17 February 2008

Glenn Grothman: anorexia as educational reform.

Friends and relations,

In the category of unrecognized irony, Glenn thinks that getting rid of bad teachers will improve the health of an educational system he has made a career of starving.

Here's the story:

Bill to get rid of bad teachers passes committee

By Jackie Johnson

A legislative committee votes in favor of the "Every Child Deserves a Great Teacher Bill" (AB-670).

"For the first time in at least 20 years the legislature's advanced a bill making it easier to fire a bad teacher."

Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) is a sponsor of the bill. He cites an example in his district where over $200,000 was spent so far, trying to remove a teacher who watched pornography on a school computer. He's been trying for several years to make it easier to fire bad teachers.

"The teachers union, of course, will always fight to keep bad teachers, but we hope other members of the legislature will put the school children first."

Grothman says a child's academic growth can really be stunted without a quality teacher in the classroom. But it's just too hard to get rid of the bad apples.

1) Firing "bad" teachers is so obviously important that the only reason Glenn would mention it is because he's really up to something else. [Closing the schools to save the taxpayers money?]

2) To "fight" in this case doesn't mean fight to "keep" them, but "fight to give them due process so that they don't get fired simply because they piss off the principal and a few of the parents."

The reason tenure exists -- whether in universities or the K-12's -- is to make sure an educator is able to conduct the process of education. Arguably, the real task of all education is to help the individual learn to question what they believe in order to find out whether their beliefs are actually true -- a process that inevitably makes some people furious.

Teachers need to be protected from the natural resistance that arises when they expound on a truth that a majority of the local population (falsely) believes to be a lie [like discussing evolution or global warming say or, increasingly, that America is a democracy].

Glenn is lying when he says that teachers unions fight to keep "bad" teachers. Nobody wants to keep bad teachers. [Unless, using the same syllogism, Glenn would like to argue that the electoral system fights to keep lousy State Senators. Hmmm.] The unions fight to make sure that when they fire someone, due process is observed.

Democratic activity of this kind is increasingly frowned upon by people from Glenn's universe, but it works. Innocent until proven guilty is, still, what we do in the US. For the French, you're guilty until proven innocent. I don't see any reason to treat our educational system like the French.

and, [and here is where the hypocrisy works its way to the surface like a splinter of glass trying to climb out of Glenn's thumb]

3) Glenn's entire career has been about draining the blood supply out of public education, draining it into the sacrificial chalice of "free market economics" and rights for the rich. He's cut funding to the educational system at every opportunity, starving it at every turn. His other latest hooha has been to try to eliminate kindergarten for 4 year olds, despite solid evidence that it gives kids a jumpstart.

Glenn would blame the cafeteria ladies for starving the kids even though he's the one cutting off their mac & cheese.

Now there's a picture.


1 comment:

Rich said...


You cannot actually believe all your points here, can you? There are some interesting rationalizations and spin here.

Firing bad teachers is not a stepping stone to closing schools. That would be like saying that firing bad cops is a stepping stone to a society free from laws. There are bad teachers out there (just as there are bad computer programmers, lawyers, doctors etc. and none of these have a tenure system). Doctors have to offer abortions and morning after pills even though the patient may be against them - and their jobs are not saved by tenure. Curriculum drives education, not the teacher. With that, tenure is an antiquated, obsolete benefit for teachers.

As for K4 - kids may receive a jumpstart, but to what end? I have seen many K4 students that are exhausted after a school day and are too tired to play and act like a kid. None of my kids went to K4 and are currently at or above their K4 educated peers' level. We are now seeing K3 programs pop up. On the one hand, everyone complains that kids lives are too structured but they want to keep pushing the pre-kindergarten system down the taxpayers' and kids throats.

Are we cutting education spending so much it is strangling education - perhaps, but paying to keep bad teachers (teachers who continually show no success nor connection with the students, teachers who rest on their laurels and don't go back to update their lessons and/or tests, and teachers that just outright go against school policy or law) should be removed without the district spending a ton of wasted money on hearings and appeals.

I would personally want the best teachers at all times - don't you agree?