Stephanie Lundquist-Arora | January 18, 2024
(Washington Examiner) — At Fairfax County’s school board meeting last week, Leslie Houston, the Fairfax Education Association president, was clear that teachers unions want parents out of the picture. During her testimony, she advised the district’s school board to “champion public education … Disregard your skeptics … Continue leveraging our expertise.”
“Expertise” is an interesting word for Houston to have used. Her union supported prolonged school closures and pushed for the forced masking of students and, ironically, the denial of medical freedom via vaccine mandates for all Fairfax County Public Schools employees. Houston and other teachers union activists are “experts” at advocating for their own power at the expense of America’s children, but not much else.
Indeed, local teachers union leaders such as Houston have been acting as foot soldiers in the destruction and politicization of quality education. Public education has been on a downhill trajectory for a long time, but teachers unions policies sent it into the trenches during and after the pandemic. Fairfax County, in particular, is an affluent district (with a $145,165 median household income in 2022) that used to be touted for its good public schools. Last year, though, following more than a year and a half of school closures, students fared quite poorly on their standards of learning assessments, or SOLs — 25% of the district’s students failed math, 43% failed writing, 22% failed reading, and 38% failed history.
Teachers unions leaders such as Houston would like to abdicate themselves of any blame for the learning loss. Rather, they are self-proclaimed “experts” on public education.