Thursday, June 12, 2014

Duncan's foul support for Vergara. He must go.

Main backers of corporate-style school reform, Duncan, Rhee & Gates. 
Today’s court decision is a mandate to fix these problems. -- Arne Duncan
Arne Duncan's support for the anti-teacher Vergara decision in California, describing it as a "mandate" and an "opportunity" was even too much for teacher/historian John Thompson, who's not a line-in-the-sands guy. But in his latest post on Huffington, he joins the chorus of the those calling on Obama to dump Duncan.
He is supposed to be a cabinet secretary, not the head of a brass-knuckled, anti-teacher interest group. And, yet, Duncan now endorses Vergara. His gratuitous announcement in support of the case is comparable to applauding a dirty foul that hurts a player. In doing so he shows his true colors. Duncan, I believe, has always been an awful Secretary of Education. But, now, he is clearly unfit for that position.
The CTU issued a strong public statement denouncing Judge Treu's decision in the Vergara case.
 Omitted from his decision are the impacts of concentrated poverty, intense segregation, skeletal budgets, and so-called “disruptive innovation” that have been at the heart of urban school districts for decades. Scripted curricula, overuse and misuse of standardized testing, school closures and school turnarounds, and the calculated deprivation of resources are the real reasons low-income students of color face discrimination. So-called reformers like David Welch and Arne Duncan push those policies. In other words, the new “reform” status quo has made worse the problem it purports to fix.
Here's the usual from the "liberal" New York Times: "Teachers deserve reasonable due process rights and job protections. But..." 

David Welch
The most sickening feature of the case is the way it was portrayed as a group of kids suing the state to get rid of bad teachers. Little about the role of billionaire union hater David Welch bankrolling the entire case and propping up a handful of kids for the photo ops.

WING-NUTS AT BREITBART love it. They call it a "conservative’s dream-come-true victory" over the unions and salute Welch and supporters, "a long-time coalition of educational free-market supporters and privatization philanthropists, including the Gates Foundation, Los Angeles billionaire Eli Broad and Walmart’s Walton Family Foundation" for the victory.
Welch was unique when he founded Students Matter as a non-profit to fund the multi-million Vergara v. California suit in 2010, according to an investigation by Capital & Main. He “had virtually no background in education policy or any direct financial stake in the multibillion-dollar, for-profit education and standardized testing industries."
With Welch's money, Students Matter was able to hire Theodore B. Olson of Washington, D.C. office of the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher as lead counsel in the Vergara case. Olson was Reagan's Assistant Attorney General and was selected by Time magazine in 2010 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Money talks. Teachers walk.


  1. 4 of the kids didn't even go to schools that had tenure.

    one of the parents works for rocketship education.


  2. The most appalling component of these types of actions is how shamelessly blatant they are. I mean, they don't even make any attempt to conceal the mechanisms that create these situations.

    It was also interesting how they had the one African American student as the de facto spokesman for the lawsuit. He'll very likely regret that later. Or more than likely, he'll get a nice Republican 'front' position.

  3. As a teacher who taught in a failing school district and had success, didn't put any tape on kids faces and make them bleed, and did actually team teach (for 3 days, then they moved me to my own classroom), I am still spellbound about something.

    From where is Michelle Rhee's credibility derived.

    I mean, do we just stop asking the question?

    Because I am among a large contingency of REAL educational professionals who have had great success, who really want to know.

    So, is there an answer?


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