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Many of Obama's former aides are quite skilled at buckraking, as Noam Scheiber reported in an excellent article in the New Republic last year. And Obama alums Anita Dunn and Jim Messina have shown themselves to be principle-less political hacks, working for the Tories across the pond.

Obama alums Robert Gibbs (press secretary), Ben LaBolt (campaign spokesperson), and and Jon Jones (digital strategist) are now taking up a new cause in their buckraking quest: destroying teachers unions.

The Incite Agency, founded by former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs and former Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt, will lead a national public relations drive to support a series of lawsuits aimed at challenging tenure, seniority and other job protections that teachers unions have defended ferociously. LaBolt and another former Obama aide, Jon Jones — the first digital strategist of the 2008 campaign — will take the lead in the public relations initiative.

The national legal campaign is being organized by Campbell Brown, a former CNN anchor who told POLITICO that she has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent months to get the effort off the ground. She intends to start with a lawsuit in New York, to be filed within the next few weeks, and follow up with similar cases around the country. Her plans for the New York lawsuit were first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Brown’s campaign will be modeled on the recent Vergara v. California decision, which dealt a major blow to teachers unions. In that case, a state judge earlier this month struck down California’s tenure system and other job protections embedded in state law, ruling that they deprived students of their constitutional right to a quality education because they shielded even the most incompetent teachers from dismissal. Teachers unions have said they will appeal.

Unsurprisingly, Students Matter, the group behind the Vergara decision, doesn't seem to care one bit about the imbalances in funding between poor and rich school district or the vast inequality in material conditions for students. And never mind that job protections help create a more stable workforce, which has clear benefits for students. I expect nothing different from Campbell Brown's group.

And I almost burst out laughing after reading this paragraph:

Brown said she sees a parallel to the fight for gay marriage, noting that the legal fight around California’s Proposition 8 sparked a public conversation that she credits with changing attitudes and increasing acceptance of same-sex unions. “It entirely changed the dialogue,” she said.
We already know that Obama's Secretary of Education Arne Duncan hates job protections for teachers unions, so that Obama alums would as well is--alas--hardly surprising.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wow, Usually When We See "Dem Would (30+ / 0-)

    Destroy" something about workers, it's at least a little bit exaggerated.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 07:43:27 AM PDT

    •  Those of us on professional left aren't surprised (78+ / 0-)

      Gibbs as Press Secretary and Rahmbo as COS perfectly complemented each other.  If those 2, Holder, Summers, Geithner, and HRC constitute "Change," then the concept has lost all meaning.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 08:48:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Who the F*%$#@ do they think is going to (22+ / 0-)

      go into the teaching profession?

      ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

      by slowbutsure on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:41:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They want to privatize so pub schools need to fail (30+ / 0-)

        "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

        by Hayate Yagami on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:13:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Technocracy... the Virtual Future. (15+ / 0-)

        No more pesky Meat Time meetings, no more Peepulz Skool Boards.

        THE ELITE knows what is best for us. THEY will tell us what, when and how, and you better call it Democracy, or else.

        We are the expendable. We are to look for "higher paying high skill jobs," instead of the low paying, low skill teaching profession.

        The delusion of the NeoLiberal mind is as profound as the Teahadist Party. I guess there are no good guys any more.

        Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

        by OregonOak on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:38:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  They are damn sure making me ready to quit (7+ / 0-)

        I am thankful my youngest graduates in 2018. I just hope the entire system doesn't implode before then.

        The truth is always the truth whether you choose to believe it or not.

        by sfsteach on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 11:39:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The aim is to motivate wealthier parents (24+ / 0-)

        to take their kids out of the public school system by diminishing the quality of teachers until a "tipping point" is reached, whereupon the corporations backing these efforts can step in and privatize against a backdrop of largely minority students, whose parents they perceive as politically impotent.  That will pave the way for corporate schools and big profits for those who run them.

        Poorer kids will receive an education--of sorts--but it will be geared to place them on the "lower track" of society, essentially guiding them like cattle towards service-type minimum wage jobs that exist to satisfy the shopping fancies and whims of the upper classes.  The wealthier kids will all have migrated into private schools. Middle class families will tear each other apart trying to get their kids out of these hellholes but there will be no escape for many.  That's OK with these corporate entities, many of which are linked to by hedge funds.

        This is the America of the future.  Tenured teachers demanding higher pay and who generally won't get with the program are an obstacle towards that goal. They need teachers who can be fired at will.

        •  i don't support the charter school stuff, (0+ / 0-)

          mostly because of the heightened role of standardized testing associated with them, but I'd be very surprised if any of that were actually Robert Gibbs' goal.  It might or might not be an effect, but we have a lot of lousy schools and a lot of lousy teachers, and it's not indicative of bad faith to see a link between the former and the latter.  It's just an area where he's perhaps just mistaken about the right solution to a very complex problem.  (I wonder how many of those same hedge funds raised capital from other public sector unions . . .)

          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

          by Loge on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 12:21:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The answer is to improve the public school (15+ / 0-)

            system with the level of commitment and public investment that make a difference. That doesn't make any money for anyone, though.  If the focus were solely on improving the lot of students I would take their claims at face value. But putting the demonization of teachers front and center is the giveaway.

            •  That tends to be where i'd lean, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dartagnan, slowbutsure

              but it's not so self-evident the only possible inference from taking another view is a subjective desire on the part of a Democratic political operative to institute a rigid class system   I think resources and procedural reforms should go together - if we put in the resources, then the teachers who still fail should be fireable.  Tenure should be a matter of degree, and more geared towards protecting against arbitrary or at-will firings, than against firings at all.  Most teachers already make less money to do something they love, but the flip side to unnecessary demonization is unwarranted romanticization.  Most people suck at their jobs, not just teachers but including many hedge fund managers.  

              Gibbs' position, basically, should be part of the conversation, just not the only one; and insofar as he seemed a perfectly fine press secretary, i don't much care what this means for the rest of the administration of which he's no longer a part.  

              Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

              by Loge on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 12:40:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't think it reflects at all (4+ / 0-)

                on the Administration. Gibbs is just going where the money is, the way most people in his position (Ari Fleischer, for example) do.  As for whether he knows the implications of what he's doing, well, he's been a mouthpiece in his entire public career:

                Prior to becoming a member of the Obama team he was press secretary for John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign and was a part of several Senate campaigns, having served as communications director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and for four individual Senate campaigns, including those of Obama in 2004 and Fritz Hollings in 1998.[3] Gibbs was also the press secretary of Representative Bob Etheridge.[4] Gibbs was announced as the press secretary for President Obama on November 22, 2008.
                so we really don't know what his real positions or beliefs were on most subjects. Or whether he even had any.
              •  It should only be a part of the conversation (6+ / 0-)

                long enough for us to say "That doesn't work" and move on. There is zero evidence supporting it. The only thing that does support it is lobbyists in favor of privatization and the people who have bought into their nonsense.

                Whether Gibbs wants this to undermine teachers' unions or not is beside the point. It will undermine teachers unions and he wants this policy which means he is seeking to undermine teachers' unions. It doesn't matter that he's well meaning on not, he's doing something that obviously leads to the destruction of teachers' unions. If he can't see that then he's too much of an idiot to pay any attention to.

                No War but Class War

                by AoT on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 12:53:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not an expert here, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  slowbutsure

                  I'll readily concede, but i suppose the argument would be that strong teachers unions are not an end in themselves; and, secondly, there are ways for which they can adapt to changes in the tenure system (which changes can be more or less disruptive).  The more hyperbolic claim was the imputation of a subjective goal to make public education worse.  

                  What we're doing now isn't working, and there doesn't seem to be new money coming from Congress or state legislatures, so I'm not completely against municipalities experimenting, and if you go that route, there really has to be some accountability.  But pedagogically, I don't like teaching to tests, so I guess i wind up skeptical of everyone proposing single solutions.  When I was in school, I was attracted to the idea of charters because i didn't like the one-size-fits-all approach of the large public school. It is interesting, though, that rich suburban schools don't go the charter route, but i guess they'd say there's no need.  I'd like to see unions propose ways to reform tenure instead of retrenchment.  

                  Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                  by Loge on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 01:15:39 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  This initiative isn't really about fixing problems (5+ / 0-)

                    Unless you're a millionaire and have problem trying to  become a multi-millionaire.

                    Tenure is a stalking horse issue that is being used to dismantle and defund public school systems in favor of privatizing education through charter schools.

                    Wall Street hedge funds are backing this movement. You don't really think they care about tenure or the detailed aspects of formulating education policy, do you?  They want a PR front to justify slash and burn tactics to replace public schools.  They want profits, the sooner, the better.

                    Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

                    by Betty Pinson on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 01:58:03 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  there's absolutely some truth there, (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      slowbutsure

                      but it's overly general.  Not all charter programs are private; and to say the tenure issue is a stalking horse is to avoid a defense of tenure practices themselves, where there is in fact an issue.  It's easier to turn the debate onto simple, external villain.  The line of argument has the rhetorical advantage of totally absolving you of any need to discuss education policy, but it's not terribly satisfying as a result.  (And by the way, Wall St. Hedge Fund is a bit of a contradiction - Hedge funds are not market makers but are the actual clients of wall st. firms; besides, they're in Connecticut, mainly.)  What's missing is what has to change about schools, some of which will and should involve tenure changes.  Tenure elimination is a different matter entirely.  I see some middle ground.  And if you trace the money of Student Matters, you do get people with investments in charter schools, but you also find philanthropists without that.  The fact that Gibbs or someone else hasn't bought onto a theoretically overdetermined argument entirely is not evidence of anything more than that fact.  It's the third step after first proving you're right and second that he knows or should know you are.  

                      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                      by Loge on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 02:29:34 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Why? And what, exactly? (4+ / 0-)
                        What's missing is what has to change about schools, some of which will and should involve tenure changes.  Tenure elimination is a different matter entirely.  I see some middle ground.
                        Tenure in K12 is nothing more than protection against arbitrary firing.

                        Any teacher can be fired for cause, tenure or no. Any teacher has to earn tenure, over a period of time. A poor teacher can and should be either helped to improve during that time, or eased out the door before tenure kicks in. If they are not, it is the fault of their (usually much higher paid) administrator.

                        How will changing those facts help public education, exactly?

                        •  They won't help, but it will make for cheap labor (4+ / 0-)

                          which is a big part of the whole reform movement. Temp teachers with no rights, just like college adjuncts. That's the goal.

                          •  "no rights at all," goes way too far (0+ / 0-)

                            but New york's approach of greater budget autonomy to principals strikes me as a good idea.  They'd be the people against whom protection from firing would be asserted in the first run, but principals are probably the best placed to see the whole picture between teacher interest, student needs, and budget constraints.  Some adjuncts might well have unique bases of knowledge not within the ordinary teacher corps (multiple languages, actual experience in dance or music, related work experience), and maybe a school can address poverty issues by spending more on nutritionists or psychologists instead, and delegate some of the more shall we say supervisory roles teachers do (it's not all dynamic teaching, all the time) to newbs.  Assuming the money isn't going to appear in the next 5 years by thinking happy liberal thoughts, it has to come from somewhere - private sector sources are one part, but should stay a small part.  Still, there's always a price.   Some extra money may have to come from wage reductions, even though in a perfect world i'd double everyone's salaries.  I'd also suggest parent input should have the greater role in tenure decisions than it currently does.  Not every parent, maybe just the smart ones.  I bet this changes very little for most teachers, and it's probably not what the reformers would want either.  

                             New York over-relies on testing and uses it badly, but it does have many more academic options for students, including limited use of charters for special curricula, and not just because of its size.  (Other schools could use principal autonomy for more distance learning, etc.)  Making charters the only option as in New Orleans is ridiculous.  

                            Most of the time what's good for teachers is good for students, but while unions might not be defined by the lowest common denominator of their membership, they may well be defined either by the most vocal or the median member of their membership.  The trouble is what's good for the median student isn't necessarily good for the students i most care about - the exceptionally bright and the exceptionally troubled.  For most people in the middle, their lives will be defined by macroeconomic forces, but people at either end of the distribution can either go really right or really wrong, based on when and how we reach them.

                            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                            by Loge on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 05:05:07 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  there is a lot of variation (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          slowbutsure

                          in what constitutes cause, and what criteria have to be met for tenure at the first pass, and whether and how often that's reassessed.  I don't see tenure reforms as a single bullet solution and never claimed as much.  It was completely unreasonable for the court to strike down the L.A. tenure system on state constitutional grounds, but you'll notice the comment to which i was replying said absolutely nothing about education policy at all.  

                          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                          by Loge on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 03:38:35 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  As this law suit is being prepped (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slowbutsure, Darth Stateworker, AoT

                            for NYC - do you understand what it takes to get tenure here? My significant other and I just lived through the process & I know the intimate details of it. It is not just given out arbitrarily. You have to be reviewed, reviewed again, reviewed again, reviewed by your peers, reviewed by your principle, reviewed by the district, and reviewed each year for 3 years and garner a satisfactory rating. Two unsatisfactorily ratings & you can be fired. The bar is very high to get tenure. There is a reason these people are going after the largest and one of the most powerful teachers unions in American and it ain't cause they want to help kids.

                            As a teacher you already have to teach in constant fear for the first 3 - 4 years. When someone gets tenure it gives them a voice and they can't be fired for not having a incomplete bulletin board or if a kid fails a test, complains to their parents that the teacher is evil after cursing out the classroom and then demands to have the teacher removed (happened this year). Tenure allows teachers to be free of fear.  

                            “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

                            by Tool on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 04:38:33 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  In CA it is 2 years, and effectively 18 months. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AoT

                            On the other hand, districts are willing to give a teacher who did not get tenure a second chance a lot; it often takes more than 2 years to reach one's teaching stride.

                            Not a teacher; sleeping when they passed out those gifts.

                            ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

                            by slowbutsure on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 05:00:28 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Good (0+ / 0-)

                            i don't think and didn't suggest it's arbitrary.  And I'm glad it's hard.  Making it easier would make it more arbitrary, i.e., standardless.  More things should be hard.  It should probably be harder again at periodic intervals.  Totally different sets of issues from university tenure, where there's a first amendment stake.

                            As such, I like the idea of greater roles for the principal, as New York has done, and I'd like to see more parental involvement in tenure.  (Teacher and parent horror stories are probably each a terrible way to set policy.)  Why are peer teachers the measure?

                            The testing is not a good idea -- it's a waste of time for kids who don't learn in the same way.  it just doesn't do the job its proponents claim it does.  

                            Don't like the idea of being free from fear, philosophically.  Nobody likes fear, but it drives civilization.

                            Can't speak to lawsuits, but the idea that tenure violates a state constitution is pretty ridiculous.  

                            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                            by Loge on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 05:20:53 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  The unions have done all that and more (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    quill, Darth Stateworker

                    Please go do some research. your profound ignorance is demeaning the entire discussion. I'm sure you're a nice person but you are simply not informed enough to comment, and as such you look like an ass.

                    •  sticks and stones . . . (0+ / 0-)

                      i don't know where you get the notion i'm anti-union or denying there's been any movement on this issue.  Some reform proposals are going to be more genuine than others, natch, and I suppose i should have directed the comment not to unions as a whole, but rather to some of their defenders, here, who do mischaracterize opposing views, demonize opponents on entirely circular grounds, and, yes, are guilty of retrenchment.  Denying the prevalence of lousy schools and teachers is a prime example.  Suggests too low standard.  The kids and parents are lousy, too.

                      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                      by Loge on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 03:48:32 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You've got to be kidding. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Darth Stateworker
                        Denying the prevalence of lousy schools and teachers is a prime example.
                        Or maybe you just misunderstand the meaning of the word.

                        When corrected for economic levels, the US consistently scores at or near the top in international comparisons.

                        What is prevalent is economic disparity in the US.

                        •  Bad schools as prevalent as they are prevalent (0+ / 0-)

                          as long as it's not zero, i didn't misuse the word.

                          My high school supposedly did very well on these measures, and it didn't make me feel any better about it.  Even if you meant to defend the status quo in education, I still think we have to find a way to improve education for kids in school now, in the off chance we don't address economic disparity in the next 5-10 years to everyone's liking.  Teacher reforms are probably a small part of that.  Who is supposed to be comforted by the fact that our rich kids out test Belgium?

                          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                          by Loge on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 05:29:34 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Unless you are arguing that schools are (0+ / 0-)

                            predominantly bad, you are misusing the word.

                            prevalent |ˈprevələnt|
                            adjective
                            widespread in a particular area at a particular time : the social ills prevalent in society today.
                            • archaic predominant; powerful.
                            DERIVATIVES
                            prevalence noun
                            prevalently adverb
                            ORIGIN late 16th cent.: from Latin praevalent- ‘having greater power,’ from the verb praevalere (see prevail ).
                            THE RIGHT WORD
                            Wildflowers might be prevalent in the mountains during the spring months, but a particular type of wildflower might be the prevailing one. Prevalent, in other words, implies widespread occurrence or acceptance in a particular place or time (: a prevalent belief during the nineteenth century), while prevailing suggests that something exists in such quantity that it surpasses or leads all others in acceptance, usage, or belief (: the prevailing theory about the evolution of man).
                            Wildflowers might also be abundant in the valleys—a word that, unlike prevalent and prevailing, is largely restricted to observations about a place and may suggest oversupply (: an abundant harvest; indications of decay were abundant).
                            Plentiful, on the other hand, refers to a large or full supply without the connotations of oversupply (: a country where jobs were plentiful).
                            If wildflowers are rife, it means that they are not only prevalent but spreading rapidly (: speculation was rife among the soldiers).
                            If they're copious, it means they are being produced in such quantity that they constitute a rich or flowing abundance (: weep copious tears).
                            What often happens, with wildflowers as well as with other beautiful things, is that they become so abundant they are regarded as common, a word meaning usual or ordinary (: the common cold).
                            Like prevalent, common can apply to a time as well as a place (: an expression common during the Depression). But neither abundant nor common connotes dominance as clearly as prevalent does.
                            Is that, in fact, your contention?
                          •  i don't know where you sourced that definition (0+ / 0-)

                            prevalance is a proportion -- "Prevalence or prevalence proportion, in epidemiology, is the proportion of a population found to have a condition (typically a disease or a risk factor such as smoking or seat-belt use). It is arrived at by comparing the number of people found to have the condition with the total number of people studied, and is usually expressed as a fraction, as a percentage or as the number of cases per 10,000 or 100,000 people."

