Exercising Basic Rights


Went to the rally last night to support our local teachers in their negotiations with the school district.  The local union feels that the district is not negotiating in good faith, which has been an issue for the past 7-8 years or so.  It has gotten to the point where 1500+ teachers showed up last night, along with former teachers like myself, put on black and walked to the district office for the board meeting.

It goes without saying (so I’ll say it here) that I support the teachers in this situation, having worked with them and been around good and bad bargaining for many years.  These are people that I trust and know that it takes an awful lot to get them motivated to show up after work and have a protest.  Even the elementary teachers were on hand, which is never a good sign for the district if they are upset.

I’m a big believer in the Constitution and our rights to assemble, speak, etc.  So I took my kids to the rally also, so that they could see what sometimes needs to be done in order to make a point.  Some might feel that it’s a waste of time and that the board/superintendent will not move on their positions.  But you never know until you try.  Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement in the US might be the best example of that but there are so many others in history.  When I was a youngster, my parents had to go on strike as teachers and while I wasn’t sure of what was going on, there is a great old picture of me and my brother somewhere from the local newspaper, holding a sign supporting teachers.  I’m glad my parents took me along for that and while the specific event may not have affected me later on, the general principles do.  From what I understand, that strike lead to many years of good relationships between the teachers and district, because of both sides learning and trusting each other.  That ended with a superintendent change and it appears that a similar progression is occuring locally now.

It makes me smile to think about all of those teachers last night, coming together, some who may not totally agree with the situation but still showing up to support the larger group. That can only mean good things for the local educators in the future, it brings them together and makes them more powerful. Ahhh, unintended consequences are fun.

This is a great country and it can only survive if we are allowed to protest, demonstrate, peaceably assemble, speak, etc.




Santorum and Education

Not quite sure where to begin on this one.  I popped open my Twitter feed and ran through the Diane Ravitch early morning blasts (especially on Sunday, when the East Coast has had the NYT in their hands for a few hours).  Found this lovely article on Rick Santorum’s thoughts on education.  Check this out, from the LA Times.

Here’s Rick, in all his wisdom:  “Yes, the government can help,” he continued, “but the idea that the federal government should be running schools, frankly much less that the state government should be running schools, is anachronistic.”

Anachronistic? Because so many parents have the education and training that would enable them to properly homeschool their children to a level that is needed by society to have a functioning and educated population? I can barely work my way through 8th grade Algebra to help my daughter and can’t imagine trying to re-learn Algebra II, Chemistry and Physics, 2 subjects that I actually enjoyed (not you, Algebra II).

And while this parents are homeschooling their kids, who will be working, spending and paying taxes to support our capitalist society?  Wouldn’t one less person per family, if there are 2 actually employed, slow down the economy even more?

Comments like this, made at a conservative christian setting to only garner votes from homeschooling parents are pandering at best and insulting to the people in the audience, should they choose to pay close enough attention to his intentions.  We’re not even going to talk about his thoughts on creating a Christian Sharia Law for the USA.

And he’s the front runner for the Republicans right now. Thanks Rick, hope you enjoy having President Obama in office for 4 more years. C’mon GOP, you have got to find someone better than this to at least make it interesting in November.

But you won’t.

And President Obama, we’ll talk more about your educational policies but for now, I need to get some coffee.

Sunday Thoughts, 1st post

Good morning all of you folks out there, none of whom know this blog exists quite yet but that’s ok, I like talking to myself in the morning. The blog name gives some indication of how my ADD mind might be working, in that the thoughts here will be a “mashup”, running from education and politics to boating and general shenanigans.  I’ve had a feeling that I need to start writing down these things that run through my mind and this might do the trick.  Then again, if history is any indication, this little idea of mine might go by the wayside just like so many other things I’ve started.  I’m ok with that, and gosh darn it, people like me.

Adios, buenos días and have a great Presidents weekend.  More on the way…