Solutions that don’t break the bank, reinvent the wheel or marginalize our teachers are within our grasp. We could have rigorous classes, safe and disciplined schools and treat teachers like valued colleagues rather than easily replaceable cogs, and we could do so tomorrow if we wanted. Disclaimer, this is an opinion and commentary site and should not be confused as a news site, and you should know that quite often people may disagree with the opinions posted herein.
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Sunday, January 10, 2016
Republicans presidential candidates both dislike and don’t understand children (rough draft)
Before anybody attacks me with righteous
indignation just know I have been very critical of Arne Duncan, a historically and
secretary of education and President Obama who I believe has had disastrous
education policies as well.
Two things republican presidential
candidates did this week really caught my eye.
First there was Ben Carson humiliating a
fifth grader. He asked his audience of children to point out the worst child in
the class and apparently there was a consensus pick. Now Carson can blame the
media all he wants but the truth is what he did was unacceptable. But what’s
worse is he doubled down saying he would do it again because he didn’t see that
he did anything wrong with humiliating the kid.
From the Washington Post:
Somehow, the word
“gaffe” doesn’t quite describe Ben Carson’s latest foot-in-mouth moment. His
stumble on the stump in Iowa on Thursday was awkward, embarrassing, possibly
painful — anything but funny. And it involved a school kid who — how to put
this pleasantly? — perhaps in the view of his fifth-grade classmates does not
shine as brightly as they do, and was called out for his shortcomings in front
of 500 people at a campaign rally.
By a man who wants to be
president. Later, asked in an interview with WABC’s“Election Central with Rita Cosby”whether he would do it again, he said
“absolutely,” saying it helped students understand their potential and accusing
the “left wing and media” of making “much to do about nothing.”
Here’s how it went down: Carson has told a story
countless times about how he was a “horrible student” who was called “dummy” as
a kid. He’s told it in his books and it’s been retold in books about him,
including in “Gifted Hands, Kids Edition” — in a chapter
called “The Dumbest Kid in Fifth Grade.” Though the veracity of some of
Carson’s moral fableshas been questioned, he contends his
mother took him aside and told him to buckle down or he’d be sweeping floors
for the rest of his life. He did, of course, and the rest is history for a
retired pediatric neurosurgeon with 38 honorary degrees to prove his worth.
It’s inspiring — or, at least, supposed to be inspiring for those kept out of
the operating room by lack of ability or opportunity.
Oy vey. If he really wants this kid to improve and it
sounds like some of his classmates think he has room to do so, step one should
not be humiliation.
Then Ted Cruz advocating the spanking of five year olds.
Not a pop on the wrist or on the bottom but a spanking. When talking about what
he would like to do Hillary Clinton he told the following story.
From the Huffington Post:
house, if my daughter Catherine, the 5-year-old, says something she knows to be
false, she gets a spanking," Cruz said, standing on the bar of a local
shop here, looking into the crowd.
Democratic primary, Cruz said voters have the opportunity to hold Clinton
America, the voters have a way of administering a spanking," Cruz said
with a smirk. "I can tell you this: As president ... there will be
accountability for Benghazi."
Now don’t get me wrong, I think kids need discipline and
heck in the most sever and extreme situations maybe even a spanking, but to
routinely spank a five year old for just being a five year old is ridiculous.
Cruz has a flair for the dramatic and majored in hyperbole
so I guess there is a chance he was playing to the crowd but I would suggest he
talk to his daughter and explain how lying is wrong instead of spanking her, a
lesson if his story is correct, she doesn’t seem to be learning a lesson he
should learn too. Then once again Chris Christie attacked teacher unions
From the Hill
New Jersey Gov. Chris
Christie (R) says real education reform is impossible as long as teachers
unions remain a powerful force for the status quo.
“The single most
destructive force for public education in this country is the teachers union,”
Christie said at a Jack Kemp Foundation panel discussion in Columbia, S.C., on
Saturday. “It is the single most destructive force.”
This tired old attack shows a complete misunderstanding
about education. Teachers and children fate’s are linked. If it’s bad for kids
(high stakes testing for example) it would be bad for teachers. If it’s bad for
teachers, making the profession so unattractive people leave, then it’s bad for
Despite Christie’s assertion to the contrary there is no
organization that advocates more for kids than the teacher union’s do.