Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ravitch Ties the Michigan Detroit/Flint/Obama Story Together

It is worth reprinting Diane's blog in full here as it ties a bow on the Michigan horror story.

John Ogozolek, a teacher in upstate New York, watched a news show and hit the ceiling. He wrote:
“CBS reporter Scott Pelley put Governor Rick Snyder on the hot seat yesterday, asking him repeatedly why he apparently still doesn’t have a handle on the specifics of Flint, Michigan’s poisoned water. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/michigan-gov-at-least-100-kids-affected-by-lead-in-flint-water/
“PELLEY: So fair to say you don’t know what the lead content is in the water?
“SNYDER:Well, again — we don’t want people to believe it’s safe. Extensive testing is going on, has been going on for some time. And we are seeing improvements in the water supply. But we don’t want people to believe it’s appropriate to drink at this point in time, and that’s why I’m proud to have the National Guard out there working hard.
“PELLEY: I don’t understand why you can’t give us the latest testing data and what it shows for the water in Flint. What is the number?
“SNYDER:I don’t have the number at the top of my head of the very latest data. And it varies by parts of the city.
“PELLEY: I would think that the governor of Michigan would have those numbers at the top of his mind right now.”
“Later on , Pelley changes the subject to the deplorable conditions in Detroit’s public schools and the protest by teachers to call attention to the tragic situation: a classroom ceiling caving in, maggots in a toilet and little kids bundled up to ward off freezing temperatures as they try to learn.
“CBS PELLEY: In terms of the sickout in the Detroit schools [Wednesday], what is your message to the teachers?
“SNYDER: I would hope you would stop harming the children. I appreciate the fact that people have strong feelings on different issues. But to do it at the expense of affecting the school day for the children, I don’t think that’s appropriate.”
“Boy, oh, boy….it’s times like this when I feel like kicking in my TV screen. It’s a 30-year-old set, about the size of big pumpkin. Makes me want to punt it across the front yard.
“WHAT???? Is this guy Snyder crazy? He oversees the poisoning of an entire city’s water supply including what appears to be permanent injury to children…..and then he turns around and has the gall to blame teachers for “harming” kids. These are the same teachers who are trying to call attention to the actual damage that is being done to children day after day in Detroit’s public schools….harm that Snyder is still turning a blind eye to.
“Meanwhile, in another story, there was President Obama prowling around the Detroit Auto Show, taking time out to criticize the handling of the water situation in Flint. Teachers’ union members were on hand to protest outside in the bitter cold.
“Union spokeswoman Ann Mitchell told The Associated Press that teachers “couldn’t miss the opportunity” with the president in the city to say they “really need someone to help focus on the schools.”
“We have got to stop this whole business by Snyder, which is an attempt just further the charters and further, really, the destruction of education in the city. We are determined to win that fight. The whole next generation relies on it,” Cass Tech teacher and activist Steve Conn told CBS affiliate WWJ.” http://www.cbsnews.com/news/detroit-schools-sue-to-get-teachers-back-in-classrooms/
“News to President Obama: your policies have helped aid and abet the destruction of public schools in places like Detroit. If you want to see who is also responsible for the disasters in Michigan, look in the mirror. It’s happened on YOUR watch.”

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