Thursday, Propel teachers and other staff voted 236-82 to join the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA).
The drive took 9 months to achieve. Propel enrolls about 4,000 students at 13 schools in Braddock Hills, Hazelwood, Homestead, McKeesport, Pitcairn, Turtle Creek, Munhall, McKees Rocks and the North Side.
They don’t have to be run by elected school boards. They don’t have to manage their business at public meetings. They don’t have to open their budgets to public review. Heck! They don’t even have to spend all the money they get from taxes on their students.
Nor do they have to accept every student in their coverage area. They can cherry pick whichever students they figure are cheapest to educate and those who they predict will have the highest test scores. And they can hide this discrimination behind a lottery or whatever other smoke screen they want because – Hey! The rules don’t apply to them!
Now you have to pay a living wage. You can’t demand people work evenings and weekends without paying them overtime. You have to provide safe working conditions for students and staff. And if you want to cut student services and pocket the difference, the staff is going to have something to say about that – AND YOU HAVE TO LISTEN!
How much will union power beat back charter bosses?
Will the worst financial gamblers abandon school privatization because unions make it too difficult to make handfuls of cash? One can hope.
If it happened, the only charters left standing would be those created without profit as their guiding principle. The goal would really have to be doing the best thing for children, not making shadowy figures in the background a truckload of money.
Do such charter schools even exist? Maybe. With staff continuing to unionize, maybe there will be even more of them.
However, even if all of them become altruistic, there still remains a problem.
But the idea that public schools are fundamentally better – that idea has suffered tremendously.
I used to believe that local control was something to cherish, that a board made up of neighbors duly elected by the community would more often than not have the best interests of that neighborhood at heart when making decisions.
They keep blaming everything on academics, saying they have provide what is best to help students learn – never mind the dangers to child, parent and teachers’ bodies. But even more hypocritically they ignore the well being of huge swaths of their students who refuse to take part in their in-person experiment.
In both districts, about 60% of parents favor in-person schooling and 40% prefer remote.
So the boards are doing what the majority wants, but it’s a slim majority.
There is a significant portion of parents who feel these in-person plans are unsafe and very little is being done to educate their children.
They are actually betting that the poor quality of the cyber program will increase the number of parents sending their kids to in-person instruction.
And I’ve heard similar comments among administration at Steel Valley.
There at least we don’t force kids into our (likewise crappy) cyber program. We just have classroom teachers post assignments on-line.
Remote students in K-5 get live teachers instructing on-line. But remote students in 6-12 only get one half day of synchronous instruction on-line a week. The rest is asynchronous worksheets, etc. And somehow that’s supposed to be enough.
We have enough teachers that we could provide more, but why encourage remote learning? Might as well let them eat asynchronous and hope their parents will lose hope and just make them come to school during a global pandemic.
I have zero respect for administrators who think this way. I have zero respect for school board members who vote for it.
So how do I keep my respect for local control and the school board system?
The technology should be merely a tool to connect students and teachers not as a provider of that learning.
The backlash against ed tech has been far greater than any embrace.
Yet some education activists decry how public schools going remote makes privatized schools who don’t look good.
That’s nonsense, too.
Teaching recklessly is bad – no matter who does it. If parents want to endanger their own kids, that’s their prerogative, but in the long run no one will earn brownie points for enabling such negligence.
However, where privatized schools will earn points with parents is for providing high quality remote learning when public schools refuse to do so.
I know all of them aren’t doing that. But some of them are.
And, frankly, they deserve any praise they get for it.
Look, I love public schools, too. But when public schools abandon their duties to their students as so many have done during this crisis, they deserve to have their students stolen. Even if these privatized schools often have more money to work with in the first place.
Bottom line: This is a crisis the school board system should have been able to overcome.
It’s a crisis the unions should have been able to battle.
It’s a crisis the activist community should have been able to see clearly.
That’s why the schools are open. School boards are afraid keeping them closed will hurt business in the community.
That’s why administrators make such reckless reopening plans. They’re afraid that if we stay on remote it will become obvious how irrelevant they are to the running of a virtual school.
That’s why union leaders put up next to no resistance. They’re more afraid of furloughs than death or lifelong health consequences.
That’s why some parents support reopening schools – so they have someone to watch their kids while they’re at work. They never spare a moment for how the government is cheating them out of stimulus checks, mortgage relief, rent forgiveness, free testing, hazard pay and healthcare so they don’t have to put their own lives on the line working during a pandemic.
