Sochi, Russia - Even before the games have ended, officials are debating what events to include at the 2018 Olympics to be held in South Korea.
Olympic spokesman Vladmir Grasmoski offered the short list of potential events to reporters yesterday during a press conference in Sochi. The proposed events include: ice fishing, ballroom snowboarding and synchronized figure skiing. But it was teacher bashing that garnered the most attention.
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, who cuts an atypical figure for an Olympian, is expected to serve as the team captain if the event is approved. "We have some Olympic quality players in our country with several of our athletes training for years for this opportunity," noted Christie. Though it would be premature to name team members before trial events, several names have been bandied about including, Michelle Rhee, Scott Brown and Tom Luna. "Our country is fortunate to have so many athletes at such an elite level," Christie smiled as he contemplated the possibilities.
While teacher bashing enjoys wide appeal in America, representatives from other countries expressed doubts. "I don't think it will make it to the Olympics because the rest of the world doesn't want to play," said Luukos Veikko of Finland. "We have a lot of respect for our educators. I'm not sure we could even field a team," explained the head of the Finnish Olympic Committee.
"Every year we receive dozens of suggestions for events," said Grendalino in response to a question from an ESPN reporter about whether or not teacher bashing actually stood a chance of becoming an Olympic event. "You never know what will make it and what won't. The trick is understanding that trends should not always dictate decisions."
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Sunday, February 9, 2014
|Commissioner King and Chancellor Tisch wait patiently |
for their turn to speak as their new Pearson overlord
announces the takeover
The big announcement was made at a press conference attended in person by Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and Education Department Commissioner John King and via satellite by Pearson CEO Marjorie Scardino who is based in London.
A proud Scardino confessed, "Pearson has been calling the shots in New York State for quite a while now. So this just makes it official." According to sources in both organizations, Pearson had been slowly and surreptitiously acquiring the NYSED for more than four years.
Both King and Tisch nodded silently but enthusiastically as Scardino laid out Pearson's plan for "fully integrating all aspects of New York State public education into the seamless mission of helping people make more of their lives through learning what is important to corporations."
How did this come to pass?
With the promise of anonymity, a corporate insider disclosed the steps Pearson took to ensure the takeover would be successful. "Getting the politicians on board was easy; it just took some juicy political contributions. But getting the teachers and parents to go along... well that took a good deal of manipulation." He cited the adoption of the common core by almost every state as a game changer. "It made the acquisition fiscally wise."
According to our source, Pearson then set out to become an indispensable resource provider: textbooks to students, professional development to teachers and standardized testing to administrators. "Pearson expects to be greeted as liberators in New York State. After all how can you say 'no' to the corporation that guides your entire educational growth from cradle to grave." Apparently you can't, unless the federal government intervenes.
|One of the first steps in formalizing Pearson's |
takeover: new stationary
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is running for reelection, was unavailable for comment. The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which initially voiced objections to the Pearson-NYSED deal, has backed off since accepting a sizable grant from the Gates Foundation to research successful government/private industry partnerships. Some teachers have even expressed excitement about the takeover. Justin of Pennsylvania tweeted, "Maybe now, as a shareholder, I could have a say in my own profession." Meanwhile education bloggers have been angrily spouting off about the merger using terms like "conflict of interest" and "privatization of public education" but honestly who listens to them?
When asked if Pearson would be acquiring other state education departments, Scardino gave a tight-lipped smile, though John King mumbled something about there being "no place to hide."
Interested in how we came to write this? Go to: Principal Katie Zahedi holds up letter bearing two logos: NYS Education Dept and Pearson at two minutes) and Is Pearson's take over of education complete?
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
|Will Duncan become a television star?|
After handing in his resignation to President Obama earlier today, Arne Duncan then flew to L.A. and met with several Hollywood bigwigs.
Reportedly Mr. Duncan is in negotiations with producers for his own prime time program.
Several sources have confirmed that the show will likely be a sitcom that pokes fun of Arne's penchant for misspeaking. Possible titles being bandied about include:
- That's So Arne
- Sons of Inanity
- The Clumsy and the Clueless
- Curb Your Enigmatic Spasms
- That Darn Arne
- Oops I Did It Again, and
- Arne the Quagmired Mansplainer
"I'm not saying it's a sure thing," cautioned TLC producer Tampa Talla. "But given Arne Duncan's ability to both infuriate and bemuse... well let's just say he's got an unusual talent."
