Education

Pro-Union, Elite Harvard Students Against Teach for America, School Choice

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We've all heard the stories about how smart, ambitious, and clean-smelling Harvard students are, right? I mean, Harvard is like the Cadillac of college (and I mean back when Cadillac meant high standards and luxury, not whatever it might mean today), the gold standard in a world of fiat currencies. And the students come from money, with over 45 percent hailing from families pulling in $200,000 a year (and 21 percent coming from the above-$500,000 mark).

So you can rest assured that Harvard students know what they're talking about. And these days, they're trying to get the university to pull out of Teach For America if it doesn't start only placing its participants in unionized public schools. The Harvard Crimson reports that the school's Student Labor Action Movement (SLAM) sent a letter to President Drew Faust that went like this:

The letter to Faust addresses three areas in which students hope to see reforms to Teach For America: demanding the organization only send students to areas in which there is a teaching shortage, providing corps members more education and training, and cutting ties with corporations the students think threaten teachers unions such as Exxon Mobil and JPMorgan Chase.

Failing that, reports the Crimson, SLAM "asks that Faust sever ties with the organization."

Because we all know, right, that protecting teachers unions is more important than, you know, offering educational options to kids.

The Harvard effort is part of a larger one directed by the student group United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), which equates education reform solely with stronger teachers unions. Seriously:

Corporate-backed behemoths like the Walton (Walmart) and Fisher (Gap Inc) foundations are pouring millions into manufacturing a new pro-corporate education reform consensus on our campuses, propping up groups like Teach for AmericaStudents for Education Reform, and countless sponsored academic research programs. Their goal? To privatize our public education system, turning over a major public good into private hands, in the process smashing the only organized force that has dared to stand up to them: teachers' unions.

Emphasis in original.

The Harvard prodigies and the organizers at USAS are about the last people standing who think that unionizing teachers is the last, best hope of improving American education, especially for students from lower-income, higher-risk-for-failure backgrounds. Good luck to them as their reactionary attitudes leave them further and further in the rear-view window as the rest of the country moves into a future of increased options for all, regardless of family income and ability to pay.

Watch Reason Foundation's education expert, Lisa Snell, explain 3 Reasons School Choice is Growing:

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92 responses to “Pro-Union, Elite Harvard Students Against Teach for America, School Choice

  1. Looks like the Mourning Lynx is in danger?

      1. Figures too. The one day I want to get a post up early to thank a commentator and I’ve wasted 10 minutes of my morning hitting F5…

        1. Yeah, I’ve got an interesting story I wanted to post too, and the Links aren’t up.

      1. Finally, a reason for me not trying.

        1. List of Reasons for not trying:
          1. There’s a game on…

        2. Try is your first mistake.

      2. Just because you don’t know how to satisfy people sexually doesn’t mean orgasms don’t exist. :-p

      3. Except for possibly explaining why some women have a harder time getting off, this seems very uninteresting.

      4. Bullshit.

        Women worldwide do not orgasm during penetrative sex, review found

        Indescribably inane and false. I’m married to a woman who cums with zero clitoral stimulation and full on rapid insertion and I’ve been testing this explicitly for years. She still enjoys her clit ballet but she aptly declares that the orgasms are uniquely different and, therefore, enjoys both types thoroughly.

        1. My wife said the same. I consider her to bean expert on the matter.

      5. I’m pretty sure this is all based on some wierd male insecurity about not being able to have two different types of orgasm.

    1. *bangs cup against cell bars*

      ATTICA! ATTICA! ATTICA!

      Mourning Lynx! Mourning Lynx! Mourning Lynx!

      1. It’s running for it’s life from the commentariat hunting party. Or at least, whoever is responsible for this fiasco will be…

        1. and to think, I finally subscribed to the magazine.

          something, something… Postrel

      2. No AM Links = Somalia

    2. Lynx! Lynx! Lynx! Lynx!

      We have the Lynx!

      1. I won’t stop rhyming
        Until they fix the Lynx timing!

  2. Teach for America, Students for Education Reform

    “TASER”?!

    1. I always thought it stood for “Thomas A Swift’s Electric Rifle”

  3. School abortion? What?

    1. Choice only matters on one issue.

      1. I wonder if it counts if it’s drugs being put in a vagina…

  4. Because we all know, right, that protecting teachers unions is more important than, you know, offering educational options to kids.

