The War Against Hope

How Teachers' Unions Hurt Children, Hinder Teachers and Endanger Public Education

By Rod Paige, Former U.S. Secretary of Education (2001-2005)

The War on Hope book cover

Something is terribly wrong with America’s public school system.

For decades we have seen test scores slide or stagnate (today fewer
than twenty percent of our nation's twelfth graders are proficient in
math, and our students rank near the bottom in science and math among
the industrialized nations of the world) and achievement gaps persist
or widen.

So who's responsible for the ongoing failure of our education system? In The War Against Hope, former Secretary of Education Rod Paige pulls no punches in his
critical analysis of America's crisis in the classroom. Without
question, the greatest impediment to meaningful school reform is the
enormous, self-aggrandizing power wielded by the teachers' unions.

In this vital, well-documented book, Paige takes an unflinching look at
the power-hungry union leaders who have consistently placed their
ambitions ahead of the needs of the teachers and the students whom they
claim to serve. He also traces the history of the National Education
Association (NEA) from its humble beginnings as an advocate of
educational excellence to its early radicalization by left-wing

The War Against Hope is a disturbing account of the corruption,
greed, and skewed values that have assaulted our schools, betrayed our
teachers, and forsaken our children for far too long.

Some aggressive teachers' unions act like the bullies of our educational system.

It's time to talk openly about the unmitigated power of America's
teachers' unions, and former education secretary Rod Paige is not
afraid to speak his mind. In The War Against Hope,
he presents a devastating indictment of the leadership of teachers'
unions, who have sold out the teachers they claim to represent in order
to gain political power.

That power is staggering. Today teachers' unions use their
unprecedented political might to oppose significant reforms,
initiatives, and new ideas that might loosed their chokehold on the
educational system. Meaningful reform is blocked, and our schools
continue their descent into mediocrity, and beyond.

So what's the solution? Teachers' unions will change only when the
public expresses the political will to make them change. In The War Against Hope,
Paige offers practical advice to help parents, school boards, and local
businesses fight the unions, embrace our teachers, and win back our
schools. Throwing more money at the problem isn't the solution. For
Paige, accountability, transparency, and choice are the keys to
excellence in education. Reading The War Against Hope is an important
first step in transforming an institution essential to American
democracy: our public schools.