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, December 18, 2012

"It's Politicizing If You Disagree With Me!"

David Rosenberg of Teach For America is quite possibly the worst person in the world. This image from Rosenberg's Twitter feed comes via Kenzo Shibata on Facebook:

Notice that our boy Dave doesn't actually explain why he's got a problem with Diane's piece: its just obviously "reprehensible."

Ezra Klein, who I've had issues with before, describes the above phenomenon very well:
When we first collected much of this data, it was after the Aurora, Colo. shootings, and the air was thick with calls to avoid “politicizing” the tragedy. That is code, essentially, for “don’t talk about reforming our gun control laws.”
Let’s be clear: That is a form of politicization. When political actors construct a political argument that threatens political consequences if other political actors pursue a certain political outcome, that is, almost by definition, a politicization of the issue. It’s just a form of politicization favoring those who prefer the status quo to stricter gun control laws. [emphasis mine]
That is exactly right. What bothers Rosenberg and TFA is that Diane Ravitch is calling the reformyists out for the policies they advocate and the statements they make. Ravitch is making the obvious point, in contrast to their reforminess, that the brave teachers who died in Newtown were career educators and union members. TFA doesn't want anyone to think about this; thus, Rosenberg gets indignant, because he has no response. She's right, he's wrong, and that pisses him off.

By the way, here's what Diane said that Rosenberg found so very offensive:

Every one of the teachers was a career educator. Every one was doing exactly what she wanted to do. They’ve worked in a school that was not obsessed with testing but with the needs of children. This we know: the staff at Sandy Hook loved their students. They put their srptudents first, even before their own lives.

Oh, and be other thing, all these dedicated teachers belonged to a union. The senior teachers had tenure, despite the fact that “reformers” (led by ConnCAN, StudentsFirst, and hedge fund managers) did their best last spring to diminish their tenure and to tie their evaluations to test scores. Governor Malloy said, memorably, to his shame, that teachers get tenure just for showing up. No one at Sandy Hook was just “showing up.”
Governor Dannell Malloy has led the effort in his state to expand charter schools and high-stakes testing. He appointed a state commissioner of education who co-founded a charter chain. He said, memorably, that he didn’t care how much test prep there was so long as scores go up. Sandy Hook is not that kind of school.
Let us hope Governor Malloy learned something these past few days about the role of public schools in their communities.
Newtown does not need a charter school. What it needs now is healing. Not competition, not division, but a community coming together to help one another. Together. Not competing. [emphasis mine]
Oh, my stars! Ravitch pointed out that union membership isn't evil! And that the casual maligning of public school teachers that takes place every day by politicians like Malloy is what is "truly reprehensible!" And that test scores should be the least concern of those who care about our schools!

Poor, poor, David Rosenberg - he just can't take this level of truth telling! Quick, someone get him the smelling salts!

Mercy! Defending teachers unions is giving me the vapors!


Anonymous said...

Well said, JJ. Well said.

Unionized or not, those teachers dedicated their lives, literally, to their students. It just so happens, they were all in a union.

Facts are, by definition, truth. Rosenburg's comments, and by guilty association similar comments by every other reformyist, are neither.

be careful said...

Who is Dave Rosenberg and why would any of us care what he thinks? Who gives a crap? What is his supposed area of expertise, if he has any?

incredulous said...

There could have been a counter-example, due to panic in this chaos. At Clackamas Town Center Mall outside Portland OR several days before, there was a mix of responses to a young shooter who opened fire. They included flight for self-preservation.


Failing to claim credit for the virtues of those you support --which, fortunately here, were on display without reported exception -- and you are sure to face extinction following failures of courage (and training). The sustained attack on the teaching profession and their labor unions has been that unrelenting.

Harry Travis

Unknown said...

These pampered reformies don't understand critical peer review. They think it means everyone nods in agreement to their hairbrained ideas.

Unknown said...

I agree with 'be careful'. Who gives a $#(% what Dave Rosenberg thinks. We've forgotten more about education than he'll ever know.

Duke said...

Heavens! Who knew my readers were so uncouth!


Anonymous said...

Indeed, who are any of us to say anything?

Jersey Jazzman, I believe your post intentionally distorts the position of Mr. Rosenberg in order to rile up your base readers to think they've been "attacked." Via twitter, it's abundantly clear that what what Mr. Rosenberg found "reprehensible" was the timing of Ms. Ravitch's post as well as not seeing a connection between the massacre and her statements on both testing and unions.

This bothers me because I believe this post of yours, as well as your efforts on twitter, went out of their way to create drama that simply was not there. You created unnecessary and undue disunity between people that might have had a constructive conversation otherwise. And you did it so disrespectfully that it makes it difficult to take you seriously.

Who am I? Doesn't matter. I'm afraid you'll turn me into something I am not.

Duke said...

I created disunity?!

Rosenberg was the one who called Ravitch's post "reprehensible," and demanded she retracted it.

If Rosenberg found the "timing" of the post wrong, he should have said so. But clearly, he would have had a problem with the same post if Diane put it up next week, next month, or next year.

You don't go into a "constructive conversation" by calling the other side "reprehensible." And that's not a distortion.

Unknown said...

Memo to: Corps members and true believers

For your Immediate Attention. No criticism of TfA hacks permitted. March in lockstep with Dave or else you're out of TfA.

No Goldman Sachs Internship for YOU!