City Journal Spring 2014

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Spring 2014
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Larry Sand
Blue vs. Blue « Back to Story

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"....and see[s] public schools as potential profit centers and children as measureable commodities."

That's sooooo right. We need to expand that insight into other areas. Like teacher compensation. Too often teachers' unions look at taxpayers like profit centers and our commitment to them as measurable commodities.
I'm a concerned citizen who does not want billionaires and hedge fund managers to destroy public education. If they cared about education, they would use their own money to create good schools instead of siphoning money from public school districts (taxpayers) to open dumbed down cyber charter schools run by temp workers. Why should my tax dollars be given to the Walton family (Walmart) to run charter schools?

Would these billionaires send their own children to a Walmart charter school? Of course not, but it's good enough for poor inner city kids, right? What I find truly disgusting is that these privatizers use the language of the Civil Rights Movement to prey on poor people who want a better education for their children. It's truly despicable.

You think I work for a union because privatizers and those who support them count on the average citizen being uninformed.



Does anyone here doubt that "Susan" and "Mr. Joiner" are anything but highly paid, professional labor union hacks? Their attack dog comments (avoiding the issues) are 100% driven by their paychecks. That's why they posts with fake (or at least untraceable) names.
It is quite safe to say the argument from the teacher's side has zero to do with education and all to do with big pay, no threat of termination, no requirement to work more than the minimum hours and of course, a fat pension where in each and every retiring teacher retires as a multimillionaire given a normal life span, COLA and free health care. As one of the famed union leaders said sometime ago, When the students start paying dues, that is when we will start to represent their interests. Fire them all and start over. The kids will be safer and no worse educated.
You say that none of these wealthy donors stand to gain personally from education reform (privatization), but that is false. They stand to profit from cyber charter schools, and are trying to seize public school buildings and budgets for their own gain. Public money, private profits.

The reform (privatization) groups that Rhee and Romero represent are astroturf groups--fronts for billionaires and hedge funds. Rhee was run out of DC, and Romero ran for CA State Superintendent of Public Instruction and lost. These two don't speak for students or parents.

The Wall St Journal calls education reform (privatization) the new gold rush. Both parties, not just Democrats, support turning over public schools to private contractors. Research the disaster that Jindal has inflicted upon he schools in Louisiana.

People are becoming informed and will not let charlatans take over the public schools.
Mr. Rider is correct.

And I'm disappointed that Mr. Joiner stoops to schoolyard name calling again and again. Such behavior by their advocates puts CTA in a bad light.

P.S. I first heard the term "seat time" from a CTA president. It is the union's substitute for student achievement. Clocks, calendars, and easy-to-keep roll books can measure a student's seat time, no need for those icky tests that might measure student progress and no need to publicize those embarrassing test scores.
Mr. Rider is incorrect in assuming because CTA has money it showers it on sycophants. CTA supports candidates for office with allowable contributions, but also with volunteer campaign workers. Ms. Romero lost her bid for SPI because she only titillated moneyed interests, not the sort of folks that volunteer to walk precincts.

Ms. Romero is now getting her income from corporatists, a.k.a. fascists.

When the only supporters you have are mercenaries, you have no support. Ms. Romero lost to a sitting assemblymember and a retired district superintendent, you'd think with a senator's larger footprint she'd of survived the primary.

Rhee=harpy grifter
Romero=hack
CFT gets away with nonsense in California because it has so far avoided having teachers being a real profession--like doctors, CPAs, plumbers etc.
These all have state boards to set minimum standards and have open public complaint processes. Let's get the legislature to enact the necessary law to get the teaching profession to be accountable to the public
Bruce William Smith May 17, 2013 at 9:55 AM
No one has been able to trace that urban myth quote to Shanker, who, I believe, would be appalled at the leadership of CTA. Shanker supported parental choice (he was one of the first proponents of chartered schools in the United States), he fought to empower professional teachers, and he was open to better appraisals and merit pay. CTA has fought against all of these reforms that Shanker considered, and is leading to a growing public contempt for teachers when they act collectively, which is a disastrous outcome for those of us who care about the profession and how it is viewed.
The late AFT President Albert Shanker reputedly said it best about educator labor union interests (parapharasing), "When students start paying union dues, that's when AFT [and, of course, CTA] will start representing students."
If as "Joiner" claims (great name for a union disinformation officer, BTW), Gloria Romero were "for sale to the highest bidder," she'd be a CTA sycophant.

THAT's where the money is. CTA controls most Democrats' political futures.

Rare is the Democrat who goes against such massive financial muscle. I admire Romero all the more for her courageous heresy on behalf of the children.
Now that the Democrats are firmly in control in California, it was only a matter of time before groups within the party started fighting over slicing up the pie. Unfortunately, the pie itself is shrinking as corrupt/bad government - the hallmark of Democratic governance - takes its toll. The state's fate is sealed - it is destined to continue to sink under the weight of poor government, and the resultant debt, inefficiency, and most of all - corruption, legal and illegal.

What is certain is this - the glory days of California are behind it. The only way to reverse course is if somehow the public unions, who care for nothing and nobody but their own narrow interests (as well as bizarre notions about how the society should be run), are reined in, or at least prevented from using taxpayer funds to donate to Democrats.

It will never happen - no matter how bad conditions get in California, it will be unions uber alles. Media is in the firm control of Democrats, who use it to condition the public to view Republicans as evil, minority hating wealthy white people. And Republicans have not learned to address any of this - they still believe that the fact that the state is being led to ruin will somehow lead the people to consider them as an alternative. This is a tragic mistake - the example of cities like Detroit, Camden, East St. Louis, Washington DC, Newark (NJ), show that Democrats are able to maintain control even in the face of the most awful and corrupt government imaginable. In fact,Democrats are even able to re-elect leaders who have been thrown in jail for corruption. If Republicans can't win elections even in the face of corrupt, bad government then its chances of retaking California are non-existant.

In the meantime, educated more well off people and businesses will continue to flee the state.
Just because you are registered as a Democrat, it doesn't mean you hold liberal views.

Ms. Rhee is a grifter, with a fictional autobiography built on self-aggrandizing lies.

Ms. Romero is a hack, for sale to the highest bidder. When her attempt to remove serpentine as the state rock due to appease trial lawyers eager to sue over asbestos failed, she settled on education.

Both groups, StudentsFirst and California DFER, are primarily funded by conservative and libertarian individuals and groups. They do not have kids' best interests at heart and no amount of sound bites and sloganeering can change that.

Actually, it should more properly be called "Reds versus Reds." And their lingo is reminiscent of the old charges leveled against the "running dogs of capitalism."

Good article. Never understood how today's teachers could object to testing their students: OURS certainly didn't!