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Arne Duncan insults teachers and enrages the Bad Ass Teacher Association

The bad ass teacher association is a fast growing internet group of teachers who are fed up with the bad teacher narrative, high stakes testing agenda and the public school privatization aims of many influential individuals and groups. In short they are tired of being the whipping boys and girls for the ills in education and have decided to push back and today Arne Duncan stepped into a hornets nest of righteous indignation. 

Just go ahead and skip to the 23-minute mark, up till then it is just blah, blah and more blah. Then this man who has never worked in a classroom has the nerve to insult the nations teachers.


He says we should look to South Korea, Singapore and Finland and emulate what they do. He claims that their teachers come form the top third of college graduates and America’s teachers come from the bottom third. First there is no study that backs this up which means he is just parroting anti-teacher right-wing talking points at best or talking out of his less than bad ass at worse.

But lets look at his claims, first Finland is highly unionized, they don’t believe in standardized tests and funding education is a top priority for them not an after thought as it often is here. Mr. Duncan how come you omitted those points?

I am a little less familiar with Singapore though I imagine since they cane people discipline isn’t a problem and South Korea though I wonder if the teachers there are so great then why two different organizations have tried to recruit me? I am glad they are all doing well but to point to their teachers class rank as the reason is short sighted and quite frankly it’s what you might expect a bright 12 year old, the equivalent of Jeb Bush, to come up with and not the secretary of education.

The main argument that Arne and the other teacher haters have is people who go into the colleges of education have low GPAs and SAT scores. First there is a lot of debate about where the education deformers got their information and its reliabilityhttp://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/2009/11/15/do-teachers-really-come-from-the-bottom-third-of-colleges-or-is-that-statistic-a-bunch-of-baloney/  and
 http://www.ocala.com/article/20120318/OPINION/120319723?p=1&tc=pg

 I get it though, each side could say I’ll see your study and show you one more but I want you to think about this. Only slightly over 30% of all Americans over the age of 25 have a four-year degree, where 100 percent of public school teachers have them. So in effect the education reformers who are so critical are saying that teachers are the worst of the best.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/24/education/census-finds-bachelors-degrees-at-record-level.html

Then according to the national center for education statistics, 52% of teachers have advanced degrees where only 10% of the general public does and doesn’t that shoot a hole in the poorly educated teacher theory?

Within 9 hours the original post by Bonnie Cunard questioning Duncan’s validity has 197 comments from all over the nation as teachers, who on Monday also swamped the White House switchboards with their demand that Duncan be replaced with an educator, voiced their dissatisfaction.

Why Mr. Duncan would choose to insult millions of teachers beyond me but it is indicative of his corporate style reforms and to be honest it doesn’t seem that smart of a thing to do.

Please feel free to check out the page and if so moved voice your dissatisfaction as well. https://www.facebook.com/groups/140244172840677/

20 comments:

  1. Did you hear the list of sponsors at the end? Bill Gates Foundation, Pearson and all the other usual suspects.

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  2. $100,000 a year. Right. Meanwhile a county in Florida has fired all teachers and hired them back as full-time subs at $100 a day with no benefits. Others are being classified as seasonal employees and can't qualify for home or car loans. This idiot needs to go!

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  3. Enough with the words. Teachers are being attacked and not given their rights we need to take back those rights in the form of a national strike!! Enough already. The business minded elite will pick us apart one by one until they make their changes to privatize education. Unless we work together and act together we have no power. Let's take back the minds of our children. Let them be able to live an American life full of dreams and hope. Work to live don't live to work. Freedom of speech, freedom of thoughts. America, what happened to you?

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    1. I agree completely! A national strike would send the message loudly and clearly that we are professionals who deserve respect for the hard work that we do with students each and every day, changing lives for the better every chance we get!

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    2. The irony of two people posting about a national strike under anonymous screen names is staggering.
      Let's all work together! You start!

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  4. Maybe if teachers were paid and treated like professionals, we would get more teachers from the top third. Why, for example, be a math teacher when you can earn more writing algorithms on Wall Street? One has to be idealistic, or masochistic, or both. Disclosure; I graduated valedictorian and have a PhD in my subject matter and I teach high school. Tell that to Duncan Do-not.

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    1. The ignoring of the pay issue is the biggest problem in all these debates.
      "Why don't more people want to become teachers? Who wouldn't want to almost make a living wage?"
      That needs to be moved front and center to almost every discussion about teaching. And then we need to be strong enough to respond honestly when they play the, "Oh, so you are just greedy and you care more about getting paid than the children." We need to say that yeah, getting paid is important. WE have children too. Payment is how our culture shows value. Show me I'm valuable.

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    2. OMG, I love you guys. You are onto something !!!! Speak up !

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  5. Ok, let's mail him our ACT scores and/or transcripts. I'd also like to see HIS. How does HIS compare to my 27 composite with a perfect score in social studies? Bottom third, my a$$.

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  6. http://edugatorsense.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/singapores-educational-system/

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  7. He is getting a copy of my undergrad transcripts TOMORROW! I can't believe this ex-jock who probably had his girlfriend do his homework for him and his coach probably hired someone to take his ACT so he could get a Basketball scholarship. Shame on Arne!

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  8. I graduated magna cum laude with over a 3.5 GPA. Hardly the bottom third.

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  9. I graduated at the top of my class. 4.0. I'd like to see his transcripts

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  10. He kept wiggling and shifting in his seat. I guess when you have corporate sponsors shoving their hands up your ass and working you like a puppet, it must get uncomfortable. I especially enjoyed the dig about not being able to find "American" teachers to work on the Rez. What a white, privileged ass hat.

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  11. He went to Hahvahd, so that automatically proves he's a genius. He's a total idiot, just like his boss, and I don't care if the two call themselves "Democrats." They are NOT.

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  12. 3.8 GPA undergraduate, private woman's college... and 4.0 GPA masters level, Wilkes University.

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  13. Anyone supporting national or state wide tests (in govt or business) should be forced to take said tests, and immediately have their test scores posted alongside the students in every newspaper in the country.

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  14. And how many people serving our country in the military have top college scores? How many even have 4 year degrees? Does the lack of top scores or/and degrees make them less valuable than those with top scores?

    People are more than their grades, test scores, and other phony criteria.

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