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I was just reading all the big-name stars who are getting on board for the parent trigger, and I am really stunned by some of the names.  Do they know what it means to lightly turn a school over to parents who have no knowledge of how to run a school?  To give them power to hire and fire teachers and principals?

Are they blinded by the glitz provided by all the money behind this corporate move to take over public schools?  Do they not understand the implications? Or do they simply not care?

TEACHERS ROCK Presented by Walmart & "Won't Back Down"- a Special Event & Concert to Benefit Teachers & Education

It says it's a special benefit to help teachers.  Guess which teachers? The article makes it clear it will benefit Teach for America teachers, recruits with 5 weeks training. They will be sent out thinking they are better than other teachers in spite of meager training.

The benefit concert will showcase live performances by Dierks Bentley, Fun. and Josh Groban and special appearances by Viola Davis from "Won't Back Down," Josh Hutcherson, Miranda Cosgrove, Pauley Perrette, Roshon Fegan and many more. Proceeds from TEACHERS ROCK will benefit three non-profit organizations: DonorsChoose.org, Feeding America and Teach for America.

..." The TEACHERS ROCK concert will feature scenes from Walden Media's upcoming motion picture "Won't Back Down," released by 20th Century Fox. The film stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis, who play two determined mothers, one a teacher, who will stop at nothing to transform their children's failing inner city school. Facing a powerful and entrenched bureaucracy, they risk everything to make a difference in the education and future of their children. This powerful story of parenthood, friendship and courage mirrors events that are making headlines daily.

"AEG and Walden are very excited to join efforts with Walmart in celebrating teachers. Honoring teachers and recognizing the importance of education have been bedrock values since the founding of our companies," said Anschutz Film Group & Walden Media CEO, David Weil. "We believe that TEACHERS ROCK and our upcoming movie, WON'T BACK DOWN, will both inspire parents to believe that they can make a real difference in the lives of students and teachers."

TEACHERS ROCK will be taped for a special one hour CBS television event broadcast Saturday, August 18th from 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET/PT, that will also feature taped performance and appearances from Carrie Underwood, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Garner, Matthew Morrison, Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl, Usher, Maroon 5's Adam Levine and James Valentine, and more.

Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis won't back down from taking over their inner city school.  Won't back down.  Neither will the charter companies waiting to take over the schools from the parents who thought they were empowered. Not really empowered after all except to choose the charter company.

The Parent Trigger is an astroturf creation, not built by grassroots. It was pushed by ALEC and charter companies who want to take over public schools faster.

CBS is going along because that is apparently what networks do. Look at NBC and their corporate Education Nation.  

Teachers in public schools do not have funds to fight back against such star power and big money interests.  There will be less money for traditional public schools and more for those with the bigger voices.  

Public school teachers indeed rock.  Yet the benefits from the CBS show are going to Teach for America.

Originally posted to floridagal on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 01:53 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This. Is. (14+ / 0-)

    Bullshit.

    The Republican Party is now the sworn enemy of the United States of America.

    Listen to All Over The Place - we play all kinds of music!

    by TheGreatLeapForward on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 01:57:46 PM PDT

  •  Strange how the "reform" movement (22+ / 0-)

    rarely asks the opinions of those most impacted: the students and the teachers.  Of course, ALEC, the Waltons and a bunch of celebrities know best.....

    Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. - Einstein

    by moose67 on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 02:04:09 PM PDT

  •  In what other profession (44+ / 0-)

       

    ... are the licensed professionals considered the LEAST knowledgeable about the job? You seldom if ever hear “that guy couldn’t possibly know a thing about law enforcement – he’s a police officer”, or “she can’t be trusted talking about fire safety – she’s a firefighter.”

    In what other profession is experience viewed as a liability rather than an asset? You won’t find a contractor advertising “choose me – I’ve never done this before”, and your doctor won’t recommend a surgeon on the basis of her “having very little experience with the procedure”.

    In what other profession is the desire for competitive salary viewed as proof of callous indifference towards the job? You won’t hear many say “that lawyer charges a lot of money, she obviously doesn’t care about her clients”, or “that coach earns millions – clearly he doesn’t care about the team.”

    http://www.examiner.com/...

    •  "In what other profession is experience viewed as (22+ / 0-)

      a liability rather than an asset?"

