When you are wrong, you are wrong. When you are right, you are right.

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On NewsNight (NECN) last week, I wanted to communicate that the PTA is, as Jim Braude summarized, “a wholly owned subsidiary of the NEA.” He got my point, but I got my facts wrong. And I hate that.

I said that the PTA headquarters was co-located with the National Education Association (NEA) HQ. In fact, as Lisa Guisbond pointed out to me in an email, the PTA HQ is in Chicago, not in DC like the NEA’s. I was referencing the fact that the PTA rented space within the NEA HQ from 1920 to 1953. I was off by 54 years – no small matter.  And I apologize for the mistake.

The context for this mistake was a discussion about the Governor’s pick to the Board of Education–PTA member, Ruth Kaplan.

While wrong on the single fact, I am right about the PTA being a mouthpiece of the NEA and not being representative of parents AT ALL. And Lisa (my neighbor) was off the mark, when she noted that a PTA rep on the Board of Education was like “motherhood and apple pie.”

Why do I say that? Let me count the ways. This will take several posts…

Let’s begin with Charlene Haar’s book The Politics of the PTA (2002), which chronicles the subservience of the PTA to the NEA. Might that have something to do with why Warlene Gary is today the CEO of the PTA? After all, she worked for many years as a director within the NEA? Nah… conspiracy theories. Well, I’ve got you interested – so onto the next “When you are wrong” thread…