"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Obama Makes Nice: Union Chiefs Pucker Up

George Bush or Margaret Spellings were no worse for education than Obama and Duncan, and they did not even come close in the outright hostility to the teaching profession.  While the union prostisuits talked tough at the union conventions recently, that is all in the past now that the Dems need the 3.5 million teacher votes for November. A few nods, a wink, and a backroom deal here and there, and all is peaceful once more. 

At a time when Van Roekel and Weingarten could be leveraging some of the liquid rage among the nation's teachers to get some relief from the corporate deformers, all we get are smiles and appreciative bows to the Oligarchs.  From Politico:
. . . .Yet, as Obama’s outreach has continued, tensions have simmered down.

“In the last month, there’s been a shift in tone,” said American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. Obama’s recent speeches, she said, have “made it clear that his strategies were not about firing teachers.”

National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel — whose group’s recent convention included several speakers calling for Duncan to resign — downplays the notion of a major mood swing, but said that Obama’s recent pro-teacher language has been appreciated.

“He’s recognizing that the very thing he cares most deeply about can’t happen without the involvement and collaboration of those people who are teaching,” Van Roekel said. “I like the message he’s sending.” . . .
Tensions have not simmered down, and they won't as long as the Dems cannot be distinguished from the Republicans on education issues.  I for one will not send a nickel to any candidate who does not come out explicitly with an anti-corporate education agenda.  If it is going to get much worse before there is a chance to get better, who's to say that much worse faster is not the preferable route to the dissembling, manipulations, and fakery of an Administration with no respect for educators, parents, public education, or children.

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