      Politics :)

      You are reading my signature line. #hashtag

      by cardinal on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 02:23:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  one other profession-- (7+ / 0-)

      politicians. But in that case, it's usually deserved.

      Mitt Romney = Draco Malfoy

      by ubertar on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 07:14:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not many professions have comprehensively failed (0+ / 0-)

      That's why parents have lost faith in the teaching profession.  

      "When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that's when I'll start representing the interests of schoolchildren."

      -- Albert Shanker, President of the United Federation of Teachers from 1964 to 1985 and President of the American Federation of Teachers from 1974 to 1997.

      •  Comprehensively Failed?!? (9+ / 0-)

        From where do you get that statistic?

        Additionally, the fact that a Union President supports his/her union members is not a bad thing.  Sure, it could have been said more tactfully, but that's really the point of his comment.

        Stand Up! Keep Fighting! Paul Wellstone

        by RuralLiberal on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 04:21:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm writing a proposal right now (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk, Jerry J, Wednesday Bizzare

          for an after school educational organization and studying national and local drop out rates -- nationally 25% and locally 50%.

          If 25% of routine patients nationally and 50% of routine patients regionally who visited their doctors died within 4 years, society would be clamoring to take over medicine from the medical profession as well.

          Doctors as a profession are trained to think first of their patients; police officers (despite the bad cops and excessive force incidents) generally are professionally focused on fighting crime; and so on.

          I don't think the AMA would ever say that we, the AMA, don't care about the interests of patients.

          Yet Shanker does indeed represent the attitude of many teachers union officials, and in fact you endorsed it.  If teachers want to be treated as a profession, rather than as say, unionized carpenters, then their unions have to start acting like professional organizations, developing a patient/client/student's interest first.  Otherwise they remain just an interest group and not a professional organization.

          Whenever I read these diaries and discussions on DK about outrages against teachers unions (and teachers are obviously over represented on DK compared to real life), the main argument seems to be that American students in general and students of color in particular, are simply too stupid to teach, so shut up and leave us alone to continue what we're doing and stop trying to measure our success or change the way we work, and don't you dare seek a choice of schools, because, didn't you know that your kids are sentenced to whatever school the system chooses for them sort of  like prison.

          That's a fine argument to make on DK and may succeed here; but in the real world because of attitudes like that, teachers have indeed lost the support of the public, and parents will continue to flock to charter schools or any other alternative to business as usual.

          •  How many of those students have failed primarily (7+ / 0-)

            because their teachers were poor educators?

            I'm not arguing it's 0%, but I'm fairly sure that other issues outside of school account (i.e., ones for which the primary gatekeepers should be parents, not teachers) for a large chunk of those who don't graduate.

            We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

            by Samer on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 07:00:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well that's the fall back teachers union argument (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sparhawk, Jerry J

              Your kids are too stupid and your families too screwed up for us to teach -- even though China can teach peasants more effectively at about 1/20th the cost per student, and even though generation after generation of poor immigrants from Europe were taught and Americanized in American public schools.  

              As I said this is the middle class black neighborhoods of southeastern Queens -- sometimes referred to based on census bureau data as the most middle class black neighborhood in the United States.  

              Secondary literature suggests that it's the teachers, principals and bureaucracy.  Just to give you one example, in 1985, Jamaica High School was ranked as one of the best public high schools in the United States.  It is now a drop out factory and the demographics haven't changed.  So sorry, the "your kids are too stupid" argument isn't convincing.

              It may make you feel good to make that argument -- that factors outside the schools are responsible -- but that's not a winning public policy argument in a democracy where there are many many more parents of students than there are teachers.

              At any rate, it's not going to prevent urban parents from looking for alternatives.  You're going to have to come up with a better argument than that if you want to save the public schools.

              •  If you smoke and drink and eat poorly (0+ / 0-)

                no matter what doctor you see, your success rate could be less than 50% too.

                The only thing that levels the playing field is increased resources.  Plain and simple.  Good luck with your proposal but I suspect you'll make a fortune testing out all sorts of magic wands, experimenting on children...and your success won't be much better.

          •  Oh please, (7+ / 0-)

            what's ridiculous is the parents blaming the teachers for their children's crappy performance.

            There simply is no reason for these failures if parents were on top of it.  The kids who do well have highly engaged parents, who do things like make their children do their homework.

