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It's lengthy, to be sure, but this is a video worth watching. The gentleman to the right is Jonah Edelman, the co-founder of the educational "reform" non-profit organization called Stand for Children.

In the video, which was taken at the corporate-funded Aspen Institute's "Ideas Festival", Edelman lays out how his organization parachuted into Illinois, and cajoled the state legislature, and even statewide teachers unions, into backing legislation largely crafted by his organization that took an axe to the negotiating and bargaining rights of Illinois teachers.

Illinois teacher and union activist Fred Klonsky has been all over the story, and offered this observation:

It was fascinating to watch as Edelman frankly, proudly, described how his group, Stand For Children, outfoxed the CTU, IFT and the IEA into supporting Senate Bill 7. The bill, Edelman openly admits, was designed to fool the union leadership into giving up the right of Chicago teachers to strike.

The naked description of tactics by Edelman at the Aspen wonk-fest was stark enough that Edelman felt compelled to pen an apology, which was posted to Klonsky's blog. Here was a telling passage from that apology:

My shorthand explanation in the excerpt of what brought about the passage of Senate Bill 7 had a slant and tone that doesn’t reflect the more complex and reality of what went into this legislation, nor does it reflect my heart and point of view in several ways:

–It left children mostly out of the equation when helping children succeed is my mission in life, as I know it is yours,
–It was very unfair to colleagues leading Illinois teachers’ unions, and,
–It could cause viewers to wrongly conclude that I’m against unions (Note: I said later in the session – not in the “juicy part” — that I do not view teachers’ unions as the problem. If that were true, I said, schools in states whose unions are less powerful would be among the nation’s best rather than some of the nation’s lowest performing.)

Watch the video, and imagine how anyone would "wrongly conclude" that Edelman is against unions. Watch him boast of being able to cajole union reps, because he was amassing the political muscle necessary to ram anti-union legislation "down their throats." Hard to imagine anyone jumping to the wrong conclusions, based on rhetoric like that.

It also boggles the mind that Edelman would get tagged for anti-unionism based on the venue for his boastful presentation. Among the highlights of the Aspen Ideas Festival was a screening of that pro-union tour de force, "Waiting for Superman."

Anti-union? Nah.

The truth be told, Edelman has no reason to apologize. His remarks were, to say the least, illuminating. Many in the "educational reform" community will spout all the proper platitudes about respecting the work of teaching. Many, like Michelle Rhee, will point to their own "time in the field" (which, among the reformist crowd, is often limited to sojourns of a few years in the classroom). But, when push comes to shove, they are almost always advocating for teachers having less control over their work environment. They love those teachers, as long as those teachers are not afforded any professional rights of consequence.

Edelman is apologizing because someone caught him saying it out loud, and brought it beyond the friendly confines of the Aspen Institute. He is apologizing because he knows how bad it looks. Like so many people thrust into circumstances like these, he is not apologizing for the agenda he has lobbied for. He apologized for the wrong people hearing him brag about it.

Those who have been warning America about the anti-teacher philosophy behind much of the "educational reform" movement owe him, oddly, a debt of gratitude.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Land of Lincoln Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  How depressing (10+ / 0-)

    It feels like a tsunami of opinion across an ideological spectrum has settled on policies virtually certain to destroy public education — in fact, accessible GOOD education for MOST kids. Somehow, someway, this narrative needs to be stopped dead in its tracks. I don't know a single bright, talented young person who plans to teach. They're rather do something where they can not only have more control and use creativity, but also where they will be respected and not constantly told they are lazy, overpaid and responsible for all of society's problems.

    Jennifer Brunner for Governor of Ohio 2014

    by anastasia p on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:09:23 PM PDT

    •  I wanted to be a teacher all my life growing up (7+ / 0-)

      until I was talked out of it by several of my family members, who are teachers. Actually my family has a long tradition of producing educators- starting with my great grandmother ever generation on my dads side has had the majority of the children going into the education field- until mine. There are 15 of us, all college grads, and not one of us is in the field-even though a few of us had originally planned on it. On my moms side, there are 2 teachers- one who just graduated and can't find a job and another who was laid off after her first year because of budget cuts. They are both seriously considering a career change.

