Sandy Hook School Shooting

Teach For America Kills Children, Says Union Prez on Newtown Shootings

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hero teacher

The deaths in Newtown were a tragedy. But union supporters want to know: Who will weep for the children killed by charter schools and Teach for America? 

New York University prof Diane Ravitch, a one-time school reformer who has since gotten into bed with teachers unions, offered up her thoughts about the heroic teachers at Sandy Hook yesterday on her blog:

Every one of the teachers was a career educator. Every one was doing exactly what she wanted to do. They've worked in a school that was not obsessed with testing but with the needs of children. This we know: the staff at Sandy Hook loved their students. They put their students first, even before their own lives.

Oh, and one other thing, all these dedicated teachers belonged to a union. The senior teachers had tenure, despite the fact that "reformers" (led by ConnCAN, StudentsFirst, and hedge fund managers) did their best last spring to diminish their tenure and to tie their evaluations to test scores….

Newtown does not need a charter school. What it needs now is healing. Not competition, not division, but a community coming together to help one another. Together. Not competing.

Some folks, including Teach for America vice president David Rosenberg, took umbrage at her fairly direct implication that teachers at charter schools or other non-traditional educators wouldn't have tried to protect their charges from a carzy gunman.

Ravitch posted a follow-up, in which she clams to be baffled by why people might have found her line of argument upsetting or tendentious. Instead of reprinting their criticisms, however, she offers up a congratulatory email from Karen Lewis, head of the Chicago Teachers Union.

Lewis writes:

There might have been a time where "politicizing" tragic events, especially mass shootings was thought to be in poor taste. That has changed with the 24/7 news cycle that continues to focus far too much time and energy on the perpetrator of the massacre than that of our precious victims. Rosenberg's "false outrage" needs to be checked. That same false outrage should show itself when policies his colleagues support kill and disenfranchise children from schools across this nation. 

Leaving aside the terrible writing (wait, so we should be falsely outraged over school reform policy proposals?), the underlying argument here is nuts. 1) It's totally cool to politicize mass shootings now, because the media isn't focusing enough on the victims. 2) People who support policies like offering merit pay, revising licensing standards for teachers, reducing the robustness of tenure, and school choice are killing children. 

Ravitch, who is a really smart person, posts the email without analysis, saying only that it "pleases" her. 

Via NRO.

Reason TV on those well-known child killers, Milton and Rose Friedman:

NEXT: John Stossel on It's the Spending, Stupid!

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  1. What a stupid woman.

    1. What a stupid, evil woman.

      Better.

      1. Dumb as Bloomberg:

        “I don’t think the founding fathers had the idea that every man, woman and child could carry an assault weapon.”

        1. “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” Thomas Jefferson

          “The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.” George Washington

          “The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.” Alexander Hamilton

          “Men trained in arms from their infancy, and animated by the love of liberty, will afford neither a cheap or easy conquest.” The Declaration of the Continental Congress, July 1775

          And just because they love to quote him:
          “Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.” Mahatma Gandhi

        2. you mean dumbass Bloomberg

  2. And people wonder why unions are widely reviled and viewed as mendacious cesspits of grasping cronyism and intellectual dishonesty.

    1. For real intellectual dishonesty, you have to look to unions for academics.

  3. policies his colleagues support kill and disenfranchise children from schools across this nation.

    So now we’re blaming Sandy Hook on charter schools? If not, what deaths does he want to lay on their door?

    And how, exactly, do you disenfranchise someone who is too young to vote anyway?

    1. Disenfranchised? By that logic, when the teacher’s unions go on strike, they are disenfranchising the children.

      1. when the teacher’s unions go on strike, they are disenfranchising the children.

        It’s ok when you’re disenfranchising the children For The Children.

  4. Semi OT: Is anyone listening to the gun control presser right now? I can’t bring myself to watch.

    1. All I hear is “fiscal cliff”

    2. Obama is doing his usual prevaricating as he knows he can’t do shit. Only thing of note is that he said he’d like the “gun show loophole” closed.

      1. Only in the world of a control freak is two individual citizens making a transaction for goods a “loophole”.

        Fucking fuckers.

