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. Continue reading →
(I thought it was time for “Singin’ in the Rain” again. Of course, it is always time for “Singin’ in the Rain”…)
1. And that’s when you know…When alleged sexual harassers are accused, the way you know whether they are guilty or not often depends on whether the floodgates open, and large numbers of other women step forward. This was Bill Cosby’s downfall. Now we learn that 27 more victims of Charlie Rose have raised their metaphorical hands. Sorry, Charlie!
The mystery to me is why current and former colleagues of outed abusers and harassers so often rush to defend them, even post #MeToo, and even women. I suppose is cognitive dissonance again: the defenders have high regard for the harasser, and simply can’t process the fact that they may have been engaged in awful conduct. Katie Couric’s defense of Matt Lauer, however, is especially damning.
Variety reported that Lauer’s office had a button that allowed him to remotely lock his office door when he had female prey within his grasp…
“His office was in a secluded space, and he had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from the inside without getting up. This afforded him the assurance of privacy. It allowed him to welcome female employees and initiate inappropriate contact while knowing nobody could walk in on him, according to two women who were sexually harassed by Lauer.”
Yet on “The Wendy Williams Show” this week, Couric “explained”…
“I think the whole button thing, you know? I think — NBC — a lot of stuff gets misreported and blown out of proportion. A lot of NBC executives, they make it sound like some kind of den of inequity. I don’t know what was happening. A lot of NBC executives have those buttons that opened and closed doors… They did. I mean, it was really just a privacy thing. It wasn’t..Honestly I think it was an executive perk that some people opted to have and I don’t think it was a nefarious thing. I really don’t. And I think that is misconstrued….”
Wowsers. First, Couric is intentionally blurring the facts, using “open and close” as a euphemism for “unlock and lock.” I guarantee that no button would cause the office door to swing open or swing closed, as Couric suggested. I’ve searched for such a device: all I can find are remote office door locking mechanisms. Second, while it is true that other NBC execs once had that feature, it appears that Lauer was “was one of the few, if not the only, NBC News employee to have one,”a senior NBC News employee told the Washington Post.
2. Extortion works! Arizona’s governor signed a 9% pay increase for the state’s teachers, because the teachers engaged in a wildcat strike, kids were missing school, and parents couldn’t go to work without their state funded child-sitters. I’m not going to analyze whether the teachers demands were right or wrong, because it doesn’t matter. The teachers’ tactic was unethical, just like the Boston police strike in 1919 was unethical, just like the air traffic controllers strike in 1981. In the former, Massachusetts governor Calvin Coolidge (what happened to that guy?) famously fired all the striking cops, saying in part that “The right of the police of Boston to affiliate has always been questioned, never granted, is now prohibited…There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time.” President Reagan quoted Cal when he fired the air traffic controllers and eliminated its union.
Striking against children and their education is also a strike against the public safety. What now stops the teachers, in Arizona or anywhere else, from using similar extortion tactics for more raise, policies they favor, or any other objective? What was lacking here was political leadership possessing the integrity and courage to tell the teachers to do their jobs during negotiations, or be fired.
This precedent will rapidly demonstrate why public unions are a menace to democracy Continue reading →
Ok, if you don’t buy the theory that they hurt the public schools, how about this: they’re racist!
In its much maligned decision in Shelby v. Holder, the Supreme Court declared that the Justice Department could not interfere with state legislative decisions affecting voting rights based on 60 year old data about racist practices prior to the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The Federal government should not be able to over-ride the will of the people and its elected legislatures without a compelling and overwhelming interest, and allowing the large list of states designated as subject to the Act invited abuse of power. What kind of abuse? This kind:
The U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit to stop the Louisiana from distributing school vouchers to poor black families in any district that remains under a desegregation court order. Over 600 public schools are affected. The argument of Holder’s Justice Department is just as ridiculous as it reads: it is that “many of those vouchers impeded the desegregation process.” You see, if black children are able to go to better, private schools thanks to the vouchers, the percentage of whites to blacks in failing but desegregated public schools will go up, “impeding” desegregation. Can’t have that! What citizens would want politicized, absurd bureaucrats who reason like this second-guessing their legislature?
The extent and sheer audacity of the 2009 Atlanta schools testing scandal, now resulting in teachers and administrators facing prison time, shows (or perhaps I should say “should show”) the complete folly of calling for more funding as the solution to the rotting U.S. education system. Indeed, I would argue that budgets should not be increased one penny anywhere until the educational establishment demonstrates that it is capable of policing itself, holding members of its profession to higher standards, which is to say, standards, of ethical conduct and professionalism, and can prove that it is more interested in the goal of teaching students than it is in pensions, job security, and cash. Continue reading →
There isn’t much enlightening to say about the unfolding Atlanta teacher cheating scandal, but its implications must be faced, as difficult as that is.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal revealed this week that award-winning gains by Atlanta students were based on widespread cheating by teachers and principals. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation identified 178 teachers and principals – 82 of whom have confessed – in the biggest cheating scandal in US history. Not the first one, however; there have been a lot of them recently, across the country. The media is pointing to the U.S. education system’s increasing dependence on standardized tests as “the problem.”