I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Thursday, December 20, 2012


How dare Diane Ravitch and Karen Lewis stand up for teachers after what happened in Newtown! How dare they point out the obvious fact that these educators were career teachers and union members! It's reprehensible! Clearly, it's wrong to stand up for those who work in schools after six of their own were killed in an act of senseless violence!

Because it's not like there's been a systemic assault on teachers and their unions over the last few years, right? [all emphases mine]

Dannel Malloy:

"And to earn that tenure -- that job security -- in today's system basically the only thing you have to do is show up for four years," Malloy said in his speech to the Legislature on the session's opening day. "Do that, and tenure is yours."
Chris Christie (there are so many to choose from - lets go with...):
The state teachers union said--they had a rally in Trenton against me. 35,000 people came from the teachers. You know what that rally was? The "me first" rally. "Pay me my raise first. Pay me my free health benefits first. Pay me my pension first. And everybody else in New Jersey, get to the back of the line." Well, you know what? I'm not going to sit by and allow that to go unnoticed, so we'll shine a bright light on it, and we'll see how the people react. But I think we are seeing how the people of New Jersey are reacting, and that's how you make it politically palatable in other states in the country. Just shine a bright light on greed and self-interest.
Mike Bloomberg:
“Education is very much, I’ve always thought, just like the real estate business. Real estate business, there are three things that matter: location, location, location is the old joke,” Bloomberg said. “Well in education, it is: quality of teacher, quality of teacher, quality of teacher. And I would, if I had the ability - which nobody does really – to just design a system and say, ‘ex cathedra, this is what we’re going to do,’ you would cut the number of teachers in half, but you would double the compensation of them and you would weed out all the bad ones and just have good teachers. And double the class size with a better teacher is a good deal for the students.”
Half of the teachers in NYC are "bad"?

Bobby Jindal:
Jindal, speaking at the Brookings Institute on Tuesday, said America's K-12 schools are lagging in the world and "do not provide equal opportunity in education" to children of different income levels. But his strongest criticism was aimed at the teachers unions, which he blamed for standing in the way of progress. 
"Were it not for the teachers union Herculean efforts, every low income family would probably have the opportunity to enroll their child in a better performing school," Jindal said. "That's not an opinion, that's a fact."
A "fact"? Also from Jindal:
1. "Short of selling drugs in the workplace or beating up one of the business's clients, they can never be fired."

2. "We are going to create a system that pays teachers for doing a good job instead of for the length of time they have been breathing."
January 3, 2011 -- In his inaugural address, Walker attacks teachers and other public workers's salaries and tries to pit low-wage workers against public workers, saying, “We can no longer live in a society where the public employees are the haves and taxpayers who foot the bills are the have-nots."
February 11, 2011 -- When Walker announced his intention to kill teachers' unions and other public sector unions, he said that he was prepared to bring in the national guard to deal with worker unrest.  Clearly, Walker's statement was a smear on teachers and other public workers, because it intimates that teachers and other public workers would react as a union thugs requiring the National Guard's services.  
February 21, 2011 -- Sent out a press release with a sub-headline of "Viagra for Teachers," which attacked teachers in Milwaukee for having a health care plan included all prescriptions.
March 3, 2011 -- Sent out a press release with subheadline of "Arbitrator Reinstates Porn-Watching Teacher."
March 8, 2011 -- Sent out a press release with a subheadline of "Teachers Receiving Two Pensions" and another attacking Green Bay teachers called "10,000 Per Year for Doing Nothing"
March 10, 2011 -- Sent out a press release trumpeting his op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in which he attacks the seniority system that protects older-- and more expensive-- teachers from being fired and replaced by younger, less-expensive workers during budget crunches.
March 31, 2011 -- Creates the absurd "Read to Lead" task force and smears Wisconsin teachers by making the completely bogus claim that 1/3 of Wisconsin fourth graders cannot read at a basic level.  Such bogus claims are simply intended to undermine public confidence in Wisconsin schools.
The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute:
Teachers, did you know you are overpaid by 52%?
That’s the conclusion of a new study by conservative-leaning think tanks The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.
Taxpayers, they conclude, are “overcharged” $120 billion each year from the difference in teacher salaries and compensation compared to similarly credentialed private sector workers. Teacher benefits are often far more generous than the private sector, the study notes.
Rick Scott:
Is a $2,335-a-year pay cut for the average teacher worth a $44.72 property tax savings for the average Florida homeowner with a homestead exemption?
That's a key question behind the math that Gov. Rick Scott's administration is banking on for his pared-back school spending plan as the legislature gears up to begin its annual session Tuesday. 
More Rick Scott:
“Why would it be that teachers are guaranteed their jobs for life? If you were guaranteed – you didn’t have to do anything, just showed up, and you didn’t have any obligation other than showing up every day – you think you would get better or worse? Right. This stuff is not hard. So we have a big opportunity.”
 Ann Romney:
“AR: I’ve been a First Lady of the State. I have seen what happens to people’s lives if they don’t get a proper education. And we know the answers to that. The charter schools have provided the answers. The teachers’ unions are preventing those things from happening, from bringing real change to our educational system. We need to throw out the system.”
The right-wing media:
RAFF: I think these jobs are largely held by bored people -- not all of them, but bored people. They get in on a lesson plan, they've got many, many months off a year -- sometimes four, five months a year. And then they're bored and they got in on a lesson plan, and many of them -- many of them, not all -- some may have been drawn to the profession to begin with because they have peculiar tastes, peculiar attractions.
CALLER: So you think they got to do something with these?
RAFF: I think they've got the sex bug that grows, and for many, the target of their affection may be children anyway, or young people. I think that's got to play a part in it somewhere. Because there's so many other ways to destroy America.
LIDDY: It doesn't make any difference. Any way to destroy America is a good way from their point of view. [There's lots more of this at the link - proceed with extreme caution - JJ]
I could do this all day, but I'd probably wind up getting a form of septic shock...