      The irony is how people complain about our education outcomes being so low, and for some strange reason they then make the jump to the idea that teachers are pampered and overpaid- cognitive dissonance at it's finest. Look at all of the top countires for education and all of them have one thing in common- they revere their teachers and value education. Most of them also pay their teachers much higher wages than their American counterparts, and many of these countires actually pay for 100% of their tuition. Stories like this make me want to scream. We are so ass backwards in our way of thinking I don't know how we will ever pull ourselves out of it, and at the end of the day our kids are the ones who suffer. "Children First" my freaking foot.

      Will work for food
      Will die for oil
      Will kill for power and to us the spoils
      The billionaires get to pay less tax
      The working poor get to fall through the cracks
      -James McMurty


      by SwedishJewfish on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:11:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cognitive dissonance — exactly (4+ / 0-)

        We SAY we want every child to have an "excellent" teacher and we hold teachers responsible for repairing a range of societal ills they can't possibly impact. But then we complain they're overpaid and not working hard enough, and that they have to be reduced to voiceless, underpaid drones.


        Jennifer Brunner for Governor of Ohio 2014

        by anastasia p on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:36:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Molly Ivins : (4+ / 0-)

        "Whenever you hear a politician carry on about what a mess the schools are, be aware that you are looking at the culprit".

        I will make one correction -"specimen" instead of "politician" to include deformer assholes like Gates, Rhee, Edelman etc.

        NYT reader comment (via Susan Ohanian) : Arne Duncan great example of peter Principle. Failed in Chicago; then promoted so he could repeat failure on national scale.

        by Funkygal on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 02:21:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I wanted to get into teaching way back in 2009. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Nose

      But then did some research and decided not to. And it only keeps getting horrible.  It is like teachers have been branded as Welfare Queens 2.0. The hatred spewed on them is stunning.

      NYT reader comment (via Susan Ohanian) : Arne Duncan great example of peter Principle. Failed in Chicago; then promoted so he could repeat failure on national scale.

      by Funkygal on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 02:14:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is why I don't pay attention (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to SFC's candidate endorsements.

    "every time we start a pie fight a wingnut gets his wings"- MinistryofTruth -6.38, -4.15

    by James Allen on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:12:10 PM PDT

  •  Long story short, Edelman is full of shit! (0+ / 0-)
    •  I urge you all to read the statement... (0+ / 0-)

      issued jointly by the IEA, IFT and the CTU (pdf). Don't rely solely on the "Fred Klonsky Blog." Fred is a disgruntled IEA member intent on tearing down the organization's leadership criticizing them at every turn. Yet Mr. Klonsky doesn't run for any IEA leadership positions as he's more than content to remain behind his keyboard where he can pretend to be important. He immediately jumps on anything critical of the IEA and runs with it regardless of what the facts may say.

      •  You're a lying sack of shit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Fred puts his ass on the line for his fellow teachers every day of the week, and has for years.  This "leadership" has sold teachers out time and time again.

        "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

        by Ivan on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 05:10:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ivan... (0+ / 0-)

          I've been to my fair share of representative's assemblies, including this last one in Chicago and don't recall Fred doing much other than tweeting and spending an inordinate amount of time out of his seat during RA business. Nor do I recall Fred spending much time at the microphone during the Illinois caucus to argue his side of the issues. I do, however, recall Fred being extremely confrontational with at least one other delegate over his votes.

          I don't doubt that Fred works hard at what he does. It's not his work ethic I'm questioning. It's the agenda behind his motives that bothers me. If he's so much smarter than the IEA leadership who has "sold teachersmout time and time again," why wasn't he running for any of the open executive seats during this last election? If leadership is as corrupt as you and Fred want us all to believe, I would think that sitting around and not trying to unseat them would be unacceptable for someone who "puts his ass on the line for his teachers every day of the week."

          •  My comment stands (0+ / 0-)

            Are you really, seriously defending the craven performance of IEA leadership? Jesus, man, they gave away your fucking PENSIONS! And you'd rather attack Fred?

            "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

            by Ivan on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 06:38:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  As does mine (0+ / 0-)

              I believe that actions speak louder than words and I've seen Fred in action.

