Oh, the nasty teachers were mean to Mitch! Poor baby! Someone get him a hanky...Republican frustration over the election defeat of Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett boiled over into the public this week with Gov. Mitch Daniels claiming at an education reform conference here that teachers used illegal and improper methods to oust Bennett."If you're a fan of anything-goes politics, it was a creative use of illegal -- but still creative use -- of public resources," Daniels said Wednesday at a Washington, D.C., meeting of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a group led by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. "We got emails sent out on school time by people who were supposed to be teaching someone at the time, all about Tony Bennett. We have parents who went to back to school night to find out how little Jebbie is doing and instead they got a diatribe about the upcoming election."Bennett, an important figure in the national school reform movement, was unexpectedly defeated by Democrat Glenda Ritz, a Washington Township library science media specialist. [emphasis mine]
First of all, I didn't realize we had decided that American schools are now the equivalent of Chinese computer factories. I guess it's absolutely imperative that Big Brother keep constant surveillance on Miss Crabtree just in case she sends something out by email that hasn't been approved by the Ministry of Truth.
And heaven forbid any minute a teacher is in school is not used to teach. Lord help us if a teacher takes part of her prep period or lunch break to engage in her life outside of work. Because I'm sure Mitch Daniels never used state property as governor to conduct personal business. That, would, after all, make him a massive, unbelievably shameless hypocrite:
Oh, no, no, no! See, this is totally, completely different!A Democratic lawmaker filed a complaint Wednesday seeking an ethics investigation into whether Gov. Mitch Daniels overstepped his role when his office sent out a statement about renovations to Purdue University’s president’s office — the post Daniels will assume in January.State Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, said in his request to state Inspector General David Thomas that “Daniels clearly misused state property for personal reasons” when he asked his staff to send out a statement last week to respond to stories about $380,000 in renovations being done on the Purdue president’s office. [emphasis mine]
Daniels spokeswoman Jane Jankowski called Brown’s request for an ethics investigation “partisan nonsense” and said the governor acted properly when he issued the statement in response to news stories about the Purdue renovations.
“Governor Daniels set the record straight after what could have been misleading headlines about him. But, as governor, he could very legitimately and properly comment about university expenditures at Purdue or elsewhere,” Jankowski said in a statement.See, the governor was fighting back against his political opponents' attacks on him! But the teachers were fighting back on Daniels's attacks on them! It's completely different! No, really, it is! Honestly!
As a New Jersey teacher, I do have to say that Daniels is a bit of a piker at hypocritically ginning up phony indignation for teachers daring to stand up for themselves. The all-time champ is none other than Chris Christie:
"Scaring students in the classroom, scaring parents with the notes home in the bookbags, and the mandatory 'Project Democracy Homework' asking your parents about what they're going to do in the school board election, and reporting back to your teachers union representatives, using the students like drug mules to carry information back to the classroom, is reprehensible."Like Daniels, Christie never offered proof. Like Daniels, Christie blew everything out of proportion. And, like Daniels, Christie has abused his office for personal uses. My personal favorite was when he got the state police to fly him in a helicopter to his son's private school to watch him play a baseball game, then ducked out early to meet with GOP bigwigs from Iowa.
Tell those damn teachers to get back to work!
That particular incident got a good bit of play in the press. What barely got mentioned, however, was that Christie also used those same helicopter privileges to fly to a state-funded "town hall" meeting in Nutley, where he proceeded to say New Jersey's teachers were "lying" to their students.
No, I am not making that up.
There are two reasons guys like Christie and Daniels engage in this stupidity. The first, obviously, is because they can. They know there will be no real consequences for their hypocrisy, as an amnesic press will quickly move on to the next shiny ball of tinfoil the GOP lobs their way.
But the reason they do this with teachers specifically is pure intimidation. If there is one thing these guys are absolutely petrified of, it's teachers who get politically active and stand up for themselves. They know our approval ratings are much, much higher than theirs. They know the public trusts us far more than they trust politicians. Sure, Fleece-Christie is riding high now - but does anyone really believe that's going to last much longer?
Bullying governors like Daniels and Christie are terrified of a united corps of teachers standing up to their nonsense. They will do anything and everything within their power to shut us up and keep us in line - even as they engage in their own brazen hypocrisy.
Let's make sure they don't get away with it.