Skip to comments.The Teacher’s Unions are more dangerous to America than Al Qaeda
Posted on 10/26/2010 10:07:51 AM PDT by Starman417
Ive just returned from watching the movie Waiting for Superman. (The title refers to waiting for the Man of Steel to come to the rescue ) My first reaction was to think back on my post from last month about the voters of DC throwing out Adrian Fenty, and with him Michelle Rhee, his Schools Chancellor.
My second reaction was remembering something that Ive heard Neal Boortz say on numerous occasions: Teachers unions are a bigger threat to the United States than Al Qaeda. Throw in the public sector unions and hes right. Al Qaeda has the potential to kill thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people at a time. The teachers unions destroy the lives of millions of students every year, and theyve been doing it for decades. Not only do they destroy the lives of millions of young people, they bring chaos, tragedy and despair to the millions of families of those young people, their communities and the country as a whole. From young men in prison to teenage pregnancies, the datas not hard to find.
This should not be taken as a screed against teachers. Just the opposite. Many teachers are saints. They have passion for teaching. They spend long hours wrestling with a variety of challenges, many of which have little to do with their classrooms. They seek to inspire kids to become successful adults and attempt to equip them to do so. Unfortunately however the good teachers are locked into an inflexible quagmire of a system where good teachers are beaten into submission and simply become cogs in a machine that passes kids along from grade to grade to grade, regardless of their abilities or success, until they choose to simply to take their talents elsewhere. This same system confers its job for life protection on all teachers, both good and bad and provides students and parents with little control or say over their education. Across the country, from LA to New York it is almost impossible to fire teachers for almost anything, from being incompetent to inappropriate behavior. Indeed, New York City alone spends in excess of $100 Million a year paying teachers their full salaries to spend seven hours to not teach, often spending that time playing poker in the so called "rubber rooms.
One of the most staggering statistics in the movie was about firings of teachers relative to those in other professions. 1 in 57 doctors lose their ability to inflict themselves on patients. 1 in 97 lawyers are disbarred or otherwise bared from menacing society with their law degrees. The comparable number for teachers? 1 in 2,500! As the movie was done by Davis Guggenheim, the guy behind An Inconvenient Truth I want to be a little skeptical of his numbers so lets assume hes off a little. Even if he were off by 80% that would still mean that 1 in 500 teachers is stopped from ruining the education (and often the life prospects) of a child. Ill admit that many teachers are good, but even at the 1 in 500 number, that means that only .2% (Thats point two percent, not two percent!) of teachers lose their jobs. Using the movies numbers its .0004%. What other kind of job has that kind of security, regardless of the employees competence, work ethic or success? To paraphrase Joe Pesci from My Cousin Vinnie, Do the laws of random distribution about the skill or the lack thereof for human beings stop at the schoolhouse door, where somehow only .2% of teachers turn out to be bad? Somehow I dont think so.
(Excerpt) Read more at floppingaces.net...
Some yrs ago, and I imagine its much worse today, by chance I read a copy of the NEA mag.
Afterwards I told my children if they chose to become public school teachers I wouldn’t pay for their education and would cut them out of my will.
Happily they have chosen other fields.
Today's public schools are little more than (re)education camps.
What a stupid headline. Let’s make up some other ones. “Teacher’s Unions Are Worse than Ebola!” “Teacher’s Unions Are ALMOST As Bad As Pundits Who Make Hysterical Comparisons!”
The usual 'PC' screed...apologizing in advance for the criticism to come...I am so sick of this milquetoast nonsense. Decent teachers should work together to develop private institutions...the rot in the public schools can't be repaired...ever.
It’s already too late for the country. The first generation of deprived, psychologically destroyed, uneducated children has reached adulthood and has children of their own. Now there are millions of little ones with ZERO prospects and no worldly hope of any kind.
We cannot expect these welfare slaves to ever be able to figure what is going on in the lives of their own children let alone rescue them from the public schools. They might even be decent people with plenty of inherent potential but they are too broken to ever become independent or support their families.
The evil ones have outsmarted us all and attained lasting victory. The results of November 2 will accomplish NOTHING. The best that can happen is that the nation’s children will endure for an extra year or so. That’s if they get lucky. We were prepared to fight with guns and bombs but nobody stopped the infection from within.
If any of you have children, start preparing for their funerals. They will soon die in battle.