Interested in how we came to write this? Go to: A Top Ten of Duncan's Inanity
Sunday, November 17, 2013
|Anti-Common Core terrorism will not be tolerated|
The announcement was made by Secretary of State John Kerry at a press conference held late Sunday evening. In an unusual move, Kerry stood alongside Secretary of Education Arne Duncan who was a key player in the decision. "It has been well-established that the poor state of public education is a grave national security risk. Given that the Common Core Standards (CCS) are the only acceptable solution to this security crisis and given that a good deal of the opposition to the CCS comes from these mothers, it has become obvious that the White Suburban Moms (WSM) are a threat to our national security."
Several reporters expressed concern that the administration's position was extreme. Duncan responded, "Unusual? Yes. Extreme? No. Have you seen these women when they attack? They are a voracious group. New York State Education Commissioner John King has tried to engage them on several occasions and each time he barely escaped with his life."
Although President Obama has not yet asked Congress for a declaration of war on the WSM, Secretary Kerry wouldn't rule it out. "We are looking to end this peaceably but at the same time, we are keeping all our options open. In many ways, it reminds me of of Syria."
Asked if the moms who voiced complaints about the Common Core would be considered enemy combatants, Kerry looked at Duncan who responded, "Perhaps."
One such potential enemy combatant is Mary Bellmar of Long Island, New York. Mother of three and a part-time real estate agent, Mary began to grow concerned about the new standards when her sixth grade daughter declared that she hated school. "I spoke to her teacher about it and the woman told me the new standards coupled with testing pressures have led many students to make the same declaration. So I decided to get involved."
She began attending local school board and PTA meetings. "I spoke out against the Common Core Standards because they are untested. Is the government going to come after me for voicing my opinion?"
As if in response to Mary's concerns, Kerry closed his press conference with these words, "We are willing to negotiate with the WSM but we are not against using force if necessary. The Common Core will not be stopped. And these moms should know that Guantanamo Bay is capable of handling thousands of detainees if it comes to that. We're hoping, of course, that it won't come to that but well you never know."
Interested in how we came to write this? Go to: Arne Duncan: 'White Suburban Moms' Upset That Common Core Shows Their Kids Aren't 'Brilliant' and U.S. Education Reform and National Security
Sunday, October 13, 2013
|The King's Dictionary has altered the meaning of |
accountability: fireability, what the King is above
child: learning unit available for sale to corporations (notable exceptions include: King's child(ren))
critical voices: that to which the King is deaf
democracy: a form of government in which people choose their leaders and their leaders choose not to listen to them because it is time-consuming and inconvenient
dissent: that to which the King is impervious
experience: overblown requirement for teaching
evidence: that which does not exist to support the use of Common Core Standards
knowledge: facts, information and skills not necessarily required before implementing state-wide learning standards
money: short cut around democratic process
parent: easily manipulated adult unit in charge of child (see above)
Ravitch: she who must not be named
respect: what silent acquiescence shows
rigor: developmentally inappropriate
schooled: what the King got on October 10, 2013 in Poughkeepsie, NY
special interests: those who disagree with the King's policies
Town Hall meeting: gathering at which the King speaks and you listen
Interested in how we came to write this? Go to: Parents Voice Concern About Common Core: NY Dept of Ed Cancels Further Hearings and video Commissioner King Gets Spanked.
To call for John King's resignation, go to: Terminate the Employment of John King
To call for John King's resignation, go to: Terminate the Employment of John King
Sunday, October 6, 2013
|The Michelle Rhee room proves scary |
for both children and adults
The brainchild of PTA president Molly Shannon has been raking in thousands and thousands of dollars. "We do something like this every year to raise money for the school. But this year the response has just been incredible. We've made more money on our first weekend than we did all last year." The idea came to Shannon when she overheard a conversation between some teachers. "They were talking about how frightening all the changes in education were. Basically it just mushroomed from there."
|Governor Cuomo is pro-death penalty for schools|
So what exactly is so scary about the Haunted School? To find out, my husband, our two children and I decided to enter at our "own risk."
