‘Puter promised a response to the local teachers union president’s response to the Democrat and Chronicle’s responsive editorial to the teachers’ union led rally held in response to Gov. Cuomo’s proposed education reforms. Got all that?
As promised, here goes. ‘Puter cannot promise that his response will be free of petty name calling, outright mockery and shaming because, well, because that’s what ‘Puter does best.
‘Puter watched local media coverage of the rally, read supporters’ commentary on Facebook and discussed the rally with several individuals present. Further, ‘Puter is thoroughly familiar with the local teachers’ union president and the district’s current interim superintendent, both of whom are true believers in maintaining the status quo as related to teachers’ unions, tenure, pay structure and work rules. ‘Puter understands the issues and knows the players.
Rally Composition, or “White and Suburban Enough For You?”:
As the D&C correctly notes, the vast majority of participants in the rally were (1) white; (2) upper middle class; (3) suburban, (4) anti-testing and/or (5) union members. Mostly number five, plus their kids to use as props. There’s nothing wrong with any of this. However, ‘Puter and most rational adults aren’t interested in pretending a union-led, partisan rally isn’t partisan.
The local teachers’ union is Hell-bent on defeating any objective measurement of teacher performance. God forbid anyone mention real consequences be tied to objectively measured teacher performance. It’s almost as if teachers have no clue as to how the world of private sector employment works, where nearly all jobs are at will, no matter how long you’ve been there. Worse, it simply be that unions are aware of how the world works and simply don’t care so long as their members aren’t inconvenienced. Sadly, ‘Puter’s betting it’s the latter.
Anyhow, back to ‘Puter’s local union rally and its lily-white attendees. The local teachers union cobbled together a group of union die-hards and parents to protest Gov. Cuomo’s reforms by convincing the parents testing is harming their children. Most parents in attendance are unaware they are being used by the teachers’ union to push positions that will actually damage their kids in the long run. Who benefits from unaccountable teachers? Certainly, children and parents aren’t the beneficiaries. Only teachers and teachers’ unions benefit from unaccountable teachers.
The rally’s real message: “Preserve the Status Quo, Your Kids Be Damned”:
The union president claims the rally did in fact press positive ideas, yet conspicuously changes the subject to “the big lie” that “America’s schools are in crisis.” ‘Puter assumes that the union president’s positive ideas involve deny the obvious (America’s schools are in crisis) and changing the subject. This is par for the course, and straight out of the teachers’ union’s playbook, which to its credit has worked well for the unions for decades.
The union president alleges the rally had a positive message, namely “Public Schools: the Essential Institution.” The rally could’ve just as accurately been titled “We’re Not Going to Do Anything to Help Your Kids and There’s Not a Damned Thing You Can Do About It.”
The union president rages against The Man (and all available facts) claiming “public schools are working, remarkably well.” The union president states since parents are pleased with the public schools, and students are achieving well, there can be no further discussion of public schools, their teachers and their operating methodologies.
This, dear readers, is the union equivalent of “the science is settled.” Or, if you prefer, “shut up, the union explained.”
Contrary to the union stooges, parents aren’t enraptured with the substandard quality of their kids’ educations:
When given the opportunity, parents opt out of public schools in droves.
Witness the voucher program in Washington, DC, or the voucher program in Milwaukee, or the “parent trigger” program in Los Angeles. Each of these programs arose to address chronically failed or failing schools. Each of these programs was welcomed by most parents. Each of these programs succeeded to a greater or lesser extent. And each of these programs is under constant attack by teachers’ unions in those localities. It’s clear parents are not as pleased with the quality of their kids’ “free” education as teachers’ unions claim.
Public schools are not performing well, leaving aside whether teachers, parents, students, administrators, taxpayers, legislators, or some, all or none of the foregoing are to blame.
The city of Rochester in ‘Puter’s own Monroe County, New York has no fewer than 15 failed schools. In the most recent U.S. News & World Report rankings, ‘Puter’s local public school district finished in 636th place, not exactly lighting up the academic world, despite our union president’s claims otherwise. ‘Puter would argue in many cases, suburban public schools are succeeding despite the current leadership, not because of it.
‘Puter also states emphatically that not every parent in the union president’s local district is thrilled with the quality of education her child receives. ‘Puter knows Mrs. ‘Puter and he have had to push and prod to get appropriate educational opportunities for our child, as public schools are currently geared to ignore two types of students: (1) male and (2) above-average. ‘Puter’s son would be better off if he were a transgendered psychopathic student of color. Then ‘Puter’s son would get all the attention he merits. But being white and male, ‘Puter’s son can be safely ignored. After all, ‘Puter’s son’s white privilege will save him.
No, Mr. Union President, Rochester area schools (starting with your own) aren’t the bee’s knees:
Hopelessly deluded (or outright lying), the union president stated “[s]ome of the best public schools in the country … are right here in the Rochester area,”
‘Puter LOLed, he did. As noted above, in the city of Rochester no fewer than fifteen schools are currently failing under New York’s ridiculously low bar, and five of those fifteen have been failing for the last ten years. Really. If ten or more years of consistent failure is what the teachers’ unions label success, ‘Puter would hate to see what the unions would call failure.
As for inconvenient truths, ‘Puter would note that his local school district, filled with predominantly white, upper middle class students, cannot manage better than a 636th place finish nationally (not counting private schools which would surely push the district’s ranking lower), despite the union president’s “37 years” of continuous service. If things were as super-dee-duper awesome as the union president would have us believe, wouldn’t his own district’s national ranking be higher?
