Teaching Profession

Infuriating Attack Of Mike Pompeo On Randi Weingarten And Teaching Profession!

There are many outrageous, irritating utterances that emanate from Republicans and conservatives about all kinds of issues and individuals.

But the attack of former Secretary of State and former CIA Director, and future Republican Presidential contender Mike Pompeo against Randi Weingarten and the American Federation of Teachers is the most infuriating statement imaginable.

Pompeo, insanely, termed Weingarten the most dangerous person in the world, more than Kim Jong Un of North Korea, Chinese President Xi Jinping, or Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Pompeo must be considered totally crazy with such an utterance, and should be disqualified from running for or winning the Oval Office.

This is not just a personal attack on a woman who has dedicated her life to education, as head of the United Federation of Teachers from 1998-2008, and as head of the American Federation of Teachers from 2008 to the present. Weingarten has devoted herself to promoting the rights and conditions of the teaching profession.

This is a field in which we are losing more teachers than replacing them, due to the effects of the COVID 19 Pandemic. But also there is the outrageous interference of right wing groups and ignorant parents who think they know more about what the curriculum should be in science, history, literature than educators who are trained to promote knowledge, truth, facts instead of myths, and to promote empathy, compassion and tolerance of others who are different than any of us.

Pompeo, like many right wing extremists, does not want students to learn about the truth of American history, the mistreatment of native Americans, African Americans, and other marginalized groups, but he is promoting narrow mindedness and intolerance, a threat to future harmony in this multi racial, multi ethnic society.

He is also, for sure, attacking Weingarten because of her liberal Jewish heritage and promoting Christian nationalism, which sees Jews as a group that should be proselytized to convert to Christianity. His pro Israel advocacy is phony, and he is supportive of the extremism in Israeli society, which has now led to Benjamin Netanyahu coming back as Prime Minister, while under criminal indictment. One can be pro Israel and support its right to exist, but does not require that all Jews or other decent people must accept the injustices represented by Netanyahu and his Orthodox extremists who look at Arabs as subhuman.

There is also an element of misogyny and homophobia that is part of Pompeo’s mantra, as Weingarten is a lesbian, and married to a Reform woman rabbi.

So all of the ugly elements–anti intellectual, Christian nationalism, misogyny, homophobia—of Mike Pompeo are to be condemned as horrendous.

And by attacking Weingarten, Pompeo also endangers her life and safety, and likely will cause threats that will require security, totally beyond the pale.

America’s Teachers And Education: The Only Way To Long Term Success And Economic Revival!

As the new school year commences, the state of American education is very depressing!

Budget cuts are forcing the firing of hundreds of thousands of teachers; the growth of very large teacher-student ratios; the elimination of physical education, music, art, theater, sports teams and other so called “electives” which enrich education and mental health and save many young people who might otherwise be totally “lost” from any learning experience; leading to attacks by “Bully Governors” and the Republican state legislatures on the teaching profession; causing growing disrespect by parents and teachers and school boards toward educators; and leading to declining interest in college and university students in entering the profession, because of low pay and poor treatment!

And yet, it is our teachers who have inspired all of us who have succeeded; it is our teachers who have sacrificed some of their own private time and income to provide materials for students; it is our teachers who often replace parents in the sense of giving more attention to students than they receive at home; it is our teachers who remain part of our life experience more than any other professional, including doctors and lawyers and engineers, among others!

Teachers should be treasured, respected, honored, and paid properly so that we can get the “best and the brightest” to make a career in the profession that has a greater impact on us than any other! Remember that not only doctors, lawyers, and engineers are educated and influenced by teachers, but also every other occupation, and also our Presidents, members of Congress, state legislators, Governors, Mayors, and all government employees, and of course, our parents!

Therefore, the proper funding of education and the rebuilding of the infrastructure of schools MUST be a priority for President Obama and Congress to give us hope and economic revival for the future, and help restore America to its greatness!