In all honesty, we were a sick country long before COVID-19 hit our shores.
Most notably, UNITE was part of the effort that ousted Allegheny County Council President John DeFazio in favor of another Democratic insurgent, Bethany Hallam. Once again DeFazio’s pro-fracking and fossil fuel platform went down in flames to Hallam’s environmentally friendly policies by a margin of 54%-46%.
Roland has already raised $77,635 mostly from local unions. Steamfitters Local 449 and the Laborers’ International Union of North America have both given him $20,000 while the local International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and Plumbers locals each gave $10,000.
To combat this, Lee has raised $55,789.
Some pundits theorize that the move to stop Lee is doomed from the start because of her incredible popularity in her district. The real motivation is to weaken UNITE’s ability to fundraise against other pro-fracking Democrats.
It’s tragic that the labor movement has come to such a low point with leaders like PA AFL-CIO President Darrin Kelly willing to trade the health and safety of the people living here for the promise of a paycheck.
Kelly has been a vocal opponent of the Green New Deal fearing what it would do to fossil fuel employment in the area.
“When you have a situation where you are taking away from someone’s ability to feed their family, that is not going to be looked at favorably. I am going to be against it; I’m going to be vocal against it and not welcome it in Western Pennsylvania.”
He seems to forget that dead people don’t need a paycheck.
Trading the environment and the health and welfare of our friends and neighbors for a living wage is a bad deal.
Moreover, labor leaders opposing environmentalists like Lee ignore key aspects of her proposals.
These would be high quality union jobs with good salaries, benefits, safe working conditions, training opportunities, etc.
This opens a once in a generation opportunity for new jobs to upgrade and expand the Commonwealth’s crumbling roads, bridges, energy grid, and water systems. Not only would we repair what exists, we’d build a cleaner, more affordable, and more resilient infrastructure that would be there for our posterity.
We need to expand access to light rail and low-emissions public transit, replace lead pipes, build a smart grid for increased wind and solar power, replace storm water systems to prevent flooding and toxic runoff, and restore wetlands and other natural buffers to protect our communities.
The people who bust unions before most of us have even had breakfast yet claim they have nothing to do with this anti-union movement. It is all the parents doing. The Walmart heirs just put up the money to let these parents live their dream of union free schools – as if schools where educators have no rights or intellectual freedom were somehow in the best interests of students.
The group is set to officially launch operations on Thursday, Jan. 16.
Teachers aren’t just fighting for higher wages. They’re fighting for smaller class sizes, more tutors, counselors and librarians. They’re fighting for more funding and resources for students. They’re fighting for relief from school privatization and high stakes standardized testing.
You don’t put your life on the line in the same way the police or a soldier does. You don’t risk having a finger chopped off like someone working in a machine shop. You don’t even have to worry like a truck driver about falling asleep and drifting off the road.
Educators and school staff find their work “always” or “often” stressful 61 percent of the time. Workers in similar professions say that their job is “always” or “often” stressful only 30 percent of the time.
“This job is stressful, overwhelming and hard. I am overworked, underpaid, underappreciated, questioned and blamed for things that are out of my control.”
The most obvious cause of teacher stress is the workload.
Though the details vary slightly from study to study, the vast majority highlight this as the number one factor.
The NFER study concluded that teachers work longer hours than people in other professions though a less number of official days. This is because of the school year – classes meet for about 9-10 months but require far more than 40 hours a week to get everything done. In fact, teachers are putting in a full years work or more in those limited days.
For instance, an average American puts in about 260 days at work a year. Teachers average 70 less days but do the same (or more) hours that other employees put in during the full 260 days. But teachers are only paid for 190 days. So they do roughly the same amount of work in a shorter time span and are paid less for it. The result is a poor work-life balance and higher stress levels.
But exactly how many hours do teachers routinely work? It depends on who you ask.
According to NFER, teachers work an average of 47 hours a week, with a quarter working 60 hours a week or more and one in 10 working more than 65 hours a week.
Four in 10 teachers said they usually worked in the evenings, and one in 10 work on weekends.
Both of these studies refer to British teachers but estimates are similar for teachers in the United States.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports that teachers in both countries are among those who work the most hours annually. The average secondary teacher in England teaches 1,225 hours a year. The average secondary teacher in the United States teaches 1,080 hours a year. Across the OECD, the average for most countries is 709 hours.
