Shining bright lights on backroom deals in the NYC body politic.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Randi's Pavlovian Response...

... To John Stossel's Lesson Plan

We never thought we'd say this, but there's much the NYC school system could actually learn from ABC's 20/20 reporter John Stossel.

Recently, Stossel ran a segment called "Stupid in America," (video) highlighting all the "nasty" things going on in our public schools, and challenging the system to finally face up to them.

But in one part of the segment, Stossel cornered UFT chief, Randi Weingarten, about the negative impact unions are having (video) on our children's education.

Needless to say, Randi was not so happy with Johnny. And predictably, she did what Randi does best; organized a demonstration outside his office to protest his treatment of teachers.

But here's the kicker: unlike the UFT, which has yet to refute any of Stossel's assertions, John Stossel came out and faced the angry mob himself - and in the process not only accepted an invitation to visit a NYC classroom (his previous request to visit was denied), but he also accepted an invitation to debate Randi.

Very refreshing!

And Stossel also notes:

Ironically, before I did "Stupid in America," the New York teachers union wanted to give me an award. The United Federation of Teachers' Social Studies Conference wrote: "Our organization, ATSS/UFT, would be proud to present you with the Hubert H. Humphrey Humanitarian Award for the outstanding work which you have done for social causes. ... Your development and generous sponsorship of In the Classroom Media provide students with the opportunity to enhance their civics education. This is the highest award that we can give to an individual. Past honorees have included Mario Cuomo, Shirley Chisholm, Charles Schumer, Dolores Huerta, Major Owens, Charles Rangel..." (click here to read more)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

right-o, roomie!

10:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm no UFT-fan, but Stossel's vision for education applied to NYC is much scarier. To quote from his article:

[The UFT says] "'education of the children is too important to be left to the vagaries of the market.' The opposite is true. Education is too important to be left to the calcified union/government monopoly."

12:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched Stossel's report and matched it with at least a decade of involvement in NYC government and politics. Stossel's reporting was right on the money. The UFT primarily concerns itself with the salary and perks it can secure for its members and making it almost impossible to get rid of incompetent teachers or those involved in criminal behavior.
At the end of the day, those who suffer the most are the public school students, particularly black and brown kids who are trapped in underperforming schools with lousy teachers. But because of the union's power, the cowardly Democratic establishment looks the other way while mouthing empty platitudes about improving education.
I really miss Eva Moskowitz.

12:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think John Stossel is a dope, but Randi Weingarten is an even bigger dope. You've got to give him credit for trying to shake up the system, and especially for meeting with the protesters to call Randi on her bullshit. I love how these $40k+/year teachers (with their three month vacations and pensions) get up on their crosses to bitch and moan whenever anybody tries to suggest that business-as-usual isn't cutting it anymore.

4:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh boy, here we go with the "teachers are evil, teachers are lazy" and "unions are overpaid". I wonder how many of those who are so quick to generically demonize teachers have actually taught.

Stossel makes some good points and some empty points, just like Randi can, but his writting makes him sound like he thinks he has a lot more experience teaching than he actually does, which is none.

I did not watch the video clip - it has much too long an ad at the beginning.

In the end this seems like much to do about nothing and does nothing to further real discussion about education reform which is so much more complex that this dopey feud. Fitting then that I ended up at this off the Politicker.

8:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. Deal with it.

10:06 AM

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