    The mask hasn’t slipped; no one has bothered wearing it in a while. People often talk about the need to preserve the union or the institution of the school system, as though it were self-evidently the case that those are higher priorities than educating students.

  5. “When school children start paying union dues, that ‘s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.”

    – Albert Shanker – President, United Federation of Teachers

    1. Isn’t a shanker that terrible sore you get with syphilis? Or is it gonorrhea?

  6. Guess I’m gonna take my morning deuce and hope the mourning lynx is here when I get back.

    1. I’m back. No lynx. All these Daily Fails…

  7. The Quebec government told the school boards to cut $1 million from their budgets. The boards came back with a proposal to cut after school homework programs. The government told them to go fuck themselves demanding they leave kids out of it and to cut administration.

    Remember this the next teacher unions babble about ‘the children’. When push comes to shove, they will throw and hurl every kid over and under the bus.

    1. Public schools are a a jobs program that uses kids as human shields.

      1. Kids are not terribly effective as human shields, soo small, not enough mas to slow down most projectiles, have to carry them to keep them in front of vital organs, etc

    2. to cut administration.

      You mean Qu?bec wants to become Somalia?

      1. It’s about time!

    3. The education establishment does not exist for the benefit of students, it exists for the benefit of the education establishment. That this even has to be stated, much less is apparently not realized by Harvard attendees, is pretty fucking sad.

      1. Who says they don’t realize it? Sounds like they embrace it.

    4. Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy in action.

    5. It’s the same way at universities.

  8. Remember when Jefferson Airplane sang about Volunteers of America? Who knew that “got a revolution, got to revolution” meant the revolutionary idea of fucking over the poor?

  9. Harvard, put your money where your mouth is. From now on, you should only admit students from public schools where the teachers are unionized, preferably from urban schools.

    No more prep school kids. No more private boarding school kids. No more kids that were home schooled. Only public education students. If they can do that and be successful, then maybe they will be worth listening to.

    1. A for-profit corporation like Harvard wouldn’t dare sully it’s brand like that.

      1. Of course not. They don’t buy the bullshit they’re trying to sell. Neither should we.

    2. Excellent response.

    3. I wonder how many of the kids involved in this protest went to non-unionized prep schools?

    4. In addition =

      Harvard students opposing educational reforms should sign pledges vowing never to take employment with any “public corporation”, because that’s how the corruption starts!

    5. Perfect. Let’s see it happen.

  10. Step 1: Saw open cranium of Harvard student
    Step 2: Take out brain, place in bowl
    Step 3: Wash said brain with progressive saline solution
    Step 4: Put brain back in Harvard student’s cranium
    Step 5: Sew up cranium
    Step 6: Wake up Harvard student
    Step 7: Repeat w/ next Harvard student.

    1. You can skip step 4 and no one would notice.

      1. Why go through all that trouble. Just pour the progressive saline solution into a rubber mixture and dollop that shit into a stack of jello molds.

        A few minutes later throw the molds against the wall and you are rewarded with a bouncy pile of Harvard graduates.

  11. Since we’re getting schooled today, sans morning links, here is the NYTimes bloviating about how politics is hurting the FLOTUS anti-obesity program.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10……html?_r=0
    Gov subsidies, cronies, and nanny-state dieticians!

    1. I’m shocked, shocked to see politics going on in a government program funded with hordes of taxpayer money!

  12. Harvard kids are have such crappy taste that they let the Harvard Square movie theater go out of business. That place was awesome.

  13. This Mourning Lynx travesty has to be the fault of that newbie Soave.

  14. the student group United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS)

    Totally not a wholly owned subsidiary of the unions. Do they require two semesters of puppetry studies for membership?

  15. Their goal? To privatize our public education system, turning over a major public good into private hands, in the process smashing the only organized force that has dared to stand up to them: teachers’ unions.

    It’s pretty much impossible to caricature these people.

    1. Well, yeah. It’s a moral issue. Private hands means profits, and it’s immoral to profit off of basic needs like education and health care. That’s why those things should be provided by the government. Not because the government does a better job, but because it deprives filthy capitalists of immoral profits.

