Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Arne Tells Teachers To Go To Hell (Again)

Arne has popped up with a statement in reaction to the Vergara tenure-FILO-smashing verdict. You will be shocked to discover that Arne sides with the billionaire backers of this attack on the teaching profession. Let me break it down and translate for you:

For students in California and every other state, equal opportunities for learning must include the equal opportunity to be taught by a great teacher.

Arne is going to go ahead and pretend that he believes the bullshit premise of these attacks on tenure-- that somehow tenure and FILO are keeping great teachers from getting to students and not, say, offering some job protection that might make teaching appealing as a lifelong career. Also, ignorance is strength.

The students who brought this lawsuit are, unfortunately, just nine out of millions of young people in America who are disadvantaged by laws, practices and systems that fail to identify and support our best teachers and match them with our neediest students. 

Arne will also go ahead and pretend that these nine sock puppets actually had something to do with the lawsuit created and bankrolled by billionaire David Welch

Today’s court decision is a mandate to fix these problems. Together, we must work to increase public confidence in public education. This decision presents an opportunity for a progressive state with a tradition of innovation to build a new framework for the teaching profession that protects students’ rights to equal educational opportunities while providing teachers the support, respect and rewarding careers they deserve.

Did Arne have to read this somewhere? Because I'm not sure how he could get through it without puking. Yes, the destruction of job protections will totally show teachers that they are supported and valued. But we're salivating now, because we can create a new framework, one that doesn't involve teaching as a career, or teachers' unions as a political force, or teachers as people who have a voice, or even stick around schools long enough to become a problem.

My hope is that today’s decision moves from the courtroom toward a collaborative process in California that is fair, thoughtful, practical and swift.

Oh, hell. I know my stock in trade here is supposed to be wit and snark and all, but-- bullshit, Arne. That's just plain unvarnished bullshit. You can't possibly hope any of those things at this moment with a straight face.

Every state, every school district needs to have that kind of conversation. At the federal level, we are committed to encouraging and supporting that dialogue in partnership with states. At the same time, we all need to continue to address other inequities in education–including school funding, access to quality early childhood programs and school discipline.

You know who can't have those kinds of conversations? Teachers who have no job protections. Teachers who have no job protections can only mostly have the kinds of conversations that involve statements like "Yassuh, whatever you say, suh" and "I'm sick of your lip. You're fired."

But then, when you said school districts and states and federal overlords needed to have conversations, you probably meant "conversations without teachers in the room."

God, just when I think the Obama administration has found every conceivable way to signal that they consider teachers vermin to be stepped on and crushed, they find one more way to drive that point home. At this point, I think the GOP would have to run a convicted ax murderer in order for me to vote Democrat in a national election. This is a whole new level of pissing on us while telling us it's raining. This is a whole new level of disregard for the teaching profession-- no, no, that's wrong, because this is not disregard. This is assault. This is deliberate, lying with a straight face, cheering for the dismantling of teaching as a profession.


  1. As I was reading this I was thinking your conclusion. We need to send Obama a message that we aren't going to take it anymore. We need to vote education at the state and the local level but we need to vote for gridlock at the national. We need to let Obama know that this is unacceptable.

  2. All I can say, Peter, is, "you go dude!"

  3. This really is the last straw for me, but I would amend the election commitment by saying we shouldn't vote for any national Democrat who doesn't clearly repudiate the Duncan/Obama stand on education.

  4. Thank you again, Peter. It is such an important point that teachers without job protections cannot enter into a substantive conversation or teach anything remotely controversial. I issues a call to arms in my blog post on the Vergara decision and I linked your previous posts n tenure.

  5. .. Its called a STRIKE…. a national STRIKE…. you hear that? A STRIKE…

  6. why anyone still thinks there's a difference between the two parties I dont know... did you miss the Princeton report that came out about two months ago, confirming we're living in a plutocracy now?

  7. I can't vote Democratic again until they become true Democrats and show their support for teachers, schools, and students. Get out of the rich reformys' pockets and start acting for what you supposedly stand for as a Democrat.

  8. All supporters of public education are invited to join the BATs in Washington, DC, on July 28. This is one more reason to be there! I am so tired of this administration's ed policies which are now simply becoming outright attacks. Find more info on the BAT fb page ~ https://www.facebook.com/BadassTeachersAssociation

  9. We need a party for the 99% that has a platform of free, equitable PUBLIC education for all. It's time to rise up people!

  10. Teachers having work protections is not a hindrance to providing a quality education and if Obama and Duncan don’t get that then to hell with them.


  11. While the Republicans are offending Latinos and blacks and scientists and other intellectuals and, well, anybody with an IQ over 80, the Democrats are now offending teachers, their greatest source of support for the last 50 years. Let's call it Race to the Bottom or maybe We Need New Parties.

  12. Whom would you suggest as a better candidate? This is the even larger problem I see: none of the parties are willing to stake this claim in a viable fashion.