“Actually they are, partly based on the Gypsy culture more than anything else and please stop using acronyms to get your point across. I've actually seen them and they are wearing colorful costumes that don't really depict anything other than a circus atmosphere. I've seen the musical South Pacific and have been to many Mexican restaurants where I was probably more offended than this (and by offended I probably mean embarrassed for everyone involved). I'm just not easily offended by costumes, satire, etc. I would say your next target should probably either be Medieval Times or the German Restaurant I went to in Ethiopia in which the staff was dressed in ridiculous Lederhosen (sp?). ”
“If I were a resident of Merlindia, I would be highly offended by these people. Wait, there is no Merlindia and I should be concerned with real world problems like all of those characters in Disney World, someone must be offended by that right? The musical South Pacific. Fred Armisen playing Pres. Obama, Samuel L Jackson playing Nick Fury. Maybe half of Ben Kingsley's characters. Please join my Paternalistic Thought Police lets ride, F the ACLU.”
“Are you dense? They are from a fictionalized land. I'm about as offended by this as I am Harry Potter. But if the paternalistic thought police need to go after them then we should also go after Fred Armisen for playing multiple real characters on Saturday Night Live (including President Obama) and Samuel Jackson for playing Nick Fury in the Avengers.”
hawaiianstile on May 21, 2012 at 22:51:41
“whats that, you saw it online? i guess that means it MUST be true lol. the problem lies with the fact that, no mater what their web sight says about their cutsie little back story, the arent serving "Merlindian" food, and they arent dressing in costumes depicting stereotypes of "Merlindian" people.”
hawaiianstile on May 21, 2012 at 13:55:48
“lol since when are India, Thailand, and Ethiopia "fictionalized lands" huh? lol thanks you answered my question just fine.”
“Who wrote this article. The adjectives used during this article are laughable. It's a valid point to bring up the fact that the same word was used before (re: Beijing), but calm down. It was at worst stupid and poor judgement. The headline should have read something to the effect of, ESPN embarrassed after racially tinged snafu. This is nothing compared to the inside operations and exploits of their employees.”
“Maybe my nonsense comes from beig educated in urban public schools a majority of my life. I do understand, the satire in the comment is that Damon shouldn't have been offered the award in the first place. I would also argue that Damon and his mother (another Ed school professor, that's sarcasm) don't understand the purpose of Van Roekel doing the Op-Ed in the first place.”
“I agree with much of what you have to say about policy, but I also believe the flip side to be union contracts that allow tenure without any oversight. My favorite teachers and colleagues were the ones that had taught for ten plus years and were still developing themselves. Unfortunately that's not always the case. Some people, usually union propaganda, want to say that assessing teachers and making it easier to get rid of ineffective teachers means hating teachers. In no other white collar union does this happen, and it doesn't happen in a lot of blue collar unions either, where the quality of your work does end up weeding a poor performer out. Others want to blame children, families and the system, if only the government provided more to poor families their children would be ready for school. That argument is also based on policy, at least the second part, and is complete poppycock (sp?, I just like using that word).”
“I would actually have a choice as to whether to hire you or not. I would base my decision on the quality of your work. Unfortunately many families don't have that choice. So I guess you're comparing yourself to charter schools? Though I do believe in an apprenticeship approach to teaching, can be much more effective than some Ed school courses.”
Scubus on Jan 11, 2013 at 18:18:56
“Families have even less of a choice who is hired in a charter school as charter companies are not answerable to the public via elected officials.
Teachers who go through an ed program do an apprenticeship of sorts - they spend the equivilent of a year doing student teaching. While it is not enough, it is far more than TFA teachers.
Today, you would have virtually NO choice in who to hire in many disciplines, especially STEM subjects. Principals are often forced to hire the ONLY teacher who applies for a position. In my school district, we have lost over 100 teachers this year alone as they leave for different professions due to falling pay and the disrespect they are getting from the public.
Good luck with that choice thing...”
Righteous Fury on Jan 7, 2012 at 10:09:09
“Parents have choices in education.
To say otherwise is pure propaganda and that's what your side has been spreading.
Parents elect the political leaders and school board members who hire the school administrators who hire, evaluate and retain teachers. The process is all very open and democratic. If parents have a problem with a certain teacher they are free to call the teacher or principal or school board.
Schools in general are a reflection of the community they serve. If the school is failing the community as a whole is failing. Don't place the blame on the school. That's a symptom not a cause.
I teach at one of the best high schools in the state of Illinois. I teacher from a terrible charter school was hired this year. We joke about how much better a teacher he is now.
Of course he's not any better as a teacher. He simply has better students from better families and a better community.”
“I don't necessarily agree that better grades in college, or the college one attends, means that one will be a better teacher. I also don't agree that when a person teaches for 25 years, that person is a better teacher.
I believe in training, staying in teaching, but also not being protected by out of date tenure rules. It's not about attacking the teaching profession, as unions have spent many years making people believe, it's about how teachers are trained, assessed and retained.
A veteran teacher in DC, who recently won a stipend for her teaching and did not accept it in solidarity with her union, now begrudgingly says that though she does not agree with many parts of IMPACT, but does think, for the first time in years, professional development is worthwhile.
(I apologize for all grammatical mistakes as I labor through this with my big thumbs on my phone)”
10YearTeacher on Jan 7, 2012 at 15:17:38
“There is a much higher correlation between being a good teacher and teaching for 25 years vs. being a good teacher and getting good grades.
Tenure is just a set of due process rules that any decent administrator can navigate. The focus ought to be on streamlining the process (I have no problem with getting rid of the "try 2 years in another school" absurdity) as well as having better administrators.
Professional development is indeed worthwhile, and I think that you and I would agree that it ought to be teachers, not policy wonks or millionaires coming up with ALL of the criteria that goes into professional development as well as evaluation systems.
