Tuesday, June 13, 2017

NY Post Red Scare Alert: McCarthy-like Attack on MORE Teacher; MORE Responds

Francesca Gomes with best friend
TIME Magazine (who did not write about Francesca) pointed mainly to bankers and financial experts for the meltdown in their complete list of “25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis”.... MORE responds to NY Post attack on left, In Defense of Francesca Gomes, Bankers Should Be Slammed!
the Post has at least one reporter at all times on the "embarrassing teacher stories" beat. They regularly call OSI to find out about the latest cases that are under investigation - it's part of their long term campaign to demonize public employees. However, since the election, there definitely has been a shift towards attacking left wing teachers politically--- comment on MORE Listserve

"Leftist teacher’s homework assignment slams bankers" blared the headline in an article written by NY Post reporter Melissa
Klein,
who showed up with two NY Post interns at the home of NYC teacher and founding MORE member, Francesca Gomes, on  Saturday morning to engage in a spurious piece of reporting. Francesca Gomes has been politically active on the left for decades and has never hid it.

When asked to leave one of the witch hunters refused to leave the private property. Now I support the rights of reporters, considering myself one, to get a story. But illegitimate and inconsequential stories like this one? Melissa whines:
When confronted at her Brooklyn home, Gomes slammed the door in a reporter’s face.
Really? Francesca, you didn't invite them in for tea? By the way, there were 3 people who came to her home, not one. Like Francesca had to be "confronted" over her "crime".

The story opens with: Blame the bankers!
Wait -- why not go all the way and say it in red:
Blame the bankers!
Melissa Klein adds the pitchfork:
A left-leaning humanities teacher at a Brooklyn middle school handed out a homework assignment this month in which students had to fill in the following sentence:
Wait Melissa, you forgot to add this:

Here is the so-called offending question Francesca asked:
“Banks are often run by ————— people who look for ways to hurt the most financially vulnerable people in the country.”
Oh let me count the ways banks hurt the most financially vulnerable people. In the Post/Trumpian world, that makes them heroes for screwing the little people. My answer would be SHITHEADS? What is yours?

I mean, were bankers responsible for the 2008 crash? Duhhhhh!

The witch hunt continues:
Gomes has been outspoken on lefty causes and is part of the United Federation of Teacher’s Social Justice Caucus. She is also a member of Socialist Alternative, the group that pushed for the election of a socialist candidate to Seattle’s city council in 2013.
Gomes leans further left than even Mayor de Blasio, and blasted him on social media in April for a comment he made at a Staten Island forum when asked about a “gag order” on teachers disparaging state tests.
Oh Melissa, don't you know that the Socialist Alternative candidate was actually elected to the city council and led the way to the $15 minimum wage that started the trend around the nation?
I mean, people actually voted for and elected a member of Francesca's leftist group. Is that what scares the hell out of the NY Post?

Shades of the red scare witch hunts of the 50s when teachers were fired for their political views. And by the way, UFT founder Al Shanker said it was right to fire those teachers.

I wonder how Melissa Klein would feel if I showed up with my Ed Notes press credentials at her door, alone with a photographer, to ask her  questions about how this story came about? Feel free to slam the door in my face Melissa. Or invite me in for tea.
Gomes leans further left than even Mayor de Blasio, and blasted him on social media in April for a comment he made at a Staten Island forum when asked about a “gag order” on teachers disparaging state tests. The mayor said, “Think of what it would lead to if teachers openly criticized every education policy they disagreed with,” the Staten Island Advance reported.
OMG: Fracnesca is to the left of the hated de Blasio, Can that be possible? And imagine the NY Post slamming Francesca for standing up to her nominal boss who tried to suppress free speech, the same guy the Post slams on every issue they can find. The Post apparently supports the de Blasio gag orders on teachers --

Maybe if Melissa had the same guts as Francesca she would stand up to her idiot bosses at the Post instead of becoming a hit woman for their biased politics.

