Monday, October 18, 2010

A Lesson for Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin loves that propaganda film.  He says it's "monumentally important."  And he knows that, apparently, because he sat through the whole thing.  Baldwin seems to feel no one has ever made such a statement before.  This is particularly valid if you've ignored every identical statement, beginning with "A Nation at Risk," and haven't ever heard of obscure figures like Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Eli Broad, Michael Bloomberg, or the Walmart family.

Baldwin pulls no punches, telling it like he appears to believe it is:

Whether or not teachers' unions are partly to blame is open to discussion, but Guggenheim's film casts a light on that perspective. And once you get a peek at New York City's "Rubber Room" for outcast teachers, you may never view the NEA and the AFT the same way again.

This is a monumentally important film. My father was a public school teacher for 28 years and I can think of few other areas in our society that deserve this type of urgent scrutiny right now. See Guggenheim's film, which opens in theaters this weekend.

How does Baldwin suppose we will now view the NEA and the AFT?  Is he perhaps suggesting that viewing the defunct and therefore unviewable rubber room will somehow give us a positive impression of teacher unions?  That seems highly unlikely.  But not to Baldwin, whose follow up is decisively titled, "Raising Awareness of Flaws in Education is Not Union Bashing."

That's true, of course, but it certainly seemed Baldwin expected people to take a dim view of our unions.  By the way, promoting views that are anti-union, particularly when they're based on false premises, well, that is union bashing.   But Baldwin has harsh words for those with the temerity to refer to his union bashing as "union bashing."

If you read union bashing into that, then you have a problem. An education problem. 

Apparently, if you don't share the same views as Alec Baldwin, you aren't educated.  Oddly, I never learned that in school.

So let's review.  Baldwin said you may never view the unions the same way.  It's really hard to see how anyone could take anything but a negative view, given the evidently awful rubber room that Baldwin doesn't seem to know is closed.  Or perhaps, because his dad was a public school teacher, he feels he couldn't possibly be speaking against school teachers.  This cannot be questioned because no child in the history of civilization has ever had a harsh word for any parent, ever.

Still, it's ironic to be lectured about "an education problem" by someone who has not the remotest notion of what really goes on in NYC schools, someone who not only gets all his information from a propaganda film, but also appears to demand we all do likewise.
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