Sunday, April 21, 2013

Can We Just Throw Meryl Tisch and John King in the Deep End Instead?

"We just need to jump in the deep end." After you babe...

Some very decent, albeit naive, parents and teachers  and onlookers were surprised to see children under New York State Testing conditions becoming anxious, crying, vomiting and failing to finish their tests during Week One of April Foolishness last week here in the Empire State.  This should not be a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the machinations of Governor Cuomo, the Regents and their lapdog, political appointee John King.  The New York State Education Department is in the "Crisis Business." Why would they want to create a crisis you ask?  Well in the words of the Grand Poobah of Disaster Capitalism himself,  Milton Friedman,   "only a crisis - actual or perceived - produces real change."  Yes, a crisis, like "failing schools" "bad teachers" or the favorite trick in landlocked Chicago where no such luck as a Katrina Class hurricane will reach them -- " A $1 Billion budget crisis." And, just as they did after 9-11,  the corporate oligarchy and their bought and paid for politicians will attempt to create another Democracy Free Zone in their attempts to grab up as much education money as they can. Their "solutions" will have nothing to do with solving any manufactured crisis. There is no crisis so no need to solve it. They will however work diligently and with government protection to grab all the money and data and territory they can get their bloody hands on. 

So far the state and their reformer pals have concentrated heavily in urban areas, blowing the clarion call for "failing schools" "bad teachers" and "underutilization of space." And now with the latest round of Shit Your Pants and Scream, (SYPAS)  King is trying to carry his masters' message to the suburbs as well.  Get a load of the Fear and Smear King rolled out for the good citizens in White Plains:

 “I wish it were true that our suburban communities were doing just fine,” he told the Editorial Board of The Journal News. King said that it’s not enough that suburban districts send most graduates to four-year colleges. “How do they do when they get there?” he asked. “Do they stay? Do they graduate? Do they graduate with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century?”

Of course the Suburban communities aren't doing fine. If they were doing fine then how could King and his corporate puppet masters roll out their common core standards and terrify parents and kids into believing that they actually need this corporate crafted bullshit crammed down their throats in place of a quality education? 

A really inconvenient truth for the commissioner who was crowned king though, is that the suburbs are the very epicenter of the anti-testing upheaval. In case the little fellow hasn't noticed, one of the largest, most vocal and ornery Opt Out Groups on Facebook is based in Long Island, not Staten Island. There are also groups from other areas all around the state and I notice a majority of their members are educated, well spoken and able to see what King's pushing as he gasps and wheezes his way through the Holland Tunnel. It's one thing for these so called reformers to target inner city parents who are often not highly educated and have more than enough problems raising kids in poverty stricken crime ridden neighborhoods. It's going to be a different fight all together though when the lawyer's letters start pouring into King's mail slot and some of these people whose kids are throwing up and passing out from exam stress start calling the media in and calling upon their own connected friends to find out what the hell exactly is going on in the Kingdumb. 

So for now another week of April Foolishness awaits. Another week of shocking our children with assholic tests that are deliberately too hard to prove a point that's nothing but a lie. The point they are trying to prove is that our kids are dumb and our teachers suck and we'd all  better kow tow and be grateful that Bill Gates paid Michelle Rhee's pal to write up all this Common Core shit and foist it on America's kids. We aren't shocked any more. It's all to be expected and it can all be deflected too, especially with the momentum gained by parents who've said enough is enough. Stop harassing my kid with your stupid bullshit and stop trying to fire his teachers with your secret results that nobody can even see. Stop wasting class time to drill, stop cutting social studies and science so the kids can drill and stop trying to get rid of gym, art, music and foreign languages. In short, John King, we want for our kids what your kids and Obama's kids and Rahm Emanuel's kids and Chris Christies' kids get - small classes, gym, art, music, languages and no standardized testing. Now run along and give your bosses the message. 


  1. Three editorials in the NY papers praising the CC Federal Standards to high heaven and saying NYers should be happy that scores fall 40% because that will show all of us just how bad teachers and schools are now.

    Unsaid in these pieces of propaganda was the agenda you have posted about here, Sean. Also unsaid was the failure of the NYSED, the Regents or the NYCDOE to provide the curriculum to teachers to teach these new standards. The lies, deceptions and half-truths these people tell are astounding.

    But as you said, parents in the suburbs are fighting back now that the reform movement has taken the fight to them. I wonder if the reformers really thought the suburbs would roll over the way the cities did? They're an arrogant bunch, so it's possible.

    In any case, as you say, they have a fight on their hands. John King ought to be careful about going to L.I. or Scarsdale.

  2. It occurred to me after reading King's statement about suburban high school graduates, that there are many reasons why a student in college doesn't finish or do well. And I'm not sure any of the reasons have anything to do with not being "college ready". Maybe they can't afford to continue. College costs a lot of money. Maybe they must work. College costs a lot of money. Maybe they don't like it. Maybe? Perhaps the Commissioner needs to work for the parents and students in the public schools, ya know the ones he SHOULD be working for, and not against. Stop worrying about some made up catastrophe that does not exist. My suburban district is doing just fine in SPITE of King, et. al.

  3. I like how he said that the tests were to better inform parents and teachers about children's progress and inform instruction, blah, blah...and then he flew off the handle when he found out that the tests couldn't be used to fire Buffalo and Rochester teachers this year. But that's the real purpose of the tests

  4. Old RepresentativeApril 23, 2013 at 7:29 AM

    And how about the new chick being quoted from state ed, Julia Rafal-Baer. Google her and one of the first hits is her NY Times wedding announcement.

    And if that photo and the bride and groom description don't make you vomit, how about her salary in the NYSED? $115,000. She just started working in 2012. She has about a year with Teach for America (2010, it appears, from SeeThroughNY). Yes, that's right. What a shock. A TFAer in State Ed! She's in charge of our APPRs!!! Office of Teacher and Leader would she know what is effective?

    1. Interesting find OR. Do you think while the media investigates the "secret deal" that the BTF and district made - someone might ask about Rafal-Baer's credentials? Or will her lack of experience - like King's, Campos', etc - be ignored.

  5. Could we throw Regent Bob Bennett in the deep end as well? Bob must be getting tired of dragging his little commissioner boy around New York State and writing the script for him. I am waiting for Bob to just put the little commissioner boy on his lap and just do the speaking for him instead of wasting time writing the scripts.