Commentary and Criticism about the National Education Association (NEA)
News Flash for NEA President Lily Eskelson: Not everyone agrees that public schools are the best/only way to educate our children.
“It is difficult to get a [wo]man to understand something, when [her] salary depends on [her] not understanding it.” Quote from Upton Sinclair
ESKELSON DISAGREES WITH DEVOS? I’M SHOCKED!
NEA president Lily Eskelson took the time last week to criticize Department of Education (DOE) Secretary Betsy DeVos. You can read the entire commentary at:
"And then Betsy DeVos said education should be more like “food trucks and restaurants”
I can boil down her article into two short sentences:
Public schools are the best and only fair way to educate all of the children in this great country of ours. Anyone who disagrees is an idiot.
Let me clarify why I say this. When Eskelson says …
“I was more convinced than ever that DeVos knows little about public schools and even less about their mission.”
… she begins to reveal her obvious bias and inability to put herself in the mind of a person who has views different than her own.
And when later on in the article she says that DeVos …
“…doesn’t understand the concept of “public” schools—schools that are open to all students, no matter what language is spoken at home, what the family income is, what their religion or race is, what abilities or disabilities they have, whether they are gay, straight, or transgender.”
…Eskelson further solidifies her lack of empathy by failing to follow the old saying …
“Before you judge a woman, walk a mile in her shoes….”
ESKELSON VS. DEVOS – A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION
Lily, do you honestly believe that Secretary DeVos doesn’t know what a public school is or are you just playing dumb?
Obviously DeVos gets the concept of a public school. She just doesn’t think that the present incarnation of public schools is properly serving the needs of the community like you do. As a result, she is proposing other possible ways to improve education. This could be vouchers, charter schools, for-profit institutions – anything else but simply continuing to rely on the tired-out present system of public schools protected by NEA teacher unions that are financially vested in keeping the system as it is.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS – EVERYTHING FOR EVERYBODY?
When Eskelson says …
“The mission of public schools is to provide opportunities for each and every student who walks through the door, not to roll up the welcome mat, bar the door, and declare: “Sorry, but we’re not for everybody.”
… she apparently forgot the old saying that “…when you try to be everything to everyone you end up being nothing to no one…”
There is a great example from business history which backs this old saying up. In the 1960’s conglomerates were a popular form of business organization. “A conglomerate is a corporation that is made up of a number of different, seemingly unrelated businesses.”
So instead of a company only focusing on one line of business (say Starbucks serving coffee), it would branch out into many unrelated businesses (imagine Starbucks fixing your car, dry cleaning your clothes, etc. while you drank your coffee).
While at first this strategy kind of worked, the good times didn’t last. “In response to falling profits, the majority of conglomerates began divesting from companies they bought. Few companies continued on as anything more than a shell company.”
Of course, the argument could be made that public schools only have education as their single “line of business” and so are not like conglomerates at all. I would argue, however, that the “business” of education is so diverse that a public school is like a conglomerate.
EDUCATION AND “FOOD TRUCKS”
Which brings us to the silly title of the Lily’s Blackboard article which inspired this blog: And then Betsy DeVos said education should be more like “food trucks and restaurants”
I see this title as an obvious attempt by Eskelson to belittle DeVos. Eskelson is implying that the Secretary is so far out of touch with reality that she actually thinks something as important as education can be compared to something as mundane as restaurants.
Actually, Lily, it is a pretty apropos analogy.
If a restaurant had to serve every type of cuisine all the time, how good of a restaurant would it be? After all, don’t people specifically choose to go to various ethnic restaurants (Thai, Cuban, Indian, etc.)? Does anyone think that one chef can really do all cuisines properly?
ESKELSON’S BIAS EXPLAINED BY UPTON SINCLAIR
Eskelson wants DeVos to “stop with the comparisons and accept what public education does and what its mission is” because “Public schools play a unique and critical role in preparing students of all ages and backgrounds for work and life—period.”
Lily, open your mind just a little bit. Public schools don’t have to be the only institution that prepares “students of all ages and backgrounds for work and life.” The fact that you say “period” after your sentence is just more proof of your one-sided view about education and your unwillingness to consider that you might be wrong.
And, let’s be honest here, you have this view because you represent a teacher union with a vested interest in keeping public schools a monolithic presence in this country.
I wonder if you really believe what you say about public education or if you are just saying it because that is what you are paid to do.
There is a reason why I quoted Upton Sinclair at the top of this blog post…………