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Laura Clawson posted the following diary this evening for Daily Kos Labor:

Instead of Teacher Appreciation Week, President Obama asks us to celebrate Charter School Week

As of right now, it has over 200 recommends and is gaining a lot of traction outside of Daily Kos. It has also upset at least one teacher here to the point of tears.

When I first read it, I was stunned. I was seething, frankly. I come from a family of teachers-including my parents-and I see the sacrifices they make every day. The idea that their hard work would not be recognized by the administration is an outrage-or it would be, if it were true. But it isn't.

For starters, the diary begins with this statement:

May 7 to 11 is generally recognized as Teacher Appreciation Week, with May 8 specifically being Teacher Appreciation Day. Google it if you don't believe me. Shoot, even Michelle Rhee's anti-teacher organization StudentsFirst is recognizing that, albeit only to get people's contact information in a list-building exercise. So what does President Obama do? He declares it National Charter Schools Week.
This seems to imply that Obama deliberately chose this week, and on his own volition designated it as National Charter Schools week. This is how I read it, at least, and judging from the comments I was not alone in that.

In fact, National Charter Schools week has been observed the first week of May for at least a decade-It was first designated by congress in 2001, and formally proclaimed for the first time by George W. Bush in 2002.

The diary goes on to raise some very legitimate points about the problems with charter schools-but then closes by saying this:

Asking America to celebrate this troubled experiment instead of the traditional celebration of teachers in all types of schools is an insult not only to all teachers but to students and parents at the vast majority of schools in the country.
Implying, as does the title, that he is choosing to observe one over the other.

Again, false.

When you Google "Obama National Teacher Appreciation Week"-the first results are reposts of this story, but then immediately after you see this:

President Obama Welcomes Outstanding Teachers to the White House


On a day set aside for National Teacher Appreciation Day, President Obama hosted 2011's National and State Teachers of the Year for a reception in the White House Rose Garden. The President thanked them for their service to America's youth, and shared the story of one of his favorite teachers.

   

But even after all this time, I still remember the special teachers that touched my life.  And we all do.  We remember the way they challenged us, the way they made us feel, how they pushed us, the encouragement that they gave us, the values that they taught us, the way they helped us to understand the world and analyze it and ask questions.  They helped us become the people that we are today.

    For me, one of those people was my fifth-grade teacher, Ms. Mabel Hefty.  When I walked into Ms. Hefty’s classroom for the first time, I was a new kid who had been living overseas for a few years, had a funny name nobody could pronounce.  But she didn’t let me withdraw into myself.  She helped me believe that I had something special to say.  She made me feel special.  She reinforced the sense of empathy and thoughtfulness that my mother and my grandparents had tried hard to instill in me -- and that’s a lesson that I still carry with me as President.

    Ms. Hefty is no longer with us, but I often think about her and how much of a difference she made in my life.  And everybody has got a story like that, about that teacher who made the extra effort to shape our lives in important ways.

In addition to honoring the teachers who had come to Washington, President Obama spoke of the need to continue recruiting the very best students and professionals to become teachers if we want to keep America competitive in the 21st century economy.

   

And that’s why we’ve set a goal of preparing 100,000 new teachers in the field of science, technology, engineering, and math over the next decade -- fields that will give students the skills they need to compete with their peers anywhere in the world.  And to help those teachers succeed, I’ve called on Congress to move quickly to fix No Child Left Behind in a way that makes it less punitive, more focused, more flexible.  That means doing a better job of preparing teachers, doing a better job of measuring their success in the classroom, helping them improve in providing professional development, and then holding them accountable.  Because if we truly believe in the importance of teachers, then we’ve got to help teachers become more effective.

    In the words of one of my favorite poets, William Butler Yeats, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”  Teachers here today, and thousands like them, are surrounded every day by young people who will shape our future.  But it takes a special person to recognize that.  It takes a special person to light that fire, to raise our children’s expectations for themselves, and never give up on them no matter how challenging it might be.

    All of us are here because at some point somebody did that for us.  And so today, we are honored to recognize these outstanding men and women and all the teachers like them who have always had –- and will continue to have -– such an important impact on our lives.

President Obama wasn't the only one in his Administration to give teachers their due recognition today. Dr. Jill Biden posted here on WhiteHouse.gov about her favorite teacher in high school, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan sent out a video message encouraging folks to participate in National Teacher Appreciation Day. You can tweet a message using the hashtag #thankateacher.
Then there is the official website for the U.S. Department of Education:

Photobucket

No less than 6 stories on the front page about National Teacher Appreciation Week. Stories about National Charter School Week? None. Zilch. Nada.

There is the Op-Ed Arnie Duncan wrote in the Huffington Post-honoring National Teacher Appreciation Week and calling for higher salaries.

There is the corny but sweet YouTube video: "My Favorite Teacher"

There is this Tweet on the official White House Twitter feed:
Photobucket

On that feed, I noticed there are Tweets about National Nurses Week, which is also observed the first week of May. Notice that there is no Presidential Proclamation made about that either. In fact, there are no Presidential Proclamations for any of the following National Observances:

National Drug & Alcohol Related Birth Defects Week
National Anxiety & Depression Awareness Week
National Family Week
National Hospital Week
National Hug Holiday Week
National Pet Week
National Raisin Week
National Wildflower Week
So, why would a president choose to make a proclamation for National Charter Schools Week and not National Hug Week, National Raisin Week, or National Teacher Appreciation Week? It may have something to do with the fact that Congress Requires him to. (Correction-Formally requests for him to-at least as recently as 2010. Please see update)

And the significance of any of this? Nominal, at best. These are ceremonial window dressings-not policy. And certainly there is a debate to be had about how the Obama Administration has approached education policy. Debates like this are important for our party.

But to suggest that the Administration has snubbed teachers in favor of charter schools this week is simply wrong.

4:42 AM PT: It's been pointed out in the comments that the resolution I linked to only applied to 2002. I was able to find similar resolutions from 2009 and 2010 here:

http://www.opencongress.org/...

http://thomas.loc.gov/...

 I don't have the time to scour the internet to find a more recent version of this obscure resolution, but if anyone here is able to find one please leave it in the comments and I'll update.

It was also pointed out that the bill does not literally require him to make the proclamation, just requests that he do so. Noted. Original point still stands-it's procedural window dressing, and National Teachers Week has not been ignored by anyone in this administration.

UPDATE-Laura Clawson has responded in the comments and also updated her diary to reflect the history of the Proclamation. H/T to her for doing so. She also pointed out a mistake I made-the article I linked to initially was from 2011. Here is Obama honoring the Teacher of the Year for 2012:
Obama honors Burbank's Rebecca Mieliwocki as teacher of the year

This is the front page of the White House Website as of today:

Photobucket

As you can see there is an article on the front page about National Teacher Appreciation Week.

I am also stating again, for the record, that I respect Laura as a diarist and think she provides great coverage of labor issues-I just happened to disagree with her story. Please keep the comments civil and do not personally attack her.

My daughter is also home sick today so my apologies if I don't respond to comments immediately.

*UPDATE #2*

Just ran across this interesting article in Slate Magazine and thought it might clear up some of the confusion here:

National Awareness Month Awareness MonthHow does the president decide whether your cause deserves a proclamation?

How do official awareness months, weeks, or days come to be? Many of them date back decades, such as National Diabetes Month or Law Day, which President Eisenhower established as "a day of national dedication to the principles of government under law." To get your own, you simply have to ask. Requests usually go through the Office of the Public Liaison, and the proclamations themselves are written by the office of the staff secretary.

Originally posted to The Girl Who Climbed Trees on Tue May 08, 2012 at 10:22 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Federation, Logic and Rhetoric at Daily Kos, and Political Language and Messaging.

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  •  For the record (332+ / 0-)
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    Laura Clawson does phenomenal work for Daily Kos Labor. This is not intended to be a slam on her-I just wanted to set the record straight.

    You must work-we all must work-for a world that is worthy of its children. - Pablo Casals. Please support TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3) for victims and survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation.

    by SwedishJewfish on Tue May 08, 2012 at 10:03:25 PM PDT

    •  That doesn't excuse sloppy-ass journalism (24+ / 0-)

      We howl when newspapsers and TV fuck up, we should do the same here as well.

      See the losers in the best bars, meet the winners in the dives -Neil Young

      by danoland on Wed May 09, 2012 at 03:05:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm pretty sure "we" just did. nt (5+ / 0-)
      •  Who is being "sloppy" here? (5+ / 0-)

        Did or did not Obama issue a proclamation recognizing "Charter Schools Week"?  Yes, he did.

        Was he required by Congress to do so?  No, he was not.  This diarist posted the text to a bill claiming that he was, but it turned out to be a simple reqeust, not a requirement.

        Did or did not Obama issue a proclamation recognizing "Teacher Appreciation Week"?  No, he did not.  This diarist posted a video as evidence of her claim that he did, but it turned out to be an event from last year.

        Could his ceremony a few weeks ago honoring one teacher be considered a recognition of "Teacher Appreciation Week?"    That is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose.  But it is not, in fact, a formal recognition of "Teacher Appreciation Week".   It recognizes one teacher, not all of them.  

        Personally, I don't find this particular issue to be of great importance.  What matters to me is policy, not window dressing.  And the President's policy on charter schools isn't very good from the standpoint of somebody who supports public schooling.  

        Regardless, I don't understand how it is that Laura Clawson's diary is the one deemed to be the "wrong" one and this diary to be "correcting" the other, when the most important "facts" in this diary are inaccurate, and the factual points made in the other are true.

        •  I corrected that error (8+ / 0-)

          about the bill as soon as it was pointed out to me. You can see it right next to the link AND in the update. The Teacher of the Year Award was presented along with other items in honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week.

          I also have shown how the official website has an announcement on the front page about it. There is no announcement regarding Charter School Week on the main page.

          Please show me an error I've made that I did not correct-I'm very transparent about this, and have no problem admitting to and addressing mistakes. Laura has updated her diary as well to address the issues that myself and other posters here have brought up. This is not a competition, it's a discussion.

          You must work-we all must work-for a world that is worthy of its children. - Pablo Casals. Please support TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3) for victims and survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation.

          by SwedishJewfish on Wed May 09, 2012 at 10:43:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree with you (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SwedishJewfish, Tonedevil, mrkvica

            I laud you for making the necessary changes.  As soon as you found out certain facts about your claims, you made corrections to them.

            However, the tone from other commenters in this diary towards Laura are not as diplomatic as yours.  And it is to these commenters at which my comments are directed.

            Perhaps this is because of the tone of your title, which flatly proclaims Laura's diary to be "wrong" after saying that "facts matter".  In other words, you allege that she's wrong about the facts when, in fact, she is not wrong about the facts.

            You may disagree with her as to whether Obama's recognition of the 2012 "Teacher of the Year"  is sufficient recognition for "Teacher Appreciation Week" generally (despite the fact that he never mentioned Appreciation Week in his remarks given during the presentation, and that the event was held two weeks before Appreciation Week).  And you may You may disagree with her that a few blurbs on the White House website or a "tweet" is sufficient recognition.  But to claim that she's "WRONG" is, well, wrong!

            He DID personally proclaim National Charter Schools week.  He DID NOT personally proclaim Teacher Appreciation Week.  Those facts, as pointed out by Laura, are simply factually correct.

            •  I'm not a fan of the title either (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              thegood thebad thedumb

              I wrote that diary at around 2am, I was having a hard time coming up with anything that worked because I was exhausted. I admit it reads a little condescending-that wasn't my intention, but it's kind of too late to change it at this point. And I do think that her original diary was wrong, for the reasons I pointed out-Her diary insinuated that Obama was choosing to honor one and not the other. It insinuated that he was the one who chose this week to honor charter schools when it was chosen over a decade ago. It states that he is "replacing" Teacher Appreciation week with Charter School Week. All of these assertions are incorrect. I did my best to present this in a way that was respectful and not inflammatory.

              I have made a plea in the diary and in the comments to keep it civil and not attack Laura personally. I don't have control over what people say though, and any diary about Obama inevitably turns into a flaming pie fight no matter how hard you try to prevent that from happening. This is why I normally don't even comment in them, let alone write them.

              You must work-we all must work-for a world that is worthy of its children. - Pablo Casals. Please support TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3) for victims and survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation.

              by SwedishJewfish on Wed May 09, 2012 at 11:24:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You even echoed the sentiment in your tip jar (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SwedishJewfish

                So again, it's obvious to me that your goal here is to foster real discussion vs. engage in pie fighting.

                If my original comment came off as harsh against you, I apologize as well.  My goal wasn't to criticize you either - merely to point out to other commenters that calling Laura a "sloppy journalist" or casting sinister aspersions about her motives before looking at all the facts involved is uncalled for.

            •  But LC WAS wrong on the facts (0+ / 0-)

              And YOU were wrong too. You failed to read  and/or acknowledge the updates/clarification that SJ posted.

