Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Donald Trump Jr. attacks teachers in convention speech

The speech given by Donald Trump Jr. at the Republican National Convention tonight was easily the best one that has been delivered in the first two days.

Trump and his sister Tiffany humanized a candidate who has made himself into something of a caricature as he bullied his way to the top.

Trump's son made the case for his father as a man who had no tolerance for snobbery and who would restore the greatness of America (assuming that America isn't still great, of course).

While the younger Trump painted a portrait of his father as a friend of the middle class, apparently that middle class does not extend to public school classroom teachers,

This is what Donald Trump Jr. had to say about public education:

The other party gave us public schools that far too often fail our students, as actually those with no options. My siblings and I growing up were truly fortunate to have choices and options that others don't. We want all Americans to have those same opportunities. (Applause)

Our schools used to be an elevator to the middle class. Now they are stalled on the ground floor. For the teachers and administrators and not the students.

You know what other countries do better K-12. They let parents choose to- where to send their children to school. It's called a free market and it's what the other party fears. They fear it because they are more concerned about protecting the jobs of tenured teachers than serving the students in desperate need of a good education. (Applause)

It is not surprising that Trump's remarks were greeted with applause since attacking teachers has become a standard form of entertainment in this country.

Public schools are one of our greatest success stories, though you would never believe it by listening to candidates from either major party. A fake crisis has been created by those who would like to profit from education, people such as the testing industry and those who are selling management of allegedly public charter and online schools. The politicians who glibly talk about restoring education decisions to local school districts are the same ones who are promoting charter and online schools that do not have to open their books to the public and can spend taxpayer money with no accountability.

Our schools do remarkably well for the most part, except for those that are located in areas where crime and poverty are the norm. The public schools are handling more students to whom English is a second language, more students with physical, mental, or behavioral conditions and more students with a nomadic existence who move from one school to the next, never staying long enough to establish any type of educational normalcy.

The people who have been responsible for the successes of public education have been the teachers, many of whom have remained in the classroom despite low pay, poor working conditions, and diminishing respect as they remain under attack from self-serving politicians.

It is impossible to imagine an intelligent politician who would ever suggest that the practice of law or brain surgery should be restricted to those who just graduated from college, yet that is exactly what many have endorsed through their continued promotion of Teach for America. In some districts, TFA teachers have been hired at the expense of more experienced teachers. Only in education is experience labeled as a detriment.

I have no problem believing Donald Trump Jr. when he speaks of how his father had him learn the Trump business from the bottom up working under people who did not have degrees from Ivy League schools.

That is certainly admirable.

But as the younger Trump noted, he and his siblings had advantages that others did not have. They attended elite schools. More power to them. You certainly cannot blame Donald Trump for making sure his children had the best possible education.

Selling the idea that you can duplicate that type of education for everyone in this country by following the shortsighted (though highly lucrative) solutions being promoted by so-called "reformers" is perpetrating an act of fraud.

Public schools are still the only educational establishments that welcome everyone through their doors and remain open and accessible to the public.

Many of the politicians who have so harshly criticized teachers and public school systems never attended a public school. It would be nice if people like Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr would take the time to get to know some public schoolteachers. These are people who often face situations few of us can imagine, with little or no support. These are people who put the children first, despite the cries that if they belong to a teacher union they are out for themselves and no one else.

They certainly do not deserve to be attacked by people who have no idea of the challenges teachers face every day.

The approach that our leaders are taking toward education is already driving talented people away from the teaching ranks. Some have left teaching careers to work elsewhere, while others are steering as far away from a career in education as possible. Someday soon, our nation's classrooms will be filled with hit-and-run teachers who stay long enough to put it on their resume and then move on to some other career.

That would truly be an educational crisis.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who keeps hearing Professor Chaos laughing in the background? (Ah ha! ha! ha!)

Anonymous said...

You might support teachers because they care about kids. But I find that hard to believe when they allow children to be bullied until you get the police involved. Then they close ranks and state oh we didn't know anything about it. Even though you complained weekly almost the whole year.

Anonymous said...

My question is why do so many teachers in this area continue to vote for the party that insults and degrades them?

