Tag Archives: War on Teachers

Students for Education Reform and the War on Teachers

Pawns for billionaires.

The origins of this organization called Students for Education Reform:

Frustrated with the pace of educational change, Bellinger and Morin started Students for Education Reform (SFER) while they were undergraduates at Princeton in 2009. They set out to mobilize college students and get them to advocate for education reform in the voting booth and in state capitols. SFER has obviously tapped into something potent because the organization has grown to 71 chapters in 28 states.

Yes, I am sure they did this all on their own. This has nothing to do with all the hedge fund and Gates money pouring into every nook and cranny of the education system: school districts, political campaigns, unions, think tanks and teacher colleges. This has nothing to do with their professors who get generous grants with this money prodding them into creating astroturf organizations like SFER.

The last sentence of the article says it all:

SFER is growing so fast that Bellinger and Morin have, ironically, put their own education on hold so they can work full-time on it heading into 2012.

Yes, because normal college students from working families who are not being funded by a a billionaire apparatus have the luxury of “putting their education on hold” to go on political crusades.

Columbia University has a chapter of SFER as well and here are some videos they made thanking Governor Cuomo (What? No kudos to the union?) for the new teacher evaluations:

These students want to be teachers after they graduate. That is too bad for them, since they are pushing a system that will assure that neither they, nor anyone else, will be able to stay in the profession for very long.

On they other hand, I doubt they will have anything to worry about. These Ivy Leaguers will not stay in teaching for more than a few years. They will go on to work for think tanks and media outlets who seek more education “reform”. Their futures are being determined by their Wall Street masters.

The truth is, there is plenty of money for education in this country. All of these statistics that show how much we spend per student in the United States are nonsense because the students never see that money in the form of better materials or highly paid teachers.

First, when that money does manage to funnel down to the student level, it is grossly maldistributed between school districts. Those areas with higher property taxes get much more money than inner city areas. Second, most of the money in education today is bound up with an exploding number of six-figured “consultants” who work at district levels far removed from classrooms. Or the money is being funneled through no-bid contracts that go to testing companies and data companies who produce things not to help students, but strictly to evaluate teachers. Or that money is going to charter schools, namely the six-figured CEOs of those schools who spend most of the rest of that money on marketing and glossy fliers. There are billions of education dollars out there and a pittance of that goes to actual education.

Yet, we want to squeeze teachers and drive them out of the system. A comment left by someone on this blog today says everything you need to know about what education reform is all about:

I actually long for that day when today’s teachers get so frustrated they leave the profession. It happens in nursing all the time and that dynamic makes way for innovative nurses who can handle the stress and still provide quality care. The fact that teachers are a protected class and that their unions are characterized by constant hysteria that keep teachers excepted from routine administrative measures that everyone in the private work force has to deal with–evaluations being one example–is helping stir growing resentment even against good teachers. Maybe with a mass exodus, we can accomplish things like the realization that education degrees are not the only degrees that make good teachers, and help restore subject competency, which is sorely lacking with today’s “education” graduates.

I would hate to tell this person that, as far as NYC, D.C. and many other major urban  school districts are concerned, that day has come and gone. Most teachers in Bloomberg’s Department of Education were hired on his watch that started 10 years ago. Guess what? Schools are no better.

At the end of the day, it is about taking pennies out of the pockets of teachers by attempting to deprive us of our livelihoods just so it can be transferred into the pockets of charters and the hedge-fundies that run them.

What kind of country is this when working people claim public sector workers like teachers, police and firefighters (but they only mention teachers) should be relegated to the same insecure lifestyle of private sector workers? There was a day when many private sector workers had similar protections like due process
that prevented them from being tossed out of a job simply because their bosses did not like their face.

And that is what tenure is by the way. It is not a guaranteed job for life as so many misinformed people claim it to be. It means that you must go through a process before being terminated. What’s so hard to understand? These people do not get that the protections that public sector workers get sets the tone, the baseline, for the rest of the workforce. Calling for the wholesale slaughter of teachers is to call for your own slaughter.

As the rapacious railroad magnate Jay Gould once said: “I can always get one half of the poor to kill the other half.”

Wake up.