Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Thursday, February 4, 2010

She Just Doesn't Learn

Some time ago I wrote this:

Dear Megan
Dearest Megan,

If you start pushing school vouchers again I will clean your clock with the facts you are omitting. You will look like the clueless shill that you are, and by the time I'm done you'll be wishing you avoided this conversation. This will take up a tremendous amount of my time to do the research*, and I am not being paid to work 16-hour days like you are. So I will be very cranky.

Hugs and Kisses,


*Ask your friends what that word means.

P.S. Don't forget that you first got my attention by attacking teachers. How many posts have I written just for that reason? Hundreds. But go ahead, make me angry. Again.
Posted by Susan of Texas at 12:20 PM 5 comments Links to this post

McArdle has decided to attack teachers and unions once again. Basically, McArdle's views on teachers stem from the fact that she thinks teachers are lazy. She dresses up her elitist snobbery and parades it around in borrowed clothes, but that's all it is.

Game on.


Downpuppy said...

You've got a lot of work, because the false claims in this one are growing like sumac.

Susan of Texas said...

And it's not like she'll cut back on the stupid while I work. Already she's telling us that AEI says monopolies help the consumer, because the marketplace is always in equilibrium.

Fortunately the wedding is getting closer--those posts make for easy pickings.

Batocchio said...

I'm long overdue for posting on this subject (I taught for a few years), but the biggest thing that gets me is the punitive mindset of this crusade – "we need to fire more teachers!" Many of the same people will go on and on about 'supporting the troops' or cops or firefighters, but when it comes to teachers, nurses, social workers and the lot suddenly it's different. Teachers should be well paid and given manageable class sizes. Most really want to do a good job. We need to hire more of them. They need support.

If a teacher is to be judged on students' test scores, okay - then we also need a guarantee that the parents make their kids do their assigned homework, and that the students come in qualified to be in the class in the first place. Then there are the issues of attitude, attention, maturity and classroom discipline. It's not as if every student bounds into the classroom eager to learn and prepared. Most teachers do the best they can with many factors beyond their control. Additionally, the more relevant gauge is improvement, since a 11th grader coming in at a 6th grade level (it definitely happens) probably won't make up all that ground in one year. Who the hell decided that the magic solution for fixing public education was firing teachers?

For that matter, Reagan and Gingrich popularized the movement to eliminate the Department of Education, generally without giving any coherent reason for doing so. If you want to "reform" it, okay – but eliminate it? How would education in America possibly benefit from the elimination of a cabinet level post dedicated to advocating for it? Movement conservatives must have hated the G.I. Bill, too.

Some teachers are awful, and should leave. However, many are great, and many good teachers get burned out - but can be revived. A punitive approach doesn't help that at all. From what I've read, the first five years of teaching are the most crucial, and when teachers develop their craft the most. The best route is to invest in young teachers rather than trying to punish them. That could even be a probation period - some schools do this on a 1-2 year basis. (Obama's proposal on student loans, and making repayment easier on people going into public service, would be a big help, BTW.) Meanwhile, invest in continuing education and retreats for veteran teachers, disseminate best practices, and give education the time, energy and money it deserves. The biggest problem I saw was administrators who didn't like to teach - and didn't really like teachers - making more money and calling the shots. Salary structures shouldn't encourage good teachers to leave the classroom. I heard one education consultant talk about designating "master teachers" for 1-2 year stints (possible in a private school model) that raised the pay for such teachers to encourage good teachers to stay in the classroom. But even then, who's deciding that designation, or what are the metrics for assigning "merit pay"? While I think there are legitimate discussions to be had about teachers' unions, the "fire teachers" movement has little to contribute to it. They hate unions. Most of them hate teachers, too. As with most authoritarian and corporate movements, they have rage, scapegoats, proposed punishment and corporate profit to offer, but little else.

Mr. Wonderful said...

This is echt-Megan, delivered to your door fresh from the We Make It Up kitchens:

"But non-union employment contracts operate in an environment where both sides often hope to continue the relationship beyond the initial term. This offers quite a bit of good-faith flexibility, because people who are too rigid about the exact letter of their contracts are apt to find that their contract isn't renewed. Even in contracts with a very definite term, there are reputational considerations."

This, from a supposed expert on capitalism. "good-faith flexibility"--yes, that must be why every union I've ever heard of (or belong to) must have been superfluous.

And if a board of directors hired a CEO who created a regime offering "good-faith flexibility" in its hiring and compensation practices (out of "reputational considerations"), how long do you think it would take Megan to defend and champion the shareholders' right to fire the board and bring in someone who knows the proper way to subject workers to the iron rule of the market?

God what cunt. Can I say that? Oh come on. I can so.

Mr. Wonderful said...

Insert "a" between "what" and you-know-what.

Anonymous said...

Has Megan long been on a war against contracts when labor or is this new*?
Doesn't the sacredness of free exchange codified through legally binding agreemeents form the heart of the libertarian ideal for the interaction of persons?
If I didn't know better I would think that she will say whatever in order to defend the powerful. Nah, unposssible.

*Car company workers, her recent flailings about people who walk away from mortgages, Teachers Union, likely more.

Downpuppy said...

Megan has always been a great friend of Pinkertons & union busters.

The whole stupid fact free rant pretending to be analysis is just typical Megan anti-union hate.