Anonymous said...

For the same reason they keep electing the same people to office who could care less about the public after they get in office. It's call more money in their pockets and screw everybody else. The teachers just keep believing the lies.

Anonymous said...

His comments were too broad,should have been focused on calcified teachers unions in NewYork,California,Illinois,and other bastions of educational sloth...I do believe we need to do more for teachers.One would be to cut back on time they spend teaching life skills type programs...

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, it is not fair to generalize the behavior of one (or a few) to be that of all educators.

Anonymous said...

I feel badly for teachers, having been a substitute teacher for 7 years in South Carolina. It is a losing battle to try an educate students whose parents are so uninvolved, and have little respect for teachers and anyone in authority. Our current assault on police officers is symptomatic of the general lack of respect that today's parents and young people show towards anyone in similar positions. In my childhood, you knew you could be paddled for misconduct, but even more so, you were mortified of the embarrassment of disappointing your parents if you got out of line. Today's parents fear society if they spank their children to teach discipline. Political correctness has corroded our society.
I do agree that there is far too much testing, but I believe that the free market is an excellent idea....if my child is being under served by an underachieving teacher or school, I should be able to choose to take him or her to another school! Just like getting service at any public entity, such as a grocery store or car dealership.

Anonymous said...

Public education fails students and passes them along without seeing if they know the material! I know from experience and private school is the only other choice and it's expensive!

who knows said...

Most teachers do the best they can with what they are given. I grew up in a family where no one had a high school diploma or a college degree. I became a teacher because in the 70s--teachers just wanted to have fun. This was not always bad. I thought teachers didn't care. I wanted to care. AFter 25 years and having worked with over 200 different educators. I can't county on one hand those who didn't give their best for kids. In the US, we include all kids...Key word is all...few countries do this.

Cecelia Buckley said...

Follow the money. There are people who plan to collect your taxes and your tuition laughing all the way to the bank. They have demonized educators and education in an effort to achieve their goals. I am a product of an expensive, private, Catholic education. I worked for 36 years as a public school teacher in Texas. First in poor sections of San Antonio then later in a well-heeled part of Houston suburbs. You could say I've had a panoramic view during my career. I was also a teacher activist as a member of Texas State Teacher's Assn and the National Educators Assoc. We are not allowed to unionize in Texas because you wouldn't want all those uppity women to have any power. We do our best against incredible odds. Most us are puzzled by the demonization of a very noble profession but we pick up our books and brief cases every morning to get back to our very hard work. Many spend evenings and summers getting advanced degrees. I have most of a Masters I n English and all of an MA in the Humanities. People like me kept and are keeping the system afloat but there is the problem created by the people who want to use your kids to make fortunes. Watch and learn.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you.

Chastalee V said...

It is impossible to explain to anyone outside of the cinderblocks of a public school just how difficult it truly is for a teacher to control bullies or bullying. 'Bully' has become such a buzzword in the past few years that it seems as if anything and everything is considered being 'bullied'; quite frankly...not every claimed incident is actually an act of bullying. But...the teachers are who are blamed. It is absurd. Even the thought that it would even in the slightest be condoned is ludicrous. Of course...the teachers (as myself) who are passionate about being a champion for all students, who are persistant in the truth of knowledge REALLY BEING A POWER, and the teachers that soothe the wounds of those mistreated kiddos- whether at home or by bullies at school-, are the ones that are, ironically,'bullied' by the public because of the poor actions or choices of a few administrators or teachers. Honestly, if parents and teachers could just put down their pointer fingers and instead focus on the best interest of ALL children...this epidemic of bullies would be put to rest. But what do I know.

Anonymous said...

Give all the kids guns and let them deal with bullies the way the rest of society does.

Turner gives teachers the name they deserve said...