              You wrote

              Did or did not Obama issue a proclamation recognizing "Teacher Appreciation Week"?  No, he did not.  This diarist posted a video as evidence of her claim that he did, but it turned out to be an event from last year.
              But SJ did NOT post that video of Obama recognizing MULTIPLE teachers (accidentally posting video from last year - and later posting identical video from this year's event) as evidence that he issued a proclamation. She posted that video as ONE example of evidence that Obama did much MORE than a simple, unimportant proclamation to acknowledge his appreciation for teachers.

              LC was wrong on the facts. She looked at only one behavior by the Obama Administration and gave that one behavior way too much importance and relevance. She thought that the president and his staff use thse kinds of proclamations in some substantive way to show what they support and don't support, and that's an inaccurate way to look at proclamations.

              And no, he didn't really "personally" proclaim it. His signature, as president, is officially on every proclamation, but, again, that doesn't show that he and his administration think that it is more important than some efforts that don't get proclamations, as this diarist pointed out below when she cited several other valuable efforts that haven't gotten presidential proclamations. But that isn't really the point LC's diary made anyway.

              Her diary states that Obama chose to honor one group instead of another group, and there's no evidence of that. There's no evidence that a request to issue a proclamation for Teacher Appreciation week was submitted and rejected, and without that evidence, there's nothing whatsoever to tell us that the Obama Administration chose to honor one group but not the other. All it tells us is that one group successfully requested a proclamation and the other group did not 'successfully request' a proclamation.

              So, did the submit one and it got rejected? Then she could factully say that Obama chose to support one group INSTEAD OF another. But if that second group didn't ever submit a request for a proclamation, then it's NOT "factually correct" to assert that he chose one group to honor instead of another group.

              •  Hold on. Before you say I'm wrong (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tonedevil, mrkvica, MadRuth

                Ask yourself whether you, in fact, have all the facts correct.

                (This is all so silly, but I simply can't stand somebody flatly telling me I'm "wrong" when the facts are right there in front of us.)

                But SJ did NOT post that video of Obama recognizing MULTIPLE teachers (accidentally posting video from last year - and later posting identical video from this year's event) as evidence that he issued a proclamation. She posted that video as ONE example of evidence that Obama did much MORE than a simple, unimportant proclamation to acknowledge his appreciation for teachers.
                The video in question IS STILL THE 2011 VIDEO.  There is no other video.  "This year's event" was a recognition of the Teacher of the Year, NOT Teacher Appreciation Week.  It took place on April 24, 2012 - two weeks before Appreciation Week, it recognized ONE teacher, and did NOT even mention Teacher Appreciation week in the President's remarks.  For you to claim that this video as "proof" that he recognized Appreciation Week is factually incorrect. Period.
                LC was wrong on the facts. She looked at only one behavior by the Obama Administration and gave that one behavior way too much importance and relevance.
                That is not an example of being wrong on the facts, it's you coming to a different conclusion of opinion.  YOU feel that she gave too much importance and relevance to something.  That isn't something that can be proven or disproven.  So stop it with this "she's wrong on the facts" argument.  
                There's no evidence that a request to issue a proclamation for Teacher Appreciation week was submitted and rejected, and without that evidence, there's nothing whatsoever to tell us that the Obama Administration chose to honor one group but not the other.
                Absolutely there is!  In this very diary there is a screenshot of a twitter account from May 7th in which the WH posts a photo from the Teacher of the Year event (again, which took place two weeks prior) and says "Happy Appreciation Week"!  In other words, they plainly knew that it was Appreciation Week.  In the case of "Charter School Week", they had a formal request to issue a proclamation.  They chose to do it.  In the case of "Appreciation Week" there is no evidence they got a formal proclamation.  Instead, they chose to recognize it on their Twitter account and on their website rather than making a formal proclamation.

                Now, perhaps are you claiming that unless somebody makes a formal request that the President make a proclamation about something, he can't issue such a proclamation himself?  That's absurd.  Of course he can.

                So one got a proclamation and one didn't.  That's a simple fact.  And some people have a problem with that fact.  You think a Tweet and web page recognition is enough, other's don't.  OK, great.  Where were we?

                Again this is all so silly.  Policy matters.  This crap does not.  I'd just as soon ignore it all if it wasn't for this damned internet rule.

                •  What's really silly, (3+ / 0-)

                  and I'm certainly not blaming you, is that this has become an issue, at least here, of whether Obama gave as much attention to teachers as he did to charter school appreciation.

                  The real point, the only point that matters, is that Obama was promoting charter schools at all. This is how Obama has moved the country, and the debate on most issues, to the right.

                  Let me remind people that charter schools are a scam. They offer no improvement to education. They are just a sneaky way to privatize (read corporatize) education without having to call it that.

                  Obama is an idiot if he believes that teachers, and public schools are the problem with education. And that's the real point. Most idiotic and corrupt policy by the Obama administration.

                  The real problem with education is that it's not designed or capable of saving students from complete societal collapse. And that's what's going on here. These schools are failing because society is failing.

                  I've personally seen what happened to schools and students in war torn Kosovo. And it's startlingly similar to what's happening to inner city schools and students.

                  My wife teaches high school. Or at least she tries to. What she really spends way too much time doing is trying to manage lives that are in crisis. Students who have no homes, parents on drugs, can't afford to even participate properly, lured by gangs and other corrupting influences.

                  No wonder. And the idiots of the right, including Obama and Arne Duncan, want to blame teachers? Fuck them.

                  Teachers are already doing too much. They are not mental health professionals, which so many war torn students of the American nightmare really need. They are not cops, and they are not surrogate parents.

                  But those are the roles teachers are forced to play just to get a chance to educate many of these kids.

                  And Obama's solution is to turn over our schools to for profit corporations? Idiot.

                  We spend about 700 billion dollars a year on education. The so-called "reform" agenda is about nothing more than greedy people getting their hands on that money.

                •  I didn't "feel" that she did something (0+ / 0-)

                  She UNDENIABLY did something wrong and gave that too much credence and importance.

                  There are countless, clearly important things that also don't get presidential proclamations. They're done as a result of groups LOBBYING for that recognition, NOT as a result of a White House determining what's important to them.

                  They chose the more important way to recognize an event, rather than a LESS important way. They gave teachers a gold medal rather than a bronze medal, and you want to complain that they didn't give them BOTH medals? Really?

                  And your reading comprehension failed you - the thing that there's NO evidence of is that a request to have a proclamation issued was REJECTED. There's NO evidence that one was EVER submitted. The absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence.

                  And Obama did MULTIPLE things to acknowledge his appreciation for teachers. The fact that ONE of those things happens at a different doesn't diminish that it in fact shows his appreciation for teachers, which is EXACTLY what I wrote. Again, a reading comprehension fail on your part.

                  Good job of missing that factual info in order to run with your incorrect conclusions!

        •  You fail in the same way Laura did (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Boris Godunov, DaveW

          In giving way, way too much importance to the proclamations themselves as well as misunderstanding how these kinds of proclamations are created and inspired.

          They are lobbied for by special interest groups. Apparently, teachers/PTA's/NEA have never lobbied for a proclamation about National Teacher Appreciation Day, and so they don't get that proclamation. Instead, they get a full week's worth of highlighting from the appropriate cabinet secretary, as well as televised honors in the last week of April where the president raves about teachers, as well as postings on the White House.gov site from multiple people within the White House appreciating remarkable teachers in their lives, etc, etc.

          Charter schools got one stupid proclamation. Teachers didn't get that relatively unimportant proclamation, but got all kinds of other, much more important acknowledgments.

          It's like whining that you didn't get ALL the medals - the Gold, Silver, and Bronze, as well as all the honorable mention ribbons - and you ONLY got the Gold medal.

          Special interest groups (sometimes a "group" is Congress) ask for and get these proclamations. Saying that the Congress demanded this recognition when it was more like a recommendation is a minor quibble - and so it's not true that "the most important facts" in this diary aren't true.

          What IS true is that you ignored a correction/update, you elevated one minor quibble and claimed that one minor and corrected fact was instead multiple "most important" facts. What IS true is that Laura misunderstood how important a proclamation is, and how they're created, and she ignored other relevant data about what the Obama administration has done.

    •  Is Laura Clawson apologizing for or correcting her (27+ / 0-)

      mistake, then? Because if she goes silent while her obviously false accusations of the president is spreading around, then I might start thinking she has ulterior motives.

      That's me.

      BTW, thanks SwedishJewfish for this important diary.

      "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

      by zenox on Wed May 09, 2012 at 04:25:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree with the Laura Clawson sentiment. (14+ / 0-)

      She does great work here and I don't recall her ever going off the rails into CT/Obama Derangment land; sometimes our emotions get the better of our reason, and it happens to all of us.

    •  The Obama event you cite is from 2011. (12+ / 0-)

      I'm glad he's acknowledged teachers in past years, and I'm glad that the Department of Ed has done so this year, but the fact remains that this year, the president issued no press release, no statement, and no proclamation about teachers for teacher appreciation week/day.

      So while we can certainly have a discussion about how much weight one places on any of these things -- proclamations, blog posts, statements, etc -- and while I'm happy to look at further evidence you find, I'm sorry, but 2011 doesn't really make up for 2012 in my view.

      That said, I'll update my post with some of the charter week history you've compiled.

      •  Here's the Same Event For This Year (19+ / 0-)

        Too Folk For You. - No matter how progressive the jurisdiction seems, remember this: If you're going to flagrantly violate the laws, it REALLY helps to be white when sentencing time comes.

        by TooFolkGR on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:37:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I Found It By GOOGLING (12+ / 0-)

          "Obama" "Teachers" which is probably something I'd consider doing before I publish an article about same, but that's just me.

          Too Folk For You. - No matter how progressive the jurisdiction seems, remember this: If you're going to flagrantly violate the laws, it REALLY helps to be white when sentencing time comes.

          by TooFolkGR on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:38:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for the link. (9+ / 0-)

            I added it in an update. As to my research methods, I looked at the White House website -- proclamations and press releases (there was no press release on this event for some reason) -- and google news, where I searched specifically for Obama and national teacher appreciation week.

            I'm afraid you and I continue to differ in that I see the failure to issue a formal proclamation for teachers as a serious omission given that the charter schools proclamation was issued. But, you know, reasonable people can disagree.

            •  Actually We Don't Even Disagree on That (10+ / 0-)

              There SHOULD have been a proclamation issued for Teacher Appreciation Week, and I voiced my displeasure that there wasn't to the White House.

              What we actually disagree on is your implication that the White House feels one event should be recognized while they other one shouldn't.... it isn't even an implication, it's what the word "instead" means.

              Too Folk For You. - No matter how progressive the jurisdiction seems, remember this: If you're going to flagrantly violate the laws, it REALLY helps to be white when sentencing time comes.

              by TooFolkGR on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:10:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh, I don't know... (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JVolvo, Tonedevil, ladyjames, wsexson, mrkvica
                proclamations plural:
                * A public or official announcement, esp. one dealing with a matter of great importance
                    Eisenhower signed a proclamation admitting Alaska to the Union
                * The public or official announcement of such a matter
                the government restricted the use of water by proclamation
                * A clear declaration of something
                the proclamation of his passion
                Seems pretty weighty to me.

                Now I'm not saying he 'dissed' teachers. I don't necessarily agree that he did. More that this administration is showing their willingness to proclaim their preference for a robust charter school system. Something I'm pretty sure President Obama has openly declared from day one of his official campaign platform.

                That is what I have a problem with.

                Romney - his fingernails have never been anything but manicured.

                by Pescadero Bill on Wed May 09, 2012 at 09:49:02 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Presidential Proclamation (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SoCalSal, DollyMadison, MKSinSA, Sylv

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                  A Presidential Proclamation is a statement issued by a President on a matter of public policy. They are generally defined as, "The act of causing some state matters to be published or made generally known. A written or printed document in which are contained such matters, issued by proper authority; as the president's proclamation, the governor's, the mayor's proclamation."[1]

                  In the United States, the President's proclamation does not have the force of law, unless authorized by Congress. If Congress were to pass an act, which would take effect upon the happening of a contingent event, and subsequently the President proclaimed that the event happened, then the proclamation would have the force of law. Generally, there are two types of proclamations issued by the U.S. President, “ceremonial,” which designate special observances or celebrate national holidays, and “substantive,” which usually relates to the conduct of foreign affairs and other sworn executive duties. These may be, but are not limited to, matters of international trade, the execution of set export controls, the establishment of tariffs, or the reservation of federal lands for the benefit of the public in some manner.[2]

                  Presidential proclamations are often dismissed as a practical tool for policy making because they are considered to be largely ceremonial or symbolic in nature. However, their issuances have led to important political and historical consequences in the development of the United States. George Washington's Proclamation of Neutrality in 1793 and Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 are some of America's most famous presidential proclamations in this regard.[3]

                  I think we can agree that this wasn't anything approaching the Emancipation Proclamation.

