Tuesday, November 12, 2013

"John King Is a Breath of Fresh Air" and Other Urban Myths

It's never been much of a secret that the Buffalo News is an anti teacher, anti-union propaganda rag known for sacrificing sense and reason for the sake of disgorging a peculiarly odious brand of venom masquerading as "concern for the children." Lately, several of the sharper tools in the News Editorial shed must have got wind of the statewide backlash against NYSED Commissioner King. As is their wont, they didn't bother to tell the entire story, namely, that parents and kids despise Common Core. Kids hate school, parents hate watching their kids cry, throw up and hate themselves because they can't do their homework. It's too hard, it's ridiculously over-complicated. The Buffalo News doesn't mention that Common Core was never field tested, it has no data to support its efficacy.  Unleashing the Common Core on our kids (and teachers as well) is akin to asking kids to run a marathon with no training in their church shoes then bench #250 without ever setting foot in the weight room. Ahhh but The Buffalo News zeroes in instead on teacher's unions as the culprits here. It's not King or the Governor to blame for imposing this unholy amalagam of garbage on our kids, it's the teacher's unions being lazy and greedy again and trying to keep our kids from competing in the world. The News in its kinky admixture of teacher hatred and Kingophilia opens its piece about teacher unions calling for Lil John to stand down with the following phrase : "Well isn't this cute?"  I ask you friends in what social situation would any of you open the discussion of someone you disagree with, ok, someone whose guts you would stomp on if you came across them after an horrific chainsaw mishap When, would you use a phrase like " Well, isn't this cute?" Is anyone else hearing Dana Carvey's Church Lady character with her lips squinched tight and her hands folded tightly in front of her?  "Well, isn' this cute?" The language alone is so unbelievable, so far away from anything a respectable news outlet would ever allow to leave its desk that The Buffalo News in its own spluttering of bile manages to discredit the rest of its message in the opening four words -- five if you like contractions to count as two. But I digress, here's the rest of their ill advised ejaculation:

Well, isn’t this cute? Teachers unions across the state are calling on State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. to step down. Here’s a better idea: Why don’t their leaders step down?

King is a breath of fresh air in a state – and, for that matter, a country – that is not competing well with other nations in education. Change is difficult, and stresses are inevitable. But the status quo won’t do and that, in the end, is what the unions are pushing for. They like things the way they are.

That can’t be allowed to continue, and it won’t. Instead of pouting and demanding that King resign, the unions should commit to working on a system that balances everyone’s needs. Just one thing, though: The students’ needs trump those of the unions.

If you missed it yes, they said 

King is a breath of fresh air.

Hmmm.... They also advised those lazy, status quo teachers that  Change is difficult and stresses are inevitable. 

Now let's have a look at some of those "stresses" and "inevitable changes" that these slothful, avaricious pedagogues simply can't handle. The following is a transcript of testimony from The New York State Assembly Education Forum given by Ms. Mary Calamia, a licensed Clinical Social Worker in Suffolk County, New York. 

Mary Calamia
Statement for New York State Assembly Education Forum
October 7, 2013 at 10:14pm
Statement for New York State Assembly Education Forum
Brentwood, New York
October 10, 2013

"I am a licensed clinical social worker in New York State and have been providing psychotherapy services since 1995. I work with parents, teachers, and students from all socioeconomic backgrounds representing more than 20 different school districts in Suffolk County. Almost half of my caseload consists of teachers.

In the summer of 2012, my elementary school teachers began to report increased anxiety over having to learn two entirely new curricula for Math and ELA. I soon learned that school districts across the board were completely dismantling the current curricula and replacing them with something more scripted, emphasizing “one size fits all” and taking any imagination and innovation out of the hands of the teachers.

In the fall of 2012, I started to receive an inordinate number of student referrals from several different school districts. I was being referred a large number of honors students—mostly 8th graders.The kids were self-mutilating—cutting themselves with sharp objects and burning themselves with cigarettes. My phone never stopped ringing...

...Everyone was talking about “The Tests.” As the school year progressed and “The Tests” loomed, my patients began to report increased self-mutilating behaviors, insomnia, panic attacks, loss of appetite, depressed mood, and in one case, suicidal thoughts that resulted in a 2-week hospital stay for an adolescent.

I do not know of any formal studies that connect these symptoms directly to the Common Core, but I do not think we need to sacrifice an entire generation of children just so we can find a correlation..."

Well, Buffalo News Editorial Board would you still like to talk about cute? about telling teachers to ask their union leaders to resign? Or by some miracle would you like to reconsider your trite, insensitive reflex attack on two of your usual suspects now that you've seen why teachers and their unions are joining parents and kids in trying to stop this lunacy by getting rid of the lunatic who's driving the policy. Oh and as he crams Common Core down the throats of New York State students he sends his own kids to a private Montessori school where they are spared all of the "rigor" and "college and career readiness" that's causing other kids to cut and burn themselves from stress. 

Make no mistake, John King needs to be the first to go. And right along with him Meryl Tisch who has her own personal scandals to tend to . Sheriff Andy Cuomo is tied very closely to this whole testing/Common Core debacle. He, too needs to be held accountable for his myopia and his lust for the White House run in 2016 which any wag worth his iPhone5S will tell you is why Cuomo was so eager to cram Common Core down New York's throat as we were still gagging on his SAFE Act. How many more stressed out, school hating kids and Xanax chugging teachers does New York need before we get this monkey off our back and send these crackpots packing. 


  1. Information from everywhere...cleverly written...laughs and humor to start the day...All on this blog!,,
    Thanks for all your work, I don't care that you have no time to sleep, Keep it up!

    1. It's what I do Peg. Glad to have you along.

  2. I find it laughable that the BN chooses to ignore the overwhelming evidence that the CCLS are not age appropriate, evidence proving high stakes testing based on junk science is not a valid measure of teacher effectiveness, and that comparisons of US students and students in Asia and other high performing countries is not a equitable comparison since those other countries separate the students based on academics and/or trade abilities (in other words, every student does not enter a college prep educational tract).
    The fact the the BN is so unwilling to explore and honestly report the other side of the story totally erases any credibility it once or ever had. The information you share with your readers is easily available and there is no reason that it is not included in their articles. I have emailed one of the education reporters in the past suggesting this very course of investigative reporting but never even received and acknowledgement of my email.
    Right now, I think my 3rd graders could write a more thorough and unbiased report than these alleged professional journalists at the News are doing.
    Everyone from Cuomo to the Regents, to King, to Duncan need to go.

  3. I think your third graders would have to dumb it down if they were going to write for this cage liner. They are so childishly biased and puerile in everything from their choice of phrases to the blind eye they turn to the side of any story that doesn't drive their convoluted editorial policies.