What am I saying?!?! It's clearly wrong for me to bring all this up after Newtown! The proper response for all educators is to bow our heads, accept a gentle pat on the noggin from our betters - the same reformy folks who have vilified us over the years - return to our classrooms, and keep eating the crap sandwiches that these people are shoving down our throats.

Because any response where we finally start standing up for ourselves would be "obscene"...

ADDING: JoyMama in the comments points us to this:
As you know here, there is more, there is always more:

Scott Walker has attacked teachers, saying they are "failing our children" and when a rightwing shock-jock said "most of them are not nice people," Walker refused to condemn the remark and instead brought the radio host an on-air Christmas gift of glazed nuts.

"Most Wisconsin public school teachers are absolute lunatics. People at least now are beginning to say this. I've been talking about this for years. Most of them are not good people. Most are not fair minded. Most of them do not care about the children. Most of them are sickening union thug money jerks who couldn't care less about the public good." Mark Belling.  
Jay Severin: "A lot of" teachers are "losers" and "little Napoleons." On the June 25 edition of his WTKK show, Jay Severin said of teachers: "These little Napoleons -- think about these teachers and how they act, a lot of them. This is their little, tiny kingdom. A lot of them are losers, and they're little, tiny Napoleons, and you go into the school and this is their only chance in life, is to boss around parents."

Bill O'Reilly claims studies indicate that "most" high school and college teachers "bring in a anti-American viewpoint." On the October 24, 2007, edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly asserted: "[I]t seems to me, and the studies indicate, that most teachers -- high school and college in the United States -- are left-wingers. That they bring in a anti-American viewpoint to the sense that they don't preach about the nobility of America, they teach about the deficits. Now, I think you have to teach both." O'Reilly introduced the segment by saying, "[W]ith many public schools teaching diversity, tolerance, and self-esteem rather than history, civics, and geography, lots of American kids know little or nothing about their country, including what they owe their country." O'Reilly did not indicate which studies show that most teachers "are left-wingers."
I find Cognitive Dissonance's entire post to be full of "reprehensibility"...

1 comment:

JoyMama said...

Thanks -- it's so important to document this -- I've heard ridiculous claims like "nobody's attacking the teachers, it's just the unions that have come in for the criticism." Aside from the fact that teachers ARE the unions, there's so much proof that the attacks have been personal as well. For some additional egregious examples from Wisconsin, check out this Dec. 17 blogpost from Cognitive Dissidence, contrasting the heroism of the educators at Sandy Hook with the hate-language that's been used against teachers around here:

"Most Wisconsin public school teachers are absolute lunatics. People at least now are beginning to say this. I've been talking about this for years. Most of them are not good people. Most are not fair minded. Most of them do not care about the children. Most of them are sickening union thug money jerks who couldn't care less about the public good." --Mark Belling.

Septic shock, indeed.