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When Radical Teachers Occupy the Department of Education

Is the fight to end school testing comparable to the abolition of slavery?

by
Paula Bolyard

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April 8, 2013 - 10:00 am
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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.

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Top Rated Comments   
Okay - couple observations: Professor Henry Louis Taylor takes a lot upon himself - does he not? And to this Tom Poetter... teaching is indeed about teaching. Leave "creating meaning" and "connecting with children, building relationships, passing on the intellectual, emotional, and practical dimension" to parents, families and churches of parents' choosing. We need you to teach - not influence. And the second quote from Poetter's speech... Marx couldn't have said it better! If these people represent a true cross section of the public school system - GET YOUR CHILDREN OUT - NOW!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (8)
All Comments   (8)
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Giving education over to a centralized federal government power grab was the single worst event for children in public education history.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I agree with you whole heartedly but for quite different reason! I have come to believe under todays circumstances and considering the complaints, its best to remove the federal government completely from states education and let the states, local communities and parents of school age children become fully liable for the economic cost of education through K-12 and higher education. That said, it still would not allow for stropping teachers and administrors from organizing and unionizing even in right to work states. It would however, limit problems and complaints to within the states and the local districts and out of the national arena and passtime of lumping all educators together as evil because some people in Turnipville WI think that of their teachers and schools.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Okay, it really obvious that eveybody has complaining and blaming down to a fine art. Is that accomplishment a great lesson and example for your children -- too become a new generation of complainers and blamers?

For those who have lost touch with reality, education doens't start with the federal government -- it starts with the schools in your residential districts and your local boards of education followed by the states board of education and legislatures educations sub committiess and committees. How many of you are on first name basis with anybody in that chain working to solve educational problems? How many of you have ever taken the time to survey the curriculum in you states colleges that provide education degrees? How many of you have taken tihe time to volunteer as a teachers aide or gotten certified as a education para pro to have some personal understanding of what goes on in educating? How many of you have taken the time to read your states education laws and districts educator policies manuals? How many of you know what your state requires for teachers to maintain
re-licensing every four or five years depending on the state? How many of you know what teachers are required to be responsible for under federal laws, state laws and district policies besides teaching and testing academic content? How many of you think teachers work an eight hour day for only five days, teach nine months and go on vacation for three months? How many of you think the school districts provide all the classroom supplies and materials needed each year that somehow is always there? (Check IRS rules for classroom educators deductions to understand how widespread that problem is nationally)

The point? Most complainers and blamers don't have a clue about education and educating!

If I had my way, public institutions would transition to a limited number of local independent federally sponsored institutions and would only teach K-4 through K-12 in English-vocabulary, reading, writing-commmunication, maths and sciences. Admissions would be limited (1:15 per class) and competitive based on testing and application of mastery. All other students would be eligible for church sponsored schools, state sponsored academic academy schools and home schooled. Colleges would design displine degree tracks for liberal arts, militiary sciences, business and math and science. SAT-ACT test would be formated to these degree tracks.

The indepentent federally sponsored schools would then only serve those areas of vital national economic and security interests. All the other school options would be free to teach whatever they wish in whatever methodology they desire.

There you go! No more compalints and blaming public schools or lack of options. Parents should be responsible for paying for their kids educations locally and or provide it themselves. The only tax dollars going to education would be federal taxes to pay for the free education of those top-of-the-ladder students making the cut and choosing to attend a federally funded designated institute.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You know the one speaker who talked about the evils of social media and how kids always have ear buds on? Those kids are probably blocking out all the communist nonsense these "teachers" are spouting every day.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm hearing that they want to link Common Core testing to US college admissions making impossible for children to get into college here without having a record of Common Core testing. If that's so, this is getting very scary. It's a true dagger to the heart of the home schooling and private schooling movements and industries, and it needs to stop. The only consolation I have is that by the time my son gets to that level, the education bubble will have burst and university education from the US won't be worth anything, so we'll be having to send him abroad somewhere to get an education at that level or universities will once again be centered on educating if they still exist here.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The unfortunate truth is that, with the exception of Hillsdale College and Grove City College, all schools are tied to the federal government through the federal financial aid system (Pell grants, federally subsidized student loans). Because of that, the government can pretty much could call the shots on admissions if they wanted to--even for private schools. They could decide to withhold funding from schools that don't comply with Common Core requirements if they wanted to.

Will they do that? Hard to say. Colleges and universities are a powerful lobby. I'm not sure they'd stand for the federal government keeping out some of their best and brightest students (this would also keep out foreign students, right?). Homeschoolers also have a powerful lobby and would not go quietly into the night. But a lot of this is being done behind closed doors, so it's hard to say.

On a side note, a few years ago Hillsdale decided to get out of the teacher accreditation business when MI decided not to accredit teachers anymore and instead, joined the federal system. Hillsdale decided it would be too intrusive into their curriculum (and would dumb it down with all the silly required courses) to have to jump through all the federal hoops). Education majors who graduate from Hillsdale can either jump through the federal hoops at another MI school for accreditation (after graduation) or choose to teach at a private or charter school. (Hundreds of charter schools come to Hillsdale every spring to recruit teachers.) It just shows another way the feds are getting their hooks into our lives and a small way one school is taking a forward-looking stand against it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Okay - couple observations: Professor Henry Louis Taylor takes a lot upon himself - does he not? And to this Tom Poetter... teaching is indeed about teaching. Leave "creating meaning" and "connecting with children, building relationships, passing on the intellectual, emotional, and practical dimension" to parents, families and churches of parents' choosing. We need you to teach - not influence. And the second quote from Poetter's speech... Marx couldn't have said it better! If these people represent a true cross section of the public school system - GET YOUR CHILDREN OUT - NOW!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Government schools are only PC propaganda pushers.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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