      1. I am convinced this the the main reason they got ballistic over “public” money going to private schools. The evils of profit make them wear blinders,

  16. I demand Mourning Lynx or I’m going to cancel my… um… never mind.

    1. Trying threatening them with even moar Daily Fails than usual…

  17. We’ve all heard the stories about how smart, ambitious, and clean-smelling Harvard students are, right?

    Harvard is one of many robot factories in this country where actual sewage can graduate.

  18. Why don’t we have libertarians pick their favorite state liike New Hampshire and try out the free market school system.

    Auction off all of the schools to the highest bidder. Fire all of the teachers from the public schools. Close down the board of education. And have the new companies that will run the schools hire who they choose.

    Parents, instead of paying property tax, would pay tuition.

    I think this is an experiment that should take place already so we can decide whether this would work or not.

    1. Free State project is trying, but there aren’t enough of them coming to balance out the Masshole influx.

    2. Give people a choice and a tax credit. No need to break things, brutha.

    3. Add vouchers to the mix and you’d be talking.

    4. Except you don’t really mean this do you? You think your making some kind of point about how the poorz would never get an education. And something about blue states supporting red states. (Thoroughly debunked by the way) you don’t really argue this in good faith because your “public schools” are the best in the world,

      You got slapped around the other day over this nonsense.

      1. My public schools are great.

        I would hope “school choice” would include keeping the public schools we like. If not, I can afford to send my children to private schools.

        I am proposing, in good faith, that we experiment this idea. Let’s see how it works.

        All of the examples in which Libertarians give on how crappy public schools operate are in poor neighborhoods.

        I would argue that parenting is 90% of the job. I spent at least two hours a day with my twin daughters on homework and invested in tutors and extra education (KUMON).

        I would like to see how the free market would improve the problem public schools of today. Let us have an experiment.

        1. I agree (and I suspect that a lot of libertarians on here would, too) that parenting is 90% of childrens’ success in school. That begs the question, though, why do you and your progressive ilk think that throwing taxpayer money at school is going to solve the problem, when (at best) only 10% of the problem is even arguably within the state’s control? I believe that private schools (or at least a system where choice dictated which schools succeed and which fail) WOULD be better, not because the school is the root cause of most problems, but beacuse entrepreurship and choice would lead to (1) schools that specialize in different learning types (advanced, subject-specific, ADHD, etc), (2) school choice would weed out ineffective or complacent schools/administrators/teachers, and (3) the whole system would be dramatically more efficient (i.e. cheaper for the same or better results). I wish you progressive a-holes would give us just one state to try REAL school choice in. The results would be so overwhelmingly positive that every decent states (so leave out CA and most of the Northeast) would follow suit. What do you all have against letting people choose their own schools, anyway? Seriously?

          1. My original post and practically all posts following is me (The so-called progressive asshole) proposing that we take one state to try REAL school choice. Give it a try.

            I as a progressive asshole will admit that throwing money at inner city schools have failed. Try it your way. use vouchers or whatever you want to fund it. Give it a try and let us know how it goes.

            1. Is there some reason you keep trying to stop School Choice in NYC?

              https://reason.com/blog/2014/10…..-in-new-yo

              Because the Charter School movement in NYC is extremely robust, but for the liberal mayor and teachers unions trying their damndest to crush it. Is there some reason that this should be such a horrible thing?

              Why is supporting charter schools in your own town a ‘problem’? You agree that public schools are failures in NYC. why do you hate the poor?

        2. Re: NYC Liberal,

          My public schools are great.

          I collect tiny cars myself. They’re great.

          Also CAT vehicles, mostly promotional items from our vendor. He’s great. I don’t have public schools, though. I’m not into having those.

          All of the examples in which Libertarians give on how crappy public schools operate are in poor neighborhoods.

          Because the poor can’t have nice things, right?

        3. We pointed out yesterday that what you call “Public Schools” are nothing like actual ‘real’ public schools in NY, and in fact most of the ones where you and your children have attended aren’t even typically available for any real cross-section even in a given Economic demographic

          Bother Bronx-Science and Styvie are magnet schools/exam-entry where you have to be amongst the most elite academically in the entire system to attend. They make a mockery of the ‘public’ moniker by drawing public funds to educate the highly advantaged children of privileged new yorkers. They completely undermine any case a liberal could make for ACTUAL public schools, because they simply drain all the talent and funds from the poorer neighborhoods and leave the less advantaged to rot.

