When Teachers Run Into Education Reformers That Don't Really 'Stand For Children'
For some reason, I always get myself into situations where I see someone whose policies may completely destroy public education for all. It's like Mario where some of the evildoers are worth stomping on and others will ruin your whole set-up. So I keep my game face on, because they're probably used to protesters 500-people deep at their faces like, "Did you have to do my kids' school like that?!"
They're often the first to retort with moral responsibility arguments, then turn around and ask the valet to park their Diablo right in front of you. So I catch them unawares and hope to keep my eye-rolls and snickers to a minimum.
Because I'm a good guy. And I have the good fortune of writing about it later.
Such is the case with Jonah Edelman, CEO of Stand for Children. When I saw him on a recent conference's program, I said, "This is curious."
The policies Edelman promotes are a model for the type of ed-reform I simply can't tolerate. If the ideas you set forth shut down tons of schools at a time, proffer narrow measures for assessments, and assure that other people's children only get inexperienced teachers on a yearly (and sometime twice a year) basis, then we do a disservice to making our nation a better place. I can only listen for so long.
Then I looked up Fred Klonsky's blog again and got heated. Over and over. In my mind, I was like, "This 75 percent-ass mothafucka …"
A bunch of scenarios played out in my mind if he got up on stage and tried to address us:
Edelman: And your name is …
I don't think that would have been the most professional intro.
Edelman: And your name is …
Vilson: Jose Vilson.
E: Hi, how are you?
V: I’m good, and you're an asshole. Hope that helps.
But you see, I ain't do that, because it's so disrespectful. To be clear, I don't hate him. I just know that what he's advocating for are policies that are actually hurting children instead of standing up for them.
E: And your name is …
V: Jose Vilson
E: Hey, how's it going?
V: It's going … hey, can we talk about your mother for a second?
That would have gone over well. But it is incredibly ironic that his mother, Marian Wright Edelman, is the head of the Children's Defense Fund.
E: And your name is …
V: Jose Vilson, math teacher.
E: Yes, sir, what's your question?
V: My question is simply this: Your mother said, "The challenge of social justice is to evoke a sense of community that we need to make our nation a better place, just as we make it a safer place." How does Stand For Children advance this cause?
Sadly, I never got to see this response, or any really. Instead, I got to hear teachers, futurists, and professors speak. I may have seen him twice in passing and thrown him a quizzical look.
As I look through the roster of staff members at the conference, I wonder how many of them actually drank Edelman's bitter lemonade. I might have suggested they're drinking Kool-Aid, but the things happening to our students based on his policies lean more bitter than sweet. But if they did drink up, I understand. It's summer after all, and sometimes a drink helps the awful go away.
Click here to add attending a school board meeting to your GOOD "to-do" list.
New Technology Could Help Paralyzed People Turn Thought into Action New developments in thought-relaying research help give movement back to the paralytic community.
The Racket Over Rabbit: Whole Foods’ Newest Meat Causes a Furor Whole Foods falls down the ethical rabbit hole of selling coveted, controversial bunny meat.
Why Can’t People Cozy up to Cuddle Capitalism? Despite their restorative and intimacy-inducing effects, cuddling services are increasingly coming under attack. Are critics simply out of touch?
An Overlooked Contributor to Climate Change: Leaky Pipes These tricked-out, air sensor-equipped Google cars are helping to identify dangerous natural gas pipelines.
Me No Want Cookie! Sesame Workshop puts the junk food industry on notice. The effort to re-brand fruits and vegetables for kids now has some cute, furry and iconic allies.
How Artists Got a Flock of Extinct Birds to Invade a Museum "Eclipse," now showing at MASS MoCA, commemorates the centenary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon.
Parks We're Crushing On Hang out in a sick park (while at your desk) The coolest greenspaces—old and new—as spotted by an intrepid network of photographers around the globe
Your Groceries Don't Need Their Own Bus Seat, Thanks Facebook's Jet Burrows and the Analog Lab team have created the much-needed 10 Commandments of Transit.
Why This Teen-Created Police Accountability App Rules Five-O, a new police accountability app created by three Georgia teens, is the most comprehensive tool of its kind.
Exit Through the Riverbed Olafur Eliasson's new museum exhibit will leave you thinking and splashing.
How Do You Compete With a Flying Toilet? The Savvyloo toilet is a bold step forward in the world sanitation crisis.
Elementary Schoolers Imagine Street Carts of the Future These prototypes show how a group of students from Brooklyn think street vendors and mobile service stations should look in 30 years.