Saturday Cartoon Fun: GOP Budgeting Edition

Warren Christopher: R.I.P.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, who helped bring peace to Bosnia and negotiated the release of American hostages in Iran, died in California at age 85.

Christopher "passed away peacefully, surrounded by family at his home in Los Angeles" late on Friday of complications from kidney and bladder cancer, his family said in a statement.

As the top U.S. statesman under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997, Christopher was a behind-the-scenes negotiator. Often called the "stealth" secretary of state, he was known for his understated, self-effacing manner.


"Apologies to Our Nation's Teachers"

First they came for your integrity. They did it subtly and over time as they obfuscated our textbooks to reflect a narrow ideology rather than the whole truth.

Next they attacked the integrity of your profession. They did it by devising embarrassingly shallow and mandatory testing in order to hold you accountable for outcomes over which you have minimal control, all the while ignoring the many inadequacies of the society that contribute to student stress.

Then they devastated what you had hoped to give to your students. They did it by narrowing the curriculum to only those attributes they find suitable to provide compliant and narrowly trained workers, and by their unenlightened neglect of the multiple intelligences and learning styles and varied pace of learning that is present in all learners.

Then they reduced your ability to motivate students by limiting the availability of instructional supplies or making you purchase them yourselves. They did it by advocating for insufficient funding through regressive taxation.

Then they set out to diminish your hard earned salaries. They did it by pushing performance pay that has been long proven both ineffective and demeaning.

Then they attacked your pensions. They did it by blaming the sudden funding inadequacies thereof on you rather than on the greed and incompetence of Wall Street.

Then they assaulted your health care. They did it by ignoring the reduced wages you accepted in lieu of the growing costs of health insurance that is the fault of a greedy and heartless industry.

Then they undermined your right to join together in pursuit of your best interests and that of your profession. They did it by attacking your unions and associations while conveniently dismissing the powerful corporate and ideological institutions where those of opposing views organize to espouse their narrow interests.

Then they declared war on all that supports your valiant efforts by obstructing the general resources for your work. They do it by propagandizing to the unwitting public that taxes are too high while accepting tax rebates for the extremely wealthy, failing to accept that this is in reality a low tax nation, and providing for all sorts of unwarranted tax havens for business.

Then, finally, they seek to destroy all that our founders advocated by eliminating public education altogether. They do it by trumpeting the ill-conceived merits of privatization while ignoring the absence any record of its greater success or efficiency.

So I apologize for those of us who have not fought hard enough along side all of you as you struggle to mentor and inspire our children and grandchildren. Please forgive us for our inattentiveness and neglect. You deserve our utmost admiration and respect.

You see, they have done much of this to those of us in the private sector. And too many of us, duped by their stooges and know-nothings, have lashed out at you because we envy what you still have that we have lost. Arguably you are the last bastion against the corporate tyranny and selfish elitism that threatens our nation.

Thank you for all your efforts thus far. Please fight on. Please do not give up.

Robert Barkley, Jr., is a counselor in Systemic Education Reform, retired Executive Director of the Ohio Education Association, served as Interim Executive Director of the Maine Education Association, is a thirty-five year veteran of NEA and NEA affiliate staff work, long-term consultant to the KnowledgeWorks Foundation of Cincinnati, Ohio, one time teacher, coach, and local union president. He is the author of Quality in Education: A Primer for Collaborative Visionary Educational Leaders and Leadership In Education: A Handbook for School Superintendents and Teacher Union Presidents.
Robert Barkley, Jr. reprinted without permission. Couldn't resist.

LIFO: It's Better For Kids

Even though some people oppose seniority and tenure – understandably, since they can become excessively rigid – these systems have proven to be effective in minimizing differences in pay and other outcomes by sex, race, and other characteristics. In our education debate, we rarely discuss this, because one can so easily be accused of “putting the interest of adults above those of children.” In other words – who cares about possible bias against teachers if it improves student performance?

I could not disagree more strongly. For one thing, discrimination-prone measures used for pay, security, etc., by their very nature, threaten efficiency and effectiveness as much as anything. If stereotypes about social groups – and not just merit – always color our views of teachers’ performance, that is bad for students.
Shanker Blog

Mark Your Calendars: 2 Blog Talk Radio Shows Lined Up

Next week, on Monday, March 14 and then on Friday, March 18 (both at 3:30 Pacific), I will be hosting my Blog Talk Radio show with an invited guest for each show.

Monday's show will include DC Parent, a commentator over at MichelleRheeFirst who thinks LIFO is bad and too many teachers suck. I disagree.

Friday's show is the much anticipated Stuart Rhoden joint.

You can listen over the phone or the internet, and you can call in!!

Listen to internet radio with Tfteacher on Blog Talk Radio


Thursday Bonus Cartoon Fun: It's A Gas! Edition

Thursday Cartoon Fun: No Nukes Edition

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study Scoring Rubric

ACE Score Calculator

For use with this CDC study.

Banks Don't Rescue People, Governments Do

And in all the footage of people being saved [in Japan], I haven't seen one mega-bank rescue anyone. I saw help from a lot of volunteers, firemen, rescue workers, doctors, nurses, etc. But not one bank. And that was true during snowstorms in North Dakota, the floods in New Orleans, and the earthquake in Haiti. Oddly, though the banks are sucking up enormous amounts of our budgetary resources, they don't own rescue helicopters, they don't track earthquakes, they don't study tsunamis, and they don't deal with radiation poisoning.

Dylan Ratigan


"That Would Be Selfish"

My Japanese wife has been glued to the TV since Thursday.

All of her extended family is in Tokyo. She called her father and sister, imploring them to stock up on food, sundries, water, batteries, plastic wrap, and duct tape in anticipation of the Fukushima nuclear power plant failing and releasing tons of radiation into the atmosphere. In addition, the chance of a major aftershock in Tokyo is quite high, so they should be prepared.

Her sister's response: That would be selfish. If they hoarded, others would go without.
via Sully


Monday Cartoon Fun: Union Scum Edition

TFT On Blog Talk Radio Today With DC Parent

DC Parent and I will discuss Michelle Rhee's (and DC Parent's) obsession with firing veteran teachers in favor of retaining newbies (LIFO) and other reforms.

We confirmed last week, but I haven't heard back as of this writing. If I have no guest, I will play some music, read some comments from Students First, and respond to them. I will take callers, as usual.

Take a listen to my BTR show, today, live, at 3:30 Pacific time.

Listen to internet radio with Tfteacher on Blog Talk Radio


Owsley Stanley: R.I.P.

Owsley Stanley, "Bear" to Deadheads, has died.
Owsley Stanley (born Augustus Owsley Stanley III, January 19, 1935 - March 13, 2011) also known as Bear, was a former underground LSD cook, the first to produce large quantities of pure LSD.

Sunday Cartoon: Japanese Proverb Edition

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