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

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Dumbest Thing Anyone Has Ever Said, Ever

I posted about this yesterday, but it really does deserve repeating, because it is so very, very dumb:

New Mexico's ACTING Secretary of Education Hanna Skandera - protege of Jeb! Bush and a political hack - is facing a tough confirmation hearing. One of the primary complaints against her is that, according to the New Mexico Constitution, Skandera is not qualified to serve:
 Sec. 6. [Public education department;
public education commission.]
A. There is hereby created a “public education
department” and a “public education
commission” that shall have such powers
and duties as provided by law. The
department shall be a cabinet department
headed by a secretary of public education
who is a qualified, experienced educator
who shall be appointed by the governor and
confirmed by the senate. [emphasis mine]
According to a character named Larry Langley, however, this very clear provision doesn't disqualify Skandera. Why? Stand back - this one is a real gem:

Skandera supporters contended “educator” is a broad word that does not necessarily mean a classroom teacher.
Larry Langley, head of the New Mexico Business Roundtable, said it is old-fashioned to think all educators are in classrooms.
“Please understand that to be a highly qualified educator doesn’t require you to be in front of a classroom,” Langley said. “Every one of us in this room, I hope, are some kind of qualified educator. I’ve certainly learned things from the chair of this committee. I have learned things from the ranking member of this committee, and from many others. You have been my educators, and you have been qualified educators.” [emphasis mine]
So, according to Langley, if anyone ever learned anything from you, you are a "qualified, experienced educator."

  • Your mechanic is a "qualified, experienced educator" if he explained to you why you need to change your oil.
  • Your local grocer is a "qualified, experienced educator" if she gave you a recipe for grilled zucchini.
  • The guy behind the counter at your post office is a "qualified, experienced educator" if he showed you how to fill out a change-of-address form.
  • Clyde Frazier is a "qualified, experienced educator" because I heard him on TV the other night explaining how Carmelo Anthony comes off of screens to get open shots.
  • My kid is a "qualified, experienced educator" because he told me how to turn off the X-Box.

This is the dumbest thing anyone has ever said, ever. It's also typical of the dismissive, condescending attitude reformy hacks like Langley take toward teachers.

Larry Langley ran for the Albuquerque school board and thankfully got his butt handed to him. His group, the New Mexico Business Roundtable, is funded by reformy stalwarts like the Waltons and Gateses.

This is the sort of attitude toward professional educators that these plutocrats support. This is how they really feel about teachers. They get tax-exempt status for their foundations to promote this sort of thinking.

Isn't that just swell?
Larry, keep up the great work!


jcg said...

Some of the dumbest, shallowest, and narrowest thinkers in universities are those in the business schools. They can cipher with spreadsheets and design 'flexible' (e.g., exploitable) labor conditions. However, they have little understanding of the depth and breadth involved in human self-determination and motivation relative to work. Consider the vast number of businesses that fail in a year due to fundamental mismanagement. I am at a loss as to why so many pols and media types revere the business class given their extraordinary failure rates.

lowie94 said...

I'm sure any certified teacher who has satisfied federal requirements for meeting the NCLB definition of "highly qualified" could explain what the phrase "qualified, experienced educator" actually means.