Excuse me? You think you have any business talking about education?Norcross has sat on Cooper’s board since 1990, taking over the top seat in 2006. It is from that pulpit that he now wants to address public policy.“I am not speaking in a political capacity,” Norcross says. “I am speaking as chairman of Cooper University Hospital. I have no business talking at length about political issues outside of education reform and Camden. It’s not my issue or goal.”
Norcross is the chairman of a hospital and an very wealthy insurance and benefits executive; he has made money hand over fist through our country's insane, over-priced, and ineffective health system. How does that experience in any way qualify him to say even one word about education?
Has he ever taught? Does he hold any degrees in education? Has he ever done serious education research? Has he run a school? Served on a public school board? Been a member of a PTO, even?
Who does this guy think he is that he has any right to say anything about how education should be run in Camden, or anywhere in the state? What has he ever done to earn the privilege to talk about education being his "passion"?
For that matter: how about you, Bill Gates, or Walton brothers, or Eli Broad, or Koch brothers, or Whitney Tilson, or David Tepper, or Peter Denton, or I don't know how many more of you in the Billionaire Boys Club? What has any of you ever done that gives you the right to dictate education policy? Who are any of you to tell those of us down in the trenches every day how to do our jobs?
I'm a crabby music teacher with a dopey little blog and a smart mouth, but I and millions of my colleagues across this country have more knowledge about what happens in America's schools in our pinkies than any of you will ever learn from your photo-op visits and think-tanky policy briefings. Yes, you've all made a boatload of money - so what? Are you now experts on everything? Are you going to tell scientists how to make cold fusion cars? Are you all gourmet French chefs now? Can you perform brain surgery on each other?
Every one of you needs to back off, and back off now. You have no more right than any other citizen to dictate education policy, and far less right than those of us with training and experience in the field.
Hold us accountable? Absolutely; although you'd better be ready to have the finger pointed back at you and your role in perpetuating this country's despicable income inequality - it has far more to do with the "achievement gap" than tenure or merit pay. And the fact that you want to radically remake America's public schools while isolating your own families from the havoc you are wreaking doesn't much help your case, either.
But that's the point, isn't it? Distract America from the destruction of her middle class and the rise of the oligarchy by placing the blame for all our economic ills on... teachers. Good luck with that. Because no matter what stupid nonsense you manage to get the politicians to pass, we're not backing down from teaching our students how to think.
And a thinking population is not going to put up with this reformy nonsense for much longer. Count on it.
ADDING: How about this?
He believes charters can do just as good a job for far less. But he also believes that suburban voters should be able to choose whether or not to accept a charter.See how it works? George has lots of money, so he gets a big say. The suburbs have some money, so they get some say. Poor folks in the cities have no money, so they have no say.