              •  Tell me about the pensions (0+ / 0-)

                This is about IEA leadership, and not about Fred. Do you defend your leadership's role in the pension giveaway? Do you? Answer me.

                "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

                by Ivan on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 07:25:30 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, Ivan, this is about... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Edelman's comments and my desire for others not to rely solely on Klonsky's interpretation of this event for reasons I have already stated. If you'd like to talk about pensions, I'd be glad to discuss them but you might want to start by not demanding that I answer you.

                  •  This is about IEA leadership (0+ / 0-)

                    And nothing but, no matter how much you might spin to defend them. I'll continue to consider Fred a more reliable source than I consider you. Bye.

                    "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

                    by Ivan on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 02:31:07 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  out here in WA-WA union "activism" consists of (0+ / 0-)

            FIRST sitting on your ass, at least twice a month, in boring fucking meetings which suck up at least 3 hours per meeting, where the agenda is ALWAYS supplied at the last minute, and then people get to waste everyone's time with on the fly word smith-ing and phrase tweaking of all the last minute agenda items.

            "Democracy" is always the excuse for dysfunctional, inept inefficiency - and it works great for those who do NOT already have a 40+++++ hour a week job, so they can stay in charge by wasting everyone's time because with all the time wasting requirements, few barely participate and most don't participate.

            Kind of like some Seattle branches of the Democratic Party.

            Oh yeah - and if / when you do move up in union nirvana with the big kidz at the big people table, THEN you get treated to the Washington State Democratic Party 'seat at the table' dance, where you get to go to the select meetings with 100 or 200 other select people, and you got a seat at the table at the rubber chicken banquet, and you get to learn, from some Congress critter or U.S. Senator or the Gov.,

            you get to learn how ...

            boo hoo ...

            the mean meanies are mean, and, sniffle sniffle whine whine, ... the mean meanies aren't nice, and the mean meanies don't tell the truth ...

            and we're gonna cut pensions and community servant pay and assistance to the incapable cuz the mean meanies won't allow us to do anything to the rich pig scum who've fucked everything up!

            so - are you part of the IEA leadership, so you are spending time attacking a grunt for NOT wanting to get into the Illinois rubber chicken banquet & listen to lying scum like Rahm - Arne tell you all how YOU gotta pay cuz the rich pigs stole everything?

            Did you notice that White House sell out we all voted for selling us out, OR

            I am NOT helping cuz I won't clap louder?

            Edelman is a full of shit - but - go after this Fred guy cuz he doesn't want to be part of the Rahm-Arne-Barack sell out club !!


            Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

            by seabos84 on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 07:48:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  My Response On A Seattle Blog (2+ / 0-)

    Here is a link to 1 of the 2 OUTSTANDING citizen parent watchdog blogs in Seattle, and this blog had a few diaries about Jonah the LIAR:

    Seattle Education

    IF this country ever has a multi party system, we’ll have:
    1. A couple of BIG parties representing the bottom 80%++ of us in some way or another – HOPEfully offering competing solutions for the improvement of our communities. HOPEfully recognizing that NO ONE wants YOUR guru, priest, minister, rabbi, swami, reverend, yogi, … dictating policy in their bedroom, kid’s classroom, or doctor’s office. HOPEfully recognizing that community investment in health care, retirement, retraining, education, electric power, transportation, market regulation, … is a balancing act where NO ONE gets all they want all the time. HOPEfully recognizing community investment is the foundation for a fair and vibrant private market, NOT the servant of aristocratic pigs.

    2. a party for the top 1% of rich pigs, dedicated to rich pigs staying rich pigs and staying on top.

    a.1. a branch of fire breathing, bigoted, sexist, racist rich pig ass kissers who’ve been fooled into thinking they’re 1 or 2 promotions away from kicking it with the rich pigs,
    a.2. the controllers of a.1. who are also rich pig ass kissers.

    b.1. a branch of people who are NOT bigots, racists and sexist twits, who are hopelessly deluded, fed a mountain of tele tubby pap about being POSITIVE, and being bipartisan, and being moderate, and being centrists – people who can be sidetracked with endless pointless happy happy meetings while the rich pigs rig the rules and rip everyone off,
    b.2. the controllers of b.1. who are NOT bigots or racists or sexist twits, and who are rich pig ass kissers! – the current Arne Duncan / Rahm DLC – Third Way – Blue Dog “Democratic” DISGRACES to that silly document published on 4 July 1776, who are also DISGRACES to that silly “government by the people, for the people, of the people” stuff of 1864, but, who are exemplars of 1984 doublethink duplicity.