It’s certainly hard to fire them as one of them stated in the article:
You seriously have to go out in the hallway and ....oh, nevermind.
Factory production of socialist/marxist and completely state educated children and grandchildren, while we believe elections will fix everything, however, we have NEVER laid a glove on the public school, K-12, university and academia factories, who remain ALWAYS, untouched. This is unending and down the block from each of us. Abolish the NEA, break up the union. No matter who is in office, on either side, nothing is done EVER. Election after election. Talk about a conspiracy?
GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS THEN AND NOW
Note added 2-2010:
My point in this is to simply highlight the deterioration in the system since I went through it. The ONLY way to turn this around is to do the very thing upon which Ronald Reagan campaigned: ABOLISH THE PROGRESSIVE INFESTED DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION and eliminate its forced homogenization and socialization — of curricula throughout the nation.
There is no way to get this nation back with the government schools cranking out thousands of new little progressives each year. That process made a Barack Obama INEVITABLE. Unless we make substantive changes, WORSE outcomes await our grandchildren.
The schools in America must be returned to the parents and the local communities who have always come together to instruct and nurture their youth without help from an all-powerful, all-knowing national government.
Comes now the spectacle of this effort by the educrats in NC to expunge American history before 1870 or so. While their stated goal is to streamline the subject, its more likely that they wish to keep their charges from understanding that this nation was born in armed revolution and we fought a nasty war between 1861 and 1865, ostensibly over slavery, but which actually had its roots in the abuse and hypocritical commercial exploitation by one area (the North, where much of the financing of slavery was based) of another (the South).
GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS THEN AND NOW VIDEO AT:
(For those with poor eyesight or suffering TV induced SASS or Short Attention Span Syndrome)
(Time: 5 ½ minutes)
The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next. Abraham Lincoln
When an opponent declares, I will not come over to your side, I calmly say, Your child belongs to us already... What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.
Adolph Hitler Speech November 1933
Until the decent, traditional values folk rise up and clean up the freaking government schools, nothing else we do will make much difference.
I am a product of the government schools (GS). I graduated from high school in 1957 and was exposed to several hundred teachers. Most were dedicated professionals. And I can STILL name the EXCEPTIONAL ones.
Edna Kleinmeyer who didn’t just teach English: She imbued us with a love of language I carry to this day. It was Ms. Kleinmeyer who told me I had a gift for writing;
Charlie Kluckholn, the tough old wrestling coach who taught chemistry and gave me some of the best advice I had received to that time;
Charles Huffman, the homeroom teacher who helped me over a very rough spot in my life;
Franklin Jefferis, a “lowly” shop teacher, whose love of a job well done was wordlessly communicated to his kids in thousands of subtle ways. Mr. Jefferis died soon after I graduated. One October night, I visited him alone — at the funeral home and wept as I thanked him one last time.
But the current GS are radically different from the system through which I passed 50 years ago. Know that my concern and hostility are NOT directed at those who still TEACH — really teach, really want the best EDUCATION for the kids, want to prepare them academically for the future.
Those feelings are reserved for SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS who have socialist/collectivist agendas or quietly acquiesce to the agendas imposed on them from above. They know that what is going on is wrong, but say nothing lest they jeopardize their careers. Author Thomas Sowell calls these folks “the anointed.” And as the title of his book on the subject, “The Vision of The Anointed,” indicates, they HAVE a vision!
That it is NOT the PARENTS vision is of no concern to them.
When my kids were still in the GS, my wife and I were quite active. The Principal of their elementary school chose me to represent the school in something called the LSAC (Local School Advisory Committee) program. I attended several meetings held at the County Board of Education headquarters. I came away from the VERY FIRST of those meetings with these impressions:
1. Those folks DID NOT speak English. Through tight little smirks clearly indicative of the low esteem, indeed, contempt, they had for the uninformed and ignorant gaggle of parents arrayed before them, they spoke in buzz words and technobabble code only they comprehended. At one point — to the visible relief of the other parents — I stopped one womans presentation and asked for a translation of what she’d said. She was NOT pleased!
2. They DID NOT want parents involved! Cookie sales and PTA? OK. Serious criticism of a course or textbook? Verboten! Your option was private or parochial school. There very little home schooling then.
