Monday, September 24, 2012

It's Getting Personal

Just thinking a little more about our intrepid local "journalist" Mr. Donn Esmonde who fell for the "reformer" spiel hook line and sinker and took it upon himself to pontificate that BTF and Buffalo teachers are to blame and people like Lawyer Steve Polowitz and his merry band of privatizing "reformers" have all the answers to Buffalo's educational woes. 

I have read on several occasions where Esmonde himself has stated for some sake of disclosure that his wife is employed as a Buffalo Public Schools teacher. In other places I have read speculation that he will likely disappear the way the comments section did from his newspaper in their next round of buyouts/retirements. Now I can't say with any certainty that the latter is true but hell he couldn't say with any that the Chameleon's alternate reality was true either but that didn't stop him, so let's just assume it is. 

Assuming Donn is going to be staying home and working on his book  (don't they all have one laying around?) and preparing brown bag delicacies for Mrs. Esmonde to take to work for a few years, let's just imagine the Chamelons get their reptilian way and WaterChameleon Elementary Charter School begins taking applications from Buffalo teachers. Say as a special baksheesh for the pro charter press releases Donn floated in the community, they sneak Mrs. E into their prized faculty, not all of whom will even be certified teachers but oh well.

In the words of Co-lead applicant Emilio Fuentes,  “There are a lot of adults who are going to get a haircut: no benefits, lower salaries…I’m sorry, but I’m not interested in adults; I’m interested in children.”    I wonder how our journalist would feel to see his wife welcomed to work under these conditions. I wonder too if his retirement package from The Buffalo News would be rich enough that they could fall back on his health care and his other benefits not to mention his retirement earnings since Mama would be in line to take a haircut from the Barber of No Illusions. 

Yeah I'd agree if anyone said Hey c'mon you're getting kind of personal there, Mr. Crowley. Fucking right I am. This entire "reformer" pose is personal. They finger point and blame and bad mouth people who went into debt on student loans so they could teach in some of the toughest places any teacher does business. Then they sigh and ask rhetorically Can't we stop all the finger pointing ? They ignore the elephants in the urban equation -- like poverty, unemployment, single parent or in many cases Grandma families, Drugs and drug violence, gangs, mental illness and a dearth of positive role models. Somehow these "reformer" clowns look at this devastated equation fraught with dysfunction at every level and insist that kids from broken homes, broken neighborhoods with absent, incarcerated or ineffective parents surrounded by gangs and street violence on all sides should magically get all A's in school. They don't look at the whole picture and the whole equation, the look at a standardized test score and say AH-Ha ! these teachers and their unions are to blame. Many of us take that very personally.

Before another Elmwood Avenue hipster with a box of Just for Men in his medicine cabinet comes out swinging at Buffalo teachers or public school teachers anywhere I'd like to see him just once take a look at the snakeoil these parasites are peddling. Maybe he can ask some of the hard questions of this bunch, especially why they have to lie and obfuscate and misrepresent their true motives and their real results if what they propose is so wildly successful and undeniably noble. 


  1. Hear hear. Ain't this the truth. Every day I just feel like we are fighting this unwinnable, uphill battle. How do you fight the money? Donn flipflops way way too much to take anything he says for serious.

    Please keep up your rants, Mr. Crowley. I am pretty sure the right people are reading them. I am pretty sure you are pissing off a lot of people, which is good.

    You rock. I am pretty sure that has been said before.

  2. Kudos! Mr. Crowley!!!!!!

  3. Just a thought concerning the bashing of teachers from every angle.....if the NYCLU is unhappy about the sex education programs being used....let them come in and do the teaching. It seems everyone and their brother thinks that teaching is so easy......well then do it! I for one would be happy to have someone come in and see if they can do better! As I read this blog I am more convinced then ever that blaming teachers is not going to fix the educational problem. Parents parenting will be the difference in eduction and then students will be successful!

  4. I found this at the

    reality-based educator says:

    September 17, 2012 at 8:57 am
    They win because “journalists” like Kristof, Brooks, Nocera, and Friedman blame the “failure” of a school like John Dewey on “bad teachers” and the union rather than report on the systematic destruction of the school perpetrated by the corporate criminals and data fetishists inhabiting Tweed and masquerading as educators and human beings.
    This has been the blueprint for the Duncan “reforms” in Chicago as well and now it is the blueprint of the Obama “reforms” nationwide.
    And rather than report honestly on this, corporate journalists (worried about closures of their own news outlets) keep their corporate masters happy (i.e., Murdoch, Bloomberg, Zuckerman, Sulzberger, Comcast, Disney, et al.) by framing this as the fault of the teachers and the unions.
    "We can fire our way to the top, if only the teachers unions can be busted to engineer this reform "– that’s the message from not only the politicians, but also the corporate media.

    I don't think that Donn would be rated with the "journalists " mentioned...but his column fits in the same circular file.

  5. Actually I like to use it as a second layer in the lizard cage, very absorbent stuff.