            It's just shocking to see teachers take the fall for parents.  

            The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

            by dfarrah on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 07:08:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think you have any idea (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sparhawk

              what you're talking about.  I've researched these four drop out factories and it's definitely the teachers and principals.  One principal has basically barracaded herself in her office surrounded by security cameras.  Another was frog marched out of the building by the city department of education.

              But your conclusion is it must be the parents are stupid and the children are stupid.

              Good luck making that argument as charter schools expand and eat the lunch of the public school system.

              •  Well, thank goodness (5+ / 0-)

                you're going to take care of every little thing!

                You might want to remember to check your spelling before sending any letters out to parents - it's b-a-r-r-i-c-a-d-e.

                Keep in mind that charter schools are just the first step in privatizing the entire educational system in America.  

                Stand Up! Keep Fighting! Paul Wellstone

                by RuralLiberal on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 08:26:59 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Not only is your viewpoint far right (6+ / 0-)

                but so is your method of argument, setting up straw men and fighting against arguments no one is making i,e, "it must be parents are stupid and children are stupid."

                When you lie about what people who disagree with you are saying, your entire argument has collapsed and it becomes clear you are arguing dishonestly.

                No one claims parents or kids are "stupid." We ARE claiming that the kids most likely to fail — and it's a small percentage of kids in this country; no one has "comprehensively" failed because of teachers as you lied in your post above — are those dealing with the challenges of poverty, violence, transience, hunger, poor, health, unemployment, and unstable communities.

                Charter schools have pretty much "comprehensively failed" here in Ohio because they do not answer ANY of these issues, and a majority are in it to make a profit at the expense of these kids that need help the most. The only "lunch" they are eating is that of the taxpayers who are enriching private wealth while stripping ALL of Ohio's kids of educational resources. The wealthy communities with the engaged parents will kick and scream and either get results or send their kids to private (not charter) schools. The others will be warehoused in these garbage schools whose owners frankly should be in prison.

                You're failing to make any real points here because you aren't arguing from a basis of real information,.

                I think you'd be happier here: http://www.newsmax.com/

                Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

                by anastasia p on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 10:48:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Re (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Jerry J, HamdenRice
                  No one claims parents or kids are "stupid." We ARE claiming that the kids most likely to fail — and it's a small percentage of kids in this country; no one has "comprehensively" failed because of teachers as you lied in your post above — are those dealing with the challenges of poverty, violence, transience, hunger, poor, health, unemployment, and unstable communities.
                  The problem here is that the subtle undercurrent of your argument is that you should not be held accountable for performance of such students.

                  (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                  Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                  by Sparhawk on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 12:09:10 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So if the system cuts your resources, you're still (0+ / 0-)

                    expected to make miracles?

                  •  Why should (0+ / 0-)

                    teachers be held 'accountable' for students' performance?  The students and parents need to get off their butts and study.  

                    I hated school until I entered college; I studied as little as possible, being saved only by my love of reading.  I never paid attention in class--I would sleep when I could get away with it.

                    I can't imagine that a teacher should pay for my lack of effort, or any other student's lack of effort.  

                    The teachers should follow their regular teaching plans--if the kids don't get it, and the parents can't get their kids to study, then too bad.  Quit blaming the teachers for the lack of effort on the part of students and parents.

                    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

                    by dfarrah on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 07:46:34 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  EXACTLY (0+ / 0-)

                    Give us your tired, your poor, your wretched refuse yearning to be free and we will educate them.

                    Blacks and Latinos -- meh.

                •  Yes, I don't know of any time where a teacher or (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  suzq

                  teacher's union representative has said that students are too stupid to teach.

                •  The community I'm writing about (0+ / 0-)

                  is considered one of the most middle class black neighborhoods in the United States.  Queens County is the only large county in the United States in which average African American income is higher than white income.

                  There are also schools in the same area doing very well.  Home life and community conditions are not the independent variable here.  It's the particular schools.

              •  Teachers and Principals are not the same. (0+ / 0-)

                and, often, it is the principals that are preventing the teachers from doing there jobs well. Often, it is the teacher's unions who are trying to protect teachers ability to do their jobs in spite of the increasingly incompetent and/or corrupt upper administration.  

