Has The Freakout Reached Peak Insanity Yet? Based On the Following, Evidently Not…

What’s going on here?

Robin Broshi a member of the NYC Community Education Council, told  a colleague during a meeting: “It hurts people when they see a white man bouncing a brown baby on their lap!”

He responds, “I would like to know how having my friend’s nephew on my lap was racist.”

She replies: “Read a book! Read ‘White Fragility’!”

Imagine: this is a woman who has input into the education of New York City children.

Well, one utter lunatic is still less problematical than this: the United Teachers Los Angeles, a 35,000 member  union in the Los Angeles Unified School District issued a policy paper   that called called on local authorities to “keep school campuses closed when the semester begins on August 18, and outlined  provisions it says will be necessary to reopen schools again, including sequestering students in small groups throughout the school day, providing students with masks and other forms of protective equipment, and re-designing school layouts in order to facilitate “social distancing.”

Okay. Teachers have legitimate input in these decisions. However, the union has other demands.

  • It wants to defund police departments, arguing that Police violence “is a leading cause of death and trauma for Black people, and is a serious public health and moral issue.” The teachers want authorities to “shift the astronomical amount of money devoted to policing, to education and other essential needs such as housing and public health.”

If these teachers think that police are a “leading cause” of death in the black community—they are not—then they are incapable of doing minimal research or being trusted not to teach students fact-free propaganda. This does make an implicit argument that if the teachers are this clueless, the astronomical amount of money devoted to a rotting public school system might be better devoted to other priorities.

  • The union demands, and a condition of going back to work, the elimination of charter schools. “Privately operated, publicly funded charter schools…drain resources from district schools,” the union states.

So rather than negotiate in good faith regarding the teaching conditions to be in place when the schools re-open, the union is using its leverage to extort the government into passing unrelated measures. There is more…

  • The union also demands the implementation of a federal Medicare-for-All program, several new state-level taxes on wealthy people, and a “federal bailout” of the school district.

This is the point at which a responsible government decertifies the union.

19 thoughts on “Has The Freakout Reached Peak Insanity Yet? Based On the Following, Evidently Not…

      • It was. But I was making an historical reference to Calvin Coolidge firing the police for engaging in a strike that he believed endangered the public safety. It’s the same justification Reagan used to fire the air traffic controllers.

        • I got it, A.M. I looked up Coolidge. I had no idea he’d been the governor of the Commonwealth of. Great line.

          • *Silent Cal reportedly said: The Business Of America Is Business

            *This is quoted by Dean David Martin (Ned Beatty in the seminal Back To School) while breaking ground for a new School of Business bankrolled by Rodney Dangerfield’s Thornton Mellon, who bribes his way into school, skirting those pesky entrance requirements.

            *The seminal Back To School “Great Lakes University” was depicted in Madison WESconsin, and was partially filmed there in1986.

            *Your erstwhile pal Paulie resides in Madison WESconsin.

            You have two more degrees to get you to Kevin Bacon; use them wisely…

  1. Re: The Teachers Union.

    Yeah, this is lunacy but are we really surprised? Teachers unions are the biggest threat to progress in public education at the element, middle, and high school levels. It’s no surprise that teachers unions are one of the biggest contributors to the Democrat Party, and why Sand . . . erm . . . Biden’s 29 page position statement declares that teachers, and not students, are the primary focus of education in the nation.

    Thomas Sowell has written extensively about, and against, unions’ attacks on charter schools and school choice. He provides an interesting argument that competition in the education sector is the best remedy for failing schools, and that inner-city parents would benefit far more from school choice than anyone else. But, charter schools challenge the sacred ground of government run and controlled public schools and the dollars available to fund them. Rep. Ilhan Omar asked how much more money should be spent to fix broken police departments and police policies (ugh!). She thinks that one more dollar is a waste, and that we (read that as “she”) should shut them all down, rethink policing strategies and start over. Why doesn’t that logic apply to public schools? Ever since the 1960s I have heard how public schools are failing and that students can’t do math, science, or reading at grade levels, but the fix is more funding. By Omar’s logic, we should stop funding the schools, shutter them, and start over again.

    Here are some links to Sowell’s work:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2020/07/27/the-collapsing-case-against-charter-schools/

    and

    https://www.educationnext.org/charter-schools-and-their-enemies-thomas-sowell-book-review/

    jvb

      • Have just begun to dive into “Black Rednecks and White Liberals”; a little light summer reading.

    • There is quite a bit to be disappointed about both Roberts and Gorsuch, but Janus v. AFSCME isn’t one of them. It was close, a 5-4, and without both it would have very likely gone the other way. In the long term it is going to hit unions pretty hard, and hopefully takes down the teacher’s unions a notch.

  2. All the crazy demands aside…. Because they seem designed to either make the process more burdensome or signal virtue, as opposed to actually getting things done. Although, at some point, is it really “virtue” you’re signalling when your demands are that batshit insane?

