AFT making deals with Weingarten’s consent **edited

Mercedes Schneider has another great post up on the deals being made by Randi Weingarten.

I tried to reblog it, but i think with all the comments and permalinks in the box, it crashed.

Anyway, here is the comment I posted in the reblog:

I’ve had this blog up on my queue to read when I got a chance, and something can be said for patience and delay…sometimes the rewards are astounding…as the comments here.

When you start messing with knowledgeable teachers, you better bring your best game…cause you’re messing with the best.

From Allyson:
Allyson permalink

Question: what makes you think you can have access to my children’s data without my consent? My kids’ school does not act for me in this capacity-no permission from me!
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From Dave:

Dave permalink

Hi Dan,
I’m an actual classroom teacher here working in the trenches. Nice to meet you. First, congrats on your business. I’m sure it is going to make you boatloads of money in the years to come, mainly from grants from the Gates Foundation among other. Rupert Murdoch will no doubt want to buy you out at some point, but that could be very profitable for you, too.

As a practicing teacher, I must say on behalf of those who feel as I do (and we are legion), that we have had quite enough of the promise of tech companies reforming education and making our lives and our teaching easier. You don’t. Mostly, we view you and your dime-a-dozen tech companies as leeches who are just hanging on to suck whatever profit you can out of our already stretched too thin school (and state) budgets. We’d really appreciate it if you put your considerable intellectual talents to better use, say, by joining NASA or helping find a cure for cancer. Honestly, we got this. We are going to teach the heck out of our kids every year, and we don’t need any further technology updates to do it.

You are right, however, and parents should realize this: an INCREDIBLE amount of precious learning time is flushed down the toilet because of computers, SMART Boards that don’t function correctly, software that freezes and hard drives that lock up, lost or missing passwords–the list goes on and on. Give me a black board, a piece of chalk, books and paper and I’ll turn ANYONE’s kid into a college-bound student. So will three million other educators … as long as you and other techies stay the heck out of our way. See, it’s our administration that’s the problem. They fall for the snake oil that you peddle, and they keep buying more (my district just sunk a 100 grand into a I-Ready, which now has my fifth graders matching letters to letter sounds like four year olds because of the score they got on the diagnostic. Crimony, what a mess! And now my students’ morale is low.

Just please, Dan, get out of the business and save teachers the headache, and the inevitable battle that we’re going to wage and win against you like we did against inBloom.
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And finally from Lloyd:
Lloyd Lofthouse permalink

Dan Carroll:

Pardon my language, … but it isn’t important if you do or don’t.

Before I went to college on the GI Bill, and then was a public school teacher for thirty years (1975-2005), I served in the U.S. Marines and fought in Vietnam. Before that, I was born to poverty with parents who both dropped out of high school at the age of 14. My dad actually spent time in jail as a teen for breaking and entering, and my older brother about 15 years in prison for a host of crimes.

Growing up in poverty and then ending up teaching children who lived in poverty taught me one thing. It isn’t the material that’s going to teach these kids. It’s the teacher, and a well trained teacher can teach without materiel from someone in the private sector offering material that will make that company a profit and/or pay the CEO a hefty annual salary.

In fact, the worst possible material was always the “crap” that was forced on teachers by administrators who had been convinced by someone working for a corporation that it would make a difference—and none of that junk ever did make a difference. I talk from experience.

So, cut the crap, Mr. Carroll. You aren’t doing teachers a favor by offering them “what you think” is access to materials that will help them do their job while possibly gathering cradle to grave informatory on children to sell to the highest corporate bidder or making a profit for some hi-tech company that sells tablets or laptops or software.

Will you deny that you plan to, or have an agenda, or have goals to gather information on children and sell it? If you answer is no, then please put that in writing and sign it with a promise that you will voluntarily go to prison for ten years or longer if you ever break that pledge. In addition, I want to pick the same prisons my brother served in. No white-collar criminal country club.

A dedicated teacher can teach without material, because they will create their own like I did in my early years in the classroom when there wasn’t enough textbooks to go around, And guess what, with teacher created material, many of the children I worked with soared and continued to do well year after year. And most of the material I used for thirty years was generated by me.In fact, most of the dedicated teachers I know seldom used the “crap” that came from people who thought they knew what teachers needed to do their job.

Why is it that teacher generated material works best? Easy answer: because the teacher who works with these at-risk kids usually knows what works best for their student population— that is, when the teacher can engage the students that often resist learning what’s taught.

Of course, I used the stories in the literature textbooks, but most of the support material in those textbooks wasn’t suitable for the students I worked with. To be frank, I didn’t like most of the “crappy” lesson in those textbooks that others felt would help me do a better job as a teacher.

