Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Trump Jr. Shares His Insights On Public Education

Nothing like watching the GOP Convention.  It turns out that we teachers are to blame for almost everything. The whole narrative about money moving more and more to the 1% is completely false. Otherwise, how could Donald Trump Jr. say this?

The other party gave us public schools that far too often fail our students, especially those who have no options. 

It has nothing to do with the fact that politicians, likely as not Republicans, have cut funds to enable tax cuts for the likes of Junior and his orange Daddy. But the real whopper is below:

Growing up, my siblings and I we were truly fortunate to have choices and options that others don’t have. We want all Americans to have those same opportunities.

Well of course they had choices and options with a Daddy who's known mostly for being rich.  Make no mistake, neither Daddy nor Junior is proposing that we be rich, and if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. The vouchers the Donalds love so much are not going to enable the riff-raff, i.e you and me, to attend the schools their kids go to. You'll have a choice of a crumbling public school or maybe a Moskowitz Academy where your kids can pee themselves.

Our schools used to be an elevator to the middle class, now they’re stalled on the ground floor.

There he may be right. In Detroit the schools are rat-infested and falling apart. In Chicago a Democrat, Rahm Emanuel, closed 50 schools because he could. Kids understand what it means when you send them to a place that looks like a pile of trash. When I started teaching in the trailers, I started wearing suits to work. I wanted to send kids the message that even though Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks this pile of junk is good enough for you, I think you're important.

Now maybe it's a Trump family tradition to plagiarize, and Junior just wants to get in on it too. Maybe it's OK for them, and maybe it's OK for Republcians, as Chris Christie says, if you keep it at seven percent. Maybe he got away with it in his elite private school. Could he have paid off the teachers? Who knows? Were Junior in my class, I'd give him an F. Maybe someone did and that's why he hates us. Anyway, let's see what other words of wisdom he has:

 They’re like Soviet-era department stores that are run for the benefit of the clerks and not the customers, for the teachers and the administrators and not the students. 

Yes, teachers are having a big party. There's nothing we love better than being observed and rated on a checklist. And best of all, we get judged on test scores! What teacher doesn't love being judged by a system that has no validity whatsoever? All we care about is ourselves, and that's why we took this gig! We're all fabulously wealthy, do nothing whatsoever, live in mansions and drive obscenely expensive cars. Okay, that's a joke. I'm not describing teachers, but rather the Trumps. 

You know why other countries do better on K through 12? They let parents choose where to send their own children to school.

You know why other countries do better in K through 12? Because, unlike us in the US, 51% of their kids do not live in poverty. Because they have nationalized health care. Because they have day care that parents don't have to work second jobs to pay for. In fact, we made one minor move toward health care for all, and Orange Daddy wants to kill even that.

That’s called competition. It’s called the free market. And it’s what the other party fears.

That's called an outright lie. No country has a successful voucher system and those who've tried it are not jumping up and down about it. In Finland, regarded by even Bill Gates as the best public education system, everyone goes to public schools. There are not even the elite private schools that Junior went to. I'd argue that if folks like Junior had to go to public schools, there would be none that look like those in Detroit.

They fear it because they’re more concerned about protecting the jobs of tenured teachers than serving the students in desperate need of a good education.

Wow. What planet is this kid living on? I live in New York, supposedly a bastion of liberalism, and we have a Democrat Governor who pushed an evaluation system specifically designed to fire more teachers. When that system didn't work as designed, he called it "baloney," and proceeded to push a new system, which hopefully will fire even more teachers. That's what Democrat Andrew Cuomo considers a victory.

Every teacher I know is acutely aware of this. That's why we're all so fidgety. We don't mind doing our jobs. Let me tell you something--this guy is stereotyping teachers just like Daddy stereotypes Muslims. In fact it's not teachers who are stalling the progress of the middle class. This started with Saint Ronald Reagan, and now Republicans are all about cutting taxes for the wealthy.

Who picks up the slack? We do. We teachers pay what people like Trump and Baby Trump used to pay. Our children pay what they used to. If Baby Trump gave a golly gosh darn about folks like us he'd have been out on the streets working for Bernie Sanders instead of driving his Lamborghini to gala luncheons.

It's absurd and obscene that we who devote our lives to helping children are vilified by the same people who make it impossible to fund their schools. It's even worse that their remedy for public schools is making it easier for zillionaires to profit from them.
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