                  Proclamations are pretty much meaningless. They are usually written by the lobbying group themselves, and are free publicity for a particular cause. They have zero effect on policy (other than in those rare examples talked about above)

                  You must work-we all must work-for a world that is worthy of its children. - Pablo Casals. Please support TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3) for victims and survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation.

                  by SwedishJewfish on Wed May 09, 2012 at 09:58:32 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Not all proclamations are created equal (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MKSinSA, Sylv

                  These kinds of proclamations aren't a big deal at all. The link I provided shows that.

                  Groups lobby for these kinds of recognition all the time. So long as the White House staff don't see a lot of downside in agreeing to the request, they issue a presidential proclamation of this type.

                  SOME proclamations ARE more important than others. I fully understand that, and understood it before your post - that's why I said above, "it doesn't mean much in

                  most
                  cases." I understood that some presidential proclamations ARE quite important, and others are of medium importance, and most others are of very little import and don't really represent how the president who 'signed' that proclamation actually feels on that particular topic!
      •  Thank you Laura (19+ / 0-)

        you are absolutely correct, that was an oversight on my part. Here is the ceremony for Teacher of the year, 2012

        Obama honors Burbank's Rebecca Mieliwocki as teacher of the year

        This statement is also on the front page of the official Whitehouse website:

        #ThankATeacher: Your Words of Gratitude

        I will see if there is anything else I can find and make corrections as needed.

        You must work-we all must work-for a world that is worthy of its children. - Pablo Casals. Please support TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3) for victims and survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation.

        by SwedishJewfish on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:49:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  See my update to my post and comment above. (14+ / 0-)

          I think one key point I'd make is that I was looking for equivalent official acknowledgement and honor for teachers. I don't see that here, I just don't.

          Even honoring the teacher of the year, as important as that is and especially as glad as I am to see that this teacher of the year connected the importance of her award to the state of public education and funding, is about one teacher -- it's about one teacher, and I think it's important to honor the profession more generally.

          Your point that charter appreciation started under Bush is well taken -- thank you.

          •  I will just share a bit of insight (11+ / 0-)

            into how this whole proclamation thing works...I served a year with Americorps and part of my job was to get our mayor to issue proclamations to help raise awareness for health issues that affected the community. I always had to ask-I had to contact his press secretary each time, and she would release the proclamation. There are just so many of these National ___ days/weeks/months that it would be a full time job to write proclamations for all of them. So their office only did it by request. The Obama administration may have a similar policy.

            I think it would be great if he issued a formal statement, and I would support a petition to get him to do so. If someone makes one, I'll add it to the diary. We should absolutely do more to honor our teachers-but I think you would agree that it should be in the form of better policies, not proclamations.

            You must work-we all must work-for a world that is worthy of its children. - Pablo Casals. Please support TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3) for victims and survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation.

            by SwedishJewfish on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:25:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  So You Feel an Official White House Ceremony (13+ / 0-)

            To which the National Press is invited, where the President recognizes the teacher of the year and makes four paragraphs of remakrs in support of teachers everywhere, is comparable to a Presidential Proclaimation which--as SJ points out--is in league with "National Raisin Week."

            You REALLY feel that?

            Too Folk For You. - No matter how progressive the jurisdiction seems, remember this: If you're going to flagrantly violate the laws, it REALLY helps to be white when sentencing time comes.

            by TooFolkGR on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:29:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  That's just absurd, IMO (11+ / 0-)

            This seems like you're digging in your heels over being shown to be wrong rather than looking at it fairly.

            One meaningless proclamation about Charter Schools was made.  That's it.

            In the meantime, as the diarist notes, there were several ways in which WH and administration officials honored teachers.  And inviting teachers to the WH for an official ceremony seems more significant to me than a proclamation.

            All of this just stirred completely unnecessary ire at the President from his own constituents right as the general election is starting and we need to unite.  Great.

            •  Well you know, with friends like these... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SoCalSal, DollyMadison, Urizen
            •  He's been a proponent of the charter school (0+ / 0-)

              concept from early on. This is/was a great chance to make him feel the heat for it.

              servility is absurd IMO.

              Romney - his fingernails have never been anything but manicured.

              by Pescadero Bill on Wed May 09, 2012 at 09:55:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And that would have been a FINE diary (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TooFolkGR, Urizen, MKSinSA, Sylv, Boris Godunov

                Going after Obama for his support, even via a pretty meaningless proclamation, for charter schools, would be relevant and accurate.

                What HER diary did explicitly say was that Obama was supporting charter schools INSTEAD OF appreciating teachers, and that's demonstrably false. She misunderstood the import of proclamations, and by inflating their importance and how they come to exist, she jumped to an unsupportable conclusion about Obama honoring charter schools more than teachers. Given the behavior of the Obama Administration with respect to these two events, it's untrue to have suggested that Obama was favoring charter schools over teachers.

                She thought that no proclamation was a slight. There's no evidence it was a slight, though.

          •  You misunderstood the import of this proclamation (5+ / 0-)

            as well as the import of NO proclamation.

            You wrote, in your update,

            I continue to take serious issue with the fact that he formally honored charter schools with a proclamation and did not do the same for teachers though their week was first established in 1953 at the urging of Eleanor Roosevelt.
            Proclamations like the one honoring Charter Schools are basically free ads from groups that support those causes. They mean very little. They're given as a result of lobbying by groups, and aren't created by the White House in response to things that THEY in the White House think are important or relevant.

            You have no evidence that the White House was lobbied to have a proclamation for National Teacher Appreciation week and failed to do so. You have no evidence of disrespect of that celebratory week - in fact, you've been given plenty of evidence that the Obama Administration actually has plenty of respect for teachers.

            What the Obama Administration has done to show their respect and appreciation for teachers far surpasses, in fact, what they've done to show their interest in promoting the Charter Schools acknowledgment. You believed that the lack of a proclamation for teachers was an oversight or even an intentional slight. It wasn't.

            By giving a proclamation for one event, and by doing a lot more to honor teachers, they were showing the relevant importance and respect the different celebrations should receive. They didn't give teachers a bronze award, which is basically what they gave to the charter schools and the National Building Safety month acknowledgements - they gave the teachers the equivalent a gold medal. And since they gave them a gold medal, saying that they didn't also get a bronze medal like they gave the charter schools isn't very relevant.

            •  "free ads from groups that support those causes" (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ladyjames, JVolvo

              That's just great.

              Romney - his fingernails have never been anything but manicured.

              by Pescadero Bill on Wed May 09, 2012 at 09:56:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Why is that a problem? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                worldlotus, MKSinSA

                Causes need to be promoted-this is a vehicle for that. It's not like they issue proclamations on behalf of corporations.

                You must work-we all must work-for a world that is worthy of its children. - Pablo Casals. Please support TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3) for victims and survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation.

                by SwedishJewfish on Wed May 09, 2012 at 10:08:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  No, it's not "great", but it IS politics (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mahakali overdrive, MKSinSA, Sylv

                And EVEN a Democratic president like Barack Obama is a politician. And so he issues a proclamation that it's National Building Safety week - how is that a federal issue that a president should weigh in on? It's not. It's politics.

                The city I live in once gave a local Irish pub a proclamation about its value and contribution to the community. It was signed by the mayor - a guy who liked to hang out in said bar. Does that mean that the bar was actually a valuable contributor to the community, or that it was simple politics and lobbying - the bar owner had asked that the city honor the bar with a proclamation on St Paddy's Day. It was a cool thing for the bar owner to frame and then hang on the wall. It was a promotional device for that bar owner, just like a presidential proclamation is often a promotional announcement for these groups.

                I never said it was great. My exposing of FACTUAL information, in no way, shows that I SUPPORT that behavior.

            •  Ahh, thanks for clarifying how this works. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wsexson, Tonedevil, mrkvica
              "They're given as a result of lobbying by groups..."
              Are you sure you want this to be your explanation of POTUS' decision on Charter School Week?

              Heh, I see below you put a lot of typing effort into stating that Presidential Proclamations really aren't a big deal.  You use getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as your example - yeesh.  Oh, you left out the $10,000 'donation' that accompanies said lobbying for the star.

              Again, are you sure you want to be making such lengthy, detailed statements about how this POTUS can be lobbied for his 'no big deal' (paraphrasing your argument below) proclamation?  Wow.

              To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. - Theodore Roosevelt 1918

              by JVolvo on Wed May 09, 2012 at 10:39:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's cause lobbying (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DollyMadison, worldlotus, Urizen, MKSinSA, Sylv

                which is quite different than the K-Street type of lobbying. Working for a non-profit, I've done this before many times- you contact the press office, say "I would like x politician to issue a proclamation regarding x issue" and you send something in. Then they issue the proclamation. All you have to do is be a non-profit or advocacy group and ask.

                No money is involved.

                You must work-we all must work-for a world that is worthy of its children. - Pablo Casals. Please support TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3) for victims and survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation.

                by SwedishJewfish on Wed May 09, 2012 at 10:48:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah, I AM sure that I want facts to be given (0+ / 0-)

                That is CONSISTENTLY how I behave, unlike you.

                This IS how these kinds of proclamations happen.

                They are NOT created by any president's White House staff to push their agenda - they are lobbied for by members of Congress or by special interest groups or by First Ladies to push their agenda.

                And yeah, it's exactly what I wanted to say. Presidents are politicians, and so they behave like politicians at times, and one of the ways they behave like politicians is by having their stafff issue proclamations like this in their names.

                And again, since this nuance seems to baffle you, my EXPLAINING how this works isn't equivalent to my SUPPORT of the underlying behavior that causes this to happen.

                It's not "my" explanation. It is THE explanation.

                Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame are LOBBIED FOR. Yes, they have to pay money TOO, but they are given because they are lobbied for. There's no evidence that proclamations are given as a result of money changing hands, but there IS evidence that they are given as the result of lobbying - which would be why, when I made the analogy, I ONLY cited those ways in which the two events were ANALOGOUS. Funny how that works. Analogies are the usage of two different things that have some similarities that are relevant! If this baffles you, you might want to read up on how to properly use analogies, and how things that are dissimilar in some ways but similar in other ways can be used in analogies by citing those similarities and ignoring the dissimilarities.

                Oh, and baseless personal attacks, in this case going after me for complaining that I go into detailed explanations, are yet another example of YOU digging your own hole here. Thanks for continuing to dig your own hole even deeper.

                •  I let it slide before. Since you seem to not (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tonedevil, mrkvica

                  understand what ad hominem actually is, I present Merriam-Webster:

                  Definition of AD HOMINEM
                  1: appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect

                  2: marked by or being an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions made

                  Origin of AD HOMINEM
                  New Latin, literally, to the person
                  First Known Use: 1598

                  I hope that helps you avoid further misunderstandings and inaccurate accusations.

                  Responding to your contention that Presidential Proclamations are not a big deal (and how they are lobbied for) does not equal "baseless personal attack!!11".

                  But you knew that.  Sigh...

                  To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. - Theodore Roosevelt 1918

                  by JVolvo on Wed May 09, 2012 at 11:29:57 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yet again, another baseless ad hominem (0+ / 0-)

                    When you can't refute a thing I wrote.

                    Discussing HOW LONG my posts are is an ad hominem.

                    You're discussing ME, and how I chose to write, rather than the CONTENT of the posts. Talking about me taking the time and making the effort to cover the bases being discussed to disallow people like you wiggle room to find flaws in my arguments is NOT something that can legitimately be scoffed at, as though it's a bad character trait - yet you did.

                    That makes it a personal attack - as I described, specifically, in my post above, where I wrote

                    Oh, and baseless personal attacks, in this case going after me for complaining that I go into detailed explanations, are yet another example of YOU digging your own hole here. Thanks for continuing to dig your own hole even deeper.
                    And so, your CLUELESS response, alleging that I was claiming that you
                    Responding to your contention that Presidential Proclamations are not a big deal (and how they are lobbied for)
                    was the baseless attack?

                    Totally bogus and without a shred of support, and clear evidence that your reading comprehension stinks.

                    And yet again, baselessly asserting that I was falsely accusing you of a personal attack, when in fact I had ACCURATELY accused you of a verifiable personal attack (and remember my blockquote above, where I highlighted how I had specifically described the ad hominem?) - that's yet another baseless ad hominem. I told you specifically what the ad hominem was - yet you missed it. That's YOUR shortcoming, not mine.

                    And asserting that I somehow don't understand what an ad hominem is, when I've clearly demonstrated that I DO, in fact, understand it quite well? That's yet another baseless personal attack.

                    Keep digging. Please.

                    •  Aiiieeee! Personal attacks: (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Tonedevil, mrkvica, MadRuth

                      "your CLUELESS response"

                      "and clear evidence that your reading comprehension stinks.

                      THAT'S how it's done!  Excellent attacks!  See the difference?