    (edited from original response on the Seattle blog.  I grew up with manual typewriters, I now am supposed to wear these stupid trifocal-ie things which I got rid of cuz I was tripping over my own feet all the time, and now I'm 1/2 blind again - and I can't edit worth a shit online, and I'm NOT printing stuff 3 times so that the editing is kind of passable)


    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:20:34 PM PDT

  •  I blogged this earlier today (9+ / 0-)

    mostly to have it for my own record: "Stand for Children" stands for corporations.  Not many people saw it. My contribution to the story is in the last few paragraphs.  Jonah Edelman is a parent at the small charter school where I volunteer.  

    To know why Stand for Children has gotten away with this despicable behavior, Susan Barret at Parents Across America tells the story here.  This is what the Billionaire Boys are so good at. They figure out how to infiltrate the community and gain its trust before they show their true identity as SFC has begun to do over the past year. It has been very difficult for Great Schools for America -- a real grassroots organization fighting for education equity --  to convince Oregonians (where SFC is based) that the organization is up to no good.  This helps.  

    Not everything that can be counted counts. Not everything that counts can be counted. Albert Einstein

    by annie em on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:30:11 PM PDT

    •  I have to admit (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joe Hill PDX, Funkygal, banjolele

      I thought SFC was doing good stuff, although I haven't followed them with a critical eye.  I did notice that they did not seem to ever work with any of the union organizations; that seemed peculiar.  And a few things they supported didnt seem right to me, but I attributed that to my ignorance of education.  I really do need to have people to trust on important complex issues like education and health care.

      Frankly, I blame everything on Nixon.

      by J Orygun on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:56:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Trust the teachers (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ivan, The Nose

        Remember, the "teachers union" is made up of teachers. The "union leaders" in your school are also the teachers in your school. They are one and the same.

        This game "reformers" play is they try to make it seem that teachers are separate from their union.

        Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

        by michael in chicago on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 06:28:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  From the perspective of dominionists, (0+ / 0-)

      our natural resources are designed (have been designated by the Creator) to be exploited by man.  So, when children are identified as "our most precious natural resource," it's clear that their exploitation is next on the agenda. Besides, if military interventions are to be reduced and the need for "fungible troops" is less, the exploitation needs to start earlier.

      The success of human husbandry taking root in higher education (the "beneficiaries" of false promises pay for their own deception by going into debt) has, no doubt, encouraged the migration into elementary education, where the religious excuse serves as a sham distraction.  After all, if religious education were the objective, then the network of schools run by nuns, brothers and priests for minimal pay would have been maintained.

      by hannah on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 04:57:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have no ax to grind re teaher unions.... (0+ / 0-)

    I strongly support labor unions, teacher or otherwise.

    Teachers receive the majority of criticism of our extant educational system.

    I suggest to all that teachers are presented with an impossible task.  Children have never been meant to be stationed in phalanxes of desks, 5 or 6 to the row, 3 to 5 rows deep.

    Teachers, by necessity, become adept at child crowd control rather than child education.

    No young child has ever been designed to sit quietly in these phalanxes of desks.

    All of the above is quite cleaer to me.  I am a homeschooling parent who has two successful and independent children.  One child at age 25 received her doctorate in physical therapyl.  The othe child, at 30, has received his second master's degree in behavioral counselling.

    Each o these children is independent.  I truly wonder how they would have fared had they been subjected to our curren toxic public school environment.

    After all, for progressives, taking one for the team is desirable, but all too often at present, we are taking one from the team.

    by El Tomaso on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:34:53 PM PDT

    •  You seem to have very strong opinions (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joe Hill PDX, sngmama

      on public schooling-especially for someone who did not send your kids to one. May I ask how you reached the conclusion that teachers practice "crowd control" instead of education, and that public schools are a "toxic environment" for kids to be "subjected" to?

