Commentary and Criticism about the National Education Association (NEA)
We have absolutely no affiliation with the National Education Association.
Sometimes I think that the NEA is posting articles just to piss me off personally.
Am I being paranoid?
Just kidding, of course.
But this latest one, as my grandmother used to say, is a real "doozy."
One thing is for sure. Articles like the one posted by Brenda Alvarez at neaToday.org on November 20, 2017 highlight the exact reason why we started this blog.
MY ANTI-LIBERAL RANT
In case you missed it, the article was entitled:
White Privilege Permeates Education’: Q&A With Anti-Racist White Educator
What was Alvarez thinking when she accompanied her post with that picture, by the way?
Was she purposefully trying to annoy all of the non-liberal members of our union?
Well, she certainly annoyed me.
NEA ON LIBERAL STEROIDS
The article was an interview with Terry Jess (he is the guy wearing the shirt in the accompanying picture) who describes himself as “anti-racist white educator.”
Is anyone else besides me already annoyed at this guy? What kind of description is this anyway? His description of himself plus his tee shirt indicate to me that he is about as racist as it comes.
But it gets worse.
The NEA poses the following ludicrous question to Terry Jess:
“How do we get to a point where people can accept that everyone is racist because we live in a racialized society?”
First of all, everyone is racist?
Second of all, the term racialized comes up with a red line under it in my Microsoft Word program – seems that this is not a common term. So I had to look it up.
I checked Wikipedia for some illumination and I found it. But when I started reading I had to stop after the first line because it was almost impossible to comprehend.
Judge it for yourself:
“A racialized society is a society where socioeconomic inequality, residential segregation and low intermarriage rates are the norm, where humans’ definitions of personal identity and choices of intimate relationships reveal racial distinctiveness.”
In all seriousness, do you get what this is saying? I honestly can say that I don’t even understand what this means.
Incidentally, this is why sociology gets a bad rap. This definition was probably formulated by a college sociology major who couldn’t get a job after graduation and so spent maybe a couple of weeks thinking up interesting ways to put words together so that they sounded, sort of … kind of …
No, it is pure garbage, plain and simple.
BACK TO THE ANTI-RACIST WHITE EDUCATOR
But I was digressing quite a bit there - back to the NEA’s ludicrous question.
Terry Jess’s answer to this silly question is his view that that everyone is racist.
Yes, dear reader, that means you – and all your teacher colleagues - and your family ...
And of course Donald Trump ...
Here are Jess’s own words:
“We need to understand that racism is a spectrum of actions and beliefs. All of us fall on that spectrum at different points in our life.”
THE WORST PART – HOW IT AFFECT EDUCATORS
Sorry to report that there is some bad news here for all of us racist educators. Our grading policies must be adjusted to take into account the “racialization” of society.
Jess reminds us to ask these important questions before we enter our grades:
“How do you conduct your classroom and enforce late work and homework policies? Is your content supporting systems of white oppression and supremacy? Anti-racism is to engage in owning the privilege that you have, dismantling it when you see it, and where you’re exposed to it. “
I get a lot of flak on this website because my views are a bit radical. Maybe some would describe them as too conservative.
But when I read articles like this and realize that my dues money is going to support this garbage I get mad.
As I indicated earlier, this is why I started the Anti-NEA blog. If the NEA decides to continue printing commentary along these lines, I will have no choice but to ramp up my criticism.
In any case, I do appreciate the many people who have supported me both on Facebook and here on our blog.
"I just got pulled over for speeding. When the cop asked me for my license, I told him I was an "undocumented" driver. He gave me a ticket anyway. Go figure ..."
This is a repost of my response to Mary Ellen Flannery's article published on July 10, 2017 in NEA Today - "Fear and Longing: Life for Students With Undocumented Parents." I originally posted it back in August.
First of all, you (and others like you) need to stop with the "undocumented" nonsense.
What are we in, George Orwell's world of double-speak?
If I get in my car and take a cruise down the highway without having a valid driver's license, am I an "undocumented" user of a vehicle?
If I carry a concealed firearm without having a valid permit to do so, am I an "undocumented" self-protected citizen?
Of course not.
So if a non-citizen comes into the United States and decides to take up residence without going through the proper channels to get a green card, etc. he is not simply "undocumented." He is performing an illegal action and so is an illegal alien.
It is that simple.
You quote Jacqui's mother:
"We are not criminals. We are mothers, and we are fathers. We are people who work, and who take care of our children. That’s it! Not criminals. Not criminals.”
Yes they are mothers, fathers and working people - but they are also criminals because they have broken the law.
Facts are facts.