Finally, a study focusing just on US teachers by Scholastic, found that educators usually work 53 hours a week. That comes out to 7.5 hours a day in the classroom teaching. In addition, teachers spend 90 minutes before and/or after school mentoring, tutoring, attending staff meetings and collaborating with peers. Plus 95 additional minutes at home grading papers, preparing classroom activities and other job-related tasks.
And teachers who oversee extracurricular clubs put in an additional 11-20 hours a week.
No matter how you slice it, that’s a lot of extra hours.
According to the NFER study, two out of five teachers (41%) are dissatisfied with their amount of leisure time, compared to 32% of people in similar professionals.
The fact that we refuse to invest in our schools only increases the workload of the teachers who are still there. They look around and see students in desperate need and have to choose between what’s good for them, personally, and what’s good for their students.
THAT’S why teachers are working so many unpaid hours. They’re giving all they have to help their students despite a society that refuses to provide the necessary time and resources.
And make no mistake, one of those resources is having enough teachers to get the job done.
For a lot of teachers, the issue boils down to respect – lack of it.
Estimates vary somewhat from study to study, but the basic structure holds. The vast majority of impact on learning comes from the home and out-of-school factors. Teachers are a small part of the picture. They are the largest single factor in the school building, but the school, itself, is only one of many components.
The people who know teachers the best—parents, co-workers and students—show much more respect for teachers than elected officials and media pundits, many of whom rarely set foot in a classroom, according to the 2017 BATs and AFT Quality of Work Life Survey.
While educators feel most respected by their colleagues, they also indicated that their direct supervisors showed them much more respect than their school boards, the media, elected officials and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. A total of 86 percent of respondents did not feel respected by DeVos.
“This lack of voice over important instructional decisions is a tangible example of the limited respect policymakers have for educators,” the report concluded.
Sometimes this lack of respect leads to outright bullying.
A total of 43 percent of respondents in the public survey group reported having been bullied, harassed or threatened at work in the last year. Of these reports, 35% included claims of having been bullied by administrators, principals or supervisors, 23% by co-workers, 50% by students, 31% by students’ parents. Many claimed to have been bullied by multiple sources.
This is a much higher rate of bullying, harassment and threats than workers in the general population.
I, myself, have experienced this even to the point of being physically injured by students multiple times – nothing so serious that it put me in the hospital, but enough to require a doctor’s visit.
And to make matters worse, one-third of respondents said that teachers and faculty at their schools did not felt safe bringing up problems and addressing issues.
Teacher stress is a real problem in our schools.
If we want to provide our children with a world class education, we need to look out for the educators who do the actual work.
We need to drastically reduce the workload expected of them. We need to hire more teachers so the burden can be more adequately sustained. We need to increase teacher salary to retain those already on the job and to attract the most qualified applicants in the future. We need to stop blaming teachers for every problem in society and give them the respect and autonomy they deserve for having volunteered to do one of the most important jobs in any society. And we have to stop bullying and harassing them.
As a nation, our children are our most valuable resource. If we want to do what’s best for the generations to come, we need to stop stressing out those brave people who step up to guide our kids into a brighter tomorrow.
The Democratic primary process was a mess, the media gave free airtime to the most regressive candidate, and our national teachers unions – the National Education Association (NEA) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) – endorsed a Democratic challenger too early and without getting membership support first.
1) The AFT executive board invited all of the candidates to meet with them and submit to an interview. No Republican candidates responded.
2) Democrats including Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley and Clinton were interviewed in private.
3) The executive committee voted to endorse Clinton.
4) THEN the interviews were released to the public.
How can the AFT claim its endorsement was a result of membership opinion when the organization didn’t even release the interviews to members until AFTER the endorsement?
Ostensibly, the executive council used these interviews to help make its decision. Shouldn’t that same information have been available to rank and file members of the union before an endorsement was made?
Which brings up another question: were AFT members asked AT ALL about who to endorse before the executive council made the final decision?
“The AFT has conducted a long, deliberative process to assess which candidate would best champion the issues of importance to our members, their families and communities. Members have been engaged online, through the “You Decide” website, through several telephone town halls, and through multiple surveys—reaching more than 1 million members.
Additionally, over the past few weeks, the AFT has conducted a scientific poll of our membership on the candidates and key issues. The top issues members raised were jobs and the economy and public education. Seventy-nine percent of our members who vote in Democratic primaries said we should endorse a candidate. And by more than a 3-to-1 margin, these members said the AFT should endorse Clinton.”