This is where I want you to really pay attention. This is what teachers NEED most:

FIRST: A national early childhood education program—-that is part of the public schools and not run by a private sector corporation out to make a profit or pay some CEO a six figure, or higher, annual salary—-that’s available to every family and/or child as early as age 2 and specifically for children who live in poverty.

There’s a reason why the country needs a non-corporate, quality early childhood education program, and it is the fact that almost 24% of children in America grow up in poverty [more than any developed country]—-for that reason, teachers don’t need some “ignorant fool” [emphasis mine] to offer them material “that will help them do their job,” because material isn’t going to motivate a child who comes from a dysfunctional home or who is hungry or who lives in a community that’s ravaged by drugs and/or street gang violence similar to the schools where I taught for thirty years.

SECOND: New teachers starting out should be offered the best training possible and that’s a full time, paid, year-long residency with a master teacher in that master teacher’s classroom—this is the program that trained me as a teacher, and it made all the difference—and this program must include at least one full-year of follow up support after those young teachers have a classroom of their own.
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You can read Dan Carroll’s mindless comments at the blog.
I had experience with the *cough* smartboards where you really could not draw on them as you would a chalk board. Besides subjecting the kids to more electro-magnetics, it is a “shiny object” to entertain, with little value in educating children.

Like Dave in the comments,  says– give me chalk and chalkboard. The only electricity required is the electrical current running in the brain. 🙂

**edited to correct “Dave” from Dan. Meh. Must have been a “mercury” day.

Teachers, the wage gap, and the nearly homeless

Diane Ravitch has a blog up on one of the teachers involved in the Vergara case.  Ms. McLaughlin had replied to the “witch hunt” charges that she was a bad teacher…made by a student who also said there were five bad teachers and only one during her education–the one that wanted revenge apparently for being let go.

As I read the comments, the one by Chi-Town Res made me cry:

Yeah, and just wait until he hits retirement age and realizes that teachers with no union protections like me are exploited terribly. We are very low paid (and often hourly workers), don’t make enough money to get by on, let alone to save, have no pensions and are expected to live on about $900 per month from Social Security when we retire.

I could go live in a ghetto, since I will officially retire next month, because I can’t afford to continue living where I’ve been (renting) for the past 15 years, but I have no money to move. (Yes, homeownership was never an option for me.) Anyway, that’s the kind of income that even poor people in the ghettos can’t survive on in my area.

The reality is that I’m in arrears on my rent due to a further decline in my already low income and a high increase in my rent. I have applied to many places but I’ve been unable to find additional work. SS won’t actually start paying me until mid-September, my job put limits on our income and wouldn’t give me work for July, and I don’t qualify for unemployment compensation. I won’t get paid my measly wage again until the end of August. My landlord will not wait to be paid, and anyway I won’t get paid enough money then to cover back rent. I’ve been fighting becoming homeless for about three years now but, at this point, I have no more resources or anyone to turn to for help, and absolutely no one cares. So I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I will lose everything I own and be put out on the street and homeless before the fall. The only thing that could save my life now would be winning the lottery, but that is an intolerable hope.

The truth is that I could never afford to really stop working either, but SS has a limit on the amount of income I can earn. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place. No one fully appreciates the “I’m living on a fixed income” cries, because the elderly are not revered in our society. No wonder the suicide rate for seniors is high.

As problematic as unions can be, not valuing the protections that unions provide workers is extremely short sighted.

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Also noted in the comments was that one of the plaintiff’s lawyers was Ted Olson, who ended the vote recount and handed George W. Bush the presidency, against the American public’s wishes.  Blood is on his hands, as well, for the wars and the economic mess Bush left us in.

Be sure to click on the link for Diane’s original post on Ms. McLaughlin.  Really stunning to see how she is “witch-hunted” by those with their own agendas.  She seems to be an outstanding person with true caring about her students, as a good teacher needs to be.

From the link:

“Indeed, this whole Vergara trial was like something out of Mao’s “Cultural Revolution” in China during the 1960′s. For those not acquainted with this, here’s primer: zealous students, under party leaders’ directions, would persecute their teachers. Kids would get their jollies as they put their teachers on a stage, put dunce caps on them, then screamed at them while forcing their teachers to bow their heads, kneel down, and confess their “crimes” and on and on…

These kids—appointed and empowered as “Red Guards” by Mao’s henchmen— would parade their former teachers through the streets…

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Diane has also put up a link to a short film clip on the red army of children that illustrates the terrible time.

(A side note~I got this weird message that Diane Ravitch’s site was “untrusted”.  Say what??  It’s on a wordpress platform…why would I get that message?  Is someone trying to interfere with the traffic to her site??)

 

The Onion: Charter Schools Lottery

(hat tip Diane Ravitch)

The Onion has their usual satirical take on the Charter Schools lottery “system”.