                      To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. - Theodore Roosevelt 1918

                      by JVolvo on Wed May 09, 2012 at 11:59:06 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yes, I DO see the difference (0+ / 0-)

                        I was actually replying to what you said, and ACCURATELY described your behavior.

                        YOU were clueless in missing the SPECIFIC BEHAVIOR on your part that I clearly cited in my post.

                        I pointed out YOUR behavior.

                        You, on the other hand, baselessly accused ME of not accurately pointing out your personal attack.

                        Your cluelessness as demonstrated above IS evidence of your failure in reading comprehension. Again, an accurate depiction of someone's behavior is NOT an ad hominem.

                        Rather than going to a dictionary, you might want to try (if you actually wanted to inform yourself, instead of simply misusing a link to make a baseless personal attack, as you did a couple of posts ago) a link about logical fallacies, like this one.

                        There it gives a much better explanation of ad hominem, and explains WHY it's a fallacious way to argue.

                        What I did was point out how YOUR argument failed, and WHY it failed. You had poor reading comprehension, so despite the fact that I specifically pointed out the EXACT behavior on your part I was describing as a baseless personal attack, you missed it. You missing it, despite the fact that it was clearly and explicitly described, makes YOU clueless, and therefore refutes YOUR argument that there was no personal attack.

                        Your behavior was entirely relevant there in debunking YOUR assertion that I had falsely claimed that there was a personal attack. I accurately depicted a personal attack.

                        As that link I provided explains,

                        An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument.
                        I didn't bring up an irrelevant fact. I brought up a VERY relevant fact - that I had pointed out the specific baseless personal attack, but you had cluelessly missed it - thereby digging your own hole! I didn't reject your argument (the argument that I had incorrectly pointed out a personal attack where none existed) due to an irrelevant fact about you.

                        Really, you REALLY need to stop digging. I suspect you won't, but really, you clearly don't understand what an ad hominem is.

                        Your implication that somehow my argument is less than it could be because I am thorough in what I write? That's a personal attack which has nothing whatsoever to do with the argument I was making in that post. The efforts I go to in order to make my arguments cogent and on point doesn't diminish the argument - yet that was your implication.

                        Your failure to grasp that I had specifically identified your comment which was a personal attack, and therefore had falsely accused me of inventing a personal attack where none existed? HIGHLY relevant to my refutation of your argument!

                        I swear, get a clue. I didn't

                        attempt to counter another’s claims or conclusions by attacking the person, rather than addressing the argument itself.

                        I specifically addressed your argument and blew it away with accurate depictions of your behavior. You made an ad hominem, fallacious argument when you brought up how long my previous post was.

                        And I pointed out your fallacious argument when you made reference to comments I've made on Zimmerman diaries - that had nothing to do with any arguments I've made in this diary.

                        You should stop digging. But please, don't stop. Keep digging.

                        •  Gosh, that's a lot. And you're really not making (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Tonedevil, MadRuth

                          sense at this point:

                          Really, you REALLY need to stop digging.
                          You should stop digging. But please, don't stop. Keep digging.
                           
                          Which is it?  Do you know?

                          ---------------

                          Okay, you are obviously way more invested in this than I am.  It was kinda funny at first: Presidential Proclamation is no big deal, just lobby for it: voilà.  

                          Then I figured out you were saying since he had the public event recognizing the teacher that that's what's important, pay no attention to the WH/Presidential action (proclamation for Charter Schools).  So his words matter more than the action.  Yeesh, I know I've heard that one before.

                          --------------

                          General fact: no matter how many times I say you are a blue alien from Pluto, it wouldn't make it so.  Even if I expounded on your blueness.  At length.  Or your Plutonian heritage.  Or your alienness.  All that doesn't make you a blue alien from Pluto.

                          Extrapolate...

                          To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. - Theodore Roosevelt 1918

                          by JVolvo on Wed May 09, 2012 at 03:20:52 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Yet again, baseless personal attacks (0+ / 0-)

                            Is ALL you seem to have.

                            You SHOULD stop digging - for your own good and for the good of this site.

                            But I hope you don't, so that you continue to make a fool of yourself.

                            The fact that THIS baffled you? Yet again, another one of YOUR shortcomings, not mine.

                            And yeah, it's not my fault either that YOU and Laura Clawson gave too much weight to the proclamation - that you and others misunderstood the meaning behind how those are created.

                            And OF COURSE one should judge Obama (and everyone one else too) on EVERYTHING he does, not simply on one aspect of his behavior. And so, in this case, one SHOULD look at all the ways he honors and shows his appreciation for teachers, and not simply whether or not he issued a proclamation.

                            It's NOT, as you falsely claim, that one should look at his words matter more than his actions. Apparently this is yet another example of YOU being clueless. One should look at ALL of his behaviors AS WELL AS properly evaluating the import of each behavior. Laura gave too much import to the proclamations, and gave NO value to the other actions by Obama, the White House and the Obama Administration's Dept of Education.

                            And yeah, as I ALREADY explained to you, ONLY accurate portrayals of another person aren't personal attacks.

                            Calling an abortion provider a murderer, when they're providing a legal medical procedure, IS an insult. Calling Scott Peterson a murderer is NOT an insult.

                            Calling ME an alien, without any evidence that I am actually an alien? An insult. Calling you clueless, after documenting your clueless behavior? Not a personal attack.

                            If someone needs to repeat something until it gets through to them - it'd be YOU. I've never demonstrated ANY inability to extrapolate and grasp analogies - YOU, on the other hand, have demonstrated, over and over again, your shortcomings in those areas. Again, get a clue.

                            Stop digging.

      •  You give WAY too much weight to a proclamation (8+ / 0-)

        And that's the flaw with your diary.

        You assumed that it means that National Teachers Appreciation week is less important than National Charter School week because there's a proclamation for one and not for the other.

        But that's not true. In fact, it's similar to having a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame nowadays. Stars, and their agents and movie studios, lobby for those sidewalk stars, and they're granted based upon how good their representatives are at making a case for those sidewalk honors, and not how influential and talented those stars are.

        The same thing happens with proclamations. If the White House is lobbied to make that proclamation, then they do. But that doesn't mean that the events for which proclamations are created are more important than every celebration that doesn't get a proclamation. In fact, giving an event a proclamation isn't very important at all.

        And Obama's Dept of Education IS celebrating teachers in multiple ways. And Obama did with his acknowledgment of teachers just a few days ago in the White House. His words of praise to the teachers assembled there brought tears to my eyes. His White House staff and others on the WH blog have also been involved in praising teachers.

        Your diary stated that the Obama Administration was honoring Charter Schools INSTEAD OF Teachers, and that's demonstrably false. There is NOT only one way to honor someone or some group. They needn't issue a proclamation to honor teachers - that was your failed assumption.

        Your assertion that he issued no statements about appreciating teachers is false. His administration represents him, and the Dept of Education sure DID issue those statements.

        Here's some of what he said a few days ago in praise of teachers.

        Now, let's face it, a lot of important people visit the White House.  (Laughter.)  But to young people in classrooms around the country, nobody is more important than the men and women that we honor here today -- the State and National Teachers of the Year.
        So we’ve got a particular responsibility as elected officials in difficult times, instead of bashing teachers to support them.  We should be giving states the resources to keep good teachers on the job and reward the best ones.  And we should grant our educators the flexibility to teach with creativity and passion in the classroom and not just teaching to the test.  And we should allow schools to replace teachers, who, even with the right resources and support, just aren’t helping our kids to learn.

        Because we’ve all got something at stake here.  Our parents, our grandparents -- they didn't build the world’s most prosperous economy and the strongest middle class in the world out of thin air.  It started with a world-class education system.  That was the foundation.  And in the long run, no issue will have a bigger impact in our success as a country and the success of our citizens.

        So every day, when teachers like you put in long hours, or dig into your own pockets to pay for school supplies, or tweak lessons so they’re even better than they were last year, you’re not just serving your schools or your students, you’re also serving your country.  And you’re helping to preserve the basic promise of America, that no matter who you are, where you come from, what you look like, what your last name is, you can succeed.  You can make it if you try, if you put in the effort.

        How much more appreciation would he have shown if he had announced a pretty meaningless "proclamation" in addition to what he's consistently said and what the Dept of Education has done this week?
    •  SJ: Please Add This (10+ / 0-)

      These are the President's remarks on teachers from THIS YEAR (two weeks ago at the Teacher of the Year Ceremony).

      I can't PROVE his fingers weren't crossed behind his back when he made them I guess.

      http://www.whitehouse.gov/...

      Too Folk For You. - No matter how progressive the jurisdiction seems, remember this: If you're going to flagrantly violate the laws, it REALLY helps to be white when sentencing time comes.

      by TooFolkGR on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:57:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just found this article (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DollyMadison, worldlotus, MKSinSA

      Explains how these proclamations come to be:

      http://www.slate.com/...

      How do official awareness months, weeks, or days come to be? Many of them date back decades, such as National Diabetes Month or Law Day, which President Eisenhower established as "a day of national dedication to the principles of government under law." To get your own, you simply have to ask. Requests usually go through the Office of the Public Liaison, and the proclamations themselves are written by the office of the staff secretary.

      You must work-we all must work-for a world that is worthy of its children. - Pablo Casals. Please support TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3) for victims and survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation.

      by SwedishJewfish on Wed May 09, 2012 at 10:09:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm glad you did this. (49+ / 0-)

    I have to admit that my heart sank when I read that diary and even though I saw the ceremony for the teacher of the year, it just didn't connect.  I feel better now..:)


    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Tue May 08, 2012 at 10:57:14 PM PDT

  •  Mrs. Hefty was AMAZING! (42+ / 0-)

    I had another of Castle Hall's best for fifth grade, but everyone loved Mrs. Hefty. Placement was very deliberate at Punahou, especially in elementary school, especially for new students. I'm sure placing shy, bright B.O. with the extremely nurturing & highly focused Mrs. Hefty was no accident.

    For fifth grade, I was placed with a nurturing teacher, too, who knew how to work with bright kids who needed stricter discipline than sweet little B.O. Heh.

    I will simply fall over if/when the Prez ever mentions a certain  high school history teacher in one of his 'influential teacher' stories. Aka my mom! ;-)

    Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

    by earicicle on Tue May 08, 2012 at 11:05:27 PM PDT

  •  Good investigating (21+ / 0-)

    I also checked the dates for previous years just to be sure, and the charter appreciation overlapped teacher appreciation in previous years as well.  Thanks

  •  I thought something (11+ / 0-)

    didn't seem right about the other diary. . .

    Thank you for taking the time to research this.

    I appreciate it.

  •  Ok I'm embarrassed to be asking this (5+ / 0-)

    But what exactly is a charter school? I've heard about them for years and sorta kinda think that I know what they are (government-subsidized for-profit private schools?). But what are they really, why are they evil (in the eyes of many on the left), are they no better than public schools, on average, and what is their relation to vouchers? Also, do they hire only non-AFT teachers and non-union staff?

    Sorry, but this is one issue I haven't been following closely, obviously. I am going to watch a documentary on them, The Lottery, though, and hopefully that'll help.

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

    by kovie on Wed May 09, 2012 at 12:01:20 AM PDT

    •  Charter schools are a mixed bag, IMO (22+ / 0-)

      They were first started by teachers, actually-and designed as smaller, more specialized schools for kids who weren't doing well in the traditional public school environment but couldn't afford private school. They can be great for certain students.

      What happened is that a lot of them were taken over by for-profit corporations-it's become it's own cottage industry. There are also different rules for Charter Schools-teachers are usually not able to form unions, their teachers often don't need to meet the same educational requirements as public school teachers, so they end up taking jobs away from people who have gone through all of the education and training. They can also be selective about who they accept-they can reject kids with special needs, for example. This means that their test scores are often skewed upwards and it looks like they are out-performing public schools. Money that could be spent investing in public schools goes to them instead. There are a whole litany of problems with them from a progressive standpoint.

      I went to a charter school my senior year of high school and it was terrible. It was for kids who basically got expelled from every other school so it was just all the "bad kids" together, and the teachers let us do whatever we wanted basically. One of the teachers would even get stoned with us. At the time I thought that was great, but I basically learned nothing my senior year. This was in 2003-things may have changed since then. But that was my experience.

      You must work-we all must work-for a world that is worthy of its children. - Pablo Casals. Please support TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3) for victims and survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation.

      by SwedishJewfish on Wed May 09, 2012 at 12:12:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So basically they started out as good ideas (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Actbriniel, GoGoGoEverton, JVolvo, Smoh, quill

        by good people with good intentions, and then got taken over and ruined by Mitt Romney types who just wanted to turn a high profit?

        Why does Obama support them? And does he really?

        And what's the word on someone like Eva Moskowitz? She seems to have a lot of enemies. Are they justified in their loathing of her?

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

        by kovie on Wed May 09, 2012 at 12:33:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Because many charters schools are worth supporting (9+ / 0-)

          Not all charter schools are bad just like not all public schools are bad.

          •  If we supported public schools, we wouldn't need (9+ / 0-)

            charter schools.

            "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars" --Casey Kasem

            by netop on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:52:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes and no (5+ / 0-)

              I'm a huge supporter of public education. And I say this from the perspective of an educator in a public system who attended several different types of both public and private schools myself.

              A very neutral evaluation of not-for-profit-charter-schools would lead me to say that on the one hand, they're a great way to implement more alternative education, curriculum, and smaller and more specialized classes. On the other hand, alternative education can sometimes be as flawed as mainstream education and one can make a strong argument against the need to socially separate kids from one another.

              I can see both perspectives. I continue to favor public education when it's done well, which is not always, and not so much with RTTP initiatives at play. I am also personally not a fan of letter grades or multiple choice tests, both of which are mainstays in public education. I also find the panopticonism, competition, and pledging allegiance to the flag to be unsavory. But these are errors in implementation, not in public schooling itself. I continue to support a better version of public school education which doesn't much exist from all that I've seen in the U.S. Conceptually, however, it's indispensable.

              You might want to re-think those ties. - Erin Brockovich

              by mahakali overdrive on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:59:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Charter schools are public schools. (0+ / 0-)

              They run with public funds. And, in many communities, they are successful and provide a great education to a diverse group of kids. Saying all charter schools are bad is just as misguided as saying all public schools are failing.

        •  My understanding (3+ / 0-)

          is that only a few states allow charter schools to be run for profit. Sayeth wikipedia:

          Charter applicants may include local school districts, institutions of higher education, non-profit corporations, and, in some states, for-profit corporations. Wisconsin, California, Michigan, and Arizona allow for-profit corporations to manage charter schools.
          But I think you are right to focus on that question, kovie. It does seem like the area that is most ripe for abuse, in a similar vein to the for-profit colleges proliferating in recent years.

          Not necessarily bad by design, but you gotta keep a closer eye on them.

          You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

          by tomjones on Wed May 09, 2012 at 06:42:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  some work, some don't (16+ / 0-)

        This blanket condemnation is unworthy of us.  We should know better.  But ee dont and this kind of dishonest advocacy is what drove me away from this place for at least a year.

        I have personal experience with charter and public schools and teachers in Chicago.  I see dedicated teachers from both and I see lousy teachers from both as well.  Our schools are in disarray and need a variety of solutions and experiments to better educate our students.  My dear friend teaching at a charter school makes less money than her public school counterpart but is respected and funded for being an art and drama teacher which does not happen in the Chicago public school.  I have another friend teaching first grade in the inner city, running an urban garden with her students all summer.  She is berated by other teachers for "killing the job". There is virtually no red tape when my charter school friend asks me to do a Shakespeare workshop for her students.  

        This broad brush condemnation of what we don't agree with, veiled with untruths and ridiculous assumptions like the President is just out for profits and against competent, effective education is absurd. Do we really just enjoy screaming and would be happy with a Romney administration so we could scream louder?  This b.s. has got to stop

      •  Minor point of clarification: (9+ / 0-)
        Money that could be spent investing in public schools goes to them instead.
        If you are referring to the funding a school receives for each child it educates, then charter schools should in theory have no impact on public school funding.

        A public school may lose funding for a child it sends to a charter, but the public school has also decreased is student population by one.

        I used to be pretty ardently anti-charter, but I have a friend teaching at a charter school in California.

        He is immensely proud of the fact that the vast majority of his kids are first generation Hispanic immigrants, whose families don't speak English at home, and yet their test scores and graduation rates are near the top for LA.

        There are bad charter schools, to be sure. But there are bad public schools, too.

        You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

        by tomjones on Wed May 09, 2012 at 06:39:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for the clarification (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Smoh, Catte Nappe, askew, Deep Texan, SoCalSal

          I didn't realize that. And you are right...there are good and bad schools in both categories. I'm actually looking into a charter or other type of alternative school for my daughter. She started kindergarten at a public school this year and her experience has been pretty awful.

          You must work-we all must work-for a world that is worthy of its children. - Pablo Casals. Please support TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3) for victims and survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation.

          by SwedishJewfish on Wed May 09, 2012 at 06:47:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have a 15 mo. old daughter myself (5+ / 0-)

            And as much as I love living intown, I just don't think we can sacrifice her future just so we can live somewhere cool and fun.

            So, we are probably going to have to move in a few years, because we don't have the option of a charter school and private schools are ridiculously expensive.

            You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

            by tomjones on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:27:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I can see a use for charter schools (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deep Texan, SwedishJewfish

        in a situation like that, or for schools that specialize in a specific subject (science, technology, music/drama/arts, etc.). But not for general education schools that serve the general student public.

        Mitt Romney: the Etch-A-Sketch candidate in the era of YouTube

        by Cali Scribe on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:55:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  fact check - you're quite wrong! (0+ / 0-)

        First and foremost, charter schools are on a per-state basis. Each state has its own laws. Many don't have charter schools at all, and many have very screwed-up systems due to bad law. But some (particularly Minnesota, where I live) do it well.

        Not all are for-profit. In many states, for-profit charters are not legal - charters must be nonprofits.

        Charter school teachers can still unionize, the same as any other field. Some charter school teachers are unionized. Many, however, do not. I think the fact that so many previously-unionized teachers are comfortable with non-union charters reflects more on the NEA than on the charters, but that's just my opinion.

        Charter schools in Minnesota can't be selective. They have to use a lottery system. That being said, there are definite specializations. For example, at my kids' school, a huge number of students are on some sort of IEP, but almost none are physically handicapped. There are specialist charters for bilingual students too.

        Charter test scores skew not because they're being selective, but because kids at charters are generally the children of parents who are actively involved in their child's education. Such parents tend to be more educated and value education more, which is reflected in their children's abilities.

        Charter schools receive no more state/federal money than regular schools. Money follows the student. How this takes money away from schools is beyond me. Many charters in Minnesota are actually run by large districts in Minneapolis and St Paul, as specialty schools (ie bilingual education). If anything, charters are disadvantaged financially because if they aren't district-associated, they can't benefit from local property tax levies.

        If the Marxist/Islamist cabal was REALLY smart, when they forged Obama's birth certificate back in '61 so he could run for President as an adult, they would have given him a nice American name like "Joe Plumber".

        by Orbital Mind Control Lasers on Wed May 09, 2012 at 02:31:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Private, corporate schools (12+ / 0-)

      that are replacing public schools and want a cut of the public schooling dollars.  Just another Republican 'the private sector will do everything better and cheaper than the public sector if government gets out of the way' idea, along with private prisons, private law officers, and private military contractors like Xe.

      There's nothing to prevent the charter schools from hiring the exact same public school teachers they displace, but it's still more public funds being funneled into private pockets, usually Republican ones, by some amazing coincidence.

      •  I strongly support the 2 charter schools (8+ / 0-)

        in my area.

        The Parker School in Ayer, where students are picked by lottery, is a fantastic place full of innovation, great teachers and great kids...

        and the Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science at WPI is simply amazing. It takes the top students in math and science across the state and turns their senior year into their freshman year at WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute), a fabulous school.

        Most of the students who do this wind up with huge scholarships to WPI, as well. I can also tell you that many of the students there would win valedictorian or salutatorian had they stayed in their regular high school, at least as far as brainpower goes, but many probably wouldn't have excelled, for social reasons.  Mass Academy gives these kids a safe haven to excel, and opens huge doors for them to press forward with exceptional careers.

      •  Here in NYC, Charter schools ARE public schools. (5+ / 0-)

        Admission is free and admittance is lottery-based. In most cases the charter schools are in minority neighborhoods in which the "regular" public schools are failing. AFAIK, they have to meet the same metrics as the the rest of the public schools. Some succeed, some fail and have their charters revoked by the city.

        It is true that many are run by for-profit corporations, and  are not obliged to hire unionized teachers, although I believe a few do.  But since many of these schools have extended hours and school-years, they couldn't hire unionized teachers even if they wanted to, because the union contract won't allow it.

        I'm personally agnostic about charters. I don't like the idea of public education money being funneled into private corporations, and I am pro-union, but I also can't deny that here in NYC charters sometimes do a better job than the regular local public schools.

      •  Not All Charter Schools (5+ / 0-)

        Are Private or Corporate.

        For example ALL Charter Schools in Michigan are public schools.  There are some run by corporations though.  Others are run by independent organizations or in concert with Universities.

        Too Folk For You. - No matter how progressive the jurisdiction seems, remember this: If you're going to flagrantly violate the laws, it REALLY helps to be white when sentencing time comes.

        by TooFolkGR on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:41:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  nonsense (0+ / 0-)

        Seriously. You're doing the liberal equivalent of Obama is a Muslim communist here.

        If the Marxist/Islamist cabal was REALLY smart, when they forged Obama's birth certificate back in '61 so he could run for President as an adult, they would have given him a nice American name like "Joe Plumber".

        by Orbital Mind Control Lasers on Wed May 09, 2012 at 02:34:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It depends on the state. (7+ / 0-)

      Each state requires different things from their charter schools but they hall have one thing in common. A group of people comes together to form a "charter" or a list of rules and regs and dreams and a budget for their school. That charter must be approved by an organization - each state is different. Sometimes there is a state level body that approves charters, sometimes the local school districts approve charters.

      The places where charter schools seem to be the most problematic are those where the people doing the chartering are corporations... it's just another twist on corporations are people too. But some charter schools are actually begun by parents in the community or by teachers who want to try something different or a combination of the two.

      Saying that all charter schools are bad is throwing the baby out with the bathwater, I'm afraid.

      BTW - don't be embarrassed for asking. I only know because we utilized a charter when we lived in CA. I learned a lot because I served on the school governance council.

    •  Charter schools are public schools that are (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orbital Mind Control Lasers

      Operated by someone other than regular school districts. Most of them are operated by nonprofit organizations. Each state has different rules that apply to them, but in general, they have more flexibility than traditional public schools. Some charters are unionized; others are not.

  •  Thank you, I am very glad you wrote this (15+ / 0-)

    as I was getting rather frustrated that your comment in the original diary was getting almost completely ignored, mostly because of the emotionally charged atmosphere.

    It is important to set the record straight on this before it gets any further out of control.  Despite her diary, I have had and will continue to have great respect for Ms. Clawson's work.  

    Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense. Carl Sagan

    by sjburnman on Wed May 09, 2012 at 12:07:16 AM PDT

  •  "Setting the record straight"? (44+ / 0-)

    Swedishjewfish, I've been an admirer of yours since last summer, but I gotta say, I'm disappointed to see you defending the President's choice to trumpet Charter Schools Week.  His proclamation this year, just like one last year and the year before that betray full-throated support for charter schools, not a surly acknowledgement of congressional mandate with which he was unwillingly complying.  Ms. Clawson's choice of phrasing may not appeal to you, but her diary is not as inaccurate as you're intimating - and if her word choices place Mr. Obama in a poor light, it's because he's the one that stepped into it.

    By continuing yet another tradition of George W. Bush (instead of doing the courageous thing and giving Congress' "request" the DOMA treatment), the President is perpetuating, encouraging, and possibly even accelerating the destruction of our system of public education.  I've been warning about his education policies since before he was the nominee in 2008, and on this issue, I've seen no "evolution" on his part in the years since - he continues to stand by the execrable Arne Duncan, he listens to the cabal Diane Ravitch calls "the Billionaire Boy's Club," and he thought Race to the Trough was a good idea. Whatever other strengths he might possess, Mr. Obama is not an "Education President."

    We're in the last ditches out here - most folks don't realize how close we as a nation are to losing forever what was once the greatest system of schools and learning in the world.  Professional, career educators are being overwhelmed by enthusiastic but ill-prepared and thoroughly disposable TFA volunteers on 2-year slumming gigs, our professional associations are under constant attack, and we're consistently vilified by half the press, even as some of our ostensible supporters helpfully "remind" us that charters have the "potential" to save public education.

    We're demoralized, and nearly beaten - alas, the self-professed "friends of teachers" aren't nearly as apt to turn up on the battlefield as are the people who hate us.  The last thing teachers need to hear is that the President for whom so many of us worked and voted last time around favors the deprofessionalization of our careers, the busting of unions, and the siphoning of critically needed funds away from public schools and into the hands of parental juntas.  And to remind us of it on a week that was set aside way back in 1953 to honor teachers...well, that's just plain mean, whether or not it was done so as to be in compliance with a Bush-era law that clearly targeted Teacher Appreciation Week in the first place.

    •  As I said (26+ / 0-)

      his education policy is certainly something we can and should debate. I take issue with a lot of it as well-I am not a fan of Charters, and I think RTTT is terrible. But the fact of the matter is, the original diary was inaccurate. He is compelled by Senate Resolution to issue a proclamation-but he has not forced a choice to honor one over the other, and in fact seems to be paying more attention to National Teachers Week than the Charter School Week. Outside of that proclamation, I don't see that his administration has done anything to honor it.

