I have not the expertise to address the merits of President Obama's speech to Congress on the issues of the economy. I do claim some expertise on education. He blew it. He accepted the same garbage that the propagandists, fear mongers such as Lou Gerstner, Bill Gates, Roy Romer, Bob Wise, Craig Barrett and many others--God help us, Arne Duncan?--have been spewing for years. - Gerald Bracey in the Huffington Post (abridged).
As we reported in yesterday's posts here and here, if Obama can get this so wrong (as Bracey says, it is the one area where I actually know something) what else is he getting wrong? I mean, look at the state if education in Chicago after 13 years of this crap. Obama was in that belly of the beast all that time.
Obama talked about education as related to jobs. Bracey takes apart the Obama jobs claims.
Of course, unsurprisingly, our friend Randi went right along with the plan instead of making a rigorous defense of teachers. The NY Times:
Similar to his inaugural address he said, "Of the 30 fastest growing occupations in America, half require a bachelor's degree or more." But, as in his inaugural, he neglected to say these occupations account for few jobs. Wal-Mart, McDonald's, etc., are the great job machines in this country. Today he added, "By 2016, four out of every 10 new jobs will require at least some advanced education or training." There's that weasel phrase again, "advanced education or training." It's meaningless except as propaganda.
I voted for Obama. I canvassed for him. I registered voters for him. But on education, he has yet to hit the basket. Diane Ravitch, never once called a bleeding-hear liberal and assistant secretary of education for George H. W. Bush, recently said that, from what she's seen, Obama is a third term for George W. Bush and Arne Duncan is Margaret Spellings in drag. She was not doling out compliments to either man.
Obama's endorsement of the testing regime, merit pay and charter schools will further exacerbate all the gaps. Many people have made the point that the focus of the kind of non-thinking, testing all the time education is really a form of training for jobs at McDonalds and Walmart.
"Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.4-million-member American Federation of Teachers, said her union embraced “the goals and aspirations” outlined by Mr. Obama. “As with any public policy,” Ms. Weingarten said, “the devil is in the details, and it is important that teachers’ voices are heard as we implement the president’s vision.”
I'm beyond gagging. The only "teacher" voice she cares about is her own and since she was a full-time teacher for only 6 months, we know what that means.
Susan Ohanian has the complete response as Gerald Bracey takes apart Obama's education plan.
Ohanian Comment: Among other things that President Obama failed to acknowledge is that 70% of new jobs don't pay a living wage.
To accept his claim that America's future depends on its teachers means that teachers should accept the sorry mess this country is in.
I'd rather not.
When will teachers rise up in protest?