California Dreams RIP: Foxes Now Guarding Educational Hen House
Finally, here is blogger Anthony Krinsky's spot-on take:
Just announced was the ouster of Parents' Union founder Ben Austin and his replacement by current Teachers' Union (CTA) Legislative Advocate Patty Rucker. The irony could not be greater. Parents' Union out. Teachers' Union in. California wades deeper into the education back-water hall of fame.
The rest of the slate is a "who's who" of the folks who got us into this mess in the first place and others who will be putty in teacher union hands. We can look forward to nothing but heavily massaged lies about how California cares deeply about our childrens' futures while systematically repealing pro-child initiatives and replacing them with pro-union provisions like wiping out non-union charter schools, watering down testing, strengthening tenure for incompetent teachers, and increasing local (read: union) political governance. Union controlled school boards will be forbidden from liquidating failing schools but given the power to raise taxes. We can look forward to additional obfuscation of the costs of teacher pensions and many, many, devious, union-crafted proposals to pull the wool over our eyes. And according to press-releases from Sacramento, it will be done "for the kids" (to borrow a phrase from the campaign manifesto of LAUSD school board candidate and UTLA water-boy, Dr. John Fernandez).
Unfortunately, Ben Austin's hopes and dreams for Jerry Brown to stand up for poor children and families -- denied of their rights for a quality education by the current establishment for generations -- seem to have been misplaced. California's teacher unions wanted peace on their terms (they have never stood down to any pro-child reforms) and Jerry Brown is giving it to them.
The foxes are smiling widely today as they overlook the hen houses they continue to plunder. May Florida make up for our woes! I hope that Rick Scott swings that state wildly in the direction of children and families -- and may all sensible Californians who like sunshine and aren't otherwise tied down (like me), fly their families to educational freedom in the pan-handle. California seems prepared to guarantee one thing of its government run schools: they will continue to waste more and more tax-payer money every year, plunging our state further into financial and educational insolvency. God help us.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011