Wayne Hoffman: Idaho teachers' union resorts to Luddism to battle Luna

In opposition to state superintendent Tom Luna's Students Come First K-12 overhaul, the state's teachers' union is taking to the airwaves with a Luddite message, says Wayne Hoffman.

The executive director of the Idaho Freedom Foundation, a conservative lobbying group, used his weekly column to rip an advertising campaign urging voters to reject the three laws.

An excerpt:

"The union wants you to fear and reject technology, making 19th century Luddism popular again in the hope you’ll mindlessly oppose the other propositions on the ballot. Proposition 1 would return the power and control of local school operation to elected school boards, which have long become subservient to the labor union. Proposition 2 would allow great teachers to receive extra pay for their hard work, for filling tough teaching positions or for taking on leadership responsibilities. Conveniently, the ad urges voters to reject all three propositions, but only musters the energy to talk about the last one, Proposition 3.

"The labor union uses trumped up images of unfunded laptops and tech-intolerant tots armed with broken gadgets, to urge a vote against all three propositions, yet won’t talk about the real issue: the amount of control labor unions had under Idaho’s old education laws — laws those unions desperately want back."

Here's a link to the full Hoffman column.

Small world alert: Hoffman is a former spokesman for Luna.

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Wayne Hoffman?

Not again....please get some professional help KR.


You do realize that the "not reading Wayne Hoffman" option remains open to you.

Kevin Richert
editorial page editor

As does the....

" not subscribing to the Statesman" option.


I'm not sure I understand your objection to Hoffman's columns. I publish some (but not all) of his columns online when I think they offer a different viewpoint on a timely issue. It's there for readers to look at — or not look at — depending on whether they're interested.

I do know from the comments that his columns get read and spark discussion — which I think makes a pretty good case for publishing them online. Suggesting that I "get some professional help" doesn't exactly advance your argument, or persuade me to change what I'm doing.

Kevin Richert
editorial page editor


So Wayne rolls out the English anti-industrialist arguments.

See here's the problem. All he had to do was ask a teacher if technology is bad. The answer NO.
How you dicate and mandate the implementation of technology based on marginal data and the turning over of our children's education to someone out of New Jersey? Which in and of itself isn't bad, but when my fellow GOPers go nuts over Eastern interference on water rights, natural resources, grazing, wildlife, personal liberty infringements and all the rest they speak with forked tongue Kemosabi. See that's wrong, but it's just dandy to turn the education our children over to Rhee, K12 and Jeb Bush. But, don't tell us how to handle our wolves.

The basic problem of education reform is simple, they don't ask the people who train to and are passionate about enriching childrens lives. Each batch of elected officials, self-appointed guru's(Wayne you are one by the way) mouths their fixall. Then gets ticked that the educators rise up. "How dare they block progress?" They scream.


Riddle me this batman, "What is silent, that once voiced gifts? What is cowed, that once proudly proclaimed to the world? What is marginalized for profit, that once was respected? What is questing, that once knew with heart and soul their course? What is saddest, that now turns off the lights for the last time?"
Guess we'll know 1st Tuesday of November.

Dare to shout in the face of the wind. I'm a former Marine and a Teacher, by God I spit at it.

Blah, Blah, Blah

Hey Wayne if you disclose your donor list and can prove you are not just a paid lackey for the Koch Bros and the on-line education industry you have zero credibility and your opinions ring hollow.

If it's all about the donors then what about the IEA?

The IEA is funding opposition to the SCF laws.

They're getting help from the NEA.

By your standard, you could say Penni Cyr is the IEA's "paid lackey", has zero credibility and her opinions ring hollow too.

Or, you could focus on the SCF laws debating them on the issues.

A difference...

The IEA reports who it's donors are, and has a transparent agenda. Who's paying Wayne's $80.000 salary?

He hit the nail on the head

The union is running an ad talking about how laptops are replacing teachers. Then they show a couple of students: one spilling a soft drink on a laptop and another outright dropping their's.

Notice the age of those students depicted in the ad. They certainly appear younger than high-school age to me. Why is that important? Because the laptops are for high schoolers and their teachers!

You will never see education reforms proposed by the IEA teacher's union--never.

The teacher's union membership is dwindling for good reason. The union isn't interested in quality education. Their only interest is in how many dues paying members they have.

The reform laws definitively fix this problem. Even Penni Cyr, the IEA president, wants the merit pay funded from the SCF laws distributed to teachers. It's almost comedic to watch the union chasing it's proverbial tail. The reforms were long overdue. I'm definitely voting Yes to the SCF laws.

Gee where do I start.

1. Ever taught at a school that has a one-to-one ratio? Funny how no "Experts" showed up to ask us how many were damage by student neglect and intent.
2. Guess what, you need to stop assuming that all students look like seniors in high school, 14 year olds can be Freshmen.
3. You are right, because when they do it's ignored...as always.
4. Well glad you know what the union wants, by the way, just a little knowledge for you. The Union Bosses are over 13,000 teachers and staff in the state telling the IEA REPRESENTATIVES what it can and can't do. Want to blame someone, blame the members. Don't be trite and hide behind anti-Union rhetoric without knowing who calls the shots.
5. Of course she wants the money, we told her, "They shifted money from salaries and general fund creating millions in shortfalls costing jobs (over 100 in Meridian last year alone) and educational opportunities for kids. They said that there would be a bonus, that was taken from all to pay a select few and now they threaten to keep what was earned last year? Go get it and ensure those that 'earned it' receive it, don't allow them to hold monies due hostage as retribution."
6. It's not comedic, it's sad. Reforms have been overdue for years, but teachers were never asked, "How would you make things better?" No, just told XXX plan will make it better, better get on board and wrap your head around it. I think I paraphrased a woman who walked away from education and now spitefully tells former collegues they aren't smart enough to "wrap their head around it."

Simon says;

Or is that, Wayne says?

Teachers union should be embarrassed

I can't believe that the union has resorted to "spilled milk" commercials to attack Props1-3. There are real issues with these Proposals that should be debated. Instead of the union engaging in a meaty debate on the issues, they choose to produce a shallow campaign filled with damaged and unfunded laptops. Unfortunately for the union, this shallow campaign in opposition of Props 1-3 is reflective of their membership, and the frustration the general population has with their recalcitrance to embrace technology and reform in the classroom. It's clear why the union does not want to take the Props head on, they fear that the voting population is ready for this change, and they are frustrated with Idaho being behind the curve on education. Most importantly for me, regardless of how the Prop vote comes out, is that I want Teachers who are ready to embrace technology, innovate in its integration and use in the classroom, and passionate about students performance in the classroom.

So what you want...

Is teachers in the classroom who have been given the technology they need to do their job in the best way possible. Now explain how that works when the teacher is online in another state and the class is monitored by a non-certified aide. If Idaho would fully fund public schools as is the constitutional mandate, we would all be happy. Teachers aren't opposed to technology, as Luna would have you believe.


They worry that the public is too gullible and will continue to buy into the "Nothing to see here, don't look behind the curtain, any argument is proof we are right, UNIONS BAD, UNIONS BAD, UNIONS BAD...(psst...it was a union that cost you money, job, housing market collapse and all the rest...it's the unions)

These laws have to be passed now, this is the most perfect plan ever.......Ok change this one, now modify that, oops tweak that, ok 2 credits not 8 and on and on with the "Corrections" to the most perfect education plan ever.