WAITING FOR SUPER-SCHISM: FOR DEMOCRATS EDUCATION MAY BE THE MOST DANGEROUS ISSUE

What a promising

NEW YORK MAGAZINE

headline and opener.

“The Obama administration’s education reforms have been almost completely absent from the national political debate because neither Party has an incentive to talk about them. Republicans don’t want to admit that Obama has carried out policies — more charter schools and teacher accountability — that they have spent years endorsing.”

 

BUT THE ONLINE EDITION HAS THIS HEADLINE:

TEACHERS UNIONS TURN AGAINST DEMOCRATS!

and several interesting RED baiting or RED flag (you decide) words and phrases.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/07/teachers-unions-turn-against-democrats.html

HUH? IT gets worse. How does a thoughtful, non-radical, progressive, moderate liberal deal with this change in tone?

“But the unions are growing increasingly obstinate in their opposition of the sorts of accountability and pressure that Obama has helped bring upon them.”

 

WHY USE A WORD LIKE OBSTINATE? LIKE A STUBBORN CHILD?

THEN GO BACK TO THIS.

“The main vehicle for Obama’s education agenda is Race to the Top, a portion of stimulus money it used as a lure to encourage states to overhaul their schools, and which produced sweeping changes. (That Race to the Top was tucked into a massive bill that passed very quickly, in the midst of an economic calamity, further obscured the scope of Obama’s agenda.) That revolution has continued to proceed, often carried out by a cadre of center-left education-policy reformers allied with the administration.”

 

REVOLUTION LED BY THE RICH? I DON’T SEE ANY MADISONS.

CENTER LEFT? NIXON WAS MORE CENTER LEFT THAN THIS.

THEN ANOTHER HUH?

“The reformers, citing evidence that good teachers can teach the same class of students dramatically more than a poor teacher can, have introduced new methods to bring talented recruits into the teaching profession and to weed out ineffective teachers. They have also encouraged the spread of public charter schools, which experiment with new pedagogical methods.”

DOES THAT MEAN THERE ARE NO GOOD TEACHERS IN “POOR” (economically) SCHOOLS.

AND ANOTHER…

“The leaders of the teachers unions have generally taken care to placate the demands of their most implacably anti-reform members without opening an irreparable breach with the administration.”

OH, WHEN DID A LACK OF WILLINGNESS TO GO ALONG WITH BAD POLICY BECOME A NEGATIVE?

“And the leaders recognize that the hard-line unionist position — tenure rules that make it impossible to fire even the worst-performing teachers — are nearly impossible to defend with the public.”

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HEARD THAT KIND (hard-line unionist) OF PHRASING? THE MC CARTHY ERA?

IGNORANCE MUST BE BLISS. SPREADING FALSEHOODS?

IMPOSSIBLE TO FIRE AND IMPOSSIBLE TO DEFEND IN THE SAME SENTENCE?

AND THIS DESCRIPTION OF DIANE RAVITCH?

“Hard-liners have increasingly agitated for more direct confrontation. The leadership of this movement has fallen to Diane Ravitch, formerly a right-of-center education activist who has converted to the cause of teachers-union absolutism with an evangelical fervor, maintaining an almost superhuman schedule of public speaking and prolific blogging.”

 

REALLY JONATHAN? HAVE YOU SWALLOWED ALL OF THE KOOL AID? HARD LINERS? AGITATORS? THEY CALLED CIVIL RIGHTS WORKERS AND ANTI VIETNAM WAR FOLKS THOSE TOO.

“Ravitch has depicted education reform as a plot by corporate elites to privatize schools and destroy unions.”

SO NOW ANYONE WHO KNOWS HOW TO FOLLOW THE MONEY IS A CONSPIRACY THEORY WING-NUT?

“Having identified their enemies with the cause of pure evil, Ravitch and her fellow hard-liners have taken to defending not only the practice of paying teachers by length of service,”

 

REMEMBER THAT THOSE CAPTAINS OF INDUSTRY EVERYONE LOVED 130 YEARS AGO (ROCKEFELLER, CARNEGIE, VANDERBILT, ETC) WERE EVENTUALLY FOUND TO BE ROBBER BARONS 100 YEARS AGO.

“But the structure and form of the school day … as a standard of perfection that must be defended absolutely.”

WHERE DO YOU GET THIS?   HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF TEACHERS WORK FAR LONGER HOURS THAN YOU MAKE IT SEEM, NOT ONLY IN SCHOOL, BUT BEFORE AND AFTER.

Then the article refers to the VERGARA CASE and includes this photo.

17-modern-family.w560.h375.2x

 With this tiny disclaimer:

I am not a party to this lawsuit. Photo: Peter “Hopper” Stone/ABC

THEN I GET CONFUSED AS CHAIT SAYS THIS:

 “Ravitch replied, sharply and not inaccurately, that Duncan is not a wavering ally but an enemy. (‘Duncan showed that he IS a leader,” she wrote, “a leader in the effort to strip teachers of due process and a leader in the well-funded campaign to erode public confidence in public schools.’)”

AND THIS, WHICH IS TRUE…

“The notion of an alliance between teachers unions and Republicans may sound preposterous, but it is Republicans who are leading the charge against Common Core teaching standards.”

AND ALSO THIS:

“The most focused and organized may well be the cause of the unions. “Supporters of public education must rally and stand together and elect a president in 2016 who supports public schools,” urges Ravitch.”

 

MR. CHAIT: I welcome you to a conversation about both the use of red flag language and education outside of the small circle of friends you cavort with.

 

 

 

 

 

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