So the AFT claims union members said to endorse Clinton on-line, on telephone town halls, surveys and a scientific poll of membership.
But did they really?
I’m not a member of the AFT but I know many teachers who are. Very few of them have ever been surveyed.
The press release says AFT members preferred Clinton 3-1. Yet to my knowledge they never released the raw data of any polls or surveys of membership.
This can’t happen again.
She said the executive council passed a four step process just last week to ensure members were behind whoever the union eventually endorsed this time around:
“Our Executive Council just passed a process last week which has four components. Number One is what do the members want? What are their aspirations? What are their needs in terms of Presidential candidates? And so we will be doing a lot of listening and engaging with members.
Number Two – There’s a lot of candidates that want access to our membership. What we would like them to spend a day with our members. We would like them to see the challenges in classrooms. The challenges that nurses have. [The AFT also represents nurses.] Listen to the challenges of adjunct professors who have student loan debt that is well beyond what salaries they get per month.
Number Three – People are really active these days. So we don’t want them to wait until there is a nationwide endorsement to involve or get engaged with candidates. So there’s going to be an ability to be involved or engaged as delegates to do these kinds of things.
Number Four – At one point or another we’ll get to an endorsement.”
Frankly, this seems kind of vague to me. I hope this new process gets better results than the last one.
So NEA and AFT leaders, your members want to know:
What is your process for selecting our next U.S. presidential candidate?
What questions will you ask potential candidates?
How will members have a democratic voice in the process?
Please be transparent and publish your process to share with members through multiple sources.
And my union brothers and sisters, get involved. Engage in the endorsement process now! Call on our NEA and AFT leadership to invite early and widespread, as well as transparent, involvement in the endorsement process.
The outgoing Chicago Mayor USED TO subscribe to the radical right view that public schools should be privatized, student success should be defined almost entirely by standardized testing, teachers should be stripped of union protections and autonomy and poor black and brown people have no right to elect their own school directors.
But far from divorcing any of this Reagan-Bush-Trump-Clinton-Obama crap, he renews his vows to it.
“…what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”
If only he’d respond like Madison:
“Okay, a simple ‘wrong’ would’ve done just fine, but thanks.”
But like that straight man school administrator in an Adam Sandler movie, I’m going to give you the long answer. I’m going to explain why what Emanuel said was supremely stupid.
But it leads into a series of important points he wants to make:
“For most of my career, I preached the old gospel of education reform. But now research and experience suggest that policy makers need to embrace a new path forward and leave the old gospel behind. Principals, not just teachers, drive educational gains. The brain-dead debate between charter and neighborhood schools should be replaced with a focus on quality over mediocrity. To get kids to finish high school, the student experience should center on preparing them for what’s next in life. Finally, classroom success hinges on the support that students get outside school. If other cities follow Chicago’s lead in embracing those ideas, they’re likely to also replicate its results.”
Wow. What an innovation! Stack your school system with yes-people and your initiatives will get done. Great. No room for diversity of thought. No one who thinks outside of the box. Just functionaries and flunkies who do what you say.
Imagine if pirates were robbing ships on the high seas. Would you talk about good pirates and bad pirates? Imagine if vampires were attacking people in the night and draining their blood. Would you talk about good vampires and bad vampires?
I mean Dracula did suck Mina dry, but he spends the rest of his nights reading to orphan children. Long John Silver may have stolen hundreds of chests of gold from merchant ships, but he donates every tenth doubloon to fighting global warming!
Finally you talk about the support students get out of school. That’s stupid because…
Actually it’s not.
You’ve got a point there. We do need to support programs to help students succeed outside the classroom – summer reading, after school tutoring, etc. However, making kids sign a pledge to go to college in order to be eligible for a summer job? That’s kind of cruel when many have no way to pay for college in the first place. Moreover, it completely ignores the huge section of children who have no desire to go to college and would rather go to career or technical schools.
Emanuel pushed forward a policy that in order to graduate, Chicago seniors must prove that after 12th grade they’re going to college, trade school, an internship, the military or would otherwise be gainfully employed. OR ELSE they can’t get a diploma!
Rahm’s all about adding more hoops for poor minority kids to jump through. Very rarely is he about providing any help for them to make the jump.
In October of 2014, Officer Jason Van Dyke shot the 17-year-old 16 times. Most of those bullets went into the teenager after he was already flat on the ground and the officer was at least 10 feet away.