Here is the link to the NY Post story.

James Eterno has some commentary:

MORE DEFENDS FRANCESCA GOMES

And here is the MORE fabulous defense of Francesca, written by a MORE member who is an experienced social studies high school teacher in NYC who points out that the question Francesca asked is the same one asked by many of our leading politicians and editorial writers and even many reporters.
 
In Defense of Francesca Gomes, Bankers Should Be Slammed! - Were banks to blame for the Great Recession? Should middle school students be required to identify words like nefarious or reprehensible? 

MORE’s Francesca Gomes seems to think so and, last week, the New York Post noticed.
 
Francesca assigned students a handout with a word bank (a technique, by the way,  that is just good teaching practice). One portion read “Banks are often run by ————— people who look for ways to hurt the most financially vulnerable people in the country.” It seem like the choices remaining were “nefarious” and “reprehensible”.


We suppose that would lead students to conclude that the banks’’ actions were “nefarious” and “reprehensible”. But we also suppose that the banks’ actions in 2008 were, well nefarious and even reprehensible.


Senator Bernie Sanders seem to think the same thing saying once that “greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street”. Former US attorney Preet Bharara agrees. In 2015, the Post reported Bharara’s position that criminal activity on Wall Street caused 2008 meltdown. (They did so in an article they published entitled “Criminal activity’ on Wall Street caused 2008 meltdown: Preet”).


It’s probably important to note that the Post themselves never once blamed Wall Street for the financial meltdown that cost millions of people their jobs and their homes and kicked millions more out of America’s middle class forever. That alone may explain part of the reason for not feeling comfortable with a teacher assignment that associated the banks with nefarious acts.


But TIME Magazine (who did not write about Francesca) pointed mainly to bankers and financial experts for the meltdown in their complete list of “25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis”. We here love the Post, but we’ll take Time’s economic evaluations over the Post, most days of the week.


Other folks who blamed banks for the meltdown include John McCain and Barack Obama, the latter saying in 2009 that Americans had been “tricked into signing these subprime loans by lenders who were trying to make a quick profit. And the reason these loans were so readily available was that Wall Street saw big profits to be made.”, while the former declaring in 2008 that, “In my administration, we’re going to hold people on Wall Street responsible. And we’re going to enact and enforce reforms to make sure that these outrages never happen in the first place.”


Here’s what the bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) had to say on the matter:

“There was an explosion in risky subprime lending and securitization, an unsustainable rise in housing prices, widespread reports of egregious and predatory lending practices, dramatic increases in household mortgage debt, and exponential growth in financial firms’ trading activities, unregulated derivatives, and short-term “repo” lending markets, among many other red flags.”
So, yeah. We’re pretty sure that blaming the banks isn’t anything controversial.


But let’s face facts for a moment ok? Francesca wasn’t featured for having her students provide answers along a premise that everyone in America (besides the Post) seems to accept. She was featured because her political opinions are to the left of what the NY Post has deemed acceptable. She’s a leftist. A lefty. An alternative social something or other and, well, just left. For that reason, and that reason only, the Post decided to attack her.   


Now we’re proud to know that Francesca accepts all students in her classroom and we’re grateful to learn that she challenges those students with rigorous vocabulary. But we don’t much care about her political points of view outside of the work place and we don’t think you should either.


Why? Well, because as long as the law is being followed, the things a teacher does outside the school door is private. Teachers, especially ethical teachers like Francesca who challenge their students on a daily basis, deserves that privacy when they leave the schoolhouse.


As a good teacher, Francesca knows that it’s only ethical for her to avoid speaking about those viewpoints when she’s at work and in front of her students. We should probably remind you that she has not been accused of acting in an unethical manner in any way. The question on the assignment is clearly based on facts, not politics. 
We think teachers should teach facts. We also think they should enjoy their privacy after work.

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Awww, are we stepping on some toes here? If I show up at a reporters house to do a story for ed notes will you let me in or shut the door in my face?

      Delete

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