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 17, 2013

Where Is Rahm Emanuel's Brain?

Have you seen Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel's brain? He really needs it...
And one big barrier to children’s success in the classroom? Bad parents, the mayor said. 
“The real problem is not just the education of our children,” he said. “We have parents that can’t be parents. 
“We have too many kids, literally, from a broken home.” 
The mayor said the city is making headway in connecting parents to their kids’ academic success, pointing to an initiative sponsored by Walgreens that rewards parents with $25 gift cards for picking up their child’s report card. [emphasis mine]
Holy cow! A whole 25 dollars?! Wow, that ought to fix this whole inequality thing right up! Hey, can poor parents use the money to buy medicine for their children? 'Cause that would be so freakin' awesome...
“As I always say, the most important door a child walks through for their education is the front door of the home. If that home is not right, nothing else in the classroom can supplement it,” he said. 
Uh, wait a minute...

Does it then make sense to hold a teacher accountable for a student's test scores if that student has a home that is "not right"? I mean, you would have to be brainless doofus to propose, for example, using test scores to evaluate teachers if you believed that if a "home is not right, nothing else in the classroom can supplement it."

About 26,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union walked out Monday, locking more than 350,000 students out of schools. Contract negotiations continue.
In the past, says Joe Williams of Democrats for Education Reform, a New York-based group that has pushed for new teacher tenure laws, teachers' strikes have "been about the numbers -- pay and benefits. You don't tend to get these larger existential battles."
This strike is different. Foremost among the disputes: How much weight should schools give to student test scores when evaluating teachers? Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, following the lead of the Obama administration, wants to make test scores represent as much as 40% of evaluations.
The union says many other factors, including a student's health, family situation and the stresses of poverty, make test scores less relevant. 
State lawmakers in 2010 unanimously approved a change in the Illinois teacher evaluation law in order to qualify for millions in federal funding through Race to the Top.
"We're creating a culture where people are held accountable for their results," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Democrat. [emphasis mine]
Rahm Emanuel believes that teachers need to be held "accountable for their results" - even if they have students who aren't being raised correctly and therefore - according to Emanuel himself - can't be helped in the classroom.

I do have to agree with Mr. Emanuel on one thing: Chicago appears to have actually developed a culture of accountability. Rhambo, for example, has been completely incoherent and a mess of a mayor... and his approval rating has subsequently tanked.

That's the kind of "accountability" we can all get behind, don't you think?

"I could while away the hours, conferrin' with the flowers, consultin' with the rain..."

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