‘Puter guesses in the union’s warped view of reality saying something’s true over and over again really does make it true. This should scare the Hell out of parents. It is a damning indictment of the teaching corps’ intellect and ability when teachers unions insist a demonstrably false proposition is true.
Yelling at usually sympathetic media for pointing out the emperor is butt-assed nekkid isn’t a reform proposal, despite the union’s most fervent wishes otherwise:
The union president is incensed that the D&C’s editors called out the unions, challenging the teachers’ unions to put forth substantive reform proposals rather than to bitch about Cuomo’s proposals. How dare media question educators! It’s not as if an entire generation of so-called “educators” cratered New York’s once-competent public schools, pushing esoteric, feel-good hippie ideology (e.g., ecology, environmentalism, LGBTQWTF?LOL!XYZPDQ rights, etc.) instead of math, science, literature, language, grammar, writing and critical thinking.
Yes, Mr. Union President, public schools are a monopoly. Worse, they are a monopoly consumers cannot refuse to fund, as your politician cronies helpfully tax money out of an unwilling populace’s wallet at the point of a gun. ‘Puter’s betting that many teachers’ union members are anti-bank, anti-Wall Street and anti-monopoly in the private sector. Hypocritically, most of these anti-monopolists are perfectly fine with the public education monopoly since it enriches then, student outcomes be damned.
And yes, Mr. Union President, public schools have been metaphorically “beating their wives” for decades, despite your unsubstantiated assertions otherwise. Nearly every measure shows American students’ average performance has declined against the world’s students. Teachers unions have fought against changes that could have prevented generation after generation of inner-city poor minority kids from being sentenced to a lifetime of ignorance. The teachers unions have blood on their hands. If the teachers unions are not wife beaters, they are most certainly child abusers, damning children to poor outcomes out of self-interest and avarice.
“Oh, yeah? You think that’s a toxic assumption? Well, get a load of the toxic assumption I’ll make, while remaining blissfully ignorant I’ve been more toxically assumptive than you!”:
The union president claims the D&C’s editors make a toxic assumption: poor city schoolchildren’s only chance is to flee city schools.
The union president makes an even more toxic assumption: the inner city schools’ conditions are acceptable, so long as union work rules, union pay scales and union benefits are not altered to teachers’ detriment.
Teachers unions, again, are perfectly content to damn poor minority children to a lifetime of uneducated poverty so long as they get paid.
The teachers union bravely proposes major systemic reforms, roundly endorsing the continuation of the failed status quo:
The “fair, sustainable teacher evaluation system” the union president claims exists in his district? That’s the same system ‘Puter’s school district (the union president’s lifetime employer) used to try to run a teacher out of the district for purely political reasons.
The union president prefers a system completely contained within each district, and even more parochially within each separate school within the district, because it allows the union to protect subpar teachers who are big union supporters far more easily. A local union can exert far more pressure on a locally elected school board (which the union essentially appoints, elections being a mere formality) to set favorable evaluation standards than it can on a state board, and the unions want to keep it that way.
Leaving teacher evaluations solely under local control is to accept the unacceptable status quo. After all, if local-only teacher evaluations worked, public schools would be functioning perfectly, right?
The teachers’ union nobly deigns to permit administrators to fire bad teachers at any time during their careers, so long as it’s during the first three years of such career:
The union president’s notion that a three year pre-tenure period is sufficient to adjudge a teacher permanently competent to teach is sorely flawed. Not to mention, there’s nothing “new” about the teachers’ union’s new proposal. Basically, the teachers’ union tells us it’s going to insist on the old rules no matter how badly the old rules affect students. If parents and taxpayers don’t like the union’s position, then we can just shut our cake holes and continue meekly shelling out tax dollars to subsidize failure.
Limiting meaningful performance consequences to a teacher’s first three years on the job is stupid for any number of obvious reasons.
First, new teachers suck, and suck hard (not usually in the female on male student child rape-iness we’ve seen lately in our Glorious People’s Public Education Collectives) for a few years after starting work, no matter how good they later turn out to be. Precious few individuals in any job are good right off the bat. It takes years of experience in any field to become truly proficient, much less to excel.
Further, the union president makes no attempt to deny the most pernicious creation of lifetime tenure: the teacher who phones it in. Such a teacher may be competent, but either by disposition or the toll of years on the job, simply gives up, doing the bare minimum necessary to avoid notice for poor performance. These teachers exist, they exist in numbers, and currently there is no way to get rid of these teachers that’s not costly and lengthy.
‘Puter’s Conclusion, or “You want a response? Here’s my response. *teachers’ union president hands D&C a blank sheet of paper*”:
The local teachers’ union president’s response wasn’t. That is, the teachers’ union president ignored the D&C’s entirely legitimate request for a proposal in favor of issuing an untethered-from-reality Alice in Wonderland-esque defense of the status quo.
In sum, the teachers’ union response is today what it was yesterday, and what it will be tomorrow: “It’s the status quo or war. It’d be a shame if anything happened to your kids’ education. So shut up and pay us, you miserably ungrateful taxpayers.”
‘Puter promised his proposed solutions to the very real and difficult questions posed by public education’s current state and proposed reforms. ‘Puter will provide his thoughts later.
Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.
’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.
The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.
His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.
He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.
Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.
‘Puter suggests the Czar suck it.