    I’m not sure what the right thing to do re: the school year is. Our schools are opening in the fall, but my province has a grand total of 4 (four) ((the number after three and before five)) active cases. There’s almost no record of child to child contagion, so schools can probably open in the fall with between little and no impact on infection rates, but we don’t *know* that. And at 50,000 new cases a day in the states, I understand why people might not want to participate.

    • But in Arizona the death rate as a percentage of cases is dropping like a stone. In Arizona, all the newspaper says is “Cases, cases, cases!!!” but they don’t acknowledge deaths are dropping precipitously. Deaths that occurred in Arizona yesterday totaled 8. Total deaths are 2,245. Total cases are 123,824. Death rate: 1.81% of confirmed, repeat, confirmed cases. Hospitals running at about 85% occupancy. What’s the break even occupancy rate for hospitals? Elective surgeries are now allowed and evidently this is the busiest time of year for ICU use because of the intense heat in Arizona. So why are kids not allowed back to school? Beats me.

  3. “If these teachers think that police are a “leading cause” of death in the black community—they are not—then they are incapable of doing minimal research or being trusted not to teach students fact-free propaganda. This does make an implicit argument that if the teachers are this clueless, the astronomical amount of money devoted to a rotting public school system might be better devoted to other priorities.”

    Jack, it is about a year old, but I’m guessing the teacher’s union is referencing this particular study:

    Risk of being killed by police use of force in the United States by age, race–ethnicity, and sex
    Found: https://www.pnas.org/content/116/34/16793

    A friend shared it on his wall about a month ago as reported in the Washington Post found here:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/08/08/police-shootings-are-leading-cause-death-young-american-men-new-research-shows/

    At first I thought it was an example of bad headlining, but the phrase is mentioned multiple times in the study. That in itself is bias.

    The study, while may have accurate data, draws bias conclusions. Basically, it is a classic case of selection bias. Among those it says it list death by cop as the 6th leading cause of death for black men ages 20-34. What is that data you ask? 1.8/100,000 black people. So what does it list as 1-5? As quoted in the article:

    Among men of all races, ages 25 to 29, police killings are the sixth-leading cause of death, according to a study led by Frank Edwards of Rutgers University, with a total annual mortality risk of 1.8 deaths per 100,000 people. Accidental death, a category that includes automotive accidents and drug overdoses, was the biggest cause at 76.6 deaths per 100,000, and followed by suicide (26.7), other homicides (22.0), heart disease (7.0), and cancer (6.3).

    Infant mortality in the US has a higher rate according to the CDC 5.5/1000 and it doesn’t even make the list.

    Furthermore, it does not distinguish between justified and unjustified killings.

    I’m not sure what you would call a study like this. Certainly it’s unethical, but this is one of reasons more and more people just don’t trust scientist.

  4. Jack wrote:

    This is the point at which a responsible government decertifies the union.

    Indeed. Let me take each point individually:

    1. Defunding police departments – Even if we were to grant the school’s statements as true (which of course they are not), it is beyond the reach of the Teacher’s Union’s legitimate grievances. They union’s purpose is to protect the pay and benefits of teachers, not students. If these police “death and trauma” events to which they allude are happening on school property, then they may have a legitimate gripe. Otherwise, it is outside both their legitimate mandate and expertise.

    2. Elimination of charter schools – This, at least, is a legitimate complaint insofar as it at least has a potential effect upon the teachers that the union represents. However, it is a political issue, not one subject to negotiation. They have redress via their support and campaign contributions, so it seems to me this amounts to a lawless attempt at extortion and should draw a state’s attorney investigation if not dropped.

    3. Medicare for all and taxes – See 2. above.

    Since New York is going for this, I suspect some, all, or even more such demands will be made by other teacher’s unions throughout the nation. At some point, parents have to decide whether or not they are willing to continue to allow extortionate behavior from their educators, or smack them down good and hard.

    One good way to start would be to pass laws refusing to pay teachers who do not return to work on state terms, regardless of their union contract, and deny them unemployment as unwilling workers. Another would be, as you say, to decertify the union. I would go further and indict the leadership for extortion and bribery, seize their assets, and make them fight in court if they carry through these threats.

  5. Robin Broshi a member of the NYC Community Education Council, told a colleague during a meeting: “It hurts people when they see a white man bouncing a brown baby on their lap!”

    He responds, “I would like to know how having my friend’s nephew on my lap was racist.”

    She replies: “Read a book! Read ‘White Fragility’!”

    Imagine: this is a woman who has input into the education of New York City children.

    I wonder if you can do an ethics review on White Fragility.

    If these teachers think that police are a “leading cause” of death in the black community—they are not—then they are incapable of doing minimal research or being trusted not to teach students fact-free propaganda. This does make an implicit argument that if the teachers are this clueless, the astronomical amount of money devoted to a rotting public school system might be better devoted to other priorities.

    This undermines the case for reopening schools.

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