Emanuel quickly issued a $5 million settlement to McDonald’s family on the condition they keep quiet about the incident. It wasn’t until after Emanuel had won re-election, that an independent journalist put two-and-two together and asked for the officer’s dashcam video to be released. It took the full power of the media and a lawsuit to accomplish this resulting in charges against Van Dyke for first degree murder. Just last year the officer was found guilty of second degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, but was found not guilty of official misconduct. He was sentenced to 6.75 years in prison.
This is not a sterling mayoral record. It is not a proven record of success.
THAT’S why class sizes have ballooned to more than 45 students in secondary schools; 35 students in upper elementary grades; and 25 students in lower elementary grades.
THAT’S why the district does not have nearly enough counselors, psychologists or librarians to give students the support they need.
THAT’S why 80% of schools don’t have full-time nurses.
The second largest district in the country has more charter schools than any other. The overwhelming majority of them are operated by corporate chains and have expanded by 287% over the last 10 years.
These are publicly funded but privately run schools. They don’t have to meet the same standards of accountability or transparency about how they spend taxpayer dollars – all while gobbling up $600 million a year!
That’s not Democracy. No self-respecting Democrat should support such a thing – but you’ll find luminaries from Obama to the Clintons to Cory Booker who will tell you what a great idea it is. Along with DeVos, Trump, Jeb Bush and the Koch Brothers.
LA Superintendent Austin Beutner is a Democrat, but he’s also a multimillionaire with experience in corporate downsizing and none in education.
“…Beutner has moved ahead with what we believe is his agenda to dismantle the district. Through an outside foundation, he has brought on firms that have led public school closures and charter expansion in some districts where they have worked, from New Orleans to Washington, D.C. This approach, drawn from Wall Street, is called the “portfolio” model, and it has been criticized for having a negative effect on student equity and parent inclusion.”
These are policies in direct opposition to the progressive ideals at the heart of the Democratic Party. They are, in fact, bedrock Republican ideology and demonstrate the vast divide among Democrats.
New Democrats oppose them. Grassroots Democrats oppose them. Democratic voters oppose them. And it will be telling whether the policymakers in our halls of power will follow the lead of the people or try to shepherd the power behind the party into doing what the patricians think best.
That’s why this strike is important way beyond California. Whatever happens will send echoes throughout the country, because school districts from sea to shining sea are facing similar issues.
In the meantime, the LA Unified District has a $1.8 Billion budget surplus it can use to help meet these needs. But the solutions to the district’s woes require a long-term commitment to public education.
This would help the district raise teacher salaries to match those of surrounding districts.
But the root problem is a lack of ideological support among policymakers.
Too many Democrats inside and outside the district don’t support the very idea of public schools. They’d rather boost privatization.
Too many Democrats support unnecessary and harmful high stakes standardized testing which not only unfairly paints the district as a failure for the poverty of its students but forces out things of real education value like the arts and ethnic studies.
Too many Democrats have no problem doing this in a district that serves a majority of students of color while providing only the best for middle class white kids.
That’s why today the American people stand with the UTLA as they go on strike.
It’s why we always stand with educators – You can’t put students first if you put teachers last.
Democrats need to get their priorities straight.
It’s time to decide if they’re going to continue being Trump lite or reclaim their progressive heritage and rejoin the rest of the nation.
Could it be that they never intended workers at these schools to have any rights?
Could it be that small class size – one of the main demands of teachers at the 15 Acero schools – was never something these policymakers intended?
It certainly seems so.
For decades we’ve been told that these types of schools were all about innovation. They were laboratories where teachers and administrators could be freed from the stifling regulations at traditional public schools.
And now when charter teachers speak out and demand a better environment for themselves and their students, these ideologues have nothing to say.
It’s not hard to figure out what’s going on here.
The latest audit of Acero shows they have $10 million a year in additional revenue that they aren’t spending on the students. Yet they’re cutting the budget by 6 percent annually. Meanwhile, Acero’s CEO Richard Rodriguez is taking home more than $260,000 for overseeing 15 schools while Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson makes slightly less money for managing more than 500 schools.
If the school privatization lobby cared about kids, it shouldn’t be hard to come out against Acero and in favor of these teachers and students.
It seems to prove what charter critics have been saying all along – and how full of crap the privatization lobby has always been.
I know many educators who’ve worked at charters. In most cases they are dedicated, caring professionals who’d rather work at a traditional public school but had to settle for employment where they could find it even if that meant less pay, longer hours, and fewer rights.
