NEA for Jobs Not Kids

Really? Can that be true? Surely this idea is coming from some sort of teacher-hating, anti-government, right-wing radical that wants all kids homeschooled and all public schools to fail. Right?

Well, let’s just get to the point.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan
Arne Duncan

“When an ineffective teacher gets a chance to improve and doesn’t – and when the tenure system keeps that teacher in the classroom anyway – then the system is protecting jobs rather than children. That’s not a good thing. We need to work together to change that.”

– U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, taken from a speech he gave to the National Education Association

I agree. Don’t you? I think it’s time we all get behind Mr. Duncan (on this issue) and ask all of our public school board members if they would please stop cowering under the threats of the NEA (and the state affiliates) and see if we can fire a few bad teachers. Like These.

Don’t you think Arne would like that?

Hat Tip: Linda Dobson for her post at


If NCLB Poisons, Obama’s RTTT Kills

Look for the NEA and statewide teachers’ unions (like Indiana’s ISTA) to begin to rail on President Obama’s education reform plan. Thanks to Arne Duncan’s idea that MORE MONEY will help failing schools, the unions and public school statists are once again placed in the awkward position of complaining that the money has too many strings, and “the right people” don’t have control of the funds.

Too many of those darn Republican governors will get to hand out the grants. Read “Bennett and Daniels: Using Race to the Top as an excuse to Kill the Teaching Profession” for some, uh… perspective.

For a more tame and realistic point of view, has this to say:

Instead of triggering a fundamental rethinking of education, Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s billions will simply hasten the destruction of the institution I love – universal, free, public schooling.

Notwithstanding the press releases about the expected miracles from unleashed market forces, the money will be spent trying to salvage the institution rather than transform it (a strategy familiar to those who follow the banking industry).

This is an interesting comparison! Is he saying that all of this money will have the same effect on schools that the TARP money had on the banking industry? One point he misses, is that Government Schooling has never been a private industry. If the banks (then GM) were taken over because they took all that money and still failed, then what happens to public schools that are already controlled by the bureaucracy? (They grouse about having to be accountable, for one thing.)

Public schools have always been  government run and taxpayer supported. (Just like HealthCare will be. Keep that in mind when you don’t get to choose your doctor. How many people are going to get nightmare doctors that remind them of their nightmare teacher in fifth grade?) Schools can’t be “taken over” any more than they already are.

American education, simply and emphatically, is on a wrong track.

My question is: “When did it jump from the right track?” Was it doing fine until an evil Republican with a vial of poison called NCLB came along?

As a vehicle for intellectual development, it began to slow down the day the young were pulled out of apprenticeships and other real-world learning experiences, put in rooms insulated from the real world, and made to sit, hands on desks, eyes front, mouths shut, being fire-hosed with facts.

This perfectly describes public education since the middle 1800’s. Actually, ever since compulsory attendance laws were enacted. None of the above symptoms of the failing nature of  state schooling have anything to do with money or funding schemes. They all have to do with PEDAGOGY and the Prussian Model of national (state controlled) education. [Watch John Gatto on Prussian Education]

The vehicle moved slower still starting in 1893, when the so-called “core curriculum” was adopted, narrowing the focus of study to math, science, language arts and social studies, and ignoring the integrated nature of knowledge.

It came to a stop and reversed when Congress mandated “No Child Left Behind.” “Race To The Top” will accelerate its backward movement.

Complaining about NCLB and now, RTTT, does nothing, and will do nothing to accomplish the real reform that needs to happen. Compulsion and lack of competition is what is killing Government Schooling.

What are the consequences we are headed for, with or without funding and attempts at fixing something that is running as its supposed to be running?

Exodus: We will begin to see an ever quickening exodus from the government schooling sector to the private and alternative education markets. Government will also continue to shove money into the public education pit (unions complaining all the way) until the people finally revolt, pointing to empty school buildings with thousands of government employees teaching to empty seats. Tea Parties of the summer of 2009 will seem weak compared to millions of property tax strapped parents storming public school buildings, pitchforks in hand.

Will our leaders still say, “They’re too big and important to fail?”

Save the Planet: Skip School

Click to go to
I propose all children should be skipping school until our government follows the green example of Bali.

Really, it’s time to get serious. My daughter took a carbon footprint green survey at school (to avoid learning about math or literature, I suppose. Oh… she just told me this was a replacement for learning some real science….) and after devulging much personal information about our family lifestyle and habits, it was determiend that if EVERYONE lived like we do (on a farm with methane producing animals and only 5 CFL light bulbs) we would need … WAIT FOR IT! … 44 earths to sustain all of us. (SOB Planet Killers, that is!!!)

This is my solution:

I propose that all publicly schooled (taxpayer supported) children skip school until each and every government school building is made of 100% sustainable materials, all children are not bussed and all textbooks are banned.

I thought of possibly replacing textbooks with Kindle Wireless Reading Devices but that means you’d need electricity to charge them. Bummer.

Think about it, each public school must have the carbon footprint of a small factory! Add in all those breathing children (exhaling literally TONS of toxic greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere every year) and you have a monumental carbon footprint! At least factories produce something of value.


It’s obvious that anything public schools do to “save the planet” are only going to scratch the surface until they address the masive waste and pollution they produce every day. Bali is taking the lead here. Once again, making America a laughing stock in the advancement of environmental earth security. Bali cares not only about the planet, but they care about education as well.

A school with its own farm, a bicycling program, solar power, and an organic chocolate factory? Attendance must be through the (sustainable, bamboo) roof.

Funnies: Critical Thinking?


When people criticize homeschoolers for not being able to really “teach” (because they lack the requisite training) their own children I now laugh and ignore them. I used to try to come up with research, articles and anecdotes to defend the idea that a one-on-one learning experience led by anyone — whether trained as a teacher or not — is always going to be better than mass instruction.

Quote: Homeschoolers are Breeders

Sometimes people write things that are just too good not to share.

I participated on a newspaper’s comment forum this month, taking them to task for suggesting that Home-school transfer students must be held accountable (and regulated.)

There were a couple of the usual trolls (people who make wild claims but refuse to put their own names to them) that make these kinds of forums fun, but rather unpleasant for people who are sincerely trying to understand a situation.

The topic was — to my mind — about how a school was encouraging parents to transfer their children out as homeschoolers, rather than dropping out. In then end, everyone is happy, since the school’s dropout record improves while they also get rid of trouble-making youths that are too young to legally drop out anyway.

As for the parents and kids? They get out of a school that was at best, a lose-lose situation. They couldn’t do any worse if they sat in front of the TV watching PBS and Discovery Channel all day. In fact… they would probably do better.

Now the school officials are looking like miracle workers with their new awesome-low dropout record, when it’s more than likely several of those transfers were encouraged by the administrators to leave. I call them Ex-schoolers.

Meanwhile, posters to the comments section of this particular op-ed article have these nice things to share about homeschoolers:

[Richmond Community Schools] is clearly using the phony, but legal, loophole created by the very powerful home-school industry lobbyists that allow the garden variety breeder to “home-school” their child in order to avoid prosecution for, among other behaviors, educational neglect.

I know of two or three educated adults who do a clearly commendable job providing a great education for their children, but they do so while supporting, tacitly or otherwise, the much more prevalent practice by negligent, uneducated breeders who simply wish for their child to get knocked up, or moved out, while protected by the unaccountable practice of designating one’s self as home-schooled.

Knocked it out of the park!!

We can keep laughing only as long as people like this aren’t taken seriously. I suppose once they start using their real names, watch out.