Thursday, June 27, 2013

Arne Duncan insults teachers and enrages the Bad Ass Teacher Association

The bad ass teacher association is a fast growing internet group of teachers who are fed up with the bad teacher narrative, high stakes testing agenda and the public school privatization aims of many influential individuals and groups. In short they are tired of being the whipping boys and girls for the ills in education and have decided to push back and today Arne Duncan stepped into a hornets nest of righteous indignation. 

Just go ahead and skip to the 23-minute mark, up till then it is just blah, blah and more blah. Then this man who has never worked in a classroom has the nerve to insult the nations teachers.

He says we should look to South Korea, Singapore and Finland and emulate what they do. He claims that their teachers come form the top third of college graduates and America’s teachers come from the bottom third. First there is no study that backs this up which means he is just parroting anti-teacher right-wing talking points at best or talking out of his less than bad ass at worse.

But lets look at his claims, first Finland is highly unionized, they don’t believe in standardized tests and funding education is a top priority for them not an after thought as it often is here. Mr. Duncan how come you omitted those points?

I am a little less familiar with Singapore though I imagine since they cane people discipline isn’t a problem and South Korea though I wonder if the teachers there are so great then why two different organizations have tried to recruit me? I am glad they are all doing well but to point to their teachers class rank as the reason is short sighted and quite frankly it’s what you might expect a bright 12 year old, the equivalent of Jeb Bush, to come up with and not the secretary of education.

The main argument that Arne and the other teacher haters have is people who go into the colleges of education have low GPAs and SAT scores. First there is a lot of debate about where the education deformers got their information and its reliability  and

 I get it though, each side could say I’ll see your study and show you one more but I want you to think about this. Only slightly over 30% of all Americans over the age of 25 have a four-year degree, where 100 percent of public school teachers have them. So in effect the education reformers who are so critical are saying that teachers are the worst of the best.

Then according to the national center for education statistics, 52% of teachers have advanced degrees where only 10% of the general public does and doesn’t that shoot a hole in the poorly educated teacher theory?

Within 9 hours the original post by Bonnie Cunard questioning Duncan’s validity has 197 comments from all over the nation as teachers, who on Monday also swamped the White House switchboards with their demand that Duncan be replaced with an educator, voiced their dissatisfaction.

Why Mr. Duncan would choose to insult millions of teachers beyond me but it is indicative of his corporate style reforms and to be honest it doesn’t seem that smart of a thing to do.

Please feel free to check out the page and if so moved voice your dissatisfaction as well.