                            While not a majority, there are certainly a large number, and more in many districts.   Remember, I was responding to the claim that "a lot" of schools are lousy was a false claim.   I needed, and found, a word that expressed that a significant number of them are.  I've made it clear I think "not lousy" is a pretty tough standard, though.  Most have room for significant improvement.  They may do well meeting the goals Americans set for them, but they are pretty bad compared to potential and need.  Apparently people thought my high school was good . . .

                            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                            by Loge on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 05:01:29 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ah, a definition based in epidemiology... (0+ / 0-)

                            School is now a disease.

                            Got it.

                          •  the concept transfers to any population study, (0+ / 0-)

                            but think whatever you want.  Everything's good enough, etc.  

                            There may be something to it, though - a recurring diurnal condition causing numbness and making previously-enjoyed activities less interesting  . . .

                            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                            by Loge on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 07:20:27 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  Strong unions are an end unto themselves (0+ / 0-)

                    Unions are what built the middle class, it's what keeps people from shitty wages.

                    The more hyperbolic claim was the imputation of a subjective goal to make public education worse.
                    This is the goal. Not of the president nor of many well meaning parents, but it is the goal of the people who came up with these plans originally. These are giant corporations that spend tons of money to buy off school boards which then hire corporate consultants that screw the school up even more and then talk about how horrible the system is.

                    The simple fact is that without more money there is no way to fix schools. We can find all kinds of short cuts and improved ways to teach things, but the problem is a lack of money and nothing else. If schools aren't funded properly then they are going to be shitty, period. There is no magic way to organize a school that will fix the problem of not having money, no way at all.

                    In regards to charter schools, every independent study has shown that charter schools are no better academically than public schools. I wouldn't be surprised if they were actually worse given the fact that at least one of the major "success stories" for charter schools was a giant lie and all it's success was actually just cheating.

                    As with the post office the right wing is doing its damnedest to make sure any sort of public institution is hamstrung and undercut so that they can point to those institutions as an example of why government doesn't work. For some unknown reason the Democrats, or at least the more corporate friendly democrats, are fully on board with this when it comes to education

                    No War but Class War

                    by AoT on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 06:19:30 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  i agree on the money thing, (0+ / 0-)

                      but it's unsatisfying to conclude there's no other option in the meantime.  The charter school studies do not show that each charter school is no better, they show that on aggregate they're not better.  The idea that nobody is better off in a charter school is the ecological fallacy.  I like the notion of using them on a limited basis to experiment with different curricula, not to slap a fresh coat of paint on a school and put kids in uniforms and think that's progress.  As long as it's well-meaning parents and operatives getting involved in these initiatives, they can at least mitigate damages or steer the resources going to charter schools -- as they are, independent of whether or not any of us like it -- into mildly constructive areas.   Another way to do that is principal autonomy, which teachers tend not to like either., and perhaps not without reason from where they sit. I said elsewhere people probably hold my old high school up as an aspirational model.  It tests well, high college matriculation, all that stuff.  These people are completely what's wrong with this country.  

                      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                      by Loge on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 06:28:04 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Part of the problem with the money (0+ / 0-)

                        I would not be against charter schools if there was a simple requirement that they be treated like a public school in terms of the teachers union. I'm sure there are some good ones out there, but the negative effect of charters in aggregate means that those good schools aren't worth the negatives.

                        The other side of that is that even good charter schools are extremely limited in who they can admit. They are never going to be a school with a couple thousand students. That means that they have incentives for high performing students to leave public schools, which further damages public schools.

                        And as unsatisfying as it may be to conclude that we can't make schools significantly better without more funding every study shows that funding is the key. Sometimes you just can't do something right unless you have the proper resources. What's sad to me is that there is so much money going into charter schools and other programs to corporatize and undercut public schools that could instead go to lobbying for more money.

                        Education is one of the most important things we as a society do. Making sure that the proper resources are allocated to education is the minimum we can do to make education better.

                        No War but Class War

                        by AoT on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 06:47:06 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  i'll freely admit I care more (0+ / 0-)

                          that the highest performing students get the best opportunities than other students get whatever benefit there may be by having high performing (or different learning) students in the same schools as the herd.  The issue i have is charters are often  bundled with an emphasis on testing, which seems at cross purposes with the notion of moving away from the one-size-fits-all model.  (Ironically, the common core emphasis on method seems like something I would have enjoyed.)  I don't like charters driving the bus, but it's (a) a source of funds, and (b) a vehicle for diversification.  One constraint is the fact that teachers trained in the same ways, often long ago - it also has its benefits for many, and all things being equal, more salaries better than fewer.   But an administrator who thinks a troubled school might spend more money on an extra psychologist and pay for it with a scab science teacher seems not prima facie unreasonable. That's where criticism of teachers unions might come in.  

                          What I have at issue with the "reformers" is they take so much as a given.  but to say their subjective goal is to destroy social mobility, isn't even something i'd attribute to corporations, and there's a huge alternative argument where schools themselves are hurting social mobility.  If it's any consolation, I'm not sure graduates of supposedly high performing schools are any good at writing, either.  

                          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                          by Loge on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 07:34:46 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  That sort of attitude perpetuates the worst sort (0+ / 0-)

                            of institutional racism. Not only that it's downright elitist. Why bother with mandatory schooling past elementary? Everyone deserves a good education, not just the rightest people. And really, if they're that bright they can figure out how to learn on their own. It isn't as if public schools don't have any fast track classes for the smarter kids.

                            In regards to moving around money among faculty, that's the basic reason to have a union, so that workers can have some say over how much they make. Screwing over a science teacher so that the school can have a psychologist does the opposite of what you started out saying you wanted. A science teacher with shitty pay is not going to be the best science teacher unless the school gets lucky and some great teachers decides to work there despite the crap pay. "Pay teachers less" is not a solution, it's a guarantee that fewer and worse people will go into teaching.

                            And if their goal isn't to destroy social mobility and privatize the school system for profit then they sure are doing a lot of things that will make those things happen. The idea that they just happen to be pushing a program that will greatly benefit them while not improving schools but they really aren't doing it for themselves is absurd. The main thing that comes out of this movement is that the rich get richer and the poor get screwed. We can talk about all these theoretical ways that they could improve things, but they aren't listening to anything except what makes them money.

                            No War but Class War

                            by AoT on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 07:56:16 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The elitism was the feature, (0+ / 0-)

                            not the bug.  How is it worse than racism? I would apply this reasoning to suburban school districts, too, which is where i experienced having my curiosity limited  by the learning methods suited to the merely above average, but racism doesn't take individual attributes into account; elitism takes them into account possibly too much.  Elitism is not a bad thing, but if it were, it'd be less of one than racism.  Fast track is the same programs and methods, just slightly more homework.  Big deal.   Corporations have since figured out how to pay educated workers very little, so i'm not sure their interest in an uneducated workforce.  Even to speak of "corporations"as a unified whole strikes me as silly.  

                            Everyone deserves the education that will benefit them the most.  For the Lake Wobegone kids, they're mostly getting that.  Nobody's learning how to write, more than half the country doesn't believe in evolution, but sure.   If I were feeling particularly nasty, I'd ask what practical difference would it make if we hadn't had mandatory schooling past elementary, but that's obviously too far.  A source of funds to benefit the brightest, where that money is not currently available, should be in the mix, as a small piece of a larger whole.  Turning a whole school district over is another matter entirely.  

                            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                            by Loge on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 08:44:37 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It's not worse than racism, it is racism (0+ / 0-)

                            It's a further reinforcement of institutional racism. The problem is the link between race, socio-economic status and school performance. People of color are more likely to be poor and poor people do worse academically. So by focusing on those who do well you will leave people of color further behind when it comes to education, which will leave them further behind in a broad spectrum of socio-economic  measures.

