In a recent Turner Report post about comments that are not published on this blog, I wrote about the questionnaire that blogger, frequent Joplin Globe guest columnist and C. J. Huff confidant Anson Burlingame sent to me shortly after I was removed from the classroom. This is Burlingame's response, which is always included as a comment on the previous post:
I have not tried to keep count of the commnents posted herein that never saw the light of day, Randy. But there have been a lot of them, particularly since your were fired by the BOE. But so what?
The questions I asked you very privately, which you now choose to publish, go to the heart of issues related to public education, at least in my view.
How many kids that start school either fail to graduate from HS or graduate lacking the needed skills to be productive citizens in a modern society? My guess is that number is well above 50%. What number do you think it might be, the number of "failures" in public education, today in America?
You refused to answer such pointed questions and I acknowledge that you were busy with more pertinent matters at that time, your upcoming hearing. But you have had plenty of time to consider them after the hearing, yet not even an attempt to provide answers as to how "your kids" have fared during your teaching career.
Maybe it is impossible to determine that type of metric, how many kids "fail" or "succeed". But if an autmobile manufacturer did not keep track of such things, well ...... So why can't schools come up with good metrics, showing proof positive of success or failure of students? And I mean apolitical proof positive, not some spin from administrators or teachers unions.
I have found it hopeless to post rebutals to your blogs herein. In this one instance I am frankly surprised to see some others that believe you do not "mind the store" to keep the negative comments flowing, negative but still publishable by any reasonable standards of journalism.
I know full well where you stand as your name goes on your blogs. But I have little or no idea the source of the vast majority of your comments. Are they coming from "school kids", highly partisan teachers that know no wrong, or some other form of either support or rebutal.
You and I do share a common goal, to improve public education. But the methods we espouse are as far apart as night and day as well.
So be it I suppose.