I know many parents who sent their kids to charter schools because of funding inequalities or rampant high stakes testing at traditional public schools. In every case, they are doing the best they can for their children – navigating a system they hate looking for the best opportunities.
I’ve taught many students who’ve gone to charter schools and then returned to my traditional public school classroom disillusioned from their subpar experience in privatized education. Without exception they are great kids who try their hardest to succeed despite huge deficits from the years lost at charters.
These people are not our enemy. We are their allies.
We are pushing for a better education system for all of us. And this strike is part of that.
Every school should have an elected school board. Every school should have public meetings, transparency and be accountable for how it spends tax dollars. Every school should have to accept the kids living in its borders and provide them the proper services and respect their rights. Every school should treat its employees like professionals and pay them a fair wage for a fair day’s work.
Ultimately, I think this means the end of the charter school concept. But that doesn’t have to mean the end of all these charter schools. Many of them that can operate effectively and efficiently should become traditional public schools. That may mean incorporation into existing districts or creations of new ones. It may mean additional funding from the state and federal government.
In the case of fly-by-night charters that do nothing but enrich their investors while cheating kids out of an education, they should be closed immediately and the persons responsible should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law (whatever that is, if at all possible).
I don’t have all the answers, and what’s right in one neighborhood may be wrong in another. However, I am confident that there is a solution.
No matter how this strike is resolved, the fact that it exists – and is probably a precursor to more such strikes – points the way to a brighter future for everyone.
“I have decided to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect something in return. We expect to foster a conservative governing philosophy consisting of limited government and respect for traditional American virtues. We expect a return on our investment.”
Her boss – and philosophical soul mate – Donald Trump feels the same way. He once bragged at a rally:
“I’ve given to everybody because that was my job. I gotta give it to them, because when I want something I get it. When I call, they kiss my ass.”
DeVos doesn’t just talk the talk. She walks the walk.
One of the most infamous examples of quid pro quo was when the DeVos family gave Michigan Republicans $1.45 million over a seven-week period as an apparent reward for passing a no-accountability charter school law in 2016. That’s $25,000 per day! The editors of the Detroit Free Press’ described it as a “filthy, moneyed kiss.”
Yet somehow it’s unions that have a “stranglehold” on politicians and policy!?
Let’s get one thing straight – money should not be able to buy political influence. Period.
That’s union money. That’s billionaire money. That’s anyone’s money.
But that requires major reforms to how we finance political campaigns. It requires several Supreme Court decisions such as Citizens United to be overturned. It requires additional regulations and transparency from our legislature.
Until that happens, no one can afford to stop making these campaign contributions.
In Buckley v. Valeoand several additional rulings that built on it, The Supreme Court wrongly ruled that money equals speech and thus any limitation on political spending would violate the First Amendment.
Therefore, no one can afford to limit their voice by voluntarily closing their pocketbook.
People with truckloads of cash – like DeVos – cry wolf when the unwashed masses pool their resources to the point where they can come close to matching the wealthy.
But make no mistake – with the rampant economic inequality in this country, the rich can outspend the poor. And they often do.
It doesn’t take a political genius to see that our national policies invariably favor the wealthy and ignore the poor. That’s no accident. It’s the rich getting what they’ve paid for.
But DeVos wasn’t done whining to a sympathetic audience on Fox Business Channel.
“…they [i.e. teachers unions] are very resistant to the kind of changes that need to happen. They are very protective of what they know, and there are protective, really protective of adult jobs and not really focused on what is right for individual students.”
Really? How would you know? You never sent your kids to public school. You never went to public school, yourself. You’ve only ever visited a handful of public schools after purchasing your position in Trump’s cabinet (Check the receipts to the Senators who confirmed her!).
Teachers want change. They’re begging for change – just not the kinds of change DeVos is pushing.
But she went on:
“One of the most fundamental things again is focusing on individual children and knowing that all students are different, they learn differently. I have four children, they were all very different, very different learners.”
To enable her scheme, she needs to attack teachers:
“We have a lot of forces that are protecting what is and what is known, a lot of forces protecting the status quo. We need to combat those, break them, and again empower and allow parents to make decisions on behalf of their individual children because they know their children best.”
Betsy, charter and voucher schools are not reform. They ARE the status quo. They’re the same crap championed by Obama and the Bushes and the Clintons.
Republicans are famous for their privatization advocacy. But most Democrats are in favor of it, too.