                            Corporations have since figured out how to pay educated workers very little, so i'm not sure their interest in an uneducated workforce.
                            There is a significant difference in pay for people with a collage education as opposed to without, and a difference in unemployment numbers as well, a significant difference at that. Unemployment for people with college degrees is about half of that for people with just a high school diploma. What you're suggesting would mean that people of color would be even less likely to get a college education and would be ever more mired in poverty.
                            A source of funds to benefit the brightest, where that money is not currently available, should be in the mix, as a small piece of a larger whole.
                            I agree with this completely. Part of fully funding our education system is funding education for those who learn at a faster pace. The issue here is doing that at the expense of those who learn more slowly. We should maximize the benefits of education for each individual and for society in general. An educated populace is not just good for the individuals it is good for society. Just like less poverty improves all of society so education improves all of society. Education is a good unto itself.

                            How many Einsteins have gone undiscovered because they had a shitty school? How much have we not learned as a society because we can't be bothered to educate everyone to their potential? Our failure as a country to fully fund education has almost certainly denied us some great people. Maybe even people who could have solved problems like global warming or over population. And we'll never know because we already have an elitist system. It's just based on race and money instead of some sort of theoretical meritocracy.

                            No War but Class War

                            by AoT on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 09:13:55 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  i'd also only apply charters to high schools - (0+ / 0-)

                            tracking at the elementary school level is bonkers.  But i'm clearly referring to opportunities for people who do well within communities of color.  AP classes don't exist within the fast tracking at urban and deep rural schools that exist in suburban ones.   I don't know when elitism became a negative?  I know i don't have economic interests aligned with the wealthiest 1%, but I'll be damned if anyone wants to lump me in with the other 98%.

                            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                            by Loge on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 09:56:01 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Elitism is a negative because it happens (0+ / 0-)

                            at the expense of others. And while it may sound great to say that it will provide opportunities for people to do well within communities of color the reality is that communities of color will be hit harder by this because of the effects of poverty.

                            I'm not sure when elitism became a positive. You aren't a special snow flake that's better than everyone else, no matter how much you may believe it.

                            No War but Class War

                            by AoT on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 10:52:08 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The very nature of the root woord (0+ / 0-)

                            makes elitism a positive.  The special snowflake theory is, however, the literal opposite of elitism.  If everyone is special, as snowflakes are, special has no meaning.  There is something, however, to accommodating individual learning styles.  Since we can't do that for everyone, we should do it where the capacity for growth and appreciation is greatest.  I made it very clear that this applies for learning disabled, too.  It's just as absurd to tell an ordinary kid he's special as a special kid he's ordinary, in terms of benefiting at another's expense, but that's why I would only say this type of experimentation should be at the margin.

                            I'm biased I suppose by all the people I know with graduate degrees who think they're populists because they like Elizabeth Warren's policies.  If populism leads to good policy outcomes, it'll be entirely accidental, and in no way do people who say they campaign against elitism, actually reject it in how they conduct their lives.  Leading the working class is a good way to avoid joining it.  

                            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                            by Loge on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 11:55:28 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That's not how language works (0+ / 0-)

                            The root word can be good and the result bad. And the root just comes from the Latin for "to choose" which is hardly a great thing. Pretty unimpressive as far as roots go.

                            And I didn't say everyone was a special snowflake, just the folks who think they should be in charge and think they're the elite. I'm not trying to lead the working class to anywhere, I'm just a part of it.

                            Elitism is the scourge of our times. It wastes valuable resources on people who should be able to do fine without those resources as they're better than everyone else. I don't buy it.

                            No War but Class War

                            by AoT on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 12:16:28 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  the scourge is too much of what (0+ / 0-)

                            the russians call "poshlost."  I'd include the fauxlite in that, with alacrity.

                            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                            by Loge on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 12:26:17 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Character flaws are not what got us to this (0+ / 0-)

                            point. And fixing them is not what will get us to a better place.

                            No War but Class War

                            by AoT on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 12:54:54 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  we can have a system that either rewards (0+ / 0-)

                            or punishes certain character flaws, thus making them more or less likely to prevail.  also not the argument - the moral tackiness IS the scourge, not the cause of separate ills, though that's also the case.  We could solve all sorts of material problems, and it'd still be the 'scourge' of society.  Your argument finds a cultural elitism objectionable even if it accompanies a rise in living standards, which at times in history, it has.  Inequitable wealth allocation without noblisse oblige  is the worst possible combination.  And to be clear, I'm not referring exclusively or even primarily to character flaws of the poor.  The self-satisfied mediocrity i'm describing more or less peaks in what Paul Fussell called the "high proles."  Hard to get to the self-satisfied aspect with much less in material wealth.

                            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                            by Loge on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 01:30:14 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Here's the problem (0+ / 0-)
                            Your argument finds a cultural elitism objectionable even if it accompanies a rise in living standards, which at times in history, it has.
                            Correlation is not causation. Just because elitism accompanies a rise in living conditions does not mean that it is responsible for them. I'd challenge to to point out a time when elitism led to a rise in living conditions as opposed to just accompanying them.

                            Either way, simply picking "the best" and educating them means leaving most people behind, including many who could do well under different circumstances. The central conceit of this belief is that it is possible to separate a person from their social conditions and figure out who is objectively better. That's simply not realistic. The criteria for who is a part of the elite is largely arbitrary, not based on any sort of real differences between people.

                            No War but Class War

                            by AoT on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 01:35:52 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  i didn't say it was (0+ / 0-)

                            the policies adopted by the government would be, whoever constitutes it.  We're the party of scientists, remember?  Elites by another name.  

                            I don't accept the premise that affording greater opportunities to people who would most benefit from them is "leaving behind," as if anything but the gifted and talented programs would be neglect.  (placing some kids in the typical school is not neglect their abilities, but we covered that.)  There's always choice at the margin, and the tie should go to the exceptional, in all directions - they'd gain more than the average kids, who would still be average, would lose out.  The differences between the person who scores in the 79th percentile and 80th precentile is indeed pseudo-scientific, but there are clear outliers who should get the most resources, not because it would trickle down at some later period, but because educating the most educable IS the greater good.  This is again, why i think charters should be rare and very much the exception.  

                            Separating people from their economic circumstances is one of the points of education . . . but not everyone can, so if we were to separate the effects of education from the learning itself, more resources should go to the people most likely to graduate from graduate school, not just go to a 4 year college with a high acceptance rate.  

                            I also think we need to do a lot more to promote music education, at all levels.  We're losing history and in the classical canon, a record of excellence.  I have so much more elitism, yo.

                            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                            by Loge on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 02:20:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Scientists are not elites (0+ / 0-)

                            Or at least they shouldn't be. For the most part they are simply workers who more thoroughly document their work.

                            I don't accept the premise that affording greater opportunities to people who would most benefit from them is "leaving behind," as if anything but the gifted and talented programs would be neglect.
                            When you argue that we should embrace elitism even though education is underfunded then you are advocating exactly that as a practical position.

                            What it boils down to is that we need to fund education fully before we can figure out the answers to these questions. Otherwise we're simply giving people who are already in a better position socio-economically even more of a hand up.

                            To be clear, I'm talking about the reality of education as it exists now, not some theoretical future education where it's fully funded. We can't know what will be best in that situation until we actually get there.

                            No War but Class War

                            by AoT on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 02:38:21 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  well, then we have a disagreement (0+ / 0-)

                            on how i'm using that word, and on what scientists do, which is why one shouldn't overrely on matchbook Marxism.  

                            Your position is actually a dodge about the question of what do we do given that we can't fund education "equally."  And if we did, we'd still have to address calls for money to be redistributed within the system.  Any cuts from where the money is not currently being put to it's highest and best use is not the elimination of remaining education, in toto, which is what "neglect" / "leaving behind" entails.  We could double every dollar being spent on education, in anyway, and still face the same conundrum.

                            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                            by Loge on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 02:55:48 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  The purpose is to create another private market (4+ / 0-)

                out of a public service.  I don't think he is motivated by a desire to destroy the middle class, but I also don't think he gives a whit about improving education.  Introducing the profit motive into education is as deleterious to a good society as having our healthcare system run by the profit motive.  There is no public good served by either enterprise.  

                I think it's sufficiently well-established that turning public services into private markets harms our society.  Ergo, I don't think Gibbs's position deserves any place in the public discourse, except as a target of derision.  

          •  I could care less what his goal is (9+ / 0-)

            it will be the practical effect of his, and the president's, policies. And it isn't a complex problem, I could solve it fairly quickly, or at least solve the bulk of the problem. It goes something like this: Fully fund education, full stop. Once we do that then we can figure out how to make it even better, but that's the problem right now, the government has been steadily cutting funding for schools and then complaining that they are doing worse.

            If Gibbs and Obama and Rahm can't figure this out then they aren't really trying. Every study shows that it is true, except the one's done by corporate consulting firms that make their money off of "fixing" schools. The whole thing is a bad joke.

            If these folks continue to ignore reality then they have no excuse. This is willful ignorance.

