liberal Establishment” of the 1960s

The Powell Memo

Funding the Program

The Right Today

Section 3 –Specific Strategies of the Right

Major Strategies in Creating and Maintaining an Infrastructure

Strategy: Creating Alliances

Strategy: Funding All Parts of the Infrastructure

Strategy: Using a Business Approach

Strategy: Networking Among Foundations and Nonprofits

Major Strategies in Marketing/Communications

Strategy: A Long-Term Approach

Strategy: Interconnectedness

Strategy: Packaging and Dissemination of Strategic Messages

Strategy: A Marketing Approach

Strategy: Repetition of simple messages – Creating Conventional Wisdom

Strategy: Connectedness of Underlying Ideologies

Other Strategies

Strategy: Overwhelming

Strategy: Staying On the Offensive – Forcing Others to Respond

Strategy: Never Apologizing or Backing Down

Strategy: Claiming Legitimacy While Marginalizing Opponents (Seizing the Flag)

Strategy: Dividing the Opposition

Section 4 –Effectiveness of the Right-Wing Movement

Achieving Their Goals

Control All Three Branches of Government

Major Legislation: The No Child Left Behind Act

The Right Sets the Public Agenda

Defeat Voucher Initiatives, But They Keep Coming Back

Home Schooling Is Increasing

Attitude toward Public Education

Section 5 – Responding to the Attack

Creating an Infrastructure with Independent Voices for Public Education

Strategy: Cultivate Strategic Allies

Strategy: Cooperate with Others to Create an Infrastructure

Strategy: Provide General Operating Support

Strategy: Develop Unifying Ideological Principles

Strategy: Use a Business-like Approach

Strategy: Plan for Coordination

Independent Voice/Infrastructure Strategies for Strengthening Public Education

Strategy: A Long-Term Approach

Strategy: A Marketing Approach

Strategy: Address Underlying Ideologies

The Importance of Countering the Right’s Underlying Ideology

Strategy: Develop Effective Framing and Language

Strategy: Dissemination of Specific Framing and language

Strategy: Use New Framing and Language for Specific Issues

Strategy: Repetition of Specific Framing and language

Strategy: Develop and Disseminate Articles and Other Materials

Strategy: Establish Speakers’ Bureaus

Strategy: Provide Training for Speakers and Writers

Strategy: Help to Establish a Community of Pro-Public Education Webloggers

Strategy: Educate, Inform, and Recruit Other Independent Voices

Strategy: Counter the Right’s Under-the-Radar Propaganda

Strategy: Use Humor

Internal Strategies

Strategy: Cultivate Allies

Strategy: Work Closely with Colleges and Universities

Strategy: Work Closely With Non-Teacher Public School Organizations

Strategy: Incorporate Curricula That Addresses Education Allies’ Issues

Strategy: Use New Framing and Language in Specific Issue Campaigns

Strategy: Involve Teachers

Strategy: Best Practices Teams

Strategy: Establish Speakers’ Bureaus

Strategy: Critical Thinking as Core Curriculum

Strategy: Make School Facilities Available to the Public

Strategy: Presenting a Positive Public Image

Strategy: Involve the Public

Section 6 – Conclusion

Appendix 1: Annotated Bibliography re. School Privatization

Appendix 2: Examples of Anti-School and Anti-Teacher Unions Rhetoric

Appendix 3: Example of Coordinated Repetition of a Framed Message through Multiple Channels

Appendix 4: Examples of Right-Wing Organizations, their Funding Sources, and What they Fund

Notes and References