              •  I don't think you know.... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                floridagal

                ..what you are talking about Hamden...pure and simple. From a cognitive psychology perspective, you are entering a realm where you are out of your league. Corporate power and their political puppets have installed an education system based on non consensual behaviorism and this is the root of the problem.

                Educational experience based on behaviorism is mind control.

                by semioticjim on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 05:47:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Hamden, (4+ / 0-)

            what's with the animus toward public schools and public school teachers?

            Good luck with your program.  Understand that it will be the parents who ultimately decide, via permission slips, transportation, simple encouragement, etc., which students will be attending your after school program.  Many of the students who are most at risk for eventually dropping out will very likely not be present.

            Stand Up! Keep Fighting! Paul Wellstone

            by RuralLiberal on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 07:33:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have no animus toward public schools or teachers (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sparhawk

              What I'm saying is that the approach they are taking -- especially the teachers unions -- is bound to fail in a democratic system in which there are more parent voters than teacher voters.  I say that as an urban parent who managed to guide a son through the system.

              The current system is utterly dysfunctional.  If the teachers unions want to act like a truly professional organization, they would take the lead in creating professional standards and improving performance (like professional organizations of doctors, lawyers, police chiefs, etc., etc.), working with parents and communities, and above all adopting a "students' interests first" professional ethos.  

              Instead we as consumers of education get the same arguments -- your kids are uneducatably stupid so don't hold us accountable.  

              Fine.  Keep making that argument.  See how far it gets you with the Obama Education Department, parents' organizations, parents who you don't want to abandon the system for corporate and charter schools and other constituencies.

              I'm obviously not going to convince many people on DK, but just saying keep making the argument and see where it's getting you.

              •  As the wife of someone in the school system (14+ / 0-)

                with personal knowledge of the work that teachers do and the hurdles that are placed in front of them I want to tell you personally to fuck off. Teacher's unions are the only thing that keeps good people in teaching and provided with a living wage.

                Beyond that teachers unions fight for kids as much as they fight for teachers. There are whole hosts of people who are constantly starving the school system and proudly claiming that "it's the money".

                You say unions should "take the lead in creating professional standards...." They would love to, but they are prevented from doing so because, first they "evil" and second because some asshat out there wants to prove how much money they can save and (hint) it ain't the teachers it's the politicians.

                They cut school days, dry up programs and design curriculum that is only test based. They provide out of date books and insist that teachers use them. I could go on, but I'm too pissed.

                "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

                by high uintas on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 09:01:31 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  In Cleveland, Ohio (11+ / 0-)

                  the "standards" for teachers in the so-called "transformation" plan were written by an organization that's basically a front for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an organization that actively supported the destruction of all public worker unions in the state. This was done in secrecy and the finished work slapped down for teachers to approve or disapprove. No teachers, principals, parents or community members had any input. Teachers are just asked year after year to "give back" so that they don't have to cut Pre-K, transportation etc etc. And they usually do. But they don't have much input in "standards" because that has been hijacked by the wealthy corporate "reformers."

                  Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

                  by anastasia p on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 11:01:25 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  ... (7+ / 0-)

                What about the ALEC attitude?  That education should be something to make more money for the corporations?  Do you know how much money we spend on all of the standardized testing already that sprang from No Child Left Behind--which had the back room purpose of making the schools look bad so that the money-making charter schools could take over, pick and choose which students to take and therefore appear to be more successful?

                Maybe we need to work within public education, which is there to serve all students.  There is pressure to make all students take "college-ready" courses when it is obvious that all are not going to college and even if they do, not all finish.  Legislatures dictate what schools should do and the policies are made by people who have never taught a class.

                I work in a high school that used to have students whose parents were educated and supportive of education.  The students came to school with experiences at home that helped them learn.  

                That same school is now a total opposite.  Two new high schools were built that now have most of the type of students we used to have, and a very large subsidized housing project was built close to our school.  Over half of our students are on free lunch and most come from homes of poverty.  

                I am working in the same school, but with a history of two completely different student bodies.  Let me tell you what I wish more people knew:  WE WORK MUCH HARDER TO GET THE MEDIOCRE SCORES THAT WE GET NOW THAN WE DID WITH THE PREVIOUS STUDENTS WHO GOT REALLY GOOD SCORES.  Those students in the past were going to do well no matter what.  The parents would be sure of that.  Sorry about the all caps, but it is completely true.  

