Sunday, May 27, 2012


First, let it be said that as a (retired) teacher who proudly helped organize the union back at my school while I was still a Republican (!), I am SICK AND TIRED of right-wing coddling hacks like Mittens constantly attacking the teachers' unions and advocating vouchers for private schools, something that has been tried and has largely failed. So thank the gods for Charles Pierce. He goes after Willard's abysmal record on education in this item here. Willard talks about "not letting campaign cash come before our kids", as if Mittens were deeply committed to the well-being of our children. Pierce responds:

But, the point here is that, while he was governor, he didn't let cash of any kind get ahead of the "kids" in the public schools of the state where public education was pretty much invented. In 2006, he cut $37.8 million from the state's higher education budget. Fees skyrocketed, as they did generally throughout the state. In 2003, he tried to cut $100 milion from that same budget while raising tuition by $50 million at state colleges and universities. He also wanted to slash job training initiatives and workforce training funding. Things were rather worse at the primary and secondary level, where Romney passed down budget cuts and left cities and towns holding the bag. And that's the way it was. 

Face it, Willard would rather finance another massive tax cut for himself than spend needed money on education. I also thought this little nugget was interesting:

First, Romney has repeated often that his priority in education is breaking teachers’ unions, and last month in Florida at a fundraiser when he thought he was off-mic, he said “I’m not going to get rid of it (Department of Education) completely,” and reasoned that it was important to “maintain a federal role in pushing back against teachers’ unions.” It is glaringly obvious that Romney is not interested in helping students if all he needs the Department of Education for is to break unions. The president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, asked “How does it help kids when Romney wants to use the federal government to undermine teachers and their unions? Romney is out of touch. He doesn't get it.” Apparently, it is Weingarten who doesn’t get it because helping kids is the last thing on Willard’s mind, and assuming otherwise is folly...

Yesterday, a Romney spokesman said teacher unions are preventing students from getting a quality education, but they gave no evidence or cited no studies to back up their claim. For the record, as an educator for 22 years in public, private, and online education, this author can attest that unions have no bearing on a teacher’s method of delivering information or preventing students from learning. In fact, public school teachers’ unions set much higher standards for teachers than private, charter, or online educational systems and have been instrumental in advocating for students. The unions have also worked with public schools to reduce their budgets by cutting teacher salaries, health plans, retirement, reducing the workforce, and supporting unpaid furlough days.

Willard accuses the President of being unwilling to “stand up to union bosses, and unwilling to stand up for kids,” and like everything Romney says, it is a lie. The President has championed expanding charter schools, merit pay for teachers, and longer school sessions to give students more time to study and learn. The President’s support for merit pay has incited outrage among the teaching community for punishing good teachers for having to suffer the results of bad parenting. The reason Romney wants unions gone is to reduce teacher pay to meet his $19,000 middle-class income standard leaving more profits for corporate-owned and operated private schools.

Willard doesn't give a damn about public education. He simply wants to privatize as much of it as humanly possible so his buddies can profit off of it. Obama is unwilling to stand up for kids? Garbage. Romney the Liar sees your kids' school as one thing, and one thing only:

Another asset to be stripped--you know, Bain-style.

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