      I do understand your anguish over this-again, I come from a family of teachers. Teachers in Connecticut, who are currently being thrown under the bus by our democratic governor, and they are completely demoralized by it.

      I think this kind of discussion is important, which is why innacuracies like this should be avoided.

      You must work-we all must work-for a world that is worthy of its children. - Pablo Casals. Please support TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3) for victims and survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation.

      by SwedishJewfish on Wed May 09, 2012 at 12:38:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What exactly about Duncan (4+ / 0-)

      makes him "execrable?"

      Execrable: (1) utterly detestable; abominable; abhorrent.
      (2) very bad: an execrable stage performance.

      That is a strong adjective to apply to any public servant, so I'm curious as to what policies or actions he has taken that make him utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent, or even very bad.

      If Race to the Top is all you can cite, that won't cut it. That is a mixed bag at best. It has some bad elements, but it also sends more funding to public schools at a time when federal spending is scarce.

      So, have at it.

      You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

      by tomjones on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:04:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Definition #2 seems to apply pretty well (0+ / 0-)

        to a Secretary of Education who graduated from an exclusive private high school and has never taught in a classroom or worked as a principal.  

        Thanks for going ahead and discounting Mr. Duncan's support of Race to the Trough as a factor in determining how bad he's been as an Ed Secretary - reminds me of that old saying, "other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?"  In order to qualify for funding, states were compelled to institute all manner of untested, unproven "reform" measures, and even then, this funding you speak of was by no means assured.  In Colorado, teachers were stripped of seniority and due process rights in an effort to win one of the grants - something that didn't happen in either the first or second rounds.  Finally, the state was awarded a consolation prize after the third round: a one-time grant that equated to about 20 bucks per student.  If that's the kind of federal funding you're talking about - and if workplace protections for education professionals is the price - then please, keep it.  We'll make due somehow.

        Fortunately for my argument, RttT isn't the only abominable thing Mr. Duncan has attempted to foist upon this field about which he knows so very little.  Here's New Business Item C from last year's NEA Representative Assembly:

        ADOPTED AS AMENDED

        The NEA Representative Assembly directs the NEA President to communicate aggressively, forcefully, and immediately to President Barack Obama and US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan that NEA is appalled with Secretary Duncan's practice of:

            Weighing in on local hiring decisions of school and school district personnel.
            Supporting local decisions to fire all school staff indiscriminately, such as his comments regarding the planned firings in Central Falls, RI.
            Supporting inappropriate use of high-stakes standardized test scores for both student achievement and teacher evaluation, all while acknowledging that the currently available tests are not good.
            Failing to recognize the shortcomings of offering to support struggling schools or states, but only in exchange for unsustainable state 'reform' policy.
            Focusing too heavily on competitive grants that by design leave most students behind—particularly those in poor neighborhoods, rural areas, and struggling schools—instead of foundational formula funding designed to help all the students who need the most support.
            Not adequately addressing the unrealistic Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirements that brand thriving or improving schools as failures.
            Forcing local school districts to choose from a pre-determined menu of school improvement models that are unproven and have been shown to be ineffective and bear little resemblance to the actual needs of the school that is struggling.
            Focusing so heavily on charter schools that viable and proven innovative school models (such as magnet schools) have been overlooked, and simultaneously failing to highlight with the same enthusiasm the innovation in our non-charter public schools.
            Failing to recognize both the danger inherent in overreliance on a single measurement and the need for multiple indicators when addressing and analyzing student achievement and educators' evaluations.
            Failing to recognize the need for systemic change that helps ALL students and relies on shared responsibility by all stakeholders, rather than competitive grant programs that spur bad, inappropriate, and short-sighted state policy.
            Failing to recognize the complexities of school districts that do not have the resources to compete for funding, particularly in rural America, and failing to provide targeted and effective support for those schools and school districts.
            Failing to respect and honor the professionalism of educators across this country, including but not limited to holding public education roundtables and meetings without inviting state and local representatives of the teachers, education support professionals, and faculty and staff; promoting programs that lower the standards for entry into the profession; focusing so singularly on teachers in the schools that the other critical staff members and higher education faculty and staff have been overlooked in the plans for improving student learning throughout their educational careers.
            Perpetuating the myth that there are proven, top-down prescribed 'silver bullet' solutions and models that actually will address the real problems that face public education today, rather than recognizing that what schools need is a visionary Secretary of Education that sets broad goals and tasks states, local schools districts, schools, educators, and communities with meeting those goals.

        I gotta think that given the above, and the fact that NEA used a word meaning "struck with fear, dread, or consternation" when describing the Association's feelings about Mr. Duncan, then I can be pretty comfortable in using a term that means "very bad."
  •  A charter school saved my son (20+ / 0-)

    He was a sophomore at a very good high school, but it wasn't what he needed. He ended the year w a D- average. Yet we knew he was very talented & artistic. Fortunately there was an arts-oriented charter school in our town. With a lot of persuasion, especially from his older brother, he switched to Studio Academy. It worked. He blossomed & did so well that he got a scholarship to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from which he graduated last spring.

    The charter school closed last year.

    "All politics is national."

    by Auriandra on Wed May 09, 2012 at 01:01:16 AM PDT

    •  That's nice. But "charter" is irrelevant. (11+ / 0-)

      It could have simply been an arts-oriented public school, one that recognizes teachers' rights to organize instead of engaging in union-bashing, one not trying to get the CEO wealthy enough to own several homes.

      I might have to go to a hospital for a life-saving procedure. If so, I'll give all the praise to the doctors and nurses and technicians who saved my life. Whether this was financed via Medicare or the VA or an HMO is irrelevant to my health, but quite relevant to whether we're getting financially fleeced to boost the wealth of a 0.1-percenter.

      •  Actually, in many school districts, that school (8+ / 0-)

        can't exist in the public school model. Which is exactly why charters started in the first place. Not all charter school are bad and not all states run lousy charter systems.

        •  Sure it can (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          quill, wsexson, mrkvica

          Why can't it exist in the public model? It does here in Cleveland, Ohio. It's the best school in the city. Saying it can't is more hooey from the charter school interests.

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

          by anastasia p on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:33:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Because government doesn't seem inclined to (0+ / 0-)

            change the current model. The Charter School system in many states was seen as a way to simplify the system so that local communities could once again create schools that worked for their communities. Just because some for profit models come in and take advantage of the system doesn't mean you throw the entire thing out... especially not nationwide. It means we should figure out what works and what doesn't. Charter schools exist in so many places and they are working for many, many families. By making the battle "all charter schools," you are losing many people who might actually stand by your side and fight agains "for-profit" and "corporate model" charter schools. At the end of the day, charter schools are public schools.

        •  The fact that certain schools can't exist in (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tardis10, quill, wsexson, mrkvica

          the public school model is a case of breaking the system so it can be "fixed".  I do not understand why the public school system can't start an art-centered school, or just simply not continue to slash the arts budgets throughout the public system.  The market for charter schools was created by hobbling public schools.

          "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars" --Casey Kasem

          by netop on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:42:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Your comment is way off base (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Smoh, askew, Sparhawk, princess Kes, SoCalSal, Lisa

        The point of charter schools is to give a student like Auriandra's child an option when the existing public school is not serving them well.

        As you are aware, unless there is a charter school in the area, a kid is stuck going to the one school that serves his or her district.

        If the public school is not such as the one you describe, that kid is screwed.

        Now, my strong preference is for every public school to be great, in which case charter schools would be totally unnecessary.

        But until that happens, should Auriandra's child and others like him just cool their heels and pay the price for the failure of adults to fix public schools?

        You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

        by tomjones on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:08:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What about Magnet Schools? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tardis10, princess Kes, mrkvica, sviscusi

          Our city has several high schools, and long before the scourge of charter schools started, a student that could attend the city wide school that was more arts-oriented and more college prep oriented.  I think it still the only public (or charter) school in the city that still offers Latin.  

          "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars" --Casey Kasem

          by netop on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:48:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, for many magnet schools (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            princess Kes, SoCalSal

            are an excellent option. The more options the better, imo.

            You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

            by tomjones on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:52:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  our district (0+ / 0-)

            doesn't offer magnet schools, so that could be one obstacle. Our district offers a one size fits all education, tailored to meet the NCLB/RTTT score targets.

            We have had several charters here in the past 20 years or so. The majority have failed; it's not easy to run a school. The ones that remain have hewed a little too closely, for my taste, to the model already being promoted by the school district. There is one funny little school with a mostly African American student population. The dress code is jackets and ties for the boys, and it only goes to 4th grade. Not something I would have selected for my boy, but there is a market for it.

            I support public schools, but in my opinion they have become too homogenized (read: focused on test schools) to properly serve all students. I sent my own child to a "specialty" school for the arts -- a rare bird in my state that is neither a private nor a charter school but rather a line item in the state budget. In other states and districts such school exist as magnets. Thank goodness we had this alternative.

      •  But it wasn't and that's the point (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Smoh, askew, SoCalSal, Lisa

        Charters provide alternatives in places where they often don't otherwise exist. If every kid had the option of attending a great arts-oriented public school, or science-oriented, or just someplace small enough to feel safe, or whatever else, there'd be no demand for charters. But those options aren't available to many kids, thus the demand for charters.

    •  Cleveland has an excellent arts school (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica

      It's the best public school in the city. It was almost shut down at one point from lack of funding to fix the physical plant and private citizens had to raise the money (Luckily they just demolished the building and will soon start building a new campus). This type of education can be provided publicly, with the transparency that goes along with public education. Charter schools don't do it better; they do it costilier. As time goes on, I become more and more of an advocate for the abolition of charter schools. You need to lobby for an arts magnet school in your town.

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

      by anastasia p on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:32:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not sure why you (0+ / 0-)

        think charter schools are necessarily costlier. We have a charter in my town based on Dewey's progressive principals. They do a fantastic job and offer a wonderful alternative to the local district's slavishness to test scores. They don't receive any more money than the district schools.

  •  Thank You (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA, Amber6541, Unit Zero, FiredUpInCA

    It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision. ~ Helen Keller

    by Pam from Calif on Wed May 09, 2012 at 01:11:25 AM PDT

  •  This administration started a lottery (18+ / 0-)

    called Race To The Top where states had to compete for a small amount of money by removing any laws restricting the number of charter schools that their states could have, and by instuting policies/plans to fire teachers.

    Teacher appreciation and this admisration don't seem to be synamous.

    •  Metahumor duly noted. n/t (4+ / 0-)

      Romney '12: The Power of Crass Commands You!

      by Rich in PA on Wed May 09, 2012 at 03:58:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pilkington, Deep Texan, SoCalSal
      by instuting policies/plans to fire teachers
      Woah. Are you contending that before Race to the Top,  public schools couldn't fire bad teachers?

      In that case, thank you President Obama!!!!

      You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

      by tomjones on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:10:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In Rhode Island, two cities fired ALL theachers (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quill, TimmyB, m00finsan

        Central Falls, and then later Providence.  And this administration praised the innovation.

        "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars" --Casey Kasem

        by netop on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:32:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  sources please (0+ / 0-)

          I appreciate links.

          •  Here's a bit of reading...and correction (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mrkvica

            I was unable to find a source for an Obama reaction to the Providence firings, but here is a  
            story about the Providence firings

            In regards to Central Falls: It was only the high school teachers that were fired (not laid-off) en masse and Obama's applause was well-documented.  One example can be found here.

            Another nice blog entry concerning the Central Falls teacher elimination program.  The rest of this blog has some pretty good entries concerning public schools and charter schools.  

            I apologize for mashing the Obama remarks re: Central Falls together with the Providence event.  There was a lot of noise around each event, and, when combined with the protests that met Arne Duncan's visit to the state, just sorta all bled together in my memory.  

            I think the point still stands, though, that this administration, while being better than a Republican alternative, is not a friend to public education and public educators.

            "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars" --Casey Kasem

            by netop on Wed May 09, 2012 at 10:26:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          looking and listening

          Both of those cities are completely screwed and have performed or are considering municipal bankruptcy.

          The state of RI is a complete disaster, I know, I have friends in the state and read the Providence Journal.

          These firings weren't for ideological or test-score reasons but were mainly because of massive budget shortfalls in both cities and (to a degree) unions being unwilling to make concessions.

          RI has an extremely high unemployment rate and not a lot of bankable industries these days. Tech businesses that want to locate in New England tend to do it in Massachusetts, near MIT, WPI, etc, as opposed to RI that pretty much has URI and that's it for tech. Most of its other mature industries (jewelry, textiles) have long since vanished. There are some industries obviously but it's not great.

          RI is one of the worst states in the country as far as funding levels of public pensions and has severe structural economic problems. That is what is driving a lot of these actions.

