The nuns always warned us about telling tales out of school, tattling, gossiping but since I’ve long been out of school I feel I can do it although the following aren’t really tattle tales or gossip. They’re scary but true tales.
Arne Duncan, who never taught a class or wrote a lesson plan in his life but did attend the elite University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and majored in sociology at Harvard, later presided over the disintegration of the Chicago public school system for almost 10 years.
Apparently because of that sociology degree and his outstanding Chicago failure, Duncan was tapped by President Obama in 2009 to be the nation’s Secretary of Education, the rough equivalent of hiring Yogi Berra to teach logic to baseball players.
Secretary Duncan experienced a rare attack of honesty for a politician when he recently conceded, “And the best ideas, I’ve always said, in education are never going to come from me or frankly from anyone else in Washington,” despite the fact his cabinet-level department is primarily charged with establishing United States educational policy.
Needless to say, Duncan qualified his admission of his own and Washington’s ineptitude by saying that the best ideas are “always going to come from great teachers, great principals at the local level” where people better understand their communities’ needs.
Duncan was inadvertently raising the question of why a federal education department, created as the brainchild of Jimmy Carter, is needed at all and why its budget has almost tripled in a decade even as the nation’s educational system is rapidly approaching levels considered unacceptable in the Third World. (http://bit.ly/oeMBU0)
He didn’t answer those unasked questions and didn’t have to. Teachers and their overbearing national union, the National Education Association and its affiliates, provide the answers every election cycle when they show up en masse to support Democrat candidates as payback for government, i.e. taxpayer, largesse.
As a nitwitty teacher proudly said one Election Day in our faculty room years ago in response to a query as to how she planned to cast her vote, “I don’t know. I just vote for whoever the union tells me to.”
Teachers and other Wisconsin public employees know full well whom not to vote for, newly-elected Republican governor of the Badger State, Scott Walker.
The dastardly, union-busting, benefit-reducing Walker, the same governor who has put his state on a path to fiscal sanity and has actually added 43,400 jobs to Wisconsin’s payrolls according to the CES, the Current Employment Statistics survey, discovered once again the depths which unionistas can plumb when he visited the Messmer Catholic School in Milwaukee.
Governor Walker and his state had already witnessed those depths last winter when union thugs caused millions of dollars in damages to the state Capitol building in Madison, ostensibly in protest of his fiscal proposals but also in protest of his fair and democratic election.
Wisconsin state senators cowardly fled the state and their responsibilities, death threats were made against Walker and other Republicans, and efforts at recall elections were launched, all examples of unions in action against the democratic process and sad foreshadowings of America’s potential future.
( See “Education News, None of It Good,” http://bit.ly/osWzMr.)
Still, Walker couldn’t have been prepared for the shameless union ugliness exhibited outside Messmer Prep as he read Dr. Seuss to elementary school kids.
Messmer, a “choice school,” prides itself on its status as an alternative to Milwaukee’s dismal, unionized public school system. Messmer sends 85% of its students on to college, a figure which stands in stark contrast with Milwaukee public schools which manage to graduate–which is not to say educate–a disgraceful 41.1% of their students.
Ed Morrisey details the actions of the unionista protest against the governor of Wisconsin having the audacity to tour a state of Wisconsin school.
Union malcontents in obvious distress over a successful educational institution unsuccessfully protested outside Messmer during the governor’s visit, protests including physical intimidation of Messmer’s unflappable African-American principal Brother Bob Smith, verbal attacks on staff members, and mindless chanting outside the school.
They had staged a pre-emptive attack the night before by Supergluing and jamming locks on the schoolhouse doors, a childish trick the protesting teachers must have learned from their students, and followed up by boisterously attempting to disrupt Walker’s efforts to encourage the accomplishments of the school and Messmer’s kids.
See and contrast the behavior of those bright, well-behaved kids with the unruly, unkempt, bullying mob of union teachers reinforced by SEIU goons on a 4:49 video here: http://bit.ly/ruh9kB
No one, neither Republicans such as Scott Walker nor thinking Democrats nor other American citizens is denying the many contributions of the union movement to our society. Many people are coming to realize that some unions are out of control and making unsustainable demands during uncertain times.
In view of the fact the man in charge of national education policy, Arne Duncan, admits he hasn’t a clue as to offering a solution to our educational mess and all Wisconsin teachers and the NEA can offer is bluster and disruption, maybe it’s time for the abolition of the Department of Education and a return to the time-proven standard of Every Child Who Can’t Measure Up Left Behind.
My nuns may have been brutal on occasion and were almost always inflexible but they accomplished their assigned goal: They educated us. I can tell that tale out of school.