                We have some parents that don't seem to care, but most of them do but don't have the education and life experience to help their children.  There aren't as many books in the houses and many parents work multiple jobs just to make it and aren't home as much.  If the parents didn't go to college or graduate from high school, they don't always know how to advise their children to prepare for such things--like how to apply for college and when that should start.  Sometimes the student is working late at night to help with family finances and is sleepy in class and worried about the family's bills.  

                We have a spectacular math teacher that the students love and praise routinely.  She says that some of the students will be working problems correctly in class, but the next week they will not remember how to do them.  She goes over them again, with short-term results but fading memory.  

                I fear that the students who need the most help will be shut out of the charter schools in one way or another.  Even if they say they take all that apply or with a completely random drawing, lagging students are frequently "counseled out," saying that another school might be a "better fit for that child."  This is done before the big testing.  Others run defense in the beginning, requiring the student and parent to sign agreements to longer hours, extra tutoring, Saturday sessions, etc.  If public schools could get all of that, they would do better also.

                I am tired of hearing that teachers are lazy, greedy, and don't care.  I work  with people every day that would amaze you and do the best they can with the students, budget, and circumstances we have.  We don't fire students like businesses do with employees.  We take them as they come and try to help them even when it is difficult and we are being criticized by many.    

              •  Obviously, you had a bad experience (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Errol, 2laneIA

                and you are making broad, and frankly insulting, generalizations from that. Yes, there are more parent voters — and the OVERWHELMING number of those parent voters are very very happy with their own schools and their own kids' teachers, especially among the more affluent parents most likely to vote. Yours is a losing argument. MOST parents simply don't agree with any of your points. Perhaps you are bitter because of a personal experience, and I'm sorry about that. But your transparent anger at teachers (and teachers union ARE teachers and frankly the only organization I trust anymore on the subject of education) is misguided.

                There is nothing "dysfunctional" about "the current system." Does it fail sometimes? Sure — but no more so than any other system that must meet huge challenges with inadequate resources such as inner-city hospitals serving the poor and uninsured.

                YOU keep making YOUR argument and see where it gets you — tax money for education increasingly stuffed into private pockets, teaching becoming underpaid grunt work for those with no other options, and all children everywhere being forced to make do with less and less until only wealthy children have access to real education.

                Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

                by anastasia p on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 10:58:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  "especially among the more affluent parents" (0+ / 0-)

                  OK so 1 percenters like their schools.

                  I'm talking about broad voting blocks and parents of children in public schools in general, not "more affluent" parents.

                  When teachers advocates decide, as they have on this website, to demonize Geoffrey Canada and Michelle Ryee and think they are convincing the broad voting public to support teachers unions or NOT flee the schools for charters -- well, just keep at it and see where it gets you.

                  •  Parents are fighting back with us now. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Errol

                    And we will keep at it.

                  •  I don't think they're demons (0+ / 0-)

                    I wouldn't give them that much credit. They are just garden variety, disingenuous corporate hacks, a species all too common these days.

                    Some Democrats and rich "liberal" celebrities are bamboozled by them, and since they have billions of real citizens - you know, the $$$$$ - behind them they are likely to prevail.

                    The people who will suffer the most will be poor kids and special needs kids, because in the end there's no $$$$ to made from them. So what's new?

                    "I don't try to describe the future. I try to prevent it." - Ray Bradbury

                    by chuckvw on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 02:58:01 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You think Geoffrey Canada is a corporate hack? (0+ / 0-)

                      QED

                      •  QED - Thus demonstrated (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        2laneIA

                        There's more. You can google if you really want to:

                        Geoffrey Canada has built a charter brand with his Harlem Children’s Zone.  While HCZ boasts surpluses of $200 million dollars, it collects millions in public funds and real estate sweetheart deals, siphoning tens of millions in taxpayer dollars and resources from needy public schools.  Further, Canada’s approach to student enrollment is discriminatory and highly motivated by standardized test scores.  Canada “fired” an entire class of children from HCZ, phasing out the middle school there, and restarted his program with students who only follow HCZ from Kindergarten on.  Folks who run schools that do not serve ALL children should not be heralded as exemplary reformers.
                        The guy and his associates are scam artists. But they have the $$$$ so they must be right.