            No War but Class War

            by AoT on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 12:49:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  you make 2 assertions that are false (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slowbutsure, Darth Stateworker, AoT

            that we have a lot of lousy schools and teachers. The scholarly research does not support those assertions. Period. Here's a few names to get you stated so you don't sound like a complete fool: David Berliner, Dean Baker, linda Darling Hammond, Diane Ravitch, and Jersey Jazzman. Come back when you know what you're talking about.

            •  well, it depends on how you define lousy, (0+ / 0-)

              doesn't it?  I'm familiar with two of those people, and I didn't claim to be an expert in education.  But i do know rhetorical overreach when i see it.  

              Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

              by Loge on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 03:32:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Honolulu is already there, & has been for decades. (5+ / 0-)
          The wealthier kids will all have migrated into private schools.
          Punahou, Kamehameha, Iolani, St. Louis, Maryknoll, Mid-Pacific Institute, Sacred Hearts, St. Andrew's Priory . . .

          http://www.privateschoolreview.com/...

          The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ♥ ♥ ♥ Forget Neo — The One is Minori Urakawa

          by lotlizard on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 12:30:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The weird thing is that there is no research (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT

            that supports better success outcomes from private schools.  It is true that they are less likely to rub shoulders with people who don't look like them, and they have a network to access that we public school folk do not have.  But success - not so much (keiko desu)

            ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

            by slowbutsure on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 05:05:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  As with everything, George Carlin spelled it out (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dartagnan, Darth Stateworker, AoT

          many years ago.

          ...Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I'll tell you what they don't want . . . they don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that . . . that doesn't help them. That's against their interests. That's right. They don't want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they're getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fuckin' years ago. They don't want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers . . . Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they're coming for your Social Security money. They want your fuckin' retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They'll get it . . .

          "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

          by Greyhound on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 07:53:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Here is how the moneytize charter (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Betty Pinson, AoT, quill

        schools.  Starts at the 5th paragraph.

        ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

        by slowbutsure on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 12:28:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not when it comes to teachers. (10+ / 0-)

      Teachers are special. Lots of Dems are only too happy to go after our unions, job protection, dignity . . . .

      "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

      by NWTerriD on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:04:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is no exaggeration. This is a WAR ON TEACHERS (12+ / 0-)

      You're with us or against us.

      No options.

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

      by zenbassoon on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 12:11:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also: War on Unions, War on Public Education... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Darth Stateworker, AoT

        I really wish people would get a clue about this. There is no "good faith" on the Reform side - it's all about affecting hidden agendas that have nothing to do with improving education. The arguments for Education Reform are exactly as honest as arguments claiming Global Warming is a hoax.

        "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

        by quill on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 04:31:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Fuck the asshole. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leftangler

      Details here.

      The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang, that jurymen may dine.

      by magnetics on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 12:38:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No Democratic candidate will get my vote ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Betty Pinson, quill, Tool

      unless they repudiate the present administration's positions on education and teaching. (No Republican will ever get my vote, regardless.)

      I don't care if the Democratic candidate receives the endorsement of the NEA and the AFT. Those organizations had President Obama's back for two elections. He has never had ours.  

      A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

      by slatsg on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 01:29:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The stupid, it burns. (58+ / 0-)

    The more Campbell Brown talks, the more embarrassing she is. Morally equating marriage equality with union busting says more about their derpy mindset than I ever could.

    There is this point in the conversation where, when you ask them how things will improve if they get their way, you get almost a pink and purple unicorn herding and magic fairy dust farming instruction manual.

    Break the unions. End teacher protections. Make being a teacher a McJob. Pretty much wipe out the mandate of the public schools to educate all comers, and replace it with the institutional mindset that only the profitable kids count.

    The Heritage Foundation will take it from there, I guess.

    Schools blossom? Society enters a golden new age of US dominance in math, science, and literature?

    Or.

    Things get worse, and since Very Serious Personhood is the the non-Conservative version of conservatism cannot fail it can only be failed, we get more Very Serious Centrism that is more about making money than making things better.

    I expect Campbell Brown to have buried several packages of Skittles in her backyard, wanting to get in on that Skittles Tree action she has seen in those mini-documentaries on tv in between the tv shows she watches.  

    "Real journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." -George Orwell

    by LeftHandedMan on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 07:47:20 AM PDT

  •  It's a non-stop disco (13+ / 0-)


    The forces never sleep, always advancing, taking, fouling, creeping toward the end goal to one day have it all.  Once the game of Monopoly is finally won the winner will cheer and then what?  Will we reset the board and start over?  The parasite is devouring the host to the point where the host will die.  Does the parasite win even still?

    The most un-convincable man is the one whose paycheck depends on remaining unconvinced. -- H. L. Mencken

    by kharma on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 07:49:04 AM PDT

  •  Ted Olsen was on Charlie Rose last week (17+ / 0-)

    along with David Boise talking about their new book covering the Prop 8 case that the two of them worked on together. Both Olsen's law firm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Boise's firm Boise, Schiller & Flexner, handled the case pro-bono and each firm spent million of dollars in attorney time and funding expert witnesses. All of that should be commended. However, when asked about their next big pro-bono effort Olsen mentioned the issues in the Vergara case and attacking teacher tenure. That's not good news for teacher unions.

    Teachers' unions have a huge PR problem, and efforts like Incite Agency are going to make it worse. The national and state teachers unions are among the largest and most powerful in the US. They need to mount a PR counter attack.

    "let's talk about that" uid 92953

    by VClib on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 08:03:06 AM PDT

  •  well, they've got to do something (20+ / 0-)

    Until Hillary starts campaigning and can hire them on.

    Plus, being paid gobs of corporate slush fund cash to bust unions and bash teachers is pretty much platinum quality material for a centrist Dem hack's resume these days.

    "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

    by quill on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 08:15:04 AM PDT

  •  So surprising... (18+ / 0-)

    /saracasm.  These people, imo, reflect their former boss perfectly.  

    "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

    by cardboardurinal on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 08:18:57 AM PDT

  •  I'm surprised (snark) (10+ / 0-)

    I've always said the Obama admin is anything but progressive.

  •  This is upsetting considering (42+ / 0-)

    it took my girlfriend four years of teaching (1 year in Harlem - 3  years in the Bronx) to obtain tenure. She garnered the highest rating of extremely effective and is not writing curriculum for Common Core this summer instead of taking a full vacation so we can go to Europe for three weeks. She has had to endure constant teacher evaluations, learning walks, principle meetings, staff meetings, unpaid work on the weekend grading, and thousands of hours of unpaid work by for lesson planning, teaching Saturday school, staying extra for regency prep, and now has to have the validity of her work questioned by neo liberal shits who have never taught a day in their lives. 99% of the time when a teacher gets tenure - they damned well deserve it. Most people who are bad teachers or not cut out for it burn out in the 1st or 2nd year.

    Union busting former Obama admin style. Gotta love it.

    “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

    by Tool on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 08:54:28 AM PDT

  •  I send my kids to public schools by choice (6+ / 0-)

    There's a charter that tests out very well just down the street. The school and the level of teaching seems much better than I remember.

    But then there's the teacher my kid (who is ungodly shy) had in third grade who used to make him stand up in the middle of the class while she told jokes about him and would punish him by making him sing, she was the #1 bully that year. I hoped she'd retire, but she's still there, other parents say their kids were terrified of her.

    Until there is a way to get rid of that teacher our public schools have a problem, if Gibbs is working on a solution, great.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:14:11 AM PDT

    •  Those teachers ... (18+ / 0-)

      can be gotten rid of .. but it seems as though you hate all unions .. because with out them .. you can be fired for no reason at all .. maybe the boss hates you .. and you wore a pink tie to work to support a cause ... and he booted your ass out? .. what would you say then?

    •  An effective administrator can deal with that. (28+ / 0-)

      It is ridiculous to pretend that firing teachers based on student test scores, starting charter schools, giving out vouchers or implementing merit pay will overcome the challenges facing a child living in poverty. -Jersey Jazzman

      by Desert Rose on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:40:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The principal seemed pretty good to me, (0+ / 0-)

        Real smart but unassuming, did great things for the school. Very poor school and we test out very high. Dedicated teachers. Like I say, much better teaching than when I was a kid. I do homework with my kids, I know what  they are doing.

        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 02:22:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  There has always been a way (23+ / 0-)

      to get rid of that teacher. Leaving teachers' employment vulnerable to the whims of bad administrators is not a necessary step to getting rid of bad teachers.

      Stop buying the privatizers' lies.

      "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

      by NWTerriD on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:15:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please don't tell me I'm buying anyone's lies (0+ / 0-)

        Thank You.

        I'm just a parent with two kids in school who supports public education.

        Maybe unions could figure a way to slide a harmful teacher out into a less harmful position. No reason they can't make the same money or have guaranteed employment. Not everyone is cut out to be a teacher, it's not just a matter of degrees and training.