(I apologize for all my grammar mistakes too. I'm a science teacher who writes well but intuitively.)”
“I will pull back the word "substandard" as long as the 99% is also retracted. I have found, other than a few schools such as Hunter in New York, that Ed schools rely heavily on theory and not actual classroom teaching.”
10YearTeacher on Jan 7, 2012 at 15:22:28
“I am talking about 99% of the time teacher unions actions' indirectly affect students and families in a positive way. I am using 99% as an ideal in that I believe MOST of the time they are, and I am against using absolutes.”
“Though six weeks is light on training, I would say that many Ed schools provide very little in their two year programs. And though I do not think any org is perfect, especially not TFA (for which I am not an alum), a majority of my friends that are TFA alums have remained teaching way beyond their two years.”
10YearTeacher on Jan 7, 2012 at 15:19:16
“A bachelors of science in education is 5 years. An M.ED. can take like 18 months if you plow through it and don't have to worry about paying rent and all.”
treemonkey on Jan 7, 2012 at 00:59:33
“And which two-year program did you attend? Or are you repeating something somebody said. As a teacher, we are taught to use facts to back up what we say.”
murfiani39 on Jan 6, 2012 at 22:33:40
“the private for profit schools you mean”
10YearTeacher on Jan 6, 2012 at 14:12:56
“Though I agree that there ought to be more emphasis in teacher ed programs on in-classroom experience. Make student teaching for a year mandatory, then the first one or two years of teaching you apprentice under a veteran teacher-basically like more student teaching, but more focused on learning the ropes of that school because that is where you are going to teach. And of course it would be a paid position.”
“It's also true that unions need to continue to evolve and not continue to operate as if it's a 1930s meat packing plant. There are really good unions and there are those that aren't staying with the times, just like any other organization and corporation.”
End All Empire on Jan 6, 2012 at 16:50:39
“You may want to consider refining your thought process. Its overly simplistic.”
DeweyJ on Jan 6, 2012 at 12:23:20
“I disagree. I repeat, unions have an obligation to represent their members, and that is their sole purpose.
When half-baked reforms are touted as the next miracle, unions have a responsibility to ask tough questions and to avoid climbing on board every cockamamie plan that has no basis in research. However, when we fail to embrace these quick-fix plans touted by economists and basketball coaches, or former TFA corps members who taught for 2 years, we are branded obstructionist and anti-child. When we don't leap out and champion reforms that lengthen the school (teaching) day, fingers are pointed at us. Never mind that in many higher performing countries, teachers actually TEACH fewer hours than do American teachers. And teachers who place their students first are expected to champion working longer hours for essentially less pay.
We like to forget that teachers return home at the end of the day to families, to their own children, to mortgages, and many critics continue to hold on to a 19th century view of the teacher as "old maid."
We have professional organizations such as: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, International Reading Association, National Science Teacher Association, National Earth Science Teacher Association, National Council of Teachers of English...and more. They are concerned with teaching methods and curricula. Other groups look at the welfare of students.”
“So Matt Damon needed mommy to decline this award for him, and he doesn't seem to be allowed to have independent thought. Both TFA and the NEA (this time) are correct, there has to be better methods of assessing a teacher and LIFO needs to be done away with.
During my time in the Union I was surprised at what they wanted to defend versus what they wouldn't defend and it's no secret that unions look out for teacher's jobs, not students and families (which, in many respects, is the union's job). I agree with some that student assessment needs to evolve, but go away? The reason assessments have been used to this level is because children would get through the system and no one was sure what they had learned.
-Teacher and public school product”
Righteous Fury on Jan 7, 2012 at 00:30:59
“Your nonsensical sarcastic comment at the beginning of your whinning indicates you didn't read or understand the article nor do you have any prior knowledge about Matt Damon's Mother's career in education.”
DeweyJ on Jan 6, 2012 at 09:30:54
“Correction: It IS the task of a union to look out for its members. A union is a democratically organized entity that endeavors to represent and give a voice to those in a particular field. It is operated, and paid for, by those who work in that field. This notion that the "evil teachers' unions" don't represent the best interests of students is a fundamental fallacy and a downright lie. That is not their job, however there are plenty of circumstances where they choose to expend resources to further causes they believe are good for students.
In my school, the union leaders are elected democratically. When teachers are allowed a seat at the table in policy making processes NOT governed by the contract we have with the district, we find the same phenomenon that exists elsewhere: administrators handpick their favorite teachers to participate, and oftentimes these are the very teachers vying for eventual promotions to administrative positions so they use their newfound platform to further their own careers, and cannot be trusted to accurately represent a teacher's viewpoint.
All human organizations, public and private, are susceptible to the same pervasive corrupting influences, (think Wall St.). Democratic representation and vigilance represent the best way to neutralize the most pernicious of these influences. As Stephen Hawking likes to remind us: "Perfection does not exist."”
“What I love about most of the comments made in response to this post is that they are in fact propaganda. They like to claim that everyone is "blaming teachers" instead of admitting that everyone is blaming an outdated system that allows for poor accountability of teachers, bad ed schools to continue educating teachers with theory instead of practice and unions who, in many cases, are out of step with the teachers they represent.”
“She doesn't need to teach any more than the Union forced Randi Weingarten to teach for half a year. Barack Obama does not need to be a soldier for a day to be Commander in Chief or governor for a day to be the Chief Executive.”
“What I don't is understand is why the DC Republican Party is taking on the statehood position head on. Have a Tea Party that actually represents the intentions of the original one. If the Republican party wants to actually start garnering votes in the District, taking a public fight to the streets and to the streets of all of the congress members that are against statehood would be a good place to start.”