                        "I don't try to describe the future. I try to prevent it." - Ray Bradbury

                        by chuckvw on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 10:06:53 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  So how are the teachers unions holding kids back? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    trueblueliberal, 2laneIA

                    By protecting teacher and school professional pay, we ensure that our school professionals are well compensated for their hard work.

                    But we as Americans are unwilling to effectively pay for a quality public educations system.

                      - The majority of this nation finances its public schools at the local level, which means when population shifts occur, school systems are strained to deal with it.

                     - Inner cities with shrinking populations find they have insufficient resources for their students.

                     - Suburban areas with fast growing populations cannot grow fast enough to accommodate students.

                      - As a nation, we continue to refuse to extend the school day and school year---insufficient resources.

                      - As we learn more about how kids learn, identify more learning disabilities, and improve alternative learning techniques, turns out, we need more teacher resources, not less.  We need smaller class sizes, not larger.  We need alternative educational styles, spaces, approaches.  This will not be cheap.  

                    No where have I seen unions against dealing with any of these issues.  The thing that stops us as a nation is that we're too damn cheap to do the best for our kids.  

          •  I think we disagree on a lot, but (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HamdenRice

            that's one of the clearest and most effective explanations of that point of view that I've seen in quite awhile. Thank you.

          •  Several years ago (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            2laneIA

            I had an 8th grade student who started the year in my class reading at a second grade level.  He was a bright kid, but had never had to work.  I made it my mission to improve his reading.

            By April, he was reading at a 5th grade level.  That's three years of growth in one school year.  That is an amazing amount of growth.  He had to work hard because I had high expectations, and he hated it.

            In late April I got called in to meet with the parent, my principal, and our superintendent.  That parent was furious at me, and let me have it!!  She also read the riot act to my principal and our super.

            The mother demanded that her son be removed from my class because I "expected too much from him" and "made him work too hard".  The school district acquiesced to her demands.

            I came to find out that similar events had happened to his previous teachers ever since the 4th grade.

            Sometimes it's about crappy parents, Hamden.

            Stand Up! Keep Fighting! Paul Wellstone

            by RuralLiberal on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 07:53:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "Sometimes it's about crappy parents, Hamden" (0+ / 0-)

              And sometimes it's about crappy schools, incompetent teachers and principals with poor leadership abilities, which seems to be the case in the districts I'm studying.  There are several schools that are succeeding with exactly the same demographics.  And there are many articles in the local press about how awful the school staff in several schools here are.

        •  Failure is failure (0+ / 0-)

          doesn't matter who's fault it is.

          To deny that public schools have failed to educate a very large percentage  (25% to 50%) of students in their charge, is to deny reality.

          It's time to try a new paradigm.

      •  Trollish comment. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chuckvw

        Medic Alert: Do not resuscitate under a Republican administration.

        by happymisanthropy on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 11:17:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why not use an undisputed, cited quote? (0+ / 0-)

        "Public schools played a big role in holding our nation together. They brought together children of different races, languages, religions, and cultures and gave them a common language and a sense of common purpose. We have not outgrown our need for this; far from it." -Albert Shanker   (Where We Stand, March 3, 1997)

  •  Let's hope some of the big names (10+ / 0-)

    were simply misinformed about the nature of the event and its sponsors. And that they can be shamed into dropping out of it, publicly.

    "Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous." -- Molly Ivins

    by dumpster on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 03:14:46 PM PDT

  •  What does an Ivy League kid understand about the (9+ / 0-)

    inner city and inner city kids? How are they going to teach these kids when they haven't had a class with an average student since kindergarten if ever.

    Teaching is art and science. Five weeks just doesn't cut it.

  •  The manipulation continues (12+ / 0-)

    Bet you wont see Matt Damon there though

    I take political action every day. I teach.

    by jbfunk on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 08:24:28 PM PDT

  •  The plague of yuppie sell out scum kissing rich (0+ / 0-)

    pig a$$ -

    I read all the 'Lord of the Rings' decades ago,
    I read all 5 'Game of Thrones' this spring,
    I read 'The Guns Of August' in early summer.

