Could we please stop the madness? Could we please just stop it? The never-ending stream of rhetoric and babble about what to do about educating the children, what to do about underperforming schools and underperforming teachers and No Children Left Out in the Cold and Racing to the Top…of………something. All the same old malarkey and sloganeering and BS that we have been hearing for decades, from the same old crowd – politicians and liberal “educators”. We are sick to death of reading articles or seeing blurbs on TV or the Internet where ‘Educators say this’ and ‘Educators say that’ and ‘the Education Secretary outlines proposals for this, that and the other’.
The latest outrage? Five billion dollars. $5billion. $5,000,000,000. For what, you say? Well, it’s not really clear for what. Some mumbo jumbo about a competition or something, coming out of the braintrust known as Obama-Duncan.
On Wednesday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan spoke to teachers at a town-hall meeting to launch a $5 billion proposal that would try to improve the teaching profession at every level, from the recruitment and training process to the career ladder and pay and tenure systems.
“Our goal is to support teachers in rebuilding their profession – and to elevate the teacher voice in shaping federal, state, and local education policy,” Secretary Duncan told the teachers, according to prepared remarks. “Our larger goal is to make teaching not only America’s most important profession – [but also] America’s most respected profession.”
It’s trendy now to accuse others of using “code” when they speak on a subject, so we’ll follow suit and say that when Duncan says “elevate the teacher voice” , that’s code for “elevate the union voice”. But you knew that. The article goes on with lofty rhetoric about the majesty of the teaching profession and how the educators need to take ownership of it (with other peoples’ money, of course). But this $5 billion? What’s that supposed to do?
The details would be hammered out in discussions with Congress, but Duncan has promised that it would look comprehensively at the teaching profession, touching on a few main areas:
• Reforming teacher colleges and making them more selective.
• Reforming compensation – including tying earnings to performance, paying teachers more for working in tough environments, and making teacher salaries more competitive with other professions.
• Creating new career ladders for teachers (in which they could develop some leadership and administrative skills but still be in the classroom).
• Reforming tenure.
• Improving professional development, giving teachers more time for collaboration, and giving some teachers more autonomy.
• Building teacher evaluation systems based on multiple measures
Reform this, reform that, create “career ladders”. Career ladders??!! Are you kidding me??!! We don’t give a fig about anybody’s career ladder, we’re sick to death of this constant “reform” mantra and we’re definitely not on board with massaging the egos and inflating the wallets of a bunch of pampered, self-righteous, self-important teachers, or “educators”, who Arne Duncan thinks are “nation-builders”. That’s rich, isn’t it? The education “profession” has spent the last two generations tearing America down and Arne wants to reward them for building the nation! Give me a break.
Here’s a little learning curve for ya, Arne – when we get to the ballot box this November, that “career ladder” you and Barack and Valerie and Rahm and David and Michelle and the whole gang are on is going to get yanked out from under you. You’re not getting your five billion dollars, you’re not getting your next years budget and, in fact, one fine day, your vaunted Department of Education is going to be relegated to the dustbin of history as education is returned to the states and the local communities where it belongs. And these ‘teachers colleges’ you want to rave about? Those belong to the States, Arne, not the Federal Government. Those are going to get taken back, too.
Oh, yes, this learning process may be slow and at times painful but it’s going to extend not just “To the Top”, but all the way to the bottom, as our Governors, legislators, local governments and school boards learn that there is a new Teacher in town named John Q. Public. John Q’s going to take the schools back and the kids are going to be taught what the public wants them taught, when they want them taught and how they want them taught, using the materials they want them taught with.
Get a good nights sleep, eat a hearty breakfast and be prepared to learn it and live it, ‘Educators’. You’re about to be given a lesson. Boehner! Stop crying and listen up! Are you paying attention? What did we just say? Are you taking notes?