February 28, 2020

Taking their fight to the streets — kinda

It’s good to see there’s some other ways to get your message out. You don’t always have to get out the bullhorn and pound the pavement at City Hall.  Innovation is good, going national with it is even better.

In these two video clips we hear about two teachers from the Midwest, one speaking through a comedian’s playbook, the other in a public resignation up close and personal in front of a Des Moines school board.

Black reading the teacher’s letter in his rant
Lewis Black is known for his rants, but also for sharing the letters he gets that bring attention to the absurdities of the country we’re living in.

In this clip, he reads an email he got from a middle school science teacher in Des Moines who wants people to stop taking elections for granted.
Citing specifics, the teacher (I think it’s a guy, but can’t make out his name from the video) says he arrives an hour or two before school starts, only to see 50–60 students dropped off as early as 7 a.m.  Why? It’s childcare by default.
Some haven’t eaten, so the school feeds them. Why? Wages too damn low for so many people.

When he leaves school at 5 or 6, kids stop to ask him for food. They should have gone home at 3:25.

No pencils. The school organizes pencil drives to replenish the no.2s the kids can’t write with because there aren’t any.

There’s no funding for up-to-date technology or the arts.
Next to zero health services.
Quality after-school programs slashed and cut.
Quality textbooks, not either.
Field trips?  Hah. Can’t afford them unless a teacher applies for a grant to hire a bus. A grant!
TEACHER: "We have to take responsibility to elect people who actually care about the young people in our schools, and will fund our schools.  Yes, F-U-N-D them.  Stop trying to apply Walmart economics to our school system.”
_________________________________________________________________________________

Opposing a new contract offer, this teacher throws in her resignation at a school board meeting.
Amanda Coffmann resigning from
a Kansas MS, courtesy NowThisNews
TEACHER:
[to the Board:] “You aren’t listening ... The kids and I deserve better ... I could accept this contract, smile, and stay silent about the lies the district perpetuates about its teachers, but that doesn’t mean I should ... Disrespect in an uneven power dynamic is bullying. When we see bullying, we must stand up and call it out.”

[to her kids:] “Please don’t see my empty doorway as a sign that I’ve abandoned you or that I don’t care ... I will always be your biggest advocate.”

[to the Board:] “There will be no clarifying questions. I don’t answer to you anymore.”
I count my blessings I don’t have to answer to the Bloomberg/Klein regime of ed deform anymore. What destruction their corporate ideologies brought to us in classrooms, school buildings, local neighborhoods. Much, of course, needed to be fixed, that’s always the case with public funding, but I blame those particular men for such bad, bad use of what monies were available, so grossly and unevenly applied citywide.

1 comment: