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

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Obama Blows It On Education

I'm having a hard time listening to the rest of the State of the Union. Because President Obama - a good and intelligent man - cited the Chetty, Friedman & Rockoff study as a justification for the odious Race To The Top, and to call for what will amount to an expanded testing regime which drives merit pay.

Here are some of the many objections and cautions about using this study to do EXACTLY what Obama wants to do:

None of us are objecting to looking at the study carefully. None of us think this was a hack piece of work: it is serious scholarship and deserves a serious vetting.

BUT IT IS ONE STUDY! Should we throw away all of the scholarship about the errors inherent in VAM and the failure of merit pay on the basis of this ONE study? A study that itself cautions against the sweeping policy changes Obama implies tonight?

I am so greatly disappointed in this president right now. Those of us who are gravely concerned about what is happening to America's public education system deserved better than what we got tonight.

Why will he not listen to us? Why?


Rob said...

Because, as much as he says and is part of the Democratic party - he has one foot now firmly planted on the right side of the highway. He's no liberal - he's a centrist with a right wing fetish. He - along with many former champions of public education (Oprah, Cory Booker) are copping to the education reform movement in an effort to pander American's anger. It's working, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

Listening to you (union teachers) is fine, as long as everyone involved realizes that you are conflicted out with a self-serving financial bias.

If teacher compensation was a jury trial, you would all be disqualified from serving due to conflict of interest.

Anonymous said...

@anon troll
It's a conflict of interest to want to get paid?? I guess that disqualifies judges from serving on the bench since they get paid for their services. In other words, teachers and judges should work for free so there is no conflict of interest. Last time I checked, being a union teacher is not a felony, is not against the law. We have a large anti-union contingent in this country which wants to destroy all unions, not just teacher unions. They want to reduce all workers to peons or serfs with no bargaining rights and no union representation. Teachers have a self serving financial bias???? Oh, how horrible, teachers want to be paid for their services, the nerve of these people. They want to be represented by unions, how dare they. So it would appear that the troll wants to abolish teacher unions and to reduce teacher pay; he wants a great educational system by cutting teacher pay, huh? I'd like to cut his pay to improve his job performance, too.

Anonymous said...

Obama and the Democratic Party have given bipartisan cover to the corporate education movement for years. Why would you expect anything different? Until public school parents and teachers let the Democrats know that they can no longer take their votes for granted we will get more of the same.

Anonymous said...

It is hard to address someone that doesn't understand that a judge would be conflicted out of a role in a case about their own compensation.

Teachers can be anti-ed-reform all they want (although, weirdly, the NJEA is suddenly interested in tenure and merit pay, etc).

One just has to remember that when Jazzman et al bemoans changing the status quo in teacher compensation....it is his own wallet he is concerned about (or his approaching pension). He is not concerned about kids or taxpayers or private school teachers. It is just good to remember the source when you read here.

Duke said...

For the sophist, there are two nice things about ad hominem attacks:

1) They can never be rebutted to the attackers satisfaction.

2) They save the attacker from the bother of addressing the argument.

Anonymous said...

As do the post that cry ad hominem and run away from admission of bias!

Teacher Mom said...

Did I post on this? I thought I did. Frankly I am driven to lower myself to name-calling, but I will overcome the impulse. It is only people who have their head shoved up their bums next to their wallets that think everybody else is motivated by money just because they themselves are. TEACHERS ARE AGAINST THESE REFORMS BECAUSE THEY ARE BAD FOR THEIR KIDS. PARENTS, AT LEAST IN A HUGE PERCENT OF THE POPULATION, ARE AGAINST THESE REFORMS BECAUSE IT'S BAD FOR THEIR KIDS. We are staring down the barrel of an entire generation of children who cannot think critically, cannot think creatively, and have lost hope for themselves because school is not giving them what they truly need to be successful in life. All they are learning is how to take a test.

Unknown said...

Teacher Mom, thanks. But I'm not above calling the reformies sociapaths- they are what they are. No teacher I've ever known, worked with, or trained ever chose this profession for money. I've read hundreds of our teacher education admittance applications and not ONE had personal profit as the motive. I can't say that about the applicants at ANY business school -their sole motivation is money & profit. Teachers rank at the highest level- '3' of moral and ethical development according to Kohlberg's stages of moral development. Guess where the b-school applicants rank? Level '1'- in the basement.

Now, back to Obama. Stan Karp of Rethinking Schools has a little background on Obama's mentors and campaign donors here: http://rethinkingschools.org/news/NWTSJKarpOct11.shtml

Karp reveals the strategy of the tight circle of wealthy, well connected deformers who hijacked DoE and the public discourse.

Pay attention to DFER- Democrats for Education Reform- there's no daylight between them and Christie and his acolytes. You can learn more about them and their money trail here thanks to Robert Skeels: