Saturday, June 04, 2011

Size Doesn't Matter

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Right up front, gonna apologize for yesterday's politically incorrect post. I don't know what was in my head (besides gin). There's absolutely no reason to berate the moron Chris Christie for his weight. Stupidity knows no size or shape. Meanness and cruelty do not increase with belt length.

In today's mail I received a form letter from the president of the New Jersey Education Association. Depending upon who you ask, this NJEA is either:

A. New Jersey's teacher's union for public school employees, or

B. A cutthroat and devious organization of thugs whose sole purpose is to rob taxpayers and keep bad teachers in classrooms.

Guess which letter Chris Christie would circle. BING! Absolutely correct. "B" it is.

Here's the opening paragraph of the letter, written by Barbara Keshishian, current president of the NJEA:

"We have been under constant attack from a governor who demonizes NJEA and its members at every opportunity. He has attacked us collectively and individually, ignoring the proven successes of the vast majority of New Jersey's public schools while exaggerating the shortcomings of a small number of struggling schools where our colleagues work against difficult odds, and in the most challenging circumstances."

Actually, this is putting it politely. Christie would like nothing better than to do a Wisconsin on NJEA, but he dare not since New Jersey is brimming to the plimsol line with unionized workers in many fields of endeavor.

Envisioning the future of our nation, Republicans like Christie would like to privatize schools and turn them over to corporate interests and religious institutions. These so-called "charter schools" will offer parents an alternative to public education without that pesky private school tuition. While charter schools are required to adhere to the state's curriculum requirements, they are not required to hire certified teachers, and they are not bound by the NJEA.

America, we at "The Gods Are Bored" have been on the front lines of movements several times. The first was in 1981, when our company rolled in a newfangled thing called a word processor, and no one wanted to learn how to use it. We were again on the front lines of the "independent contractor" movement, wherein a company could get the same amount of work from an employee without offering even the most basic benefits, if that employee was agreeable to the bargain.

Charter school teachers are basically independent contractors. I went to night school with a roomful of them. The working conditions they described were horrific. I wouldn't last a day. Most of them were fired after their first year -- literally before they could even dispense with Mr. Bigwand and night school.

There are only two reasons for charter school to exist. Both of them suck.

1. To be able to advance a particular religious or corporate agenda using taxpayer money, or

2. To be able to hire and fire entry-level employees, thus minimizing salaries.

Is this the future of our nation's schools? Higher expectations coupled with lower worker morale?

Oh, gee. Silly me! Why would education be spared the same debacle that has beset the rest of Working America?


Anonymous said...

Yesterday's fat anon here - thank you! I am no stranger to the power of gin, haha. And I am 100% with you on Chris Christie's terribleness. Good luck with the NJEA.

Anne Johnson said...

Whew. I'm glad I mended that fence! It was really bothering me.

Maebius said...

I'm going to hold my tongue here, about Charter schools, with only the comment that not all of them are the same, as much as the prior and following posts about politic-belts and Faith-adherents reflect upon.

I'm not familiar with NJ state laws, but I know I'm supporting a Charter school here in NY that is trying to get established. (one point, they MUST hire accredited teachers here and are very very tightly monitored by our NYSEA system...) But from researching PA options, it seems every state has slightly different mandates.

Still, for the reasons you mention, I will agree with your threads of thought while still supporting the broader cloth of Charters in my local area. :)

Isn't life grand though, that we CAN agree and disagree on stuffs?! <3

Intense Guy said...

I just wish they would completely junk property taxes...

Lavanah said...

No matter the physical size of our current governor, he is an immensely spoiled brat! (and a bully, too.)