        1. Only in the world of a control freak is two individual citizens making a transaction for goods a “loophole”.

          Over 35,000 people died in automobile accidents in 2009, caused in some cases by people who didn’t have car insurance or a suspended license.

          Close the private automobile sale loophole!

      2. Ugh. That may be my most-hated use case for “loophole.” I want to start referring to the First Sale Doctrine as an IP loophole now.

        1. By definition a “loophole” is a legal action taken that some other people don’t like and wish it was illegal.

    3. Obama was tasking Vice President Joe Biden, a longtime gun control advocate with decades of experience in the Senate, with leading the effort. In remarks from the White House on Wednesday, Obama was set to outline a process for pursuing policy changes, though he was not expected to call for specific measures.

      Is he really punting on this. This seems like a punt; or am I being too hopeful?

      All news articles keep saying that “several pro-gun legislators” have changed their minds, but only Manchin is mentioned. If there are “several” where are the statements?

      I am thinking a lot of reps don’t want primary challengers with fresh “ammo” (harhar) in ’14.

      1. I’ve seen Warner (D-VA) say something and/or be lumped in with that characterization.

        1. Yeah, I knew there was another one, but couldn’t remember the name.

          Two is a couple, not several, media.

          Next thing you know Newsweek will have a scare article on young legislators getting high off of gun-control, or as it’s called on the streets “geeceez”.

      2. The congress critters know that gun control is not a deal breaker for most voters who pro gun control, but it damn sure is for those who are against it.

        Between that fact and Obama giving this to special Joe, I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere.

        1. Yup, if one of my senators flips, I’ll be handing out fliers for their primary challengers. I don’t think they will, but I let ’em know how I feel.

          Our democratic senator whilst being terrible on just about every issue is very pro-2nd. His voting record is lockstep with the NRA. Except for hes votes on SCOTUS appointees, which has earned him a B+.

      3. Obama was tasking Vice President Joe Biden, a longtime gun control advocate with decades of experience in the Senate, with leading the effort.

        Whew….that’s a relief! Now I’m fairly sure nothing will come of it! Joe Biden-the democratic gift that keeps on giving!

    4. He wants to create a “task force” charged with preventing gun violence. I thought we already had such task forces, and they were called armed security guards.

      1. I still have no idea what a “task force” even is.

        1. It’s usually ranked above a ‘Tiger Team’ but below a ‘Blue Ribbon Committee’.

          1. You are well versed in the hierarchy of bureaucratic stall tactics.

        2. A task force is a new expense account for a bunch of bureaucrats to draw on.

          1. ^this

        3. When I hear Task Force I automatically think ofthe various naval task forces from the War in the Pacific…but when bureaucrats are involved it becomes an exercise in passing the buck…as noted, mostly to each other.

      2. No, the Drone Task Force will operate drones over each American school, and will launch laser-guided missiles at anyone who looks suspicious. Collateral damage will be minimal.

    5. Some politician is speaking? Who gives a shit?

  5. Teach for America is a wonderful, competitive program that only accepts the best. I interviewed for the program but was certainly not as qualified as a few friends of mine.

    They only hire the best and hope to make them full time teachers by the time the 2-year program is up.

    Calling them child killers should be the definition of a non-starter.

    1. I have a friend who went through it after law school. She liked being a middle school teacher in NYC better than law. I don’t know that this speaks well of her sanity, but she was a hell of a lot smarter than the Ed majors I sometimes see teaching.

      1. “a hell of a lot smarter than the Ed majors”

        Faster than a speeding tortoise, more powerful than a toy locomotive, able to leap off the sidewalk in a single bound — and smarter than an Ed major, too!

      2. ^This^. Education students regularly complain about not getting “A’s” in non-ed classes because “that’s what they do over in the education department!”, i.e give out “A’s” like they’re going out of style.

        1. But it hurts their self esteem if they not only don’t get A’s, but also don’t get A’s with smiley faces and gold stars.

          1. I watched a friend get a masters in education. It was astonishing to me how pathetically easy the coursework was. Anyone with half a brain could ace that shit while still being half asleep.