          (-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 Wed May 09, 2012 at 10:20:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Uh... Charter Schools Have Teachers lol n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan

      Too Folk For You. - No matter how progressive the jurisdiction seems, remember this: If you're going to flagrantly violate the laws, it REALLY helps to be white when sentencing time comes.

      by TooFolkGR on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:43:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The plan strips fuding from the public school (0+ / 0-)

        budgets to fund these new charter schools, cannobilzing the funding of already cash strapped schools.

        Arguably it scapegoats teacher and administation for what might be a systemic failure of the state/community.

        A corrallary. This admistration has added $6 trillion to the nation debt, increased out gross debt to GDP ratio by 35%, added 4.1 million jobs to the ranks of actual unemployed, and 9.25 million to the ranks of thae actual unemployed. They are all bad, fire them.

  •  Wow, Thanks. I Rec'd the Other Diary. Had No Idea. (12+ / 0-)

    My wife is a teacher and I easily took the other diary at face value. Thank you for digging deeper into this.

    Whoever got me a DKOS Subscription - thank you so much. Maybe one of the nicest things anyone has done for me.

    by kefauver on Wed May 09, 2012 at 01:50:24 AM PDT

    •  I Rec'd the Other Diary too (5+ / 0-)

      because it is a topic near to me.

      But after reading the comment thread and doing some digging as well into the past proclamations, I agree with Swedish Fish that it was misleading.

      The original diary could have been just as strong, while still including information about the history of 'Nat'l Charter School Week'.    It could have been a call on Obama to break from that tradition and throw more support to the even stronger tradition of appreciating our teachers.

      •  Agreed. Very Good Points. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SwedishJewfish

        In addition, I have always respected Laura's work, so it really came as a shock to me that her diary was so slanted in one direction, ignoring the information that Swedish Jewfish was able to obtain so easily from a simple google search.

        Whoever got me a DKOS Subscription - thank you so much. Maybe one of the nicest things anyone has done for me.

        by kefauver on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:56:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for setting the record straight. (12+ / 0-)

    I hope your post goes up on the front page as correction to Laura Clawson's post.

    The sh*t those people [republicans] say just makes me weep for humanity! - Woody Harrelson

    by SoCalSal on Wed May 09, 2012 at 01:57:47 AM PDT

  •  Never trust a news source (8+ / 0-)

    A news source is one of the worst sources to find the facts.

  •  Its amazing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Satya1, Deep Texan, SoCalSal

    There seem to be people with the fortitude of a 12 yr old acne faced tween - constantly playing drama queen. Anyone with common sense knew the other diary was full of it.

  •  Laura does a great job here... (20+ / 0-)

    but I do agree with your diary.. facts matter.  Too many are ready to pounce on any negative for this administration real or perceived.  

    Macca's Meatless Monday

    by VL Baker on Wed May 09, 2012 at 03:39:43 AM PDT

    •  Well said. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SwedishJewfish, Deep Texan

      There are enough real negatives that we don't have to go fishing for perceived ones, y'know?

      PS: I still am of the opinion that the real positives strongly outweigh the real negatives, but unfortunately the perceived negatives strongly outweigh the perceived positives. =P

      You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

      by tomjones on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:12:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  time to stop taking cues from the Bush white house (5+ / 0-)

    maybe?

  •  I'd be curious... (14+ / 0-)

    where in that proclamation, Congress requires the President to recognize National Charter School Week.  The document in the link provided states,

    (2)[Congress] designates the period beginning on April 30, 2001 and ending on May 4, 2001, as "National Charter Schools Week";and

    (3)requests that the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe the week...

    So, the source you cite only applies to a single year and only requests that the President recognize the week.  Got anything else?
  •  Why not declare Public Teacher appreciation week? (5+ / 0-)
    •  So private school teachers... (12+ / 0-)

      ...are completely worthless and do not deserve to have their contributions lumped in with public school teachers?

      (-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 Wed May 09, 2012 at 05:27:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As I said in another diary, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541, tardis10, rosarugosa, mrkvica

      let's appreciate teachers everywhere.  Who cares where they are employed (public, private or charter) or at what level (pre-school through graduate school).

      I consider the Charter School Appreciation week to be nothing but a political move by Congress that is part of the general strategy to undermine public schools.  Maybe Obama felt he had to make the proclamation because there'd be howls from the charter school supporters if he didn't.  But I think he'd have done better to simply make a statement in support of teaching and teachers and let it go at that.

      •  Most charter schools (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deep Texan

        are public schools.

        But I agree with the balance of your comment.

        You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

        by tomjones on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:15:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  THat's simply not true... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrkvica

          they are quasi public/private entities that are often allowed to operate outside of the watchful supervision that public schools operate within. see my reply to another of your comments below as to the situation in New Orleans.

          •  New Orleans sounds like a mess (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Texan

            But those schools were a mess before Katrina, too.

            As for your statement that they are "quasi public/private entities," I'll need to see some support for that. According to wikipedia:

            Charter schools are opened and attended by choice. While charter schools provide an alternative to other public schools, they are part of the public education system and are not allowed to charge tuition. Where enrollment in a charter school is oversubscribed, admission is frequently allocated by lottery-based admissions systems. However, the lottery is open to all students.
            And:
            Additionally, school districts sometimes permit corporations to manage chains of charter schools. The schools themselves are still non-profit, in the same way that public schools may be managed by a for-profit corporation. Corporate management does not affect the status of a school.
            So if public schools can be managed by a for-profit corporation, like a charter school, are public schools also occasionally "quasi public/private entities?"

            You are correct that charter schools are exempt from some regulations, but:

            Charter schools ... are not subject to some of the rules, regulations, and statutes that apply to other public schools in exchange for some type of accountability for producing certain results, which are set forth in each school's charter
            So it is not like they're totally unaccountable.

            You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

            by tomjones on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:51:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Public schools that are operated by (0+ / 0-)

              a for profit corporation are no longer public, in my view. For profit operation of public schools defeats the purpose. It is another way for the private sector to extract political plums paid by tax payer monies...at the expense of the students as well. You answered your own questions regarding charters: they are exempt from some of the rules, regulations and statutes that apply to public schools. They are not public schools. Their so-called open enrollment lottery system is for those students that "qualify".

    •  I'll Rec This (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pot, mahakali overdrive, Deep Texan

      Because I think the Administration should, and I sent a comment that I was disappointed that they didn't... but I'm referring to "Teacher Appreciation Week" in General... I see no need to exclude private school teachers / educators.

      Too Folk For You. - No matter how progressive the jurisdiction seems, remember this: If you're going to flagrantly violate the laws, it REALLY helps to be white when sentencing time comes.

      by TooFolkGR on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:45:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Race to the top is not window dressing (14+ / 0-)

    The fact is Obama has been with the Republicans on Corporate Schools versus Public Schools a a matter of policy.

    •  Evidence? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DollyMadison, Smoh, Deep Texan, SoCalSal

      As I pointed out upthread, only a few states allow for-profit charter schools.

      Additionally, school districts sometimes permit corporations to manage chains of charter schools. The schools themselves are still non-profit, in the same way that public schools may be managed by a for-profit corporation. Corporate management does not affect the status of a school. In the United States, though the percentage of students educated in charter schools varies by school district, only in the New Orleans Public Schools system are the majority of children educated within independent public charter schools.
      Moreover:
      While charter schools provide an alternative to other public schools, they are part of the public education system and are not allowed to charge tuition.
      Please try to educate yourself on charter schools before engaging in reflexive Obama/charter school bashing.

      You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

      by tomjones on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:18:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  New Orleans has been a laboratory (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theunreasonableHUman, mrkvica

        for charter schools since Katrina. The teachers union was dismantled by the state board of education in the wake of Katrina, and thousands were laid off. A recovery school district was created, more like a prison, that operated along side the charter schools that began to proliferate. The charter schools refused to take "behavioral" problem children, and special ed children, which is supposedly illegal. They've changed their ways...somewhat. But the fact is that you have to apply to attend one of these schools. It's not a given that your child can attend. Public schools are still the entity that takes all children. Not a perfect system, but one worth perfecting.

      •  Evidence? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica

        PA:
        PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia charter school operator has admitted to misusing more than a half-million dollars intended for his school.
        ----
        On Monday's Fresh Air, Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Martha Woodall details her ongoing investigation into Philadelphia's charter school system, where 19 of the 74 charter schools operating in the city are under investigation for fraud, financial mismanagement and conflicts of interest.
        ----
        TEXAS:
        Deion Sanders' Charter School and the Making of a Prime Time Scam
        A businessman and a bishop used Cowboys' Hall of Famer Deion Sanders' name to drum up interest in a charter school. Then they tried to score from the deal
        ----
        FL:
        Miami's charter school scandal grows
        From the Miami Herald by Fred Grimm

        But a brave innovator associated with Balere, with help from those noted educational think tanks Hygh Lyfe Entertainment and Snake Eye Promotions, has created a kind of night school, reaching out to a segment of the community long ignored by traditional educators. “All hustlers, ballers and divas roll out.” (College students get in for half-price. Women are admitted free “B4 12.”)

        ----

        I've got a friend working at another Miami Charter (needs the job but hates the "school"). They just gave the teachers a 25% pay cut so the owner can continue to fleece the school district for the joke that passes for a "school".

        ------
        A small sampling of the abuses starting to pile up as crooks, and scam artists pile in to the next great under-regulated financial "innovation".

        Yes, we have brought that Wall Street innovation that gave us the financial crash to education and it will have the same results.

  •  With writing comes responsibility (28+ / 0-)

    And so does "rec-ing" (although since my coffee is still brewing I'm not sure how to spell it.)

    In addition, I think that it is important to emphasize that it is not the concept of Charter Schools per se that is so insidious--it's how they've been abused by the GOP to siphon money from the public schools, to isolate families of certain views and to try to destroy unions.

    I personally know several excellent Charter Schools that were formed by teachers who wanted a specific curricular approach (Say, Waldorf or Montessori), who accept every student and follow all the same rules as the public schools. I also know a couple dozen run by scam companies for profit. So let's not get fixated on the word, but rather on the defense of the nation's public schools.

  •  If facts matter, then you might want to change (13+ / 0-)

    your last link to 'Congress 'requests' him to', rather than 'requires'.

    From the linked resolution you provide, it was a request, not a requirement.

    Otherwise, you bring up some decent points to show that in this instance Laura didn't source enough for her article, and missed out on the origins of 'National Charter School Week'.

    On the other hand, indications are that many public teachers feel that the administration has worked against their interests and in favor of corporate education interests from day one, so I can see where they might tend to mistakenly feel that this was another in a line of 'snubs'.

  •  You've also got facts wrong. Facts matter. (6+ / 0-)

    Fact wrong = your claim that Obama is "compelled by Senate Resolution" to do this.

  •  This is how they divide us (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA, stellaluna
  •  I never went into the diary because I didn't (19+ / 0-)

    like the smell of if from the title. Huh. Intuition strikes again.

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Wed May 09, 2012 at 06:03:42 AM PDT

  •  agreed (4+ / 0-)

    my comment was one of the few denouncing the attack the diary made.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Wed May 09, 2012 at 06:14:55 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for this, SwedishJewfish!!! (6+ / 0-)

    :)

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Wed May 09, 2012 at 06:17:35 AM PDT

  •  Thanks, SwedishJewfish. (10+ / 0-)

    I was thinking that Obama would be a strong supporter of teachers and that the information did not ring true.  Laura Clawson is a favorite diariest of mine, so I just read and left without any recommends or comments.  
    I appreciate the research you did (and I should have done), to clarify the situation.
    Thanks again.

    Mother Teresa: "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."

    by Amber6541 on Wed May 09, 2012 at 06:21:06 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for this (7+ / 0-)

    It does matter.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Wed May 09, 2012 at 06:56:52 AM PDT

  •  I'm confused, did Obama or did he not (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JVolvo, Rizzo, wsexson, mrkvica

    do this Charter School declaration thing?

    If so, that's mightily egregious enough.

  •  Thats all very nice. (4+ / 0-)

    As preface, I will say that all of us that have differences with the President need to put them aside and work for his reelection.  There is no single issue, or even combination of issues that should lead anyone to deliver the Republic into the hands of today's Republicans.

    The real point is, however, is that the President is hardly an advocate and supporter of the public schools.  (Hint: charter schools, while they may be publically funded, are never publically controlled).  His appointment, and maintenance in office of Arne Duncan, speaks louder than his mere words as to that point.   The education policy of this administration is really not distinguishable from that of the Republicans.  And that I cannot abide.  I especially don't care to be told essentially to STFU because the President has "got this."

    He doesn't.  The way he is leading us as to education is error.  And he really does need to be convinced of that before he leads us to the bottom.  

