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Jewish World Review
January 20, 2010/ 5 Shevat 5770
Connecting the Educational Dots
Many New Yorkers, especially those of the minority persuasion, are reportedly furious with the current political machinations surrounding public school education. In short, teachers' union strong-arming of state legislators makes it likely that lawmakers will block the expansion of charter schools, which will also undermine New York's bid to obtain $700 million in federal education funds. So, who's to blame?
Sure, the teachers' union is a self-interested, kids-be-damned enterprise. But last time I checked, the reason for any union's existence is to promote and protect the interests of its members. With respect to education, this means parents and their children will never be priority number one. The absolute best they can hope for is "second place," as in after we unionists get what we want, then we'll talk about what you want.
Perhaps many New Yorkers don't understand this because they've been educated by those very same union teachers in the same under-performing schools that have been under-performing for five decades.
As for the Democratically-controlled state legislature, they're even less interested in what parents and students want. On the other hand, their motivations are as crystal clear as those of the teachers' union. Democratic politicians want campaign contributions, and nobody floats their political boats better than the teachers' union.
No doubt having legislators who are essentially sock puppets for union interests gets many New Yorkers upset, but again, a substandard education may inhibit some of these angry folks from discerning the ultimate culprit in this fiasco.
So let's, as they say, "connect the dots."
The culprits are you, New Yorkerswith a big accent on the very same inner-city minorities who complain the loudest about the dismal state of public schools in their neighborhoods. New Yorkers consistently vote for Democrats, sometimes by overwhelming margins. Democrats have sold their collective souls to the teacher's union lock, stock, and campaign-contribution barrel.
Ergo, when the teacher's union says, "jump" to state legislators, their unvarying response is, "how high?" Or, in this particular case, when the union says, "we don't need no stinkin' charter schools out-performing our unionized hellholes," the legislators say, "don't worry, mighty union, the fix is in the bag."
How out of it are some New Yorkers? Exhibit A would be Rev. A.R. Bernard, likely a very nice man, but, as they say, "part of the problem." In a story published by the NY Post, the Reverend claimed his parishioners "won't be fooled by 'reforms' that reduce their children's (educational) opportunities."
If they aren't, sir, it would be a historical firstbecause when election day rolls around next November, this is one American willing to be the farm those same parishioners will mindlessly cast their ballotsjust as they've always donefor the very same Democrat politicians screwing their children, just as they've always done in order to suck up to the unions.
And then, as sure as the sun rises in the east, those parishioners, along will a ton of other clueless New Yorkers, will be back out complaining next year. And the year after that, and so on.
To quote Shakespeare, "the fault, dear Brutus, lies not in the stars, but in ourselves." Sadly, a lot of kids "educated" in New York will never learn about Shakespeare.
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