    I read about Julius Ceasar, Cicero, and Marc Antony in Plutarch a few weeks ago -

    Our politics are about self serving stealing elites -

    (well, except for the politically incompetent diaper pissers in charge of too many places in the purported 'left' world - I call it purported cuz, depending how you ask the questions, much of lefy / progressive policy is acceptable to broad majorities of the public)

    The the DFER TFA SFC LEV NCTQ ... Gate$ A$tro Turf$ are filled with Lieberman style ass kissers who I will NEVER do a goddam thing for.  While it is commendable that they're not ignorant racist, sexist, flat earth droolers - when you kiss rich pig ass -

    blaming teachers for systemic problems,

    ESPECIALLY after the last 30+ years of the fascist onslaught on working stiffs,

    go frack yourself.

    rmm.

    The Gate$ of the 1%

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

    by seabos84 on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 08:55:01 PM PDT

  •  commitment rocks (5+ / 0-)

    Having worked with many Americorps volunteers in my school, the lack of training doesn't bother me as much as the mixed levels of commitment to hang in there and teach.  A teacher who is dedicated will soon pick up the trade.  Also the presence of mind to integrate one's own consciousness into their teaching is important.  But these glitzy hit-and-run shows, and the destructive, greedy people who pimp them are obscene.

    There will never be enough committed republicans to teach.  Yet they cannot tolerate the huge democrat base made up by teachers.  Thus, to preserve and increase their power, republicans seem to be willing to sacrifice an entire school system for one from their good ol' boy network.  It's like walking up to the general contractor on a big building job and saying, "Go home.  The folks from the country club and me will take this project over now."  That will last for for the time it takes for reality (the real kind) to kick in, and the bizarro (charterized) results to follow, leaving the remaining adults in the room to pick up the pieces again.

    I wish there was a cultural taboo towards ego-stroking in public service- at all levels.

    We've seen this process/rinse/repeat going on for too long now.  How much longer does it have to go?

    Call exploitation and debt slavery whatever you want. The Olympics have shown that capitalism is nothing more than competing to be included in whatever totalitarian regime is in current fashion.

    by jcrit on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 03:11:04 AM PDT

  •  I had a raving discussion with my (4+ / 0-)

    Brother in law about this very issue..
    Inner schools horrible...charters the answer
    My point was, they are selecting best and brightest
    Taken them out of the schools at tax payers expense.

    If charter schools are so great and are being funded by tax payers then make them follow the same regs as a public school system

    Once again they get the cake and the frosting with no baking time needed

    •  Actually, here in Ohio, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, Errol, suzq

      inner city charters are mostly horrible. Suburban parents would never dream of sending their kids to these cheap-o education warehouses. There are a handful of good ones that attract kids of the most motivated parents. The rest you wouldn't want to send a dog to.

      P.S. Ohio is infested with for-profit charters whose owners have purchased most of the important Republican politicians in the state. There's your problem right there.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

      by anastasia p on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 11:04:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I feel the same about for-profit colleges (0+ / 0-)

        that advertise on TV.

        It's a damn shame about what happened to Cleveland schools.  First, the system (not the unions, but elected school board officials) spent more money to fight bussing than they did to teach kids.  Now, the system is determined to sell out the system to profiteers.  Breaks my heart.

    •  It depends on the charter and the state (0+ / 0-)

      I think charters should be unionized and run similarly as public schools but given the freedom to have their own curriculum.

      My daughter attends one such charter and what I like about it is the progressive curriculum, which doesn't exist elsewhere in the school system, but for one Montessori program. Not all charters in my city run their schools this way. Some are failures, some are professional training schools. But there are three that manage to work. These are locally founded, locally run non-profits with good curricula.

      I'm sure some non-profits select the best and brightest, but this is done by lottery and there are special education teachers on staff for children with needs.

      The one aspect of this that is unfair, in terms of comparison, is that my city has a decently high % of students learning English as a second language, and it's highly questionable whether such parents are even aware of the choices.

      There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

      by upstate NY on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 03:37:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great debate in NYT last year (8+ / 0-)

    about TFA. In the end, these kids are basically entitled Ivy leaguers who land a good paying job ($45K/year) when most of their classmates are jobless. They get a guaranteed job for 2 years, resume fodder, then they split when they finally get that offer from the bank or investment company they'd been hoping for. In New York, 85% of the TFA teachers had left by the 4th year.

    It's just one more gift to the already-entitled in America, and it takes away jobs from people who are ready to dedicate their lives to teaching.

  •  Seriously? (6+ / 0-)

    Walmart is trying to tell us how to run our schools?