        2. One of the things we do at commencement to stay awake is look through the program to see how many of the education majors are graduating cum laude. It’s usually over 70%. Makes you wonder about the ones who don’t make it.

      3. There is a PJ O’Rourke quote along the lines of: “You cant understand what is wrong with American education until you have fucked an ElEd major.”

        1. I couldn’t get past dinner. Showed up too sober, couldn’t drink fast enough.

          1. couldn’t drink fast enough.

            Amateur.

            1. Oh, I mean, I Could but its really tough to land on the sweet spot between wanting to screw someone no matter how bone stupid they are and total whiskey dick at that velocity. Wasn’t worth it. Too many interesting pretties who enjoy sex in this town to put myself through that.

          2. IV is the key.

      4. She liked being a middle school teacher in NYC better than law.

        The job market, pay, and benefits are probably a hell of a lot better. That, and schools don’t require you to bill by the hour.

  6. There might have been a time where “politicizing” tragic events, especially mass shootings was thought to be in poor taste.

    But not now; not in Twentifirst Century America, where NOTHING has meaning outside its political context.

  7. This is a strong contender for the Most Tasteless Soapboxing award for 2012.

    1. But the competition is tuff.

      Maybe they all should get A’s with smiley faces and gold stars

    2. Including the president’s recent address about the shooting? The one that made me want to vomit all over his fakey-teary face?

  8. kill and disenfranchise children

    Children don’t have franchise. I have no clue what that means and why it is worse than just killing children.

    1. Have you ever seen a 6-year-old who owned and managed a brand-name fast food joint?

      I haven’t. And dammit, that has to change!

      1. child labor laws are ruining this country

        1. Lagavulin Neat!

          1. Anything but neat, with a few drops of water to release the aroma, is completely FUCKED!

            On the rocks is for swill.

  9. Whenever someone says they support education, what they really mean is that they support the unions.

    Thus if you do not support the unions, you are opposed to education.

    1. Also you kill children. Or at least support them being killed, possibly molested, and definitely eaten.

      1. And if they are very, very, lucky, in that order.

        1. And if they are very, very, lucky have finished all their homework, in that order.

  10. Never let a tragedy go to waste, Part XXLIV.

    Oh, if only she had an actual bloody shirt of one of those poor little kids to wave.

    1. shameless doesn’t begin to touch it.

    2. What number is twice XXLIV?

  11. SORTA OT:

    Please take ten minutes today to send your senators and representatives to express your displeasure at the upcoming assault on the second amendment. Make it short, well written and spell-checked. Copy and paste for ease and as a time saver. If you have more time, then actually call.

    I did this and it took, literally, ten minutes. If you can spend hours debating on Reason, then you can do this.

    A squeaky wheel gets the grease.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled bickering.

    1. No, fuck you, cut spending.

      Oops, sorry, grabbed the wrong one from my go-to response bucket.

      1. put that in the P.S.

      2. I put it in the complementary close.

        Yours sincerely in fuck you cut spending,
        General Butt Naked (Ret.) PhD, JD, etc…

    2. I strongly suspect Rep. Chakah Fattah won’t give a damn.

      1. My rep is anti-gun, and I’d never vote for him, but I sent along a message cause it only took a minute.

        My two senators are pro-2nd guys (one rep, one dem) and I just want them to know that they shouldn’t waiver in the face of hysteria.

    3. I’m going to do this but since my Senators are Schumer and Gillibrand, and my House rep is from a hardcore liberal stronghold, I’m not very hopeful. might even get me in trouble, no?

      1. They work for you. Send a letter, at least someone will have to waste some time reading it.

        I’m in SW PA and though a lot of reps are of the left they won’t go too far into ant-2nd territory, because they’ll get a million letters and emails. Not to mention, there are plenty of people that would love to take their job and can keep mum on gun control.

    4. Maybe just remind them of their oaths of office:

      “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. [So help me God.]”

      Also remind them that the 2nd Amendment is still part of the Constitution.

    5. Yeah, cuz Al Franken and Keith Ellison are gonna be real sympathetic to that.

  12. Ravitch posted a follow-up, in which she clams to be baffled

    I am completely willing to believe she really and truly *is* baffled.

    1. I think befuddled is more appropriate.

      1. Confusticated and bebothered

  13. To Disenfranchise now means:
    “to dis”
    or “to take away free shit we’ve become accustomed to recieving”
    or “to not listen to, respect or heed, self-appointed represenatives of a victim group”.

    1. I believe ‘disenfranchising’ is the opposite of ’empowering’. Neither word has a suitable translation in the English language.

      1. Disenfranchise means to deny someone the ability to vote or otherwise hinder their ability to select public servants. Fuck people who can’t use the word they mean.

        1. Fuck people who can’t use the word they mean.

          I’m with you on this one man. Like journalists who just throw “allegedly” into a sentence willy-nilly, not just to modify the description of the crime.

          1. Members of this alleged jury!

          2. Is it me, or is there a tower of babel situation emerging? It seems like noone is capable of properly communicating anymore.

            I’m constantly yelling at some form of communication for spouting absolute, grammatical or lexical, nonsense.

            1. Schools stopped teaching formal rhetoric to pretty much everyone except the occasional English major sometime in the last 15 years, and it had been in decline for the 20 years before that. Thus, most people don’t understand why using the right word matters or how to make a coherent argument.

              1. Anytime I attempt to correct people’s absolutely piss-poor usage lately, I’m met with a counterargument about how language is malleable and changes throughout the course of history which somehow renders their asinine rhetoric completely acceptable. It really cheeses me off.

                1. “since yesterday” is not “throughout the course of history”.

                  Cheesing doesn’t begin to express the emotion kindled within me at the complete disregard people show to a basic foundation of civilization.

  14. Yeah, when has competition ever led to better quality and better choices for consumers? People stood in line freezing for bread in glorious Soviet Union, but bread was equally good for everyone.

    1. They wouldn’t have put up with the lines if the bread wasn’t THAT good, ammirite?

  15. Isn’t it glorious when a teacher’s union stooge doesn’t bother discussing whether competition would improve education and instead argues that it would be mean to teachers?

    I always thought that the goal of a school was to teach the children. Thank God the teacher’s union is here to prove once and for all that our schools only exist to provide welfare for education majors.

    1. But, consider their sacrifice. Once those education majors are out in the schools, they assume the ultimate altruistic duty of becoming meat shields to slow down bullets aimed at the children in case of a murder spree. That is far more noble than merely teaching them which would be required in a competitive system.

      1. You know what I don’t get? Why aren’t the unions actively arguing in favor of cutting school spending, but doing so by getting rid of all the superfluous and useless administrative positions? In the last 20 years, the biggest increase in school spending has been the hiring of a 7th vice principle or a 16th guidance counselor. Are those people even covered by the teacher’s union?

        Because if they’re not, why wouldn’t the union try to come off as taxpayer friendly by coming out in favor of saving money, while doing so by getting rid of people who aren’t union members?

        1. Why aren’t the unions actively arguing in favor of cutting school spending, but doing so by getting rid of all the superfluous and useless administrative positions?

          I’m just gonna wildly guess that the administrators are the ones making those decisions for the union.

      2. I’m glad that the teachers of Sandy Hook passed the basic humanity test. Really. It speaks well of them, but I don’t think I’ve ever argued that teachers are inhuman. Selfish, lazy, overpaid, and hero worshipped, yes. I don’t think even the selfish and lazy ones rise for the most part or even for a large part to cruel or evil. More venal and small-minded.

  16. When do I get a turn to use this tragedy to advance my agenda?

  17. Let us not forget the nation’s long suffering school board members, like 85 Andrew Kehoe of Bath, Michegan, who 85 years ago dynamited its Consolidated School before using a rifle to detonate a car bomb to deter rescuers, killing a total of 38 students in grades 2 through 6, plus 2 teachers, 2 bystanders, his wife and himself.

    1. Yeah….watts up with that?

    2. Exactly what brand of retarded are you selling?

  18. A spell check would have caught “carzy.”

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