Teacher Appreciation Week began with a love letter from Arne Duncan to teachers. Despite the plethora of policies and rhetoric that are clearly anti-teacher, Arne waxed poetic about our nation’s teachers:
I consider teaching an honorable and important profession, and it is my goal to see that you are treated with the dignity we award to other professionals in society.
That letter certainly impassioned teachers. It also really pissed them off. That was RUFKM moment #1.
Next, Laurie Calvert, a Washington Teaching Ambassador Fellow, posted “More than a Memory: Teacher Appreciation Week” on the Department of Education’s website. Calvert wrote:
No doubt about it, last week was a great time to be a teacher at the Department of Education. During Teacher Appreciation Week, the atmosphere brimmed with teacher focus and teacher gratitude.
Ms. Calvert, I’m really glad that last week was a great time to be a teacher at the Department of Education. But for those of us out in the trenches daily…. not so much. RUFKM moment #2.
Then, when I thought things could not possibly get any more depressing, National Education Association Endorses Obama screamed the headline. Seriously??? NEA’s endorsing the guy who’s made George W. Bush look like public education’s best friend? Have you forgotten that President Obama and his faithful sidekick,
Dumber Arne Duncan, applauded when every teacher at Rhode Island's Central Falls High School was fired? This is the administration that ignores scholarly work in favor of poorly done research by think tanks, advocacy groups, and the media. This is the guy who wants to impose failed strategies nationwide: charter schools, school turnarounds, increased testing, and linking test scores to teacher evaluations and merit pay, to name a few. On top of all that, Obama cozied up to Jeb Bush in Florida recently:
We are also honored to be joined here today by another champion of education reform, somebody who championed reform when he was in office, somebody who is now championing reform as a private citizen -- Jeb Bush...The truth is I've gotten to know Jeb because his family exemplifies public service. And we are so grateful to him for the work that he's doing on behalf of education. So, thank you, Jeb.
All I can say at this point is OMG!!! RUFKM moment #3.
So today, I will gather with teachers, students and parents as we protest the massive budget cuts to education in our state. It will feel good to be among people who get it and support public education. I’ll look forward to going to Washington, D.C. in July to participate in the Save Our Schools March and Call to Action. To gather with teachers, students, parents, education scholars, and interested citizens from across the nation will be invigorating and uplifting.
I’m glad the sleeping giant has finally awakened. We are poised to take back the pulpit from the corporate education deformers and their supporters. It's about time!