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View Diary: Charles Blow: "The Real Obama" (94 comments)

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  •  on education and other issues (11+ / 0-)

    he has been a profound disappointment

    on the unwillingness of this administration to hold people accountable, either in the intelligence community or on Wall Street, it is far from acceptable

    I give credit where do

    I express disapproval where I think it is important

    it is not enough to say he was better than McCain would have been, he will be better than Romney would have been.

    If we do not criticize, how then can we hold his feet to the fire?

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 05:03:25 AM PST

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    •  a profound disappointment according to you (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MKSinSA, chicago minx, SilentBrook

      and to be clear I don't follow educational issues nearly as closely as I think you do I just want to make it clear you are expressing an opinion nothing more nothing less.

      And  you can criticize all you want, I never said anything that would even imply anything to the contrary. However I think it fair to keep in mind that in general we're dealing with opinions which are not absolute. Further to me what matters most is something I know we both agree on; namely that Obama is a good man with good intentions. Personally speaking it's my opinion that that matters far more then anything as it means Obama will keep trying. Maybe he'll never be as confrontational as you think he should but then some people are not confrontational by nature.

      You know what I've come to enjoy most about my time here? How I can meet 5 people with 5 different opinions on just about any issue. Again just my opinion but I think that our strength and that as long as we agree on where we want to be  I am confident the rest will work itself out


      •  It's my opinion and nothing more or less (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        teacherken, Mr Robert

        that the earth is round, 4.4 billion years old, and goes around the sun, clearly making it no more or less valid than any other opinion about it. Everything is ultimately just an opinion, not grounded in fact or logic. All those years wasted in school only to find this out in the end. Why was I not informed sooner?

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 06:41:09 AM PST

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    •  For teachers maybe, for parents, no (0+ / 0-)

      I will never get over how myopic advocates for the teaching profession are. Public education is an area in which two Democratic constituencies, parents who are middle or low income or people of color on the one hand, and teachers on the other, are in potential conflict.

      There could have been a meeting ground based on higher expenditures on education, excellence in teaching, results, and equity. For reasons I will never understand, many teachers' advocates decided instead to claim for the first time in American history, that students, especially students of color, were too stupidly ineducable and teachers should not be accountable for their failures, and that anyone who suggests reforming the educational system is evil -- especially if that reformer is a person of color, like Geoffrey Canada or Michelle Ryee -- and that instead we should trust the successors of Albert Shanker, who said, "When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of children."

      Yeah, right. As a lifelong African American Democrat who has had a kid in public schools, I'm supposed to go with the person representing the Shanker quote and not Geoffrey Canada, charter schools, and an escape route out of a dysfunctional, failed system. We're supposed to sacrifice our kids for ... well it's never explained exactly what for, except the unfairness of asking teachers to be as accountable as firemen, cops, bus drivers, college professors, doctors, nurses or any other professionals.

      Hence politicians who try to circumvent the system on behalf of children tend to have the support of parents, regardless of what teachers think.

      Teachers lost their opportunity to build a coalition for excellent schools, higher education budgets and high standards by taking the Shanker approach. It's ironic that one of your gripes about the Obama administration is that they didn't hold Bush era factotums responsible when your main gripe about education is that teachers should not be accountable for the outcomes for students. I realize such accountability is daunting, but it's a responsibility that has been assumed by the professions of doctors, nurses, lawyers, law enforcement, and many other callings.

      •  sorry, but you are totally off base (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WB Reeves, TheMomCat

        which is increasingly why parents in groups like Parents Across America are absolutely in synch with teachers on so many issues

        even in the minority community those who view teachers the way you do are a distinct minority

        and the current approach being favored by the administration does NOT create better schools - as we are finding out again and again with so many of the charters that are ripping off taxpayer dollars and giving little real learning to the students they have

        "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

        by teacherken on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:04:35 PM PST

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        •  Data? (0+ / 0-)

          Can you provide data that shows that a group like Parents Across America represents more parents than the millions who are abandoning the calcified public schools for charters?

          Where are the documentary films about parents supporting the old system and resisting charters?