You also attempt to normalize the situation of these illegal aliens by stating:
"Jacqui’s mom has worked for years at a local dry cleaner, while her dad travels around Texas, installing specialized bathrooms ... they go to church, shop at the H-E-B for groceries, stop occasionally for a lemonade at Starbucks, and volunteer often in their communities, including their schools and Parent Teacher Associations (PTA)."
OK, so they are regular people in so many ways but they are still illegal aliens. A lot of regular people break the law. They face up to the judge, accept their sentences and then move on with life. That is how the justice system works.
I don't agree with a whole host of laws - especially ones which are clearly in violation of the Constitution. But if I am caught, should I be able to claim that I am a hard-working teacher with a family so I shouldn't be held accountable?
NEA Stands Up for Disruptive Students. I wonder why they don't show more concern about the good kids ...
I wrote about the NEA's support for shutting down the School to Prison Pipeline last month.
You can read about it in the following article:
The School to Prison Pipeline: Just Punishment for Disruptive Students or Unfair Attack on People of Color?
Well, a recent headline has brought this topic back on to the front page.
It appears that 45 teachers in a Pennsylvania school district have quit in recent weeks because of the violent behavior of students in the classroom.
At least 45 Pennsylvania teachers quit citing violence, 'unprecedented misbehavior'
I will end this post with the conclusion from my original blog post:
"Here is a suggestion: How about we spend less time thinking and worrying about the kids who disrupt the learning process and more time on those students who are actually there to learn."
Crazy idea, I know.
I do encourage you to read my original blog post because the details are enlightening.
Comebacks to Annoying Comments About Teaching
November 20, 2017 on NEA Today.
I am sure that I will annoy some of the teachers who follow this blog, but I couldn’t let this NEA article go unanswered.
Where Cindy Long is Correct
I agree with Ms. Long that teachers are not glorified babysitters. Planning and carrying through a quality lesson takes serious effort and skill. Classroom management is no joke either. Great teachers can control a classroom and teach their subject without every having to raise their voices. Not everyone is able to do this and those who can are to be commended.
I will quote her exact words here because she is spot on:
“Teaching is not just about the transfer of knowledge. Teachers need to know how to plan a lesson, engage and motivate students of varying learning styles, apply information from formative assessments, manage classroom behavior, design tests and find other ways to accurately measure each and every student’s performance and comprehension. There are hundreds of skills necessary for effective teaching, of which content mastery is one.”
Where Cindy Long is Incorrect
Here I will re-post what I wrote on my Anti-NJEA Blog a couple of months ago. These words may be controversial but I am giving my personal opinion on the matter.
Most teachers I know complain that they are underpaid.
The media tends to support this notion:
Huffington Post - More Proof that American Teachers Are Underpaid And Deserve More Respect
Economic Policy Institute - New Jersey public school teachers are underpaid, not overpaid
Washington Post - Think teachers aren't paid enough? It's worse than you think
I don't buy this point of view for a second.
We work essentially 9 months a year.
How is that?
Well, we get 2 months off in summer, a week off for spring break, a week off for winter break, assorted holidays (another week off let’s say), 10 sick days and 2 personal days every year. That adds up to more than 3 months off per year by my calculation.
We get full health benefits.
We get a defined benefit pension.
We work from 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM and get time off for lunch and prep so basically we are active for maybe 6 hours a day.
Let’s be honest - It's a good gig if you can get it.
"I never get tired of promoting this wonderful opportunity for students (and educators) ..."
Lily Eskelsen Garcia from Lily's Blackboard, November 15, 2017
Talking Turkey - and Other Subjects - On Thanksgiving Day
The "wonderful opportunity" that Eskelsen is referring to is the annual Great Thanksgiving Listen, a project started by a non-profit organization called StoryCorps.
Actually it is a great idea. StoryCorps describes it as:
"... a national movement that empowers young people - and people of all ages - to create an oral history of the contemporary United States ..."
THE PROBLEM FOR ESKELSEN
Unfortunately, last year, StoryCorps tried to stop its employees from forming a union by joining the Communications Workers of America.
You can read all about it at Splinternews.com: StoryCorps, Of All Places, Is Running an Anti-Union Campaign, Hamilton Nolan, 6/27/17.
When the company found out about the desire of its employees to unionize, the employees ...
"were subjected to multiple 'captive audience meetings' at which their employers lectured them on why a union was a bad idea—meetings that grew so heated that one of the bosses even started yelling at one point."
By the way, they still don't have a union at StoryCorps ...
The details are in Nolan's article so if you want to read more I would suggest you go there directly.
WHAT TO DO?
Fellow NEA members, should we start an email, Facebook or Twitter campaign to protest our president betraying us in this fashion?
Or should we just let it go because, after all, Eskelsen is doing so much other good stuff?
After all, isn't she working hard to protect us against nasty people like Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos?
Isn't she supporting the DACA Dreamers?
She has the good of all teachers at heart for sure, right?