Upon entering the school, we were greeted by a robot-like coed sporting a Teach for America t-shirt and a forced smile. She promised to guide us through the house but one minute later she mysteriously disappeared and we entered the first leg of our tour without her. Jarring though that was, it was nothing compared to what awaited us. Without warning, "Michelle Rhee" leapt at our oldest child trying to tape his mouth shut. As my son cowered behind me, she threatened to remove my tenure while menacing me with a copy of the Common Core. As we escaped into the hallway, a new TFA guide greeted us. We asked him what happened to our old guide to which he cryptically replied, "She moved on."
In the next room, "Executioner Andrew Cuomo" threatened to execute our school if it failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress. "AYP," Cuomo screamed as he brandished his axe. That made my little girl cry so we stepped into the hall for a breather. Yet another new TFA guide got her some water. She too had no idea what had happened to our previous guides. "Change is good," she said to no one in particular.
|Common Core bubble tests prove to |
be the most frightening thing of all
On a funny note, as we were looking for the exit (our guide had abandoned us again) we wandered into what we thought was a roomful of zombie children but it turned out they were actual kids just preparing for the specialized high school exam.
The haunted school is open daily from 4pm - 10pm. Admission is $5.00 for children under 12 and $10.00 for adults. There is also a hay ride, pumpkin patch and an Arne Duncan clown who hilariously attempts to juggle ethics and money.
Interested in how we came to write this? Go to: Michelle Rhee talks about taping students' mouths shut and Gov. Cuomo: Schools that fail deserve the death penalty
Saturday, September 28, 2013
|Students wear name tags and |
Walmart blue vests
BBCS CEO P. Louis Bergoff announced, "Our flagship school will open its doors in August of 2014. As is the Walmart way, we will deliver a quality product while cutting costs. Thereby reaping huge profits for our investors."
Bergoff explained that the school will feature many of the same practices that have made the Walmart Corporation so profitable. "A new teacher can expect to earn $7.50 an hour, while those with experience might earn up to $12.50."
Bergoff admitted that it had been a struggle to attract qualified teachers at those wages. "American workers expect to be compensated fairly and they want things like health insurance so we decided to recruit abroad." All of the staff has been flown in from other countries including China, Haiti and Indonesia and will be housed in trailers behind the school. And since they live on campus, staff will be expected to supervise after-school activities and sports programs for no additional pay.
Bergoff bragged about other cost saving opportunities the school had already uncovered. "For instance, we are saving lots of money on cafeteria aides. Because our teachers qualify for the same free lunch program as their students, we expect them to supervise their students while they eat their government subsidized lunch in the cafeteria."
Asked if the teachers union had objected to the low pay and uncompensated additional duties, Bergoff responded, "Our company, I mean school, is union free. We have an open door policy with our employees and don't feel the need for any go-betweens. Employees can go straight to their supervisors if they have a problem and of course they are always free to seek employment elsewhere if they are unhappy."
What can students expect at the BBCS? According to the literature prepared for interested parents and made available to reporters during the press conference, students will be referred to as "associates" and issued blue vests with their names on name tags. "We think it is good practice for them," smiled Bergoff. Another hallmark of the school will be its "level of efficiency." Page two of a pamphlet describing the school day states, "We expect staff and students to regularly seek and find efficiencies. Students can expect to be timed during daily tasks by their stop watch carrying teachers and teachers can expect the same from their supervisors." Another glaring difference between the BBCS and Arkansas public schools seemed to lie in the school's curriculum which offers some unusual classes for older students such as a history class called, "The Regressive Era: How Unions Ruined America," a science class called, "Evolution Schmevolution" and a math class entitled, "How To Live On A Minimum Wage."
Representing her family, a beaming Alice Walton described the motivation for this undertaking, "For years, the Walton Family Foundation has donated money to support charter schools. Now we feel it's time they support us."
As is the Walmart way, the company/school plans to expand. "Initially we will open only one school but the following year we expect to open ten Big Box Charter Schools and we're shooting for 100 more the year after that," explained Bergoff. One can only hope.
Interested in how we came to write this? Go to: Store Wars and The Walmart 1% and Building Tomorrow's Walmart Workers Today and The Silent Treatment: A Day In The Life Of A Student In 'No Excuses' Land