"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"...no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." – Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Makin' Whoopi


Ok, so Whoopi Goldberg is 1) either completely ignorant of what "tenure" means to a K-12 teacher or 2) she's been bought by the corporate "reformers" of television land.

Whoopi, for those of you who don't know yet...claims to love teachers (yes, her mother was a teacher), but hates "bad" teachers. So, since "bad" teachers are ruining it for everyone we need to support the legal fight against them and against "tenure" laws which give "lifetime employment" to "bad" teachers. Right? Not quite.

Ken Previti, over at Reclaim Reform, suggests that, instead of cursing her, we should educate her...

In defense of Whoopi Goldberg: She needs to be educated about due process.
Please email, tweet or otherwise contact Whoopi with the correct definition of tenure as you educate her about the scapegoating teachers are having inflicted upon them all across America. She needs massive amounts of our input; please help her understand.
This prompted a heated discussion on Diane Ravitch's blog entry, Ken Previti: In Defense of Whoopi Goldberg. It's a great discussion...have a look.


I don't see any problem with trying to educate Whoopi Goldberg in the truth of K-12 tenure...as long as we don't expect it to make a difference.

See, Whoopi might be the "liberal voice" on The View, but that doesn't mean anything when it comes to public education issues.

Democrats, Liberals, and other fellow travelers
  • When Barack Obama was running for President in 2008 a lot of us -- not knowing that he had his hands in corporate pockets -- assumed that he would come in and overthrow No Child Left Behind and usher in a new day in public education. Unfortunately, his promising words fizzled once he moved into the White House.
"Don't label a school as failing one day and then throw your hands up and walk away from it the next. Don't tell us that the only way to teach a child is to spend too much of a year preparing him to fill out a few bubbles in a standardized test...You didn't devote your lives to testing. You devoted it to teaching, and teaching is what you should be allowed to do." -- Candidate Barack Obama talking to the NEA, Summer 2007
  • Who remembers that Davis Guggenheim was the one who helped Al Gore blow the whistle on the corporate destruction of the environment?
  • What about the Dems in Illinois? Check out Mike Klonsky's blog if you want to be informed about how the Democrats are treating public educators in the Land of Lincoln. And do I even have to mention the Democratic Mayor of Chicago?
  • How about NY Governor Cuomo -- Democrat, right? Let us also not forget that until 2001 Michael Bloomberg was a Democrat.
There is no guarantee that traditional friends of public education will support us...just because they call themselves Democrats or liberals. Just because Whoopi Goldberg is the "liberal voice" on her TV show doesn't mean that she will support public education the way we want her to.

Teach her the truth about tenure and due process...but don't hold your breath.


Immediately following the Vergara trial I entered into a discussion with a conservative friend -- like Whoopi, a child of a teacher who ought to know better -- and he continually tried to partisan-ise the whole issue.
Its funny the CTA is complaining about money when they just spent $2 million in the State Superintendent's race. They are also attacking Eli Broad, a life long Democrat.
Yeah, like Eli Broad is a "friend of public education."

...and later...
...One of reasons public education is not discussed now is that Republicans are from suburban/rural districts where their constituents believe they have good schools and they do not want to rock the boat; and the Democrats are mainly from urban areas where they do not want to take on the public teacher unions.
Again...blame the unions for bad teachers.

There are very little [sic] Republicans left in California; so these are mainly Democrats who are concerned about public education and the power of the CTA. Some schools are in such horrible shape, that the State passed a “Parent Trigger Law”, which allows 51% of parents with children attending a low performing school to sign a petition and force actions such as closing the school down completely, replacing the principal, firing 50% of the teachers, or converting it into a charter school.
His point was that "even the Democrats are in favor of busting the union and getting rid of tenure." Oh, and the parent trigger will solve all the problems of "public education."

The surprise was that I wasn't surprised that Democrats are into "school reform" up to their elbows. I think he was the one who was surprised that I didn't try to deny the Democrats involvement. He just assumed I was "one of them."

Here's an idea...and this is one for Whoopi, too (after all of us educate her):

How would it be if we held a meeting about "bad" teachers in which the local administration presented facts proving that the "bad" teachers were actually "bad." After all, we wouldn't want to accidentally fire the "good" teachers, would we? If an impartial observer agreed that the teachers were, indeed, "bad" then we fire them. Just like that! Problem solved.


All who envision a more just, progressive and fair society cannot ignore the battle for our nation’s educational future. Principals fighting for better schools, teachers fighting for better classrooms, students fighting for greater opportunities, parents fighting for a future worthy of their child’s promise: their fight is our fight. We must all join in.

Stop the Testing Insanity!


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