Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, knows what it's like to have a bullying politician try to unilaterally force school system changes on students, their families, and their teachers. Because she is so damn smart, she saw through mayor Rahm Emanuel's transparent union-busting call for a longer school day, and demanded instead that Chicago's children get a better school day. Thanks to her leadership, CTU had the support of the city when they went on strike, and Emanuel is now one of the most loathed politicians in America.
I am proud to claim Karen as a friend (trust me, you will never find a better dinner companion anywhere). So I imposed on her and asked her to comment on Chris Christie's latest distraction: his useless proposal to lengthen the school day and school year in New Jersey.
What say you to the teachers, students, and parents of New Jersey, Ms. Lewis?
Where have we heard this before? In Chicago, candidate Rahm Emanuel screamed loudly and as often as his cronies could pay protesters to hold upside down signs, that Chicago had the shortest school day in the world. He told community leaders that the spigot of funds would be turned off if they did not support his longer school day and he told the public that teachers got raises and kids got the shaft"Word. And if you doubt Karen, here's where Chris Christie's kids go to school:
This works because the school day and year have never aligned themselves with the work day and year. When I asked why he was so laser-focused on the longer school day, he told me "I can't have kids on the street on 1:30". I responded - "Oh -so this is a babysitting, warehousing scheme". And that's when I got cussed out. [More on this story here - JJ.]
The school reformers playbook gets passed around like a mash note since Broad infected "leadership" and TFA-stained staffers, the politicians are always looking for something for nothing. They don't even have to come up with new talking points.
It would be lovely if they could be truly innovative and original. But that would require real critical thinking skills. And of course, their children go to private schools where they have world languages, PE, the arts (all of them), science, social studies 3 libraries and they're not in school all day or all year. They have unionized teachers who are trusted and valued.
Let's face it. They're preparing our children for the world of drudgery work, while their children learn to rule. And that's the status quo on steroids.
And here's Trenton High:
Karen, would you please repeat that last line?
Let's face it. They're preparing our children for the world of drudgery work, while their children learn to rule. And that's the status quo on steroids.New Jersey, heed this woman: she has Chris Christie's number.
Thanks, Karen - drop by any time!