3. Most of these people MAY have once been educators. They were now bureaucrats guarding their turf.
4. Many of those administrative folks were making over $50K and, though I looked for signs of it, I saw little evidence of anything resembling work. And this was 20 years ago when the average classroom teacher earned less than $25K.
5. There were WAY too many administrators in the GS. It is a perfect opportunity to provide make-work sinecures for anointed members of the educational fraternity. Four years as an Air Force instructor taught me how to spot the signs.
Heres the bottom line: Simply hurling more money into the black hole of the GS WILL NOT WORK. Most of that money will NEVER get to the classroom or into the pockets of DESERVING teachers who actually TEACH. And teach what any sensible human being REGARDLESS of race, faith or ethnicity — instinctively understands to be correct, morally defensible material.
Bush is right about one thing: We need accountability! Perhaps you recall Clintons asinine plan to send 100,000 PAID Americorps volunteers into the grade schools to TEACH KIDS TO READ. Why hadnt their PREVIOUS teachers OR THEIR PARENTS! — taught them to perform that rather basic skill???
Think about what you just read as YOUR local government schools continue to raise YOUR property taxes.
Another encounter with The System
In 1978, my wife and I came to know a young woman named Patty. She
was a devoutly religious young mother who’d become more devout when her
husband and father of her two small sons aged 2 and 6 informed her that he
was leaving. In dire economic straits, I offered to let her stay in our
former home in Chamblee — which was not rented at the time rent-free until she got back on her feet. She had been clandestinely home schooling the 6 year
old for about 2 years using very well done Christian course materials from
an organization in Texas the name of which escapes me. The lad had recently been tested and had placed at least a year ABOVE his chronological age. As required by the government school authorities at the time, she dutifully apprised the authorities of his scores.
For reasons which would become clear in a moment, Patty had been harassed by the DeKalb County school authorities for about 6 months and, by the time she moved into the Chamblee house, had been — unbeknownst to us — ORDERED to put the 6 year old into the nearest government elementary school or suffer the consequences. Because she wanted the boys to be educated Christians, there was no way she was going to do that and she told them so.
At approximately 2 am one morning, a loud knock on the door announced the
arrival of the aforementioned “consequences.”
Dressed only in a nightgown, she was confronted by several burly police officers who thrust an arrest warrant in her face. With the now awakened 6 year old watching and the 2 year old wailing in the other room, she was handcuffed and led out the door to jail. She was tossed into a large cell with a couple of hookers and a junkie who spent much of the rest of that morning vomiting in the corner. The two young boys for whom the educational authorities professed such great concern were just left AT THE HOUSE — ALONE! Patty was later told that the bureaucrats from Children Services who were SUPPOSED to accompany the cops were late and, in their haste to get this dangerous miscreant behind bars, the cops just missed the fact that the Children Services people were, well, missing. The CS folks showed up an hour later to find two terrified kids, one of whom had just seen his mother hauled off in cuffs.
Patty was ultimately brought to trial under the Georgia Truancy Statutes. Her pro-bono attorney tore the school authorities to shreds and hers has been called THE case that opened the floodgates to home schooling in Georgia. Once they had all the facts, the jury didnt take long to acquit her. Im proud to have played a small part in that.
At Pattys trial, a previously overlooked aspect of the government schools was put into sharp focus for those paying attention: The Director of Instruction for DeKalb County testified that the then current 7 hour school day consisted of an average of approximately 3 hours or less of instruction. At that time, Patty was devoting 4 to 5 hours a day to direct instruction.
He also as much as admitted that the REAL reason they wanted ALL these kids in school was the $3,000.00 per kid per year (Im sure that number is higher in 2001!) they then got from the state and federal government. Empty seats = lost funds. As in most things, follow the money.
Patty home schooled these two boys through high school.
And how did the boys turn out?
One is now a physician and the other a budding journalist.
But that now seems to be the norm for the growing legions of home schooled kids which most likely explains why the NEA and the government school folks feel justifiably threatened. And home-schooled kids routinely win national academic competitions.
One of Reagans key platform planks was to dismantle the horribly misnamed Department of Education (the Department of Educational MEDIOCRITY would be more descriptive). When he got to Washington, his effort was defeated by the NEA and the federal educrats. Reagans 1983 report A Nation at Risk declared that if a foreign power had done to government schools what was been done to it by the establishment bureaucrats and teachers unions, we would have CONSIDERED IT AN ACT OF WAR!
