Mooney Was Dynamic Figure in Public Education

Friends and admirers of Tom Mooney, former president of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, are shocked by his unexpected death yesterday. Mooney, president of the Ohio Federation of Teachers for the past six years, died of an apparent heart attack at age 52.

“It is difficult to think of a future without his vitality, his passion, his humor and his uncompromising friendship,” says David Little, veteran Democratic campaign organizer.

Mooney headed the local teachers’ union for 21 years before moving to the statewide post. Ohio Senate Democratic Leader C.J. Prentiss called him “a pillar in the education community in Ohio.”

“I cannot begin to describe what a sad loss this is for those who have worked with him hand in hand over the years to bring about equality and excellence in each and every classroom in Ohio,” Prentiss said in a statement released today. “Mooney was a tireless fighter throughout his career on every issue that came before the education community. We turned to Mooney every step of the way to see to it that Ohio’s school children were at the forefront of the state’s goals. We will deeply miss him.”

— Gregory Flannery

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9 Comments on “Mooney Was Dynamic Figure in Public Education”

  1. WestEnder Says:

    Very sad news. I heard Mooney at a seminar downtown just last year. His physical appearance certainly didn’t indicate he would have a heart attack at 52. But I’ve known people who’ve had them before 40.

    I noticed this post quoted 2 Dem leaders. I’m curious as to why there are no Republican or nonpartisan commenters.

  2. ToeJamFootball Says:

    ^Well, maybe because Mooney was more interested in inflating teachers salaries, benefits and making it impossible to fired bad teachers than real change in our terrible public school system.

  3. WestEnder Says:

    Inflating salaries of people who don’t deserve it? Making it impossible to fire bad performers? Resisting real change?

    Are you talking about Tom Mooney or George “Mooney” Bush?

  4. gerard Says:

    Mooney will be missed. As a side note, a good teacher’s salary can never be too high.

  5. WestEnder Says:

    I don’t understand why Gregory Flannery hasn’t answered why only Dems were included in his post. Was Mooney a dynamic figure in public education or was he a dynamic figure in the Democratic Party? Or Both?

    Were any teachers asked for comment?
    Were other Board members asked? How about past Board members?
    Were any Republcans asked for comment? Did they decline to respond or did they not know the man? Do they only comment on charter schools?

    Is Mooney considered more an educator or a Democrat? That is basically my question.

  6. you have all gone too far Says:

    listen, i’m going to start from the beginning. 52 is too young to die. period. ever. doesn’t matter who you know. secondly, what did the republicans ever do for education or ohio’s children? nothing. so why should they be asked for a comment? get my point? if it weren’t for them and their resolve to kill public education and everything it stands for he might still be here today – stress kills and it killed him. so no. we don’t want their comments. and to whoever toejamfootball is, you better be glad that was an anonymous post, ok? becuase i know about 20,000 ohio teachers who would like to take you out right about now. not to mention me. how dare you use this article as a forum for your unjustified hate for public education and your blaten ignorance about who tom was? you are a scumbag, plain and simple. yes, mooney will be missed, and teacher salaries will never be too high. also, the city beat did a wonderful job putting together their in almost no time. of course teachers and board members were asked for comments, but the city beat staff can only do so much, and why not quote the people who knew him best. that it what they did and i think you should respect it. or go ask a republican what they thought of tom yourself. becuase frankly, none of the rest of us care. we are too busy mourning. becuase he died, remember? this is a tragedy not a chance for you to agitate on political grounds. so either pay your respects to tom as a man, a father, an educator, or shut up. got it?

  7. Kenny Says:

    Well said, Too Far. Republicans want to dismantle the public school system and make pre-college education an industry. Ask Kenny “Son of a Bitch” Blackwell.

    Also, I don’t think any Republicans will talk to Gregory.

  8. compassionmustcome first Says:

    To toejamfootball and anyone else who is thinking about posting a criticism of Tom Mooney or his politics in the days following his death: His children and mother and siblings and wife are likely to read these postings as they struggle to come to terms with the loss of this dedicated family man. If you have something critical to say about him, share it with your friends or your dog or your canary, don’t post it on a public website where the man’s children can read it. Whether you disagreed with him or hated him or were indifferent toward him, you’re writing about someone’s father and son and brother. and he’s just died, tragically, unexpectadly. Show some compassion.

  9. Principal Says:

    ToeJam, you’re what Tom would call an “idjit.” As a CPS school administrator (high school principal), I can tell you I am minutely familiar with the contracts that Tom negotiated and can assure you that there has NEVER been any clause in the CFT contract that prevents any Principal from doing their job, including gettting rid of bad teachers. You must be listening to some crappy administrator friend of yours who likes to take it easy and conveniently blame everything on the teachers’ union. We have some like that, unfortunately, and they never get rid of bad teachers–they pass them on to other schools. If you had a clue, you’d understand this phenomenon, but be clear that it comes from incompetent administrators, not overpaid teachers, as if there were such a thing. My teachers work very, very hard, with very difficult children, and they deserve not only more money, but every bit of meager due process protection contained in that contract. Administrators who worked with Tom had tremendous respect for him–even the Charter school folks who he vehemently opposed, lauded him upon his death, because he had something you sorely lack–intelligence & insight, not to mention class.


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