    I have an idea. Maybe their owners should pay a bit more taxes so that the teachers can have a decent salary.

    Want to help the schools? I've got a plan!

  •  Obviously (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas, floridagal

    the stars need to be educated about Anschutz.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 07:10:31 AM PDT

  •  This is really sad. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    floridagal, chuckvw

    I am saddened and outraged at the attack on teachers and the drive to privatize schools.  What is Meryl Strep thinking. Yoohoo Meryle why are you siding with ALEC against public school teachers?  What are you thinking? Bill Gates wants to monetize education. This is crazy. Privatize education then cut costs, make a profit, get low pay untrained people to educate your children.  What a great nation.

  •  Is it just me? The only name I recognize is (0+ / 0-)

    Maggie Gyllenhaal.

  •  As both a teacher and a mother I (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw

    support public schools and I have little use for charter schools.  Unfortunately both sides try to create an either/or scenario.  Public school administrators don't want parental involvement in policy or decision-making. Parent concerns are treated as an irritant and a nuisance.  We all have anecdotal evidence of this.  

    Feminism is the radical notion that women are people. ~Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler

    by Tchrldy on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 09:14:39 AM PDT

    •  ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw

      The administrators are frequently under pressure from above--school boards are afraid of parents because they need their votes to win again, all the way to the state legislature, who haven't ever taught and don't have children in public schools.  

  •  ... (5+ / 0-)

    I was once talking to a student who wasn't doing work and was failing.  He was having to take chemistry, physics, calculus, etc. and hated it.  He said with all sincerity "I want to paint cars; I like painting cars and I don't like all of this stuff."  

    We need some people to paint cars.  It is a respectable job that won't get outsourced and will have demand for workers.  He will earn wages and pay taxes.  

    The problem is that the pressure is on the school district to make every child college ready.   We need to respect vocational classes.   I would have like to have him take some science classes like environmental science and math courses like personal finance while taking some vocational classes to prepare him for what he wants to do.

    What happened to the student?  He dropped out.  
     

    •  Yes, when I was in school (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      floridagal, Cassandra Waites

      there were options for all kinds of students and all kinds of future plans/dreams.  Not everyone took college prep courses.

      You're so right, NTT, not everyone wants to go to college.  We need painters, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, secretaries, receptionists, etc., etc.

      I teach in a small, rural public school district.  All of our High School kids must take Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Plane and Solid Geometry.  Larger districts might still offer Consumer Math, Personal Finance, etc., but small districts can't afford to offer such a broad range of classes.

      Because the pressure is on schools to have every child ready for college, that's what the kids have to take.

      Stand Up! Keep Fighting! Paul Wellstone

      by RuralLiberal on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 10:02:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RuralLiberal, Cassandra Waites

        Imagine if they did all go to college!  We don't have enough jobs that require college for every citizen.  I guess we would still have the plumbers, electricians, etc. with college degrees and big student loans to pay off.

        I think my plumber makes close to the same amount that I do and I know he performs a needed service.  When there is water and "other stuff" spewing everywhere, I want a plumber and don't ask for a college transcript!  We need to respect the different needs, wants, and talents of people and not try to fit everyone into the same mold.  

  •  Arne & the 1% propagandize the public (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RuralLiberal, apimomfan2, chuckvw

    to privatize public education.

  •  Corporate mass media and their lackeys.... (0+ / 0-)

    ....including actors, actresses, politicians and news media all suck the teat of the corporate power elite.  

    The American corporate media is one slick and massive propaganda apparatus for Wall Street and all the 1% who desire a passive compliant workforce and citizenry, hence you have legislation that ensures standardized educational experience is rammed down the throats of children beginning at Kdg.

    I am not happy with teachers unions because they have been complicit in the standardization of educational experience in order to survive, but now the 1% are using high stakes standardized educational experience to destroy the teaching profession....

    Educational experience based on behaviorism is mind control.

    by semioticjim on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 07:11:48 PM PDT

  •  Teachers and teaching (0+ / 0-)

    I refuse to take seriously anybody coming on here spouting about things they know absolutely nothing about, meaning  "unions," teacher "quality," and other such rot repeating lies from the "reformers."

    Some of us have actually taught and been fired illegally and know how rotten public education can be regarding the political aspects of the workplace.  Until you've done it, don't comment.

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