      I can tell you as a product of the public education system, and as someone who has a child in public school you are not being fair with that assessment. For starters, young children are not sitting at desks quietly all day as you describe- the curriculum for young children involves a lot of hands on activities and projects that encourage creativity and fun. It isn't until high school that things get more didactic but even that varies from one teacher to another.

      Seriously, congrats on all your kids turning out so well, and I'm sure you were a great teacher to them, but I think it is extremely unfair to attribute their success to the fact that they were homeschooled-or suggest that children who are not are at a disadvantage. That is the kind of sentiment that teabangelicals often use to justify their attempts at dismanteling the public school system. Just as I'm sure you don't like it when people make judgmental statements about homeschooling, those of us who invest and believe in the public school system do not appreciate these kinds of statements either.

      Will work for food
      Will die for oil
      Will kill for power and to us the spoils
      The billionaires get to pay less tax
      The working poor get to fall through the cracks
      -James McMurty


      by SwedishJewfish on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:37:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Try 6 rows, 6 deep (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      (before this year’s terrible budget cuts).  Every year I have had kids sit on the floor or window sill because they can’t see from their seats.

      Some days even teenagers can’t sit in their seat 40 to 50 minutes at a time. This is why you have kids put up homework and explain it to the class. (After explaining what happens if anyone makes fun of someone at the board).  This is why you have students volunteer to put up classwork.  This is why you ask them questions and make them explain things.  This why you make them read things out loud.  You keep them active in their learning.  And when they lesson really doesn’t lend itself to them being active, you apologize for the lesson being a little dry, but explain why.

    •  My two public schooled children (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I also have two strong independent children.  We never found the public schools "toxic".  Since you describe public schools as literally "poisonous" your intentions as to their employment of unionized teachers is questionable.  I'm trying to make public schools better.  What model for the nation do you embrace? Nihilism?

    •  My two publicly schooled children (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I also have two strong independent children.  We never found the public schools "toxic".  Since you describe public schools as literally "poisonous" your intentions as to their employment of unionized teachers is questionable.  I'm trying to make public schools better.  What model for the nation do you embrace? Nihilism?

  •  Rahm's buddy said what? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Funkygal, The Nose
    In the intervening time, Rahm Emanuel was elected mayor ... and he strongly supports our proposal.

    I can't vote for it because it doesn't have enough votes.

    by Dopeman on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 09:44:18 PM PDT

  •  Stand For Children Means Stand for Killing (9+ / 0-)

    public schools.  School vouchers and charter schools are bogus.  It is just a way to kill public schools.  Before you know it parents will be paying as much for their children to attend grade school as it cost to go to college.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:46:28 PM PDT

  •  One of my union reps explained this away (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MartyM, banjolele, The Nose

    He "claims" he caused these changes.

    And he "apologized".

    Besides, he said, he's Marian's son.

    Well, I'm getting off this bus since it's going over the cliff.

    "It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don't cause spills. They are technologically very advanced." 4-2-10 Obama's George Bush moment

    by neaguy on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:06:06 AM PDT

  •  I am not a blind supporter of teachers unions (0+ / 0-)

    I dont think one needs to be a supporter of teachers unions to qualify as a liberal. The only aspect of a teachers union I support is teachers do need an organization like a union to back them up against political machinations. From what I have seen the teachers union hasnt done a great job of getting better pay for teachers in school districts which has more challenges. Someone teaching in an inner city school that is constantly failing should get better pay because it requires more time and effort and probably more flexibility that union rules allow for. Maybe then you get better teachers to stay longer in hopeless situations. Someone tell me why Ron Clark sets up his own private academy if the public school system was so infallible?  Didnt he achieve success in a hopeless school Why couldnt the public school system single people like him out as senior teachers to mentor likeminded teachers in such schools? Or is that too much for the bland union to process and allow to happen?