“Between small class sizes, longer school days, individualized instruction, and superior college admission rates, charters provide amazing opportunities for students who don’t enter a convulsive state, fall into a coma, stop breathing, and cease all bodily functions during the admissions process.”

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bwahahahahahahaha.

Spot on.

It’s really sad that the article hits Charter snobbery at its heart….and the kids suffer most of all.

Iranians arrested for being “happy”

Well, this is sad news.  I hope folks think of this the next time someone spouts off that we need to nuke Iran…there are people of peace all around the world who just want to live their lives…and be happy…

In relation to my other post on our loss of civil rights…this is one of the things that happen when “intelligence” is used to track down someone expressing Free Speech.

Arne Duncan is not only racist, but sexist, too

Carol Burris, a highly regarded public school principal, has a piece up exploring the degrading comments directed at opponents to Arne Duncan’s brainless education policies.

He actually states that the Governor of NY, Cuomo, is a “profile in courage”.  Bwahahahaha *snort*  Yeah, because it takes courage to make children cry from tests that are above their intellectual development level….

He dismissed parents who criticized his policies as “white suburban moms” who thought their little darlings were much smarter than they actually were….because education guru Arne said they were. Someone whom has never taught in school…methinks Arne thinks he’s smarter than he is.  Ahem.

Burris also notes the misogyny in Duncan’s comments…labeling women opponents as “hysterical” and “dramatic”.  Oh, and “noisy”, to me, equals “uppity” women.   Yep.  He must be taking his cues from Freud’s playbook, the Diagnostic Manual.

As a side note~~I found a blog on misogyny here.

And on the link for reddit creep shot, this disturbing info on the rape/violence against women culture:

The fiasco comes on the heels of a highly-publicized flap between reddit and Gawker, after Gawker journalist Adrian Chen’s investigation of an infamous user of the subreddit who went by the handle, Violentacrez. According to the The Guardian, that user “set up hundreds of sub-forums where users post links and images including bestiality, rape fantasy, under-age porn and upskirt photos.” 

Among the sections that Violentacrez created or moderated were: Chokeabitch, Niggerjailbait, Rapebait, Hitler, Jewmerica, Misogyny, and Incest

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…created by 49-year-old computer programmer and misogynist, Michael Brutsch.

But back to Arne Duncan…what do his comments signify?  That perhaps his hatred of public education proponents, mostly women, is part of a hatred of women in general?

And “stay the course”….really?  You couldn’t think of something original besides Bushisms? Yeah, because the Bushes have done *so much* for this country and public education with No Child Left a Mind…/snarky to the extreme

Duncan keeps knocking our public school system, especially the individualistic nature of public school before NCLB or Race to the Bottom…while ignoring those folks who made phenomenal contributions to society, from those same individualistic school systems, such as Neil Armstrong, Maya Angelou, Frank Church, Paul Wellstone, Birch Bayh, Dwight Eisenhower, a great grandson of immigrants, who loved art, math, spelling, and history; Gloria Steinem, and any number of musicians who got their start in music programs that included actual instruments, that went on to get private instruction to become great musicians.  Same with artists.

If you view Duncan’s video, it is stunning that in the first minute, he talks of John being orphaned at a young age…and he had teachers –-public school teachers–who helped him along his path to become productive.  He also was a product of the public education system before NCLB could dull his creative expression, his critical thinking skills, and his own expression of his individuality.

I wonder what his public education teachers think of him trying to destroy those very things in children today with the rigidity of Common Core and Race to the Bottom…?

He mentions that the First Lady had a teacher that told her she shouldn’t aspire to Ivy League schools because it was too good for her.  That makes me sad to hear.  Is that a reason the First Lady is against public education?  I suspect that those who are against public education had bad experiences with teachers…and then project that onto all teachers.

I had some bad teachers, but for the most part, my experience with public education was good.  Yes, those experiences with bad teachers were hurtful but the ones who were encouraging when I was discouraged made up for that.  And it was an intrinsic thing, too, because I loved learning.

I guess that is where you have to be responsible for your own education…to go on even though they tell you that you can’t.  Because, believe it or not, my first class of composition in college, I had a white instructor who, when I asked her about a career as a writer, told me “don’t quit your day job.”  So, there you go…

 

 

 

Jesus in an electric chair

A thought-provoking piece of artwork.

Makes you stop and think, doesn’t it?

Jesus, in anger,  had overturned the moneychangers (bankers) tables when they had set up shop in the Temple, a Holy place.  The religious leaders had allowed it.  They placed money on the same level as God.  Jesus’ act angered them and I believe was the reason he was murdered.

Jesus in an electric chair is just another way to depict the crucifixion…but it takes on a more modern air.  One could even say that the same mindset of people is still very much alive and Jesus would be put to death again if he were here in the physical form today.