        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 02:27:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your story lacks credibility. Sorry. Or you failed (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          emal, Darth Stateworker

          to do anything about it, there are many things that you could have done, called the superintendent, called the county superintendent, called the state dept of ed. Since you don't mention those things, I have to conclude you are wildly exaggerating the story.

        •  If you believe there's no way to get rid of (2+ / 0-)

          an abusive teacher without abolishing or even weakening tenure, then you're either buying somebody else's lies or you're making stuff up. I went with the less insulting choice.

          "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

          by NWTerriD on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 06:25:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It appears that you PM'd me and then blocked (0+ / 0-)

          my ability to respond privately. So I guess I'll have to do it here:

          I didn't consider it insulting to you to suggest that someone else has lied to you.I have no personal beef with you, and I didn't mean to be hurtful. Maybe you also don't realize how hurtful your statements are to those of us who work 12 to 14 hours a day (only 7 of them paid) and spend a couple thousand dollars a year of our own money on our classrooms, only to be told that WE are the problem.

          You said that what Gibbs is doing is good because abusive teachers currently can't be fired. This is a false statement. Tenure doesn't stop bad teachers from being fired. That is not true. It just provides due process. Either you have been misled or you're saying something knowing it isn't true. I have no reason to think you're a liar, so I'm assuming you've been lied to.

          I appreciate that you support public education. I don't understand why on this issue you're siding with those who want to destroy it. People who very much want to privatize education have been advocating the abolition of tenure for years -- it's one strand in their attempt to deprofessionalize teaching and bust unions, so they can replace public schools with for-profit charters, hire young inexperienced [read "cheap"] teachers for 2 or 3-year gigs at entry-level wages, and pocket the difference as profits. To them, public education is not a foundational institution of a democratic society; it is a 500-billion dollar trough to be raided. They've promulgated a huge, nationwide web of lies to help them get there, of which "bad teachers can't be fired because of tenure" is just one thread.

          I assume you're on this site because you share a belief in the progressive principles that it promotes, including workers' rights. The more progressive join with the privatizers in trying to undermine the work of teachers' unions, the more both public education and workers' rights will deteriorate.

          "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

          by NWTerriD on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 03:38:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I pm'd that I had no wish to interact with you (0+ / 0-)

            further and I respectfully asked you to do the same. I wish you'd respected my wishes.

            Thank You

            “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

            by ban nock on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 04:02:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, you didn't pm any such thing. (0+ / 0-)

              If you don't want to interact, then don't interact.

              "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

              by NWTerriD on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 09:20:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Recording device in the child's backpack (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, cybrestrike, Betty Pinson

      flip it on when the abuse starts, then take it to the media.

      "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

      by Hayate Yagami on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:23:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It can be done, but administrators have to (9+ / 0-)

      Have a backbone and most don't. I worked in a district where a few bad apples were gotten rid of, and saw how to do it.

      Turning the teaching profession into a minimum wage job with no benefits is not going to being quality people into the schools.  The bullies and the lazy teachers will come. The motivated ones will go into a profession where their talents are appreciated.  

      Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you. Gabby Giffords.

      by Leftleaner on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 01:03:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Most admins I've seen have been excellent (0+ / 0-)

        or to my uninformed eyes anyway. I think we have a great school with great people. Sending them to the public instead of the charter was a good call. Wish there were other places within the district for people who don't work out as teachers. No reason to cut anyone's pay or seniority.

        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 02:30:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This is just bull (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Darth Stateworker

      Professional status teachers can be gotten rid of and it happens. There is a process, it might take a little bit longer and I am talking months, but it does happen. So just cry your why that teacher is still there because of the union bs meme somewhere else where people are uneducated in what goes on in a school, teachers unions and the whole job evaluation/ performance process.
      I'd say your bigger gripe is with the administrator who isn't responsive to your story. Now why isn't that administrator ( not unionized ) doing their job and investigating your claims and following up with this in a performance evaluation??? And if they aren't listening why isn't their boss and up the food chain not listening?

      Yeah...gibb is great....your neoliberal anti unionized teacher bias is revealed.

      Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. Elizabeth Warren Progressive Wing of political spectrum.

      by emal on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 04:29:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  15 or 20 years ago... (15+ / 0-)

    Economic Royalist Right Wing Demi-Crats worked harder to maintain the Kabuki of being pro Main Street, pro working people.  

    Now they don't bother.  No need.  Everyone knows.  Of course everyone has known since DLC Bill pushed through anti-working people policies 20 years ago, we just didn't mention it in polite company.

    The only reason the 1% are rich is because the 99% agree they are.

    by GreatLakeSailor on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:15:39 AM PDT

  •  Clearly, Obama didn't get his comfortable shoes (11+ / 0-)

    from Gibbs .... if he ever really had any to begin with.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:19:31 AM PDT

  •  The bi-partisan war on teachers continues (24+ / 0-)

    Fuck him and the horse he road in on.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:19:58 AM PDT

  •  Not something to take lightly (20+ / 0-)

    Sadly we've seen that state level attacks on unions and government employees have often been rapid and devastatingly effective.  The amount of money at stake in educational services is almost unimaginably large and I think that's why we're seeing higher profile faces entering the fight.  The funding for these efforts is going to be well targeted and aimed at parents and school committees who, while trying to do the right thing, may be easily persuaded by slick presentations and utopian promises of the greatness of privatization.
    Throw in a few questionable court decisions and education will change forever and it's impossible to see how that could be change for the better.

  •  This is probably not the answer (4+ / 0-)

    but I think even the people most supportive of Unions recognize that some teachers abuse the system.  Between two kids I have 25 school years (one to go) of public school teachers in 5 states.  Best in Colorado, worst in Maryland.  All had tenure and there was nothing parents could do about the bad ones.  But the absolute worst I have seen was actually the spouse of a friend in Texas.  She was supposed to be middle school math teacher.  She failed the required state three times.  Bottom line she couldn't do the math that she was supposed to teach.  Was she fired?  Nope.  The contract with the teachers union said she coulnt be fired.  

    There is value in tenure.  There is value in contracts that limit the ability to fire without cause.  But I have never had my children in a school that didnt have at least one teacher that every parent talked about and told horror stories about.  You hope and pray and scheme and scream to make sure your kids dont get them.  The result is that their classes are filled with kids who have uninvolved parents.  Great, just what kids who are already starting behind need.  

    Like needing more and better Democrats, we need more and better unions and more and better teachers.  Emphasis on better.  

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:45:51 AM PDT

    •  True, and yet... (13+ / 0-)

      You get exactly the opposite of what you want when you weaken the unions. The Union teacher states are the best in the nation. No question about it.

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:45:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Parents talk and complain... (6+ / 0-)

      myself included, but very few mae actual complaints and those that do are not always verifiable or legitimate.

      There should be laws in place to have a teacher who is not qualified fired-tenured or not.

      I have taught 19 years with excellent scores and evaluations, yet this year after I made a coaching decision that angered  parent, I was hauled into the administration to defwnd being in a bar and drinking five glasses of wine because the parent's best friend saw me. It had happened months earlier, but once I pulled his kid from a match, it was Katie bar the door. He insisted that I be reprimanded or suspended due to his interpretaripn of our policy. Oh, and he was on the school board, so you better believe the principal did not sweep it under the rug. I avoided any consequences, but every two weeks or so, there was another parent complaint. Only because I had tenure did I survive, I can assure you.

      This was my third instance with a power-heavy parent or political enemy. I think that tenure should be a rigorous process-the California system sounds too short to me-but it should be available to protect public employees from outside pressure.

      The truth is always the truth whether you choose to believe it or not.

      by sfsteach on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 11:52:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  OK, one school, say 30 teachers, one bad apple (5+ / 0-)

      That's 97% good teachers. Can you say that about doctors, mechanics, lawyers?  There are stronger and weaker people in all professions. And they don't get ridden out on a rail elsewhere either.

      Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you. Gabby Giffords.

      by Leftleaner on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 01:07:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I do not accept your claim (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Betty Pinson, 3goldens, emal, AoT

      that any teacher's union has an agreement pursuant to which no teacher can be fired.  That's the kind of conspiracy theory that a rational person should reject.

      •  Didnt say that (0+ / 0-)

        or at least didnt mean to say that.  She couldn't be fired for not being able to pass the exam she kept failing.  She had to go through some kind of remediation process, fail that, then go through some kind of "you are about to be fired" probation and then and only then could she be let go.  

        It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

        by ksuwildkat on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 05:44:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So, there is a process. One that a competent (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          orestes1963

          administrator could follow in order to either help her improve, or let her go to find a career more suited to her abilities.

          What was your complaint, again?