Cheers To Actor Matt Damon For Strong, Inspired Defense Of The Teaching Profession!

Actor Matt Damon, one of our leading figures in film for the past decade and more, has come out in strong support of the teaching profession, delivering a masterful speech at a gathering of educators held in Washington, DC on Saturday.

At a Save Our Schools March in the capital, Damon denounced those who say that giving tenure to teachers promotes laziness, and said teachers are what they are because they LOVE teaching, certainly not for the low pay and terrible conditions of work that many face, with little backing by administrators, parents, and the politicians in many states who abuse teachers and show lack of respect for their profession!

Damon’s own mother is a teacher, and the actor made it clear that what he became and his level of success is due to the dedication of teachers who inspire their students and have often a greater effect on them than their own parents!

Damon criticized standardized testing as stifling originality, creativity, and curiosity in students, and bringing unnecessary stress and tension to young people, instead of encouraging them. The job security of teachers should not be based on such tests, which unfortunately, is now the case in many states, particularly those governed by Republicans!

Damon also endorsed PUBLIC schools, which were his experience, and said millions of Americans support their teachers and will always have their back.

As a lifelong educator, this strong statement thrills me, and reinforces why I have been an educator, preferring to educate the young, than just make tons of money backing evil corporations who have no concern for their workers and the American people, and only worship money and things, not the rights of people to a dignified life and decent treatment at work!

The Wrong Message Being Sent About Education In America!

One would think that most Americans would believe that education is the ticket to success in America, that it is the major means of social and economic mobility.

But at a time when we face an education system that has been inadequate to deal with the future of our children, what is occurring is that we are seeing states slashing budgets on what is basically the future of the nation!

Texas will begin the new school year without textbooks for its students, while we are also, all over the nation, seeing schools shut down, summer schools being eliminated or cut back, shorter school years being put into effect, number of school days being cut from five to four in many areas, and teachers and staff being treated by government as the “enemy”, and being faced with having to pay for benefits guaranteed by labor contracts, and often being forced to take pay cuts or furloughs from work!

We are going to see a decline in numbers of young people wishing to go into education as a field, and many veteran teachers will be leaving over the next few years, disgusted with the mistreatment they suffer, and the lack of respect for education demonstrated by state legislatures, city councils, and school boards, with many members of school boards particularly having no clue as to what education is all about!

The greatest loss will be the likelihood of a growing dropout rate by students, and the gaps they will suffer in their education, making them ill equipped to deal with the future, to be good parents, and to be the leaders dealing with the problems that this nation will face with a rapidly aging population.

If we fail to educate our young properly, and encourage the best and the brightest to enter the field of education, the long range prognosis of the country is in great jeopardy!

The Abuse Of Teachers: A Crime Against Knowledge, Education And The Younger Generation! :(

The teaching profession is an honorable commitment by millions of men and women at all levels from prekindergarten through college and graduate school, and no one goes into the profession expecting to become wealthy!

Rather, they are mostly idealists who love the world of knowledge and wish to impart their enthusiasm for knowledge to the younger generation. They sacrifice the possibility of acquiring wealth because they are drawn to the wish to affect the future in a non profit way.

They should expect respect and dignity from their supervisors, from parents and students, from politicians, from the news media, and from the corporate world!

After all, corporate chief executive officers, doctors, lawyers, dentists, accountants, engineers, professors, police officers, nurses, social workers, fire fighters, and EVERYONE ELSE not specifically mentioned, ALL are educated by teachers at all levels.

It is outrageous that conservatives and Republicans have the gall to insult and deprecate our teachers, who are unable to support their families as it is because of low wages compared to their educational preparation, and often have to work at second jobs to survive, but still are committed to do good for their students and for society!

It is about time that the vicious attack on the teaching profession come to an end, and we start treating teachers with dignity, decent pay and working conditions, and honor those who have a greater impact, much of the time, than do parents on the development and success of their children!