Taking Back America By Taking Back Our Schools
5-8-15 Harry Mathews – Education Action Network
I attended the “Listening Tour” event at Coronado High School in Scottsdale last night (May 7, 2015) and following here is an overview of what I observed there.
This meeting, at the school auditorium, might well have been called “Scottsdale teacher’s union talks at DD”. The crowd consisted of, probably, less than 100 people - almost all of which were teachers including some prominent union lobbyists from outside the district – and almost all of the speakers were teachers – sound familiar? This pretty much describes most any meeting regarding education in the valley. Parents, and anyone not directly associated with the teacher union, are noticeably absent except for a small number of people who are not drawing a paycheck from the government. I might also add that the teacher unions do NOT represent teachers in general and typically consist mostly of a small minority of Leftists.
The consensus among the teachers (probably teacher union members) was in summary:
- We want more money – we are not concerned with how you get it
- Arizona is the worst state for teachers (so why are you here? For the weather? You can’t get a job elsewhere? Do you realize that this statement makes you look bad?)
- AZMerit testing stinks – makes kids sick – makes teachers disgusted – doesn’t help anyone and makes the teacher’s job more difficult and having teacher performance measured and determined by the test is bogus and unfair
- But Common Core is pretty cool
- We hate charter schools
- Kids should learn to speak Spanish
- Out of 50 states Arizona is about 51st in everything
- Thanks for listening
I suspect you will get a similar results at most of the other listening tour events - parents, regular taxpayers and the general public are AWOL from these events and are certainly not made to feel welcome there. The media, however, was out in force. I’d say they are hoping for DD to say something that will get her in trouble again-whether she actually says what they say she said or not.
I find it a bit heartening to see that there is some common ground here between the government’s schoolteachers and the proletariat who employ them. High stakes testing is a bad idea for many reasons and it needs to go away. I believe that can only happen if we return control of the schools back into the hands of the parents but the parents seem to have abdicated the responsibility of raising their children to the state so this will be difficult. The teachers (union) seemed to like Common Core or at least not dislike it too much and refused to acknowledge that it constitutes federal control over education. The teachers (union) also seem to feel that parents should leave the raising of children up to the government since government employees are the experts and know best.
Superintendent Douglas did not respond to any of the comments but sat quietly taking notes. It was a Listening Tour, after all. I think the Listening Tour is a good idea (unlike Hillary Clinton’s sham of a listening tour). Sometimes people need to vent and know that they have at least been heard. But, Douglas is in a poor position to change things as the education system, like so many things in AZ, is run by un-elected appointees who are not under the Superintendent’s control and do pretty much whatever they want. The reason for this is that our state constitution was penned at the beginning of the “Progressive” era and is designed to keep the little people out of the process. This also explains why so much land in Arizona belongs to the federal government, as it is with all states in the west. The BLM alone controls a landmass the size of Egypt here in the US and it is just one of many Federal agencies that own land.
Ronald Reagan was no friend to education and we can “thank” him for the fact that the Federal Department Of Education took root in the first place, even though he promised to uproot it. But he, at least, recognized that “Government IS the problem”.
Until we as Americans start taking personal responsibility for our lives and our children things will only get worse. But, that option seems to be off the table.