Sadly, that war goes on and our kids and the future of this nation are the casualties. Barack Obama is a direct manifestation of how badly America has lost that war and how effectively generations of kids have been indoctrinated.
Thomas Jefferson believed an EDUCATED PUBLIC to be the cornerstone of the system he and the other Founders TRIED to leave behind. He would NOT, I feel certain, be a big fan of the current government education system. If he returned today, hed home school just as he did before.
And heres something else to think about: Nothing else we do to try to turn this country away from the Marxist path Obama and his mendacious minions have set us upon will count for much until we clean the utopian leftist idiots out of the system and insist that our kids learn the natural laws and how the physical world works. And putting a condom over a cucumber or the PC definition of hate speech is NOT real learning. The kids in China, India and elsewhere are learning reading, math, physics, chemistry, etc. Until we do that, theres no way the America envisioned by the Founders can be restored. We simply cannot compete with millions of new young socialists coming on the scene each year.
It seems like only 1% of the population even CARES about the future of the nation’s children. There is no way that a small group of us can make any difference.
There is no way that a small group of us can make any difference.”
Oh, yes. I think as hard as it is, “we” in the neighborhood and in the Tea Party, especially the newbies we will elect, need to bring the subject to the fore. It is as important as any issue, ie., national security. Get a hold of some text books. There in lay the problem. A scandal. Don’t fall for “we just use them for a guide”. Texas conservatives have gained a majority on the state text book committee, which is said to influence K-12 purchases across the country because they are such a large purchaser. There is a start, but hell to pay for some of their corrections, additions and changes for the good. Run conservatives locally to your school board. Mobilize your local tea party to make a difference. A few examples of text books and testimonies of what’s going on is a winner nearly everywhere. For instance, students are not allowed to be brought home in at least one grade school in Texas. Hmmmm. Parents must ask to see the dang things. Check out the junior “Scholastic” newsletter. yuk.
i teach high school
i belong to a union.
the movie was wonderful.
what i tell people is democrats have run every major urban center for the past 50 years and everything they touch turns to #$%^.
it is virtually impossible to get a decent education in any urban city in the country. A few make it, but VERY few.
Yea right. Try doing that on the west or east coast. The “community” will send in riot control.
And Mayor BLOOMBERG has destroyed parental input into the schools by getting rid of school boards and centralizing everything under his inept imperial hand, ably assisted by his eager IGOR Joel "Yesssss Master" Klein.
Teachers were NOT consulted about any of the radical curriculum changes he imposed on them, utilizing unproved or already previously failed programs suggested to him, the NON-educator, by his far-left "educational consultants" and frankly dictated to him by fellow billionaire sponsors of special programs which are basically "It's my money and you'll do it MY way" like Bill Gates--also non-educators. So the education of millions of minds is being controlled by the highest bidders, like Gates. HIS ideas and politics are the ones being transmitted--without any meaningful experienced teacher input or that of parents.
So before you demonize teachers, please consider that many of them think exactly along the same lines that you do, but they have their hands tied by corrupt unions working hand in hand with corrupt politicians. Properly run unions definitely have their place in public education, to protect teachers against horrific abuse by capricious administrators (I could tell you stories if you'll buy the dinner...), and merely serve to ensure due process, not a guaranteed job-for-life, BTW. I do not advocate keeping unknowledgeable or brutish teachers in the system "just because", they are a disgrace to our noble profession. But neither do I advocate firing teachers simply due to low test scores in their classrooms--how is that fair to teachers of special-ed students or kids from low-income areas vis a vis those from the elite test-to-enter schools? Test scores do not reflect everything that a child has learned, by a long sight, yet Bloomberg would have teachers in the near future rated by their students' test scores. Indeed, he is pressing at this very moment to smear teachers by releasing faulty data obtained from test scores, which was never approved from the outset for public release and which was merely collected to try and formulate a fair evaluation system. A test run, so to speak. Even the creators of the tests tell of the faulty results obtained, yet Bloomberg is adamant to release the results WITH the names of the teachers involved to smear them to the public and to parents.
The Little Emperor, eager to close all NYC's public schools and give the lucrative business to his charter school cronies, doing everything he can to ensure that NYC's public schools fail. To HELL with the kids or their dedicated teachers. It's all about stroking his Napoleonic ego and lining pockets of those who kiss his nether regions.