When Radical Teachers Occupy the Department of Education
Is the fight to end school testing comparable to the abolition of slavery?
April 8, 2013 - 10:00 am
Ceresta Smith, a Miami-Dade teacher and “committed unionist,” spat out a profanity-laced, racist rant, calling Cory Booker and John Legend sell-out Uncle Toms and Sallys who have undermined education in black and brown communities because of their support for charter schools. Marco Rubio was called out for his “crimes against humanity.” She reserved her nastiest vitriol for Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of the D.C. Schools:
When I think about thirty-five African…probably African American women indicted and maybe facing forty-five years because they erased tests and you have an Asian b**tch who did the same d**n thing and nobody said a word? OK? That’s ridiculous. Things need to change. [Cheers from the crowd.]
(An investigation by the Dept. of Education found no evidence of widespread cheating in the D.C. Schools and no evidence that Rhee was involved.)
What parents wouldn’t want Ms. Smith teaching their kids?
Mark Naison, professor of history and African American studies at Fordham University, said that Race to the Top is the “single worst policy initiated by a Democrat since the Vietnam war.” (There’s a lot of competition for that first spot!) Naison was a student at Columbia during the war and spent the war years doing important things like shutting down construction on a gym in Morningside Park. He relived his glory days for the Occupation attendees:
With six Columbia students and seven neighborhood residents…we went down and pulled down the fence and got arrested….[A] month later, there was a rally and demonstration bringing black students and the SDS at Columbia together…500 people pulled down the fence and occupied five buildings and the gym did not go up..
It’s time to put our bodies in front of the machine. We are building a movement that is gradually going to get hundreds of thousands and millions of people, so do not be discouraged by our small numbers now because we are going to bring this machine to halt. There will be great damage before this is done. I’m not going to lie to you. It took ten years ten years to stop the Vietnam war and it may take ten years to bring this to a halt. But we will do it.
He didn’t say what he meant by “there will be great damage,” but we should never underestimate someone who had ties to the terrorist SDS.