          Yet, being a liberal, you took this as an ‘insult’, because you *care* so much about the poor while you watch them starve from your balcony.

          1. “both” Bronx Science…etc

            secondary note: we also pointed out (via link) that people who live in your own supposed zip code are also no longer necessarily eligible to even attend the ‘awesome’ public school in your district…because of too much demand from the richie-rich types, sadly. Because they are all so terrified of the prospect of actually having to send their kids to one of the more ‘average’ schools in NYC, which are more like penal colonies which you’d pay dearly to help your own children escape

            Dont even get me started on how quaint the idea of “public funds” are for people who live in the neighborhood in NYC that received billions in entitlements to the richest 1% of the city over 9/11 griefing. It was a real-estate boondoggle and rent-seeker’s paradise.

      2. ANd, the chat with Gilmore yesterday is nothing more than a personal attack on me and people with money being liberal and elitist.

        I think libertarians would be shocked to see that many wealthy people in this country are liberal.

        1. I think libertarians would be shocked to see that many wealthy people in this country are liberal.

          No, they wouldn’t be.

        2. “ANd, the chat with Gilmore yesterday is nothing more than a personal attack on me and people with money being liberal and elitist.”

          How is it a personal attack?

          You ARE liberal and elitist. I didn’t make that up.

          1. ” As one young loft-owner says, “I deliberately moved into high-tax Tribeca, where I pay $25,000 a year in property taxes, because I wanted the amenities of the historic district ? and PS 234.” He can also move out. “

            Meanwhile this same vocal supporter of ‘public schools’ thinks its just dandy that students at P.S. 106 have no similar options to just ‘pack up and move to the burbs’

    5. Re: NYC Liberal,

      Parents, instead of paying property tax, would pay tuition.

      How dare you suggest people keep their property? What are you, some sort of Kulak?

  19. My public school was loaded up with mainframes and workstations back in the 80s thanks to kkkorporations like Kodak and Xerox. Along the way we became one of the top 25 HS’s in the country. These elites would have every child attend a shitty school so long as all of them were equally shitty. Their children excepted, of course.

  20. President Drew Faust

    DON’T MAKE THAT BARGAIN

  21. To privatize our public education system, turning over a major public good into private hands, in the process smashing the only organized force that has dared to stand up to them: teachers’ unions.

    You know, it’s a good thing that Harvard is a public university, or this would smack of hypocrisy and/or a stunning lack of self-awareness.

  22. You know, I really wish libertarians weren’t such generally nice people. I’d love to see a libertarian invite these kids to explain their position on television, then sandbag them by bringing in some poor kids who attend non-unionized charter schools to confront them on why they “don’t want poor kids like us to have a chance to go to Harvard”.

    Also, looking at that picture, I really do wish there were more female libertarians. It’s wrong for a man to hit a girl. But, that girl is so damned punchable that SOMEBODY should get the satisfaction.

    1. Note that this person demanding change is a member of the class of 2018.

  23. I mean, Harvard is like the Cadillac of college (and I mean back when Cadillac meant high standards and luxury, not whatever it might mean today),

    I’m pretty sure it means Gangsta bling now.

  24. You can go to http://www.schooldigger.com/go/ny/cityrank.aspx and see the top 50 school cities in NYC. You’ll see that NYC is not in that list. It is all the way at the bottom along with the rest of inner city and minority communities.

    Many of the Cities in the Top 50 are middle-to-upper-middle towns with at least 60% white population.
    These public schools are fine. The problem seems to be in poorer towns and inner cities.

    1. More confirmation of how badly liberals have destroyed my upstate NY hometown. My once great HS is now a shithole, according to that site – though some of the stats look dubious to me.

  25. Sadly, almost everything has turned into business today. These guys are doing a great job trying to prevent public schools being taken away from us but it nearly impossible to stop those fatcats. I think it’s a mere delusion that private schools are much better. My cousin goes to a private school (that costs them a pretty penny along with My Essay Writers Online assistance) and he’s not doing much better than I do. If there is a well-educated teacher willing to teach and smart student willing to learn any school may score a success.

  26. Went to read the Harvard Crimson story but got distracted

    Most Read: Fifteen Hottest Freshmen ’17

    And no, there was a hint of irony.

  27. Because we all know, right, that protecting teachers unions is more important than, you know, offering educational options to kids.

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