From Issue #00-35brf
Let me see if I've got this straight, Mr. Clinton and my fellow Democrats;
You want me to go into a schoolroom full of kids, and fill their every waking moment with a sense of being nurtured, and a love for learning.
Not only that...I'm to instill a sense of pride in their ethnicity, modify their disruptive behavior and observe them for signs of abuse, drugs, and T-shirt messages, all while television is teaching them that sexual perversion is okay, and killing people is cool.
I am to fight the war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, check their backpacks for weapons, and raise their self-esteem, without damaging their fragile egos by telling them that such behavior is wrong.
I'm to teach them patriotism, good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, while answering their snickering questions about how it is okay for you subvert the Constitution, take illegal campaign contributions, molest women and bomb innocent people to death to divert the media attention from your own unlawful behavior.
I'm supposed to tell them how and where to register to vote, how to balance a checkbook and how to apply for a job, even if I know they are in this country illegally.
I am supposed to check their heads occasionally for lice, maintain a safe environment, recognize signs of potential antisocial behavior, and provide them the sound advice and guidance that used to come from their parents and pastor. I am to be held responsible for deciding who might be potentially dangerous and/or liable to commit crimes in school, and I can be sent to jail for not mentioning these suspicions to those in authority.
I'm supposed to instill the idea in them that respect for cultural diversity means being a clone in dress, achievement and political philosophy, and that it is wrong to excel over others or be different by working harder or being innovative. In short, that individuality and personal liberty are bad things. I'm to write letters of recommendation for student employment and scholarships, and, oh yes, to teach them the three R's, in two languages, always making sure to equally distribute my attention according to sex, race and ethnicity.
I'm to demonstrate my school spirit by sponsoring the cheerleaders or some other collateral class activity, and after school I am to attend committee and faculty meetings and participate in staff development training in order to maintain my current certification and employment status.
I'm required by my contract to be working on my own time, at my own expense, summers and evenings, towards advanced certification and a master's degree, so that the school I work for can maintain its accreditation and reputation, and continue to receive federal dollars.
I am to collect personal data on students and their families, and maintain all records to support and document our progress in the state-mandated program to "assess and upgrade educational excellence in the public schools."
I am to be a paragon of morality, larger than life, such that my very presence will awe my students into being obedient and respectful of authority. I am to pledge allegiance to supporting family values, a return to the basics, and loyalty to the National Teachers Union and your administration, even though you and your "progressive" entertainment and media friends demonstrate none of these virtues.
I am to take time away from teaching the basics to incorporate Internet technology into their learning, but I'm to monitor all Web sites for appropriate content, while at the same time providing a personal one-on-one relationship with each student.
I am to make sure ALL students pass all classes, and state- and federally mandated tests, whether or not they attend school on a regular basis, cooperate with me, or complete any of the work I assign them. I am to communicate frequently with each student's parents by letter, phone, newsletter and grade card.
I'm to accomplish all these duties with just a piece of chalk, a computer, a few books and a bulletin board, in a 50 minute class, while exuding a friendly, nonthreatening smile, on a starting salary that qualifies my family for food stamps in many states.
I'm to remain loyal to you in all ways, never breaking ranks or disparaging the party line, even though I have to sign this lament as "anonymous" in order to protect my job and my future.
Is that all?
And you expect me to do all of this without praying?
(EDITOR'S NOTE: This item was sent to us without attribution. Normally, we do not print outside material without a verifiable source, but this piece is an exception because of its timely value.)
[TYSK NOTE: This letter to The Federalist was obviously written by a practicing school teacher. This may account for the misrepresentation made regarding the starting salary for most teachers... in fact it is unusually high in most communities. Further, teachers are granted tenure in a very short time... three years in my locality.]
The Last Word
"The schools aren't going to improve. The teachers unions, obsessed with protecting their jobs, are absolutely in the saddle. With exceptions, but not enough exceptions, they don't like the whole idea of education, so they jaw-storm about feelings and attitudinal change and empowerment, whatever that is. We don't care enough to buck them. Still, in moments of fatuous optimism, I reflect that it could be done. If a few hundred parents showed up at school with a rope and a focused look, results might follow. In fact, when I'm dictator, I'm going to put a bounty on the National Education Association. Bag one and bring the varmint in stuffed, and you'll get a keg of Budweiser and three free nights of bowling. It would be like duck hunting, but more satisfying." — Fred Reed
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
30 aug 2000