If you listen to anything that Indiana's Governor Mitch Daniels says, you would think that anyone who is a professional educator is a terrible person. Here's why:

Last week, the Purdue Board of Directors appointed Governor Mitch Daniels to president of the University. This appointment made many of the professional educators in this state of outstanding public and private institutions such as Purdue, Indiana University, Notre Dame and Butler University outraged and fearful of the future of all levels of education in Indiana. While there are some pundits that have hailed this appointment as a benefit for Purdue and all of Higher Ed, Mitch Daniels is someone everyone who appreciates all forms of public education should have a great deal to fear.

Start with Daniel's nickname earned during his tenure with the Geroge W. Bush administration - "The Blade." His purpose in anything government is to reduce what he preceives as wasteful spending. But the key here is "what he perceives." Daniels has made no bones about teacher pay and retirement - it is too much. And of course that pay and retirement is all due to the horrible awful teachers unions. In a speech in 2010 he called public unions the priveleged elite - all because teachers were able to keep their jobs during the terrible economic recession. But he fails to recall the main reason teachers could stay on the job is because they all agreed (through the negotiations of the unions) to take pay cuts, increase insurance and pension payments and work with larger class sizes due to reduced budgets.

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:"";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0in;
mso-para-margin-right:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0in;
line-height:115%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

Daniels has a very low opinion of the abilities of all teachers in the public system from Pre-school to university professors. He stated in one of his state of the state addresses, "The adults who hijacked education for their own advantage did not intend for our young people to suffer as a consequence, but it was inevitable that they would suffer once the unions sought to protect incompetent teachers, principals and superintendents against any accountability for producing well-prepared students." How do teachers hijack education for their own advantage? Could it be for the money? I think Mitch needs to live on a teacher's salary, pre-school or university professor to see just how much of a disadvantage that is; and that disadvantage is mostly due to his own drastic cuts to public education while funneling money to the private entities where his buddies such as the Bush family have financial interests.

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:"";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0in;
mso-para-margin-right:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0in;
line-height:115%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

The appointment of Mitch Daniels as Purdue's president is just a publicity stunt to bring in money to the University. But the money Mitch will bring to the table will come at a very high cost. "To make real strides in education, you have to think outside the public system," Daniels made this statement in one of his many interviews on FOX news where he was trying to justify violating the Indiana constituion by allowing public funds to go to private schools. As president of Purdue, you can look for him to privatize many aspects of Indiana's beloved public university. Will we soon see an insurance company logo on Purdue's football jerseys? No, but we can expect private ultra-conservative groups such as ALEC or the Koch brothers to fund Purdue research that proves "CLIMATE CHANGE IS A FRAUD!" or "FRACKING IMPROVES THE QUALITY OF GROUND WATER!" The price to pay for this money will be the prestige and reputation of a school that has produced the first man to walk on the moon and the engineers that made that moon walk possible.

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:"";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0in;
mso-para-margin-right:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0in;
line-height:115%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

Mitch has such a low regard for teachers of any level that he can barely contain his contempt when speaking about education. He has claimed that class size does not matter: "Teacher quality has been found to be 20 times more important than any other factor, including poverty, in determining which kids succeed. Class size, by comparison, is virtually meaningless. Put a great teacher in front of a large class, and you can expect good results. Put a poor teacher in front of a small class, do not expect the kids to learn." His disgust lies in his belief that because of those horrible, awful teacher's unions, teachers have become lazy sloths that fail their public promise of educating children. He has allowed his so-called Superindendent of Public Instruction to degrade teachers by giving them grades on their performance, changed the state to a performance or merit pay system, and changed liscensing requirements that will de-professionalize teaching by allowing anyone with a bachelor's degree to obtain a liscense to teach. His mantra of "if it's public education it can't be good," has led to public perceptions of public school teachers to fall to an all time low.

So, as a public school teacher (in Indiana) I have to say that I don't think that I am all that bad. I dont' think that I am a bad teacher - as an elementary Art teacher I have students can tell you more about Art History than most any politican could ever tell you. I don't think I am a bad public employee - I have taken pay cuts for the past three years, increased the amount I pay for my isurance and dealt with my classroom budget cuts by purchasing more than half of my classroom supplies out of my own pocket. And I don't think I am a bad citizen - I have worked as a member of my teacher's union to support political candidates that support the interests of public education.

The apointment of Mitch Daniels as Purdue's next president will have a serious impact on public education and not in a good way. Before long he is going to have the everyone thinking that anything public about education is bad and he is wrong. Truly, we teachers are not all that bad!

Images

I Don't Think I Am All that Bad!

Comments

Add comment

Login or register to post comments

Currently Chatting

A Warren Run Would Change Everything

Over the past few weeks, Elizabeth Warren has emerged as a leader of progressives on Capitol Hill. She led the charge against the part of the CRomnibus that gutted our financial regulations, and she is still fighting the White House over its nomination of bankster Antonio Weiss as Undersecretary of Domestic Finance in the Treasury Department.