          •  This is the PR problem.... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ksuwildkat

            that VClib alluded to above. For most people in their jobs, the first failure would have probably meant curtains. I think many people support due process. I think most would believe that 3 chances at a test would be plenty of process to be fair. Allowing 3 chances, then additional remediation and then a warning and then finally a termination procedure is too much due process. That is what many in the public cannot understand. Why it takes so very, very long to terminate a bad employee and why it frequently costs so much in legal fees.

            •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              OrganicChemist

              and let me tell you about AFGE - American Federation of Government Employees.  I had an employee with MULTIPLE substantiated sexual harassment complaints - unwanted advances, sex for grades offers.  The fact that he was going this was not in dispute by him OR the Union.  It took THREE YEARS to fire this guy.  I "only" had about 10 months of this nightmare but my civilian counterpart (I am military) lived it all.  For the Union the bottom line was that this cretan had never actually physically assaulted anyone so why were we getting all worked up.  Oh did I mention the women he targeted were 18-22 year old brand new to the military straight out of Basic and HIGHLY susceptible to coercion of authority figures.  But he was a "teacher" and had "tenure" and it was important that he be able to express himself openly and he was misunderstood and blah blah blah.  

              Again, I am a HUGE supporter of unions in any of the 3H jobs - hot, heavy and hazardous.  Without union protection those jobs are a death sentence.  I am a HUGE supporter of unions in portions of the service industry where otherwise businesses would compete for how little they could pay (Unionize Walmart gives me chills!).  But there are some jobs where the union movement has clearly lost its way.  Bad cops who can't be fired until they commit their 10th crime.  Bad teachers who impact hundreds of kids daily but take years to fire.  Bad bureaucrats who work the system for decades and retire right ahead of the discipline board.  I still have a complain file two inches thick in some AFGE office.  Not a single one was substantiated but I still had to go through the formal process to fight each one.  

              Union: "You are being unfair and targeting only some employees."  

              Me:  "True, I am targeting some"  

              U:  "SEE!"

              M:  "Im targeting the ones who SMOKE IN THE BUILDING in violation of Federal Law"

              U:  "Past practices!"

              And that is how you lose relevance.  When you (the union) actually entertain complaints that FEDERAL LAW is being enforced on FEDERAL EMPLOYEES you need to go away.  When a teachers union fights the firing of teachers that any reasonable person can see need to go, they lose credibility and relevance.  

              It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

              by ksuwildkat on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 06:00:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ksuwildkat
      Examples like this have moved the reform spotlight to focus on weakening the teacher unions and getting rid of tenure. This mantra has even been picked up in Texas, which is somewhat mystifying. Texas doesn�t have true teacher unions, and Texas teachers don�t have tenure! While there are procedures to be followed for the nonrenewal of a teacher after an initial probationary period, Texas law specifically provides that those procedures do not constitute a property right. Term contract teachers can be let go for any reason contained in district policy and have a right to a hearing only before the school board that hired the superintendent recommending the nonrenewal. As long as there is any evidence to support the board�s finding, the decision cannot be overturned.

      222 house republicans support the Ryan budget that would convert Medicare to a premium-support program. In other words, they want to repeal Medicare and replace it with a system that works just like Obamacare.

      by happymisanthropy on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 03:07:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cite my diary from 1/5/2011: "Bye-Bye Gibbs. (12+ / 0-)

    [Expletive Deleted]"

    He was not missed, and with good reason as he does his DLC master's bidding.

    He can still go F- himself, as far as I'm concerned.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:46:39 AM PDT

  •  The DLC (and its ideas) never die. (18+ / 0-)

    They're simply recycled and dressed up in new finery.

    The DLC -- the organization that spawned Bill Clinton and the deep-pocket corporate contribution mining by Terry McAuliffe -- absolutely despised teachers' unions.

    In this regards, these folks were merely an extension of Reagan's GOP policies (which stemmed for the GOP's long history of union-busting).

    That hatred of teachers' unions has never waned among the corporatist Dem crowd. It has been around since the early `90s and show no sign of letting up.

    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

    by Bob Johnson on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:02:32 AM PDT

  •  And no doubt he'll be doing it with a big (8+ / 0-)

    smile plastered on his face.  The sumbitch was always a little too smug for my taste.

    Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

    by bobdevo on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:14:17 AM PDT

  •  Superman went to a Public School. (0+ / 0-)

    And the union kicked him out because he cost too much in damage.

    They didn't realize that all that damage created jobs though.

    So they worked with Superman on CE credits once things stabilized. Used his talents for the heavy lifting.

    And then there was peace... briefly.

    I will never understand the play in the playbook where it says the best option is to tear something apart to make it better?

    I do think Charters should exist but not at the costs that are being projected. Charters can be a more "specific" type of educational environment beyond the basics of a well rounded exposure to "stuff." Not a replacement.

    Maybe unionize Charters? Aren't they in a way already?

    Signed,

    Lex Luther

  •  It's all about money (16+ / 0-)

    The most successful attack on higher education is the destruction of K-12 during the last 30 years. I've noticed recently lots of noise from the serious people about  education failing to educate our kids. Education is in the cross-hairs and its demise is inevitable. In addition to standing in the way of those who want a 100%-stupid electorate, education also provides the kind of job security that used to be more widely available in this country...so it has to go.
    There is a lot of money spent on education. Destroying the public system and replacing it with private schools opens the doors for CEOs and administrators to skim many of the dollars that are supposed to go to teachers and educating students and stuff their own pockets. It is all about the money.

    You Don't Happen To Make It. You Make It Happen !

    by jeffrey789 on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:16:39 AM PDT

    •  You are 100% correct! (9+ / 0-)

      Here in Michigan, aides to our Governor Snyder have formed a group which will provide a "value education" to lower income students, at a projected cost of about 5k a year. These students will have 60 students per computer-equipped classroom, with 2 adult aides and a master teacher overseeing the larger operation. What could possibly go wrong?
      We already have more charter schools that any other state. These charters are not well regulated by our Department of Ed, which allows charter owners to massively abuse the system because of poor oversight.
      Our local newspaper, The Detroit Free Press, has an ongoing investigation on charters, and published an excellent article on this very subject.

      "Experience declares that man is the only animal that devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general preying of the rich on the poor" - Thomas Jefferson "I don't care about the very poor." - Mitt Romney

      by bigrivergal on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:33:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  (Un)accountability of Charter Schools (9+ / 0-)

        (Un)accountability, by Mark Kleiman: What does a Republican charter-school enthusiast who believes in school-level accountability for educational results do when a charter school run by a big Republican donor gets a lousy evaluation score? Why, he cheats, of course.

        Tony Bennett, former head education honcho in Indiana and current head education honcho in Florida, to his chief of staff:

        Anything less than an A for Christel House compromises all of our accountability work.

        Bennett to the official in charge of the grading system for schools:

        I hope we come to the meeting today with solutions and not excuses and/or explanations for me to wiggle myself out of the repeated lies I have told over the past six months.

        Somehow, magically, the score for Christel House went from 2.9 (C+) to 3.75 (a solid A).

        Look: I believe in outcomes measurement. I believe in accountability. ... What I don’t believe is that the current set of testing/accountability/choice racketeers is going to make things better rather than worse. The cheating is so pervasive that I now see no basis for believing any claimed good result. ..."

        You Don't Happen To Make It. You Make It Happen !

        by jeffrey789 on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:46:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Do these jerks not understand that it is (15+ / 0-)

    UNIONS (that includes TEACHERS) that have been among the most stalwart Democratic voters?! Who do they think is going to go to the polls to cast votes? The pigs of Wall Street do NOT have the physical bodies to make the kind of difference during election seasons that Labor does. Those pigs may have the bucks but as long as people are still allowed to vote by the plutocracy, the Democratic Party STILL needs the people they've been screwing over and continue to screw over to show up and vote, damn it.

    God damn but I am sick and tired of these arrogant, snot-nosed shi** of the Obama administration (including Arne Duncan) making teachers their whipping post while they make themselves filthy rich off of doing so.  Gibbs, LaBolt, and Jones are nothing but soulless, greedy pigs snuffling at the Money Trough. And they can look down on their fellow human beings who teach, but they are still nothing but pigs at a trough.  

    "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

    by 3goldens on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:40:56 AM PDT

  •  Campbell keeps referring to a teacher from (14+ / 0-)

    California who molested a student, but they could not fire her/him due to tenure.  

    Factcheck.org or some other organization needs to get to the bottom of that, because I think it's a baldfaced lie.

    No one ever challenges her to fully explain or identify the circumstances of this "story."

    She and her chickenhawk-hubby, Dan Senor, are out to skim as many $$ they can from their lies.

    If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

    by livjack on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:42:57 AM PDT

    •  I am a retired teacher and union activist. (20+ / 0-)

      I have bargained contracts throughout my county for 35 years. I have been the president of my local. During my tenure, we had a case of a teacher molesting a student. The teacher was removed from the classroom the day the accusation was made. The teacher, after proper investigation, was fired with cause. No contract language I have ever run across, and I've seen many contracts over the years, has forbidden the firing of a teacher with cause. I call bullshit on Ms. Brown's assertion that a teacher couldn't be fired with cause because of contract language.

      "Experience declares that man is the only animal that devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general preying of the rich on the poor" - Thomas Jefferson "I don't care about the very poor." - Mitt Romney

      by bigrivergal on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 11:43:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is the problem with anecdotal stories. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Betty Pinson, 3goldens, AoT

      There is no evidence of their basis in reality, but people tend to believe them, because they are normally not inquisitive enough to dig deep enough to see if the story is real and undistorted.

      Their difficulty to disprove is matched only by their difficulty to prove, and hence they are effective political tools when trying to demonize a political enemy.

      "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

      by Darth Stateworker on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 01:46:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  if she ever appeared before a real journalist (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Darth Stateworker

        her fake story might be uncovered.  But that sure is her talking point introduction as justification for ending tenure.  

        Such a nasty, mean-spirited agenda.

        If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

        by livjack on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 11:07:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  These attacks are really getting old. (13+ / 0-)

    It's so disheartening to constantly read how bad we teachers  are.  If that's the case, why have I been busting my ass for the last 38 years?  I thought it was because I cared about my students and took pride in the work I do.  Apparently that must not be the case.

    “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

    by musiclady on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 11:13:13 AM PDT

  •  Wow, it's almost as if Gibbs had never (8+ / 0-)

    changed jobs in the first place.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 11:18:00 AM PDT

  •  Campbell Brown spouse (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson, 3goldens

      Is no secret ( Dan Senor) - so that gives her access to a huge amount of money to pay the 'centrist" dems.

        Pretty sad to see how easy / cheap they are too buy!

       

  •  This is a flat out WAR ON TEACHERS. (12+ / 0-)

    "You shall know them by their actions".

    They all SAY they want "great teachers".

    They all SAY they want "the best people to enter teaching"

    They all SAY "education is so important"

    Then they treat us like SHIT?

    They blame us for everything?

    They TAKE AWAY OUR RIGHTS?

    Good luck with that fuckers.

    NO. MORE.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 12:06:10 PM PDT

    •  and the worst teachers (0+ / 0-)

      know how to stay on Admin's good side.  They won't magically go away once tenure is gone.

      222 house republicans support the Ryan budget that would convert Medicare to a premium-support program. In other words, they want to repeal Medicare and replace it with a system that works just like Obamacare.

      by happymisanthropy on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 03:15:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's less a war on teachers (9+ / 0-)

    than a war on the middle class. Teachers are the collateral damage.  The only motivation here is profit. These people could care less about "education."

    By the way, Campbell Brown is married to Neo-Con hack and Iraq war cheerleader Dan Senor, for those who weren't aware of that. Senor is a fanatical piece of work who was slated for a high Cabinet position in a Romney administration.

  •  And why is it that these tenured teachers (5+ / 0-)

    ARE ALL BLACK???

    They're going to war against tenure in the URBAN schools. Where there are teachers of color.

    When Rahm fired all those teachers last year, MOST OF THEM WERE BLACK.

    Of all the longest serving teachers in urban schools, MOST OF THEM ARE BLACK.

    And what are they going to replace them with?

    Highly qualified teachers of color who go through an accredited education institution?

    FUCK NO.

    They're being replaced with LILY WHITE TFA SCABS.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 12:10:49 PM PDT

  •  May I just add (5+ / 0-)

    Campbell Brown went to religious schools and prep schools exclusively. She claims to have taught English in Czechoslovakia, but it sound like that was a religious mission of some kind. How could anyone in their right mind imagine she has anything to contribute to the debate on public schools? This is yet another effort of the Bush Donor Group Inc. to hawk their fad concepts toward the goal of privatizing public education money. And Robert Gibbs has lost all future credibility in my book by accepting this blood money in pursuit of weakening the options of people attracted to teaching.

  •  I used to like Chris Dodd too (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polecat, Betty Pinson

    until he started to believe in dead presidents and stopped believing in karma.

    We need to invade the Cheney compound. It's ok. They'll greet us as liberators.

    by thenekkidtruth on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 12:38:14 PM PDT

  •  Just another example of (2+ / 0-)

    "change you can believe in" I guess.  If only the administration had lived up to the campaign, ideally by HIRING the experts on the campaign staff instead of corporate shills.

  •  Todays "mainstream" Dems don't support labor? (5+ / 0-)

    This is a total shock to this member of organized labor.

    /snark

    Todays Democratic party is largely controlled by corporate interests and acts like a bunch of Third Wayers even if they don't officially identify themselves as Third Wayers.  This is not a shock at all, and it is not news to anyone that doesn't agree with Third Way nonsense or self-identify as a Democratic "centrist."

    It is no surprise that they are going after teachers unions - and unions in general.  Unions no longer have enough sway at the ballot box to keep them honest.  This is true even here in New York - the state with the largest percentage of union members in the nation.  You can see this by simply looking at Andrew Cuomos actions when it comes to economic policy and his treatment of his own unionized (and non-unionzed) labor force.  In fact his treatment of his non-unionized labor (largely confidential human resources staff and mid-level management) is so egregious that it should be causing a huge uproar in this state.  It does not, however, because the number of employees affected numbers a little less than 10,000.

    Things will continue this way until Democrats again fear labor at the ballot box or we move to 100% publicly funded elections to take the money out of our political process.  Neither of which appears bound to happen any time soon, if ever.

    "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

    by Darth Stateworker on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 01:08:36 PM PDT

  •  Tell me scary stories about Republicans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson, AoT

    Tell me about false equivalency and how we must keep supporting politicians who hire soulless sellouts.

    Integrity is out of fashion in DC but that's not news to anyone.

    I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

    by jbou on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 01:32:30 PM PDT

  •  I'm not sure addressing tenure, (0+ / 0-)

    which in many states absolutely should be curtailed (California being one of them) is the same as destroying teachers unions.

    Is Gibbs suddenly supporting "Right to Work" legislation? If not, I think this diary is a bit too hysterical.

    •  The problem with tenure (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Betty Pinson, 3goldens, emal

      is not tenure itself.

      It is incompetent administrators that cannot properly document disciplinary charges - or are too lazy to do so - in a manner that will ensure a win in front of an arbitrator.

      Secondly, the issue lies in significant underfunding of arbitration systems that leads to incredibly long waits to conduct a hearing.

      Resolve these issues, and there is no issue with providing employees tenure/due process rights.

      "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

      by Darth Stateworker on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 01:42:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just like his former COS Rahm Emmanuel. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, Betty Pinson, AoT

    Be nice if they brought in and supported some Democrats.

    I won't believe corporations are people until Texas executes one. Leo Gerard.

    by tgrshark13 on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 02:18:26 PM PDT

  •  Lets keep this campaign in the spotlight (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Stateworker

    We can't allow the Dem community to ignore the problems this raises, not just for public education, but the direction our own party leadership is moving.

    We can't allow Dem leaders to turn the party against unions. It's a huge mistake.

    Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

    by Betty Pinson on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 05:41:26 PM PDT

    •  The problem isn't just Dem leaders. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Betty Pinson, jbsoul

      As we see even here routinely, there seem to be a lot of rank-and-file Dems who also have bought into the idea that attacking unions/teachers is appropriate and even warranted, thus making it appear that this is now a "moderate, centrist" thing to do.

      We need to address that issue as well.  Too many Democrats have bought into the right wing propaganda about unions and teachers over the years - and that is hurting the labor movement overall.  The GOP and the anti-unionists have been very effective with their anti-union campaign.

      "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

      by Darth Stateworker on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:05:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Our educational system has gone from the (0+ / 0-)

    undisputed best-in-the-world, to one of the very worst among OECD nations in my lifetime.

    What shocks me most is how little parents seem to care about this fact.

    Look at how many fools still defend California's prop 13 even as the devastation it wreaked surrounds them.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

    by Greyhound on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 08:04:38 PM PDT

    •  The thing is (0+ / 0-)

      when US schools with poverty rates like those of the other OECD nations are compared, the US schools come out on top.  When parents are surveyed, they tend to like their neighborhood schools.  Schools in high poverty areas--particularly in the inner city--have a lot of issues.  Suburban schools?  Not so much.  Why must we apply the same solutions to all schools--particularly those who don't have the problems?

      “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

      by musiclady on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 05:15:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good Ole Robert "Professional Leftists" Gibbs? (0+ / 0-)

    That guy is a jerk and a disgrace. Hearing those disdainful words, "Professional leftists" come out of his mouth was one of the most sickening moments in my life. That is when I gave up on politics. It's just not worth putting myself through that kind of stress and disappointment, year after year.

    Screw Gibbs and his kind. I hate them.

    "We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet." -- Stephen Hawking

    by dratman on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 04:55:53 PM PDT

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