    If teachers unions are against standardized testing being the only metric to reward better teachers, why don't they come up with some good suggestions on impriving testing? Because like it or not, in a system that graduates millions of students, colleges do not have the time to sift through so many applications without any kind of screening criteria.
     Reviews? No, they dont care for those either. How about a combination of many factors where no one factor overrides the overall review. Nope. Merit based pay is just not a fit for their thinking.

    you can call me praveen.

    by pravin on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:14:17 AM PDT

  •  What is so sacred about teachers anyway? (0+ / 0-)

    If a teacher is truly good, he or she can overcome bad test results. If a teacher develops a good reputation, students know it regardless of what the test results are. If the students and parents dont appreciate a really good teacher, maybe it's best the teacher moves to a school that values good teaching. This is why teacher union pay proposals suck. It does not reward the really good teacher.

    I don't see what is wrong with what Edelman said. Unions have every right to push back. and so does the other side. Unions are big enough .  What he did was a legitimate negotiating tactic.

    you can call me praveen.

    by pravin on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:42:30 AM PDT

    •  You can start by reading Diane Ravitch's book (6+ / 0-)

      "The life and death of the great American school system".

      NYT reader comment (via Susan Ohanian) : Arne Duncan great example of peter Principle. Failed in Chicago; then promoted so he could repeat failure on national scale.

      by Funkygal on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 02:40:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Teachers cannot overcome bad tests or results (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Nose

      In almost all the legislation, you need to improve your results.  There are teachers in NYC middle/grade schools who were rated lousy teachers where every kid passed and passed well.  The powers expect a certain test average and the kids didn’t reach it.  They didn’t “improve.”  How do you improve if most got top grades? Again, none of the kids failed.  It isn’t one or two teachers, but hundreds (and this isn’t based on all the teachers in NYC, but some of the 3rd to 8th grade math and English teachers).  I’m not even counting all the teachers’ whose list of kids aren’t their kids (thousands of those are wrong).  People didn’t get tenure, people where given U ratings, people lost careers because of stupid and faulty data.

      If an administrator doesn’t like a teacher they can put in the ‘worst’ kids into a teacher’s class. There are teachers in my school who have amazing class rosters year after year and some who get the weakest children.  It’s a game.

      I should and my students should NOT be judged on one standardized test.  They are just one test.  I wouldn’t be upset if the kids had a folder of some of their classroom tests and hw and people look at that work.  But, that takes up too much time and space.

      Where are good teachers supposed to move to?  Mars?  There are very few places that support good teachers.  Also, if most teachers move, they start at the bottom again (unless it is in the same school district).

      For many, many years teachers were respected and kids did well. If politicians and money seekers left education alone and schools got the money we need, most schools and kids would be fine.

      I like scaled pay based on time and education.  I hate all merit pay.  It isn’t fair.  Of course I haven’t had a pay raise in 3 years.

      •  Life isnt fair (0+ / 0-)

        There is no perfect system.  Student reviews even out over the years and even if you got a vindicitive batch one year, over time, your merit should be recognized. Standardized tests should just be one factor. One metric for including testing scores as a factor could be a comparison as to how those students do in similar classes once they go to another grade level.
        Or just have some schools which pay based on seniority and have some based on merit. This way teachers gravitate towards the system they prefer. Why a one size fits all system?  

        you can call me praveen.

        by pravin on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:41:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The new system is 2 years and you are out! (0+ / 0-)

          Even with tenure.  There is no time to recover.  

          Have you ever dealt with administrators?  Most are awful and behave like children.  One administrator I know (and actually respect) tells me she goes to school meetings and feels like she is in a kindergarten class.  The top brass just screams at each other.  They have forgotten that schools are for kids and not for them.   It is worse now that most non teaching administrators never taught and teaching administrators have only a few years experience in the classroom.

          Merit is joke.  Look at all the cheating that is coming to light.  Guess who gets the merit pay.  In NYC, administrators get merit bonuses if their schools do well.  Not the teachers.  Guess what?  Teachers are bullied to give better grades and passing grades.  When they don’t play the game, the following year they get the weaker kids in their classes. Or, a very bad schedule.  They even change grades without telling the teacher.

          Just give me a decent salary.  I didn’t go into teaching to be rich, but I would like to cover my bills and put money away so I don’t have to eat catfood when I’m old.

          •  So you are admitting admins in public schools suck (0+ / 0-)

            Is that the message I am gettin? Maybe public schools are not so great after all.

            you can call me praveen.

            by pravin on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 02:02:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But, most of the teachers I work with are great (0+ / 0-)

              teachers.  And, they work very hard.  Teachers just don’t have any power.