          And where are the teachers' advocates saying, just as in the late 1800s and early 1900s, "give us your tired, your poor..." or the children of them and we can educate them? Where are the equivalent of the northern white women and southern black women who went into the old plantation south to educate freed slave children with complete confidence that every child could be educated?

          All I hear from certain factions is something to the effect, "you don't understand, we can't be held accountable for educating this generation of children of color."  They have too many problems! (apparently more problems than ex slave children, or children fresh off the boat from famine Ireland, pogrom Russia or latifundia Sicily).  There's just something about these kids that makes them different! Wow, what a cogent argument! I have to support these advocates over the interests of my own children! (NOT)

          Do you really think that's a winning argument for a coalition of parents and teachers?

          •  you are way off on your numbers (0+ / 0-)

            in some cases parents are given no choice because public schools are forceably closed

            and the percentage of students in charter schools is still - despite all the promotion and push - a relatively tiny portion of student being educated

            oh, and the comments you are making that imply racism or discrimination of any kind?  You really ought to take a look at what a LOT of charters are like

            -  discipline codes that would never be tolerated for their own children by some foisting charters on inner cities
            - "counseling out" students who are low scoring
            - refusing to take the harder to educate
            - increased segregation of education

            and after all that charters still do NOT in general perform better than the public schools from which they draw

            there is plenty of data

            if you really care you can find it quite easily

            that in some circumstances a charter might be a beter option?  Sure

            I just came off a stint filling in at a high needs non profit charter middle school because I was asked to by some friends.  Most charters would not take those kids if they could get away with it, and even if they did they would find ways to get rid of them very quickly.  How do I know?  Because we got them when they were forced out of other schools.

            I am not hostile to charters per se

            I am hostile to what they are being used for, and how they are depriving too many children of a meaningful education while those running them are finding ways of lining their own pockets.

            I know the data.

            I know the studies some charter advocates cite and what are wrong with those studies.

            "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

            by teacherken on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:01:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I didn't ask for educational data in general (0+ / 0-)

              I asked:

              Can you provide data that shows that a group like Parents Across America represents more parentsthan the millions who are abandoning the calcified public schools  for charters?
              I should not have added "for charters" because I meant in general abandoning calcified, failing public schools in a variety of ways.

              How representative is this organization? How many members does it have?

              Btw, at least in NYC, schools are generally closed because students have choice within the system to leave failing schools or because the school is really obviously failing despite an outward refugee flow. If parents and students flee from a failing school and its enrollment drops, what do you propose -- that it remain open and that teachers lecture to empty classrooms?

              And I am not implying anything about racism. I'm simply paraphrasing the very arguments that have been made by  teachers' advocates. I have no idea why they think this is the first group of students in US history since the Civil War who cannot be educated. I have no idea what their rationale for adopting this rhetoric is.  I will say, however, that DK as an audience is not representative of the Democratic voting demographic and teachers' advocates here tend to engage in rhetoric that works well within this particular echo chamber, but I don't think you'll convince many parents in Bed Stuy or Harlem not to try to leave the public schools to get into a charter school with that rhetoric. I would invite you to try it though. Engaging in that debate outside the echo chamber might help you create a rhetoric of coalition rather than a rhetoric of whining, and blaming the victims (the real victims, the children).

              •  actually you are misleading on NYC (0+ / 0-)

                because what the Bloomberg administration has done under several different leaders is force co-location which cripples the public school having co-location forced upon it

                There is plenty of easily accessible data.

                You are quite capable of doing your own research.

                I have seen little evidence in your comments on threads on my diaries that you are really interested in learning, rather that you want to have something to attack.

                Perhaps that is not your mode right now, I will grant you the benefit of the doubt.

                But when you can do your own research my doing it for you would be very low on my priorities when

                - I am getting hundreds of emails because of a piece that went up at the Washington Post that has now had well over 100,000 different people read it, many passing it on
                - several books I promised to review
                - helping my wife with her treatment for a blood cancer that has upended our lives.

                I appreciate the detail with which you write but responding to the same detail is simply not a priority for me.

                "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

                by teacherken on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 12:04:49 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

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