  •  Weak diary, and kind of condescending (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, Miggles, wsexson, mrkvica

    I just went and looked at the White House website, and everything Laura said was on point. President Obama singled out charter schools for a proclamation while doing nothing similar for all teachers at a time when they are demoralized and fleeing the profession and talented young people are looking at teaching as a dead-end suckers' job. Sure, you can nudge the facts around a bit to show that deep in the recesses somewhere President Obama hasn't ALWAYS ignored teachers. But it's clear that THIS YEAR, as Laura correctly said, he opted to shine a bright spotlight on charter schools while not doing the same for Teacher Appreciation Week.

    You may call what she did Obama bashing. This diary is Laura Clawson bashing on false grounds. Won't HR you but I strongly disapprove.

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

    by anastasia p on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:48:11 AM PDT

    •  Weak comment (9+ / 0-)

      this thread is full of links to every point the diarist made.

      "Who is John Galt?" A two dimensional character in a third rate novel.

      by Inventor on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:14:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Again, you misunderstand prez proclamations (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kefauver, Deep Texan

      Not all presidential proclamations are groundbreaking or important, and not all things of importance get presidential proclamations.

      Groups lobby to get proclamations. I guess no one has lobbied to get a proclamation for National Teacher Appreciation week, and that was the flawed conclusion in Laura's diary - that there was some deliberate snub of teachers, but not one of charter schools. And I see no evidence of that - that some group lobbied for a proclamation for National Teacher Appreciation week, but it was rejected, while the Obama Administration didn't reject the request of the Charter Schools group.

      The faulty assumption is that the White House proclamations are representative of what the Obama White House sees as important or unimportant issues, and that's not the case. Those proclamations are representative of groups that have successfully lobbied to have White House proclamations created.

      One has to look at the entirety of the Obama Administration's efforts for this week, and if one does that, one sees that they're quite appreciative of teachers. Giving too much weight to proclamations does an injustice to Obama.

      •  Yes, but your average teacher or even parent (0+ / 0-)

        doesn't have time to pay attention to any of this, especially not in May when there is an after school event or ceremony almost everyday. For teachers, on top of all the events, there is grading and here in Wisconsin, add to that the recall coming up on June 5th.

        Nobody cares about how these proclamations come out and the thing that I don't like is why all these lobbyists always get the ear of the politicians instead of the real people.

        But your point is a good one, I am just not sure people have time to think about all that. Teachers in May, don't. Parents of middle school or high school students don't either.

        •  The average parent (0+ / 0-)

          doesn't pay attention to presidential proclamations.

          They DO, however, occasionally pay attention to the Prez when he's on CSpan or other news sources or members of his administration are.

          And I've seen a few stories about teachers being honored and appreciated in the past couple of weeks. I hadn't seen anything about the National Charter School proclamation until the diary yesterday.

          If you don't like the holiday being in the first week in May, then you might want to talk to the teachers' groups who suggested that timeframe. It looks to me like the National PTA suggested that week decades ago  and the NEA agreed.

    •  Nonsense (4+ / 0-)

      Proclamations = meaningless window dressing.

      Obama had a real, actual, live ceremony to honor teachers.

      The WH and Dept. of Ed officials gave meaningful recognition to teachers, and Obama even discussed policy for teachers.

      This diary is spot-on in its criticism of the inaccurate portrayal in the other.  Moreover, the diarist was supremely respectful of Laura, so accusing him of bashing her is absurd and false in and of itself.

  •  Obama's policies have supported (8+ / 0-)

    the proliferation of charter schools at the expense of support for the public school system. Any way you look at it, this has been the outcome.

  •  Maybe the problem is with the scheduling of the (4+ / 0-)

    Charter Schools Week with the very popular (with children and parents, at least) Teacher Appreciation Week. Charter Schools week implies that only Charter Schools are good. It excludes public and parochial schools week. No reason not to celebrate them, they have teachers also, but maybe not at the same as the all inclusive Teacher Appreciation Week.

    Right now, public school teachers are under attack by the right wing in many states. They are accused of taking taxpayer money. Meanwhile, Charter Schools are being praised by both the Obama Administration and getting voucher money from people like Scott Walker.

    If you don't believe me, read any article on public employees and read the comment section of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. At one meeting where teachers were getting their planning time cut in a district called New Berlin, Wisconsin, right wing radio show listeners brought pacifiers to the meeting for all the "crybaby public school teachers".

    I don't have anything against Charter Schools, but all our teachers need our appreciation and right now the public school teachers are being demonized. This is very harmful to our society. Please keep that in mind when you stick up for Charter Schools. Realize that Charter Schools have pushed the idea that public schools are "failures" as a way to attract students.

    Handing out an award to a public school teacher is nice, but our public schools need some appreciation across the board and they are not getting it, really, from our President.

    •  I should add that, maybe as you show here, there (4+ / 0-)

      is support, but they don't realize how demoralizing the environment for public school teachers is these days. In which case, politically, they (the administration) are making an error, in my humble opinion.

    •  One thing worth noting about National Observences (4+ / 0-)

      They are often clustered together by design. For example, last month was Child Abuse Awareness Month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and we also had National Crime Victims Rights Week, and Wear Denim day-all around the issues of interpersonal violence. This was actually convenient for organizations because they could coordinate and collaborate on activites. So they may have very well chosen this week so that Charter Schools could celebrate both Teacher Appreciation week AND Charter School Week at the same time. One doesn't have to take away from the other-the only activities I see planned around this observance are at Charter Schools themselves.

      I do agree with the rest of your comment though-I think we have a long way to go with our educational policy and we do far to little to honor our teachers. My parents are public school teachers in Connecticut and right now our Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy is throwing them under the bus with a "reform" plan that is pretty much just as bad as anything Scott Walker could dream of. It is infuriating.

      You must work-we all must work-for a world that is worthy of its children. - Pablo Casals. Please support TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3) for victims and survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation.

      by SwedishJewfish on Wed May 09, 2012 at 09:07:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I see. I didn't know that. Thanks for reading my (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SwedishJewfish, ladyjames, mrkvica

        comment and responding. I think President Obama could do something to distinguish his "reform" from the Walker style "reform", if he wanted to and if there is a difference maybe try to make that clear.  I personally would like to see national standards, and like a few of the Duncan ideas, but, I feel that he "sides with" Charter schools.  At least, that is the perception I get and I am usually pretty open to new ideas.  I think any criticism of inner city teachers just rubs people the wrong way, they could have chosen to teach elsewhere, instead they chose to try and fix things and people are demonizing them and blaming them for all the NCLB statistics, a la Michelle Rhee.

        •  I think this being under attack by budget cuts and (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SwedishJewfish, ladyjames

          the Tea Party creates a sort of "you are with us or against us mentality" even among those of us who like to think of ourselves as open minded. ( I am not a teacher right now, but used to be, and was never particularly interested in union issues when I was a teacher, but I don't like to see bargaining end or teachers blamed for everything under the sun either, so now I tend to side with unions, for now at least.)

      •  Read Jon Pelto (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica, SwedishJewfish

        http://jonathanpelto.com/...

        According to the last Quinnipiac poll, one new Democratic governor is at a breathtakingly low +19 percent.

        That is right – there is a Democratic governor whose support among his own party is only a positive 19 percent.  Less than one-quarter of the support the most popular new Democratic governor has….and that lowest in the nation governor is Dannel Malloy.

        This year, under the guise of “education reform,” Malloy has proposed the most anti-teacher, anti-union “education reform” bill of any Democratic governor in the nation.
        ----
        In the forty years since public employees won the right to collectively bargain, no Connecticut governor; Democrat, Republican or Independent has ever proposed that collective bargaining be banned for a group of public employees.  But that is exactly what Governor Malloy has done.

        The Governor’s job performance rating is a measurement of the impact his confrontational approach has had with key constituencies within the Democratic Party.

        Thank you, whoever you are, for buying me a lifetime subscription. I am not worthy! Sincerely,

        by Sprinkles on Wed May 09, 2012 at 02:27:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Kudos to You and Laura for Focusing on This. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SwedishJewfish, Deep Texan, dsb

    Shame on the members here who use these issues as just another reason to post nasty comments about Obama. And shame on the users who find a way to trash you and Laura. Now with the updates, both diaries offer valuable information.

    Whoever got me a DKOS Subscription - thank you so much. Maybe one of the nicest things anyone has done for me.

    by kefauver on Wed May 09, 2012 at 09:05:31 AM PDT

  •  Charter Schools still suck! (4+ / 0-)

    Great, let's defend Obama's awful Education policy ideas.  Arne Duncan is a total shill for the privatization of our schools.  Charter schools are not the answer.

    Arne's cut from the same cloth as Rahm - thanks for jamming him down our throats Obama!  We now have more corruption and less transparency than ever.  I actually pine for Mayor Daley.  

    Rahm was able to pass this new "infrastructure bank".  Now he doesn't have to be inconvenienced by city council votes on infrastructure ($$$) projects.  He can just have his 5-person board of cronies just rubber-stamp Rahm's favored projects.  Why bother voting?  Rahm was practically ordained by Obama, and now our city council can't/won't keep him in check at all.

    •  This is my point, not so much about Rahm, who I (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayRaye, TimmyB, hyperstation

      don't know anything about. But this is the perception, so when people click on the President's website, all this stuff about what a proclamation is or isn't doesn't matter.

      People start to think the President is pro Charter at the expense of public schools. That is the impression one gets.

    •  as the parent of charter school students... (0+ / 0-)

      I must respectfully disagree. It's not "privatization of our schools", and for many children (including my own), charters can be a WONDERFUL answer. They have thrived in a charter school where I think they would have failed in a traditional large public school.

      If the Marxist/Islamist cabal was REALLY smart, when they forged Obama's birth certificate back in '61 so he could run for President as an adult, they would have given him a nice American name like "Joe Plumber".

      by Orbital Mind Control Lasers on Wed May 09, 2012 at 02:39:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My daughter is going to a charter school next year (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Orbital Mind Control Lasers

    It is a public school and subject to all the testing requirements. Students are chosen by lottery.  No one can be turned away if they chosen via lottery. We chose it because it is a language immersion school with small class sizes.  I liked our community school, but there was no second language until 5th grade and the kindergarten class was going to have 25-30 kids.  The downside for us is not having her in the neighborhood for school.  Here are some charter schools here in MN:

    http://www.southsidefamilyschool.org/
    Has a social justice focus

    http://www.yinghuaacademy.org/
    Chinese Immersion

    http://www.novaclassical.org/
    Classics education

    http://www.hiawathaacademies.org/
    College prep for at-risk kids.

    •  which school, what grade? (0+ / 0-)

      My twins are graduating seniors at Avalon School, where they've been since 7th grade. I adore Avalon! They have a name for people who really fit in there... "Avalonians". That applies to teachers as well as students. Most of the teachers have been there the whole time my kids have been there, and are as deeply into the school's culture as the kids are. Kids who aren't "Avalonian" tend to move on to a different school after a year or two.

      If the Marxist/Islamist cabal was REALLY smart, when they forged Obama's birth certificate back in '61 so he could run for President as an adult, they would have given him a nice American name like "Joe Plumber".

      by Orbital Mind Control Lasers on Wed May 09, 2012 at 02:42:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  charter schools have teachers too (0+ / 0-)

    My children are about to graduate after six years of the same charter school - with some of the happiest and most devoted teachers I've ever met. In large part, it's because the school is run as a teacher's cooperative, not the traditional top-down administration, so individual teachers have FAR more say in the whole-school education process than they do at regular public schools.

    But of course, charter schools are evil, and these happy teachers are just dupes and tools of right-wing oppression, right?

    If the Marxist/Islamist cabal was REALLY smart, when they forged Obama's birth certificate back in '61 so he could run for President as an adult, they would have given him a nice American name like "Joe Plumber".

    by Orbital Mind Control Lasers on Wed May 09, 2012 at 02:17:06 PM PDT

  •  In our district (0+ / 0-)

    the local mayor is starving the public schools in order to bring in millionaire hedge fund operators to take over the place.

    They are promising laptops and smart boards for everybody. Unfortunately, everybody are those younger, untenured and inexperienced teachers who want to transfer to the new charters he and his hand picked interim superintendent and their money buddies create. These charters  will overwork these newbies, spit them out and hire a another in a nano-second.

    Welcome to the world of charters. By the way, their test scores are terrible.

    I'm still on the wall about voting for Obama - it's all about Arne.  

    Thank you, whoever you are, for buying me a lifetime subscription. I am not worthy! Sincerely,

    by Sprinkles on Wed May 09, 2012 at 02:21:43 PM PDT

  •  Great response - thank you! nt (0+ / 0-)

    "Everything can be found at sea, according to the spirit of your quest" Conrad

    by Captain Marty on Wed May 09, 2012 at 02:22:57 PM PDT

  •  Republished to Political Lang. & Messaging (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SwedishJewfish

    ...particularly given the impact of "labeling" controversies, whether real or perceived, on political discussion.

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