              •  Take the Ron Clark academy (0+ / 0-)

                Do iyou think teachers are unhappier in a non public school like that. Dont get me wrong. I am actually very appreciative of good teachers. But I dont think being a teacher automatically makes one good at what they do.

                you can call me praveen.

                by pravin on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 09:01:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Are you joking? (0+ / 0-)

                  I have never met a teacher (with 3 months experience) that likes teaching in a charter school.  I don’t believe anyone who posts how wonderful it is. Every in the flesh teacher has told me how they hate it.  Some are there because it was the only job they could get.  Some will tell me how at first it is wonderful and then a month or two later the truth comes out.  They are just cannon fodder.  They can be replaced in a second.  They are treated badly and are expected to be on call at any time.  Yes, they get shiny new toys and they get supplies, but they never feel secure in their jobs.  Many want to leave and teach in a REAL public school.  Some want to leave teaching as soon as the economy turns around.

                  I would rather be jobless than teach in a charter school.  I also don’t want to teach in a private school or in the suburbs, either.  I want to teach in a school and make a real difference.  Not to make a profit for someone else.

                  There are 3 out of 140 teachers in my school that I would get rid of.  Not my job to get rid of them.  The administrators that have that power don’t seem to be interested in it.  The other teachers are pretty good teachers.  Some are great.  I would not have a problem putting my child in their classroom.

                  Not every teacher can be a good teacher, but most teachers these days aren’t given a chance.  They are treated badly, insulted in the media and often at work and they aren’t given the tools, support or supplies that would make them better.

                  If my school was funded like a charter school was we could reach almost every kid.  Instead we have to beg for chalk and paper, etc.  We could actually have after-school tutoring.  Education in America would be a lot better if people supported real public education and supported teachers.

                  •  One size does not fit all (0+ / 0-)

                    The whole point of having alternative schools is any large public system (which public schools are) will have a hard time being flexible. So no matter how much money you spend, the rules put in place are well meaning and are meant to address every possible situation.

                    You can't just give a public school more money and expect them to excel after failing for so many years with the same administrators. You need small size experiments like a few charter schools and other alternative organizations to give the bigger public school system on ideas what works.

                    You can put in measures to MINIMIZE (there is no such thing as preventing anything bad) bad charter school numbers. Maybe if public school advocates did not scream like hysterical banshees each time an alternative school tries to set up shop within the confines of a public school system, it will not limit possible candidates to only big and tough enough companies that can manage to lobby past such objections. You may get more creative types where fighting the existing entrenched political interests is not the main skill they need to set up their school.

                    you can call me praveen.

                    by pravin on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 01:19:34 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You are very wrong (0+ / 0-)

                      They a starving the public schools.  It is on purpose.

                      In NYC, most charter schools are terrible, no matter what the hype.  Their results on standardized tests were, for the most part, worse than the regular public schools.  Their ready for college data was disgusting.  It was 9%.  Most public schools were a terrible 40%, but that is miles better than 9.

                      When they take over part of a school, they won’t let the regular school share.  That’s one of the reasons there is a lawsuit.  

                      It even made the press how in some schools the regular kids have lunch at 10 am.  There was a story about 5 year olds having to choose between eating or using the bathroom.  Many kids came home with wet pants.  Children shouldn’t be blocked from bathrooms, gyms, libraries.  In one school, the public kids were moved to windowless rooms next to the boiler.

                      One thing that is different about charter schools is that they force parents to be active in their kids education. IF that was mandated in ALL schools, there would be a big change.  

                      Charter schools were started to find new ways to reach kids.  It has been corrupted and all kids suffer.  It only takes investors 7 years to double their money.  People should not make profits from education.

                      I have no problem with alternative ways to run a school and to teach kids.  I do have a problem with charter schools who pick their kids through a fake lottery, council kids out of their school, take over a school and doesn’t share, get no budget cuts and many other horrible things.

                      I don’t know where you live, but charter schools in NYC, on the whole, are a fraud.  If real public schools got the same support there would be a big difference.  

