Saturday, June 19, 2010

Damn That Antonucci, Beats Me to Kirk/Randi Story

When I heard the story about challenges to Illinois Senate candidate Mark Kirk's claims that he was a real teacher:

According to the NY Times: "a year in London at a private school and part-time in a nursery school as part of a work-study program while he was a student at Cornell University."

--- I said to myself: He has more teaching time that Randi did. But before I could blog about it EIA's Mike Antonucci came up with this:

U.S. Rep. Mark S. Kirk (R-IL) is being accused by his Democratic rival of overstating his teaching experience. His campaign failed to issue the obvious response:

“Rep. Kirk has enough teaching experience to lead a national teachers’ union.”

From the Village Voice:

“[Weingarten] has been on union leave since 1997, accumulating a total of nine years of pensionable city time though she only did one semester of full-time teaching.”

Make sure to click the above link to the Voice piece - it is priceless even thought it was written by the vicious anti-teacher/UFT Wayne Barrett. [See Afterburn for a section.]

I once heard Randi claim on NY1 that she taught 5 classes a day for six years. Or I think I heard it because it is hard to believe that someone would lie so openly and feel they could get away with it. Foolish me! You hear that Joel Klein is not an educator. But even he taught for 6 months or so during the Vietnam great draft escape (I was one of them too). Funny how Randi talks about her minimal teaching experience while Klein never seems to mention it. Even though he taught full time I know full well that it must have been hell for a new and untrained teacher - the 6 week special! He went running the minute he could. But so did many others, so I am not blaming Klein for that. What I blame him for is not having exhibited even a clue to how schools really work based on even that minimal experience.

Why would someone use a claim to have been a teacher as a positive talking point when teachers have been degraded for so long. You know the "those who can do, those who can't teach" mantra? It turns out that Kirk wsa trying to use his "experience" in controlling a nursery school class as a resume for how he would function in the US Senate. Hmmm. He may be on to something. But it turns out he didn't even run the nursery school class.

Follow-up reports say that Kirk wasn't even a nursery school teacher at all but came in to "play with the children." The Huffington Post piece says, "As a former nursery school and middle school teacher," Kirk said in a March speech to the Illinois Education Association, "I know some of what it takes to bring order to class." His supervising teacher said "Kirk was not responsible for "bringing order" to the nursery schoolers."

Well, if he wins (it is the Obama Senate seat by the way) Kirk can go in and play with the Senators.

The VOICE Article:
In urging Klein "to walk in the shoes of teachers" .... she described how she'd done it, claiming that she "taught, sometimes full time, sometimes part time, at Clara Barton High School for six years." Actually, records reviewed by the Voice indicate that she taught 122 days as a per diem teacher from September 1991 through June 1994, roughly one in four days. She then did what she told the Voice was her only full-time term in the fall semester of 1994, followed by 33 days as a per diem teacher in the spring of 1995.

I don't believe that Randi actually went in even as a per diem sub and taught a full load. People at Barton said she usually had 2 periods of teaching and then left.
Why that graphic? Just a representative of the look on people's face, whether Randi or Klein or the Teach for America crew as they escape from teaching.


  1. I removed the previous comment because while it makes some valid points, it is also a vicious attack over perceived physical attributes. That is not acceptable.

  2. Yeah, you might be right...but the time to be "gentlemen and ladies" is LONG past us pal.

    The means and methods that are currently employed to terminate hundreds of thousands of teachers nationally are FAR more obscene and nasty than the comments I made here today.

    Something tells me that you're a little detached from the front lines yourself. either close to retirement, or retired.

    What's your angle , pal?

    However, you DO provide valuable information here which can give the impression that you are with us.
    But are you a union hack? or just a "gentleman" who is walking off to the gas chambers politely?

    I won't go lightly, pal.

    Playing "patty cake" has put us close to extinction.

  3. Play as dirty as you want. But when you start making comments about people's physical attributes you contribute nothing. If you think making fun of Hitler's stupid little mustache would have kept you out of the gas chamber you are sadly mistaken.

  4. Union hack? You have to be kidding. Ed Notes has hammered the UFT leaders for 14 years.

    One more thing - of course I am detached. I am retired for 8 years. You think I would have the time to do this if I were teaching full-time?

    My job is to provide information and help teachers who want to organize do so. If you think your job is to talk about Randi's teeth you are wasting everyone's time.

  5. Obviously you don't have the sense of urgency that others do.

    I figured as much, but congratulations on your nearly decade long retirement.

    You deserve it.

  6. Regarding the gas chambers, I'd rather go down WITH a fight, rather than merely succumb like a weak lamb.

    We'll see how you feel when they take your pension away . . . but until then, enjoy.

  7. And exactly how do you go down with a fight? By calling Klein a shrimp? I mean what exactly how are you fighting? Are you organizing in your school or is everyone else a lamb? You may feel macho but I learned you can't fight them alone - and yes - I an others always did stand up to the powers that be - I had the distinction of having both my district rep and my district supt come to my school to visit my AP and "suggest" he give me a U rating to shut me up. That was in 1972. Luckily for me he was an honorable man.

    We formed a group and went to every school board meeting to fight them - politically.

    Be a squeaky wheel but have some muscle behind you. Railing at a union leader's teeth will get you nowhere. Fight back, but fight back smart.


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