Didn't require Donald J. Trump Jr to point out that most teachers want higher taxes while doing a worse job of teaching in order to give to the teachers' unions so that they can elect Democrats who will raise taxes while doing a worse job of teaching in order to give to the teachers' unions so that they can elect Democrats who will raise taxes while doing a worse job of teaching in order to give to the teachers' unions so that they can elect Democrats who will raise taxes while doing a worse job of teaching in order to give to the teachers' unions so that they can elect Democrats who will raise taxes while doing a worse job of teaching in order to give to the teachers' unions so that they can elect Democrats who will raise taxes while doing a worse job of teaching in order to give to the teachers' unions so that they can elect Democrats who will raise taxes while doing a worse job of teaching in order to give to the teachers' unions so that they can elect Democrats who will raise taxes

What an unrighteous cycle!!! End this by voting for Donald J. Trump, Sr.

Anonymous said...

Vote for Donald Trump, so many of you say. Interesting. Interesting that you are obviously THIS kind of person: imagine you had a dinner party, 12 good friends around the table. One of them started calling all the women at the table pigs, whores, stupid, fat pigs, and gross. The same man then turns to your American born friend of Mexican decent, and begins to tell the table how, just because your friend is of Mexican ancestry, his family, because they did come from Mexico, are rapists, thieves, murders, and whores. The same man turns to your Jewish/Muslim/Catholic friend and calls him a Jesus killer, a thief, a grifter, and a con, and tells your Jewish friend he should be shot dead over his religion - "but not before I kill all of your relatives just because I think they worship the same way you do". Your next door neighbor comes to the dinner late, pulls up a seat at the table. The same man turns to your neighbor, calls him a n***er, calls him a rapist, a thief, a pimp, and worse. Your black neighbor protests, says "I am none of these things". Your dinner guest responds, "of course you are, you n***ger, and I know this because your skin is black. This same man calls your daughter a slut and a whore, simply because she is female.

Now, tell me, would you let this man sit at your table and eat your food, all the while insulting your guests, and you, in this way? Donald Trump has said exactly these same things, and much worse. How interesting that you think enough of the man to support bigotry, hate, racism, theft, and more. How interesting you are so open about your racism and hate that you have no fear publicly supporting such a man. I guess Grandma was right when she said, "Birds of a feather ..."

Let's take a look at Donald Trump. Look at the way he gives a speech. He cannot complete a coherent sentence. Over and over again, he repeats the same thing, breaks his train of thought and goes off onto another tangent right in the middle of a sentence. I want you to really think about how Donald Trump sounds when he speaks. Now tell me, have your ever, ever, in your entire life, heard any other adult talk like this? In such a dis-jointed, mind all over the place, cannot complete and utter a complete coherent thought? Have you ever known any rational, thinking adult talk like this? Ever? I haven't. I know no one that speaks like this and I would not stick around and listen to anyone like this talk to me - it wouldn't make sense, and it would make my brain hurt trying to keep up with the conversation. No rational, thinking adult talks like Trump does. None. The man cannot form and complete a coherent sentence and you think he's qualified to be President. Whoa - but wait, you let the same man sit at your dinner table and insult you, your family, and your guests while feeding him. We're back to that birds of a feather thing ... or is it the blind leading the blind thing ... or maybe it's the Piped Piper leading the lemmings over the cliff thing ...

Anonymous said...

And to carry on my thoughts ... Evidently the Joplin school district doesn't teach much about 1939 Germany. If it did, you would certainly know about how Hitler rose to power, by claiming the very thing Trump has been claiming for well over a year - substitute black, Mexican, Muslim for Jew. There is absolutely no difference. Nationalism is alive and well in Trump and party, and ya'll Trump supporters are going to get WW3 if you elect the man because it's also obvious Joplin Schools, in addition to not teaching what rose in 1939 Germany, has also failed to teach any of you anything about NATO, the Geneva Convention, European war history, nor much about economics.

You knowingly invite a racist, homophobic, misogynistic, ill-bred bigot to your table and feed him, and not only that, you're so proud of it you announce it publicly. I am so ashamed for you. You may not know what you do, but so many of us recognize it and recognize your part in it. Shameful, Sickening, Divisive. Ignorant. Repugnant. Such is Donald Trump and by extension, you - and you proudly and publicly admit it.

Something else Grandma used to say, and that was, judge a man by the company he keeps ... but there again, we're back to that birds of a feather thing ... or in this case, that racist, homophobic, bigot, lying, thief thing ...