  •  Want to give shout out to Hyde Park Johnny (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MartyM, Ivan

    who diaried it few days back , with tons of extra info. Too bad it got lost.

    As for Assholes Aspen Ideas festival, I like this idea :

    NYT reader comment (via Susan Ohanian) : Arne Duncan great example of peter Principle. Failed in Chicago; then promoted so he could repeat failure on national scale.

    by Funkygal on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 02:13:04 AM PDT

  •  The video needs to go viral. With the deformers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Nose

    not getting a break what with the D.C, Maryland and Atlanta "Erase to the Top" scandals , we need to keep kicking them while they are down. They will get an assist from the mad stream media but we need to keep kicking.

    NYT reader comment (via Susan Ohanian) : Arne Duncan great example of peter Principle. Failed in Chicago; then promoted so he could repeat failure on national scale.

    by Funkygal on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 03:35:16 AM PDT

  •  More D.C "Erase to the Top" stories at (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare Very juicy.

    NYT reader comment (via Susan Ohanian) : Arne Duncan great example of peter Principle. Failed in Chicago; then promoted so he could repeat failure on national scale.

    by Funkygal on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 03:37:17 AM PDT

  •  Human husbandry comes in a variety of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    flavors. Higher education, incarceration and the medical technology/testing industry spring to mind.  Primary education is still in transition.

    What is human husbandry?  It's people being exploited by their own kind to their detriment. Most often, it is perpetrated by middlemen, people who survive by siphoning profit from the direct relationship between the providers and users of goods and services.

    To get a better idea of what's involved, one might compare it to the relationship between a cow and a milkmaid, a relationship in which both benefit from the interaction, and the establishment of a milking parlor where cows are restrained all the live-long day. Whether it's animal or human husbandry, restraint tends to become a prime component because, otherwise, exploited mobile creatures will just up and walk away (or drop out of schools that don't serve their needs).

    Human husbandry is actually a kinder/gentler strategy.  The more primitive Sons of Cain simply kill off people they don't like or displease them in some way.  So, in a sense, human husbandry is progressive--as long as the notion that humans are entitled to dominate and exploit isn't challenged.

    What we probably ought to consider is how come the cadre of middlemen, social parasites, keeps growing larger.  Is it just a matter of our categorization of enterprise into producers and consumers having overlooked the interlopers?  Certainly, the likes of Edelman are interlopers, trying to interfere in the direct relationship between educators and students.  That educators associate with each other in unions is not a valid excuse for interloping consultants and advisers and analysts to lay claim to a share of the education funds.

    by hannah on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 03:45:28 AM PDT

  •  Strengthen US labor law (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ivan, nyscribbler, The Nose

    The US Labor Law( the Wagner Act) is so weak and watered down that it is almost impossible to organize private sector workers. Public school teachers and other local and state employees aren't even allowed to organize under the Federal Labor law and so organize under state bargaining laws. In Europe and Canada labor law is more favorable to organizing including for private school employees. Thus "choice" is common even in countries like Sweden and Holland. Unions in Canada and West Europe do not oppose public support for private, parochial or charter education because unions have a reasonable opportunity to organize schools regardless of who operates them.Education reformers should support a stronger Labor law and the labor opposition to school choice and charters would diminish and eventually disappear. Canadian provinces fund public, private and parochial schools with a high rate of unionization AND better student performance.

    Cities are good for the environment

    by citydem on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 04:26:43 AM PDT

  •  Tis sad.... (0+ / 0-)

    As I stated in my initial post, I have nothing against unions or public school teachers.

    Indeed, I  was a member of the IAM/UAW in the 1970's.  I bought a withdrawal card after I graduated from college.  I suppose that it is still good.

    What I do have an issue with is warehousing, babysitting, boring our children to death.

    Both of my children followed their interests and have been quite successful.  I only wish this for every child.

    It hurts me that ill informed people throw rocks at me.  It does not hurt alot, because by history, my children have performed better than most.

    I wish every adult well.  I doubly wish every child well.  The parents of children will very much determine how their children will do.

    After all, for progressives, taking one for the team is desirable, but all too often at present, we are taking one from the team.

    by El Tomaso on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 08:01:28 PM PDT

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