There’s an ice fishing tournament in Hell tonight.
“Just as attacks on the patriotism of one side or the other of foreign policy debates only raises the level of acrimony and diminishes the substantive discussion, the level of educational policy debate is debased by claims that one or another position does not care about children. It’s time to put it to an end.” [emphasis mine]
- Edwize, the United Federation of Teachers blog
I jest [and will continue to jest a bit], but I do agree with Mr. Casey here even if he, as a UFT leader, is a remarkable hypocrite.
Broken clock right twice a day, blind squirrel and nut, etc. etc., but I’ll take what I can get.
I like fiscal responsibility. I don’t like super-tiny, expensive classes. I don’t like 99% of teachers-to-be in NYS passing their certification exams. I don’t like barely-literate administrators. You get the idea.
The criticism received constantly – so often that the jabs have formed a bit of scar tissue in certain spots – by those of us who vote against bad school budgets is just what Casey describes. We hate kids. Hang’em high, save a buck!
Most of that criticism comes from school administrators and union-sponsored ad campaigns that imply that denying a funding proposal or thinking that whole language sucks = kid hatin’.
And if Casey and anyone else disagrees, watch television in NYS all day during an election season – plenty of folks out there seem to have the cash to run ads “for the children,” which obviously implies that voting against candidate X or proposition Y means that you *aren’t* “for the children.”
You know, it means that you’re against the children. How could you? Don’t you want those little scamps at the Kids Protest Project to stop being so sad?
Guess what, sad kids, Park Slope activist-moms, and third-rate principals within a 200-mile radius of Cooperstown:
I vote against your ill-conceived, irresponsible proposals because I do care about children. I want principals to break 400 on the GRE verbal [!] because I care about children. I argue daily that Web 2.0 ought not be the future of education… because, again, I care about children.
The list goes on.
Like Leo says, it’s time to put the suggestions that I don’t care about kids, or that any opponents don’t care about kids, or that reformers don’t care about kids, to a well-deserved end. It’s a baseless, stupid claim that ignores the reality of our stances.
Good Lord, even Billbo cares about kids. It’s a low bar – I think I’ve only met 2 or 3 people in education who truly, actively, knowingly did not care about children. If those 320-Verbal-GRE principals cared about kids more than they cared about themselves, they wouldn’t go into education at all, but that’s a separate issue of caring.
The real issue here is that caring is largely irrelevant, and that’s what I hope we’d focus on. Good intentions really don’t mean much; one can love something deeply and still hurt it despite all intentions.
Of course, Leo’s suggestion won’t be taken seriously by any of the rank and file in education – and this is regrettable. When September or October hits, I’ll be inundated with ads from NEANY showing starving, crying, motherless kids and begging me to take my jackboot off their little throats.
But at least we tried, Mr. Casey. I agree with you on this one.