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Old 02-24-2004, 07:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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Tone Deaf. NEA "Terrorists."

http://www.cnn.com/2004/EDUCATION/02...terrorist.nea/

Quote:
"Education Secretary Rod Paige called the National Education Association a 'terrorist organization' Monday as he argued that the country's largest teachers union often acts at odds with the wishes of rank-and-file teachers regarding school standards and accountability. "

His "apology:"
Quote:
"It was an inappropriate choice of words to describe the obstructionist scare tactics the NEA's Washington lobbyists have employed against No Child Left Behind's historic education reforms.

"I also said, as I have repeatedly, that our nation's teachers, who have dedicated their lives to service in the classroom, are the real soldiers of democracy, whereas the NEA's high-priced Washington lobbyists have made no secret that they will fight against bringing real, rock-solid improvements in the way we educate all our children regardless of skin color, accent or where they live. "
It is this guys JOB to work with the teachers unions. That Bush would appoint someone with that view, and not FIRING him after expressing that view in public is abhorrent.
It's like putting grievous polluters in charge of the EPA... ooh wait.
Installing for the Interior someone with outspoken views of thinking that this nation shouldn't be in the business of owning national parks... Aah Secretary Norton...
Or nominating someone who hires illegal immigrants for Secretary of labor... oops again.
I can go on and on with names of people with views contrary to the department they are running, and contrary to what the majority of Americans believe as well.

Anyway, this guy called a large group of Americans terrorists. Calling us that and traitors is the basest kind of attack someone could make and is a tarnished example of what represents the level of civility and cooperating in America today. What happened to being a uniter? How many times do liberals and other groups not on the right have to submit to being called traitors, anti-Americans and against patriotism, by a multitude of conservatives as well as the President and his administration. And why do we get trashed by the conservatives for fighting back? (And I'm not talking about the board. This is america in General) I feel like myself and others on the not-conservative side of debates get backed into corners and poked at with sticks. Then when we snap back, it's all "See! Slander, lowering the discourse!" It may be somewhat of a POV, but I see the way the not-conservative side goes off is generally as a reaction to something being done that is seen as an injustice. While the conservative side will go off just because the opposition isn't towing the line and/or submitting to their will.
Is there any example of Bush trying to unite this nation at all?

Last edited by Superbelt; 02-24-2004 at 07:23 AM..
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Old 02-24-2004, 07:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I agree Super. I linked the AP/Yahoo article on this last night to another thread.

To me, this and the examples you give show the sheer hatred and contempt for the people that this administration has. What is sad is they are allowed to get away with this. They can call names, destroy groups of people, yet say a bad word about the president and his administration and you are a traitor and treasonist among other vile things.

This will get buried tho, and Paige will keep his job. And all will be happy for President Halliburton........ I mean Bush.
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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He said the NEA is a terrorist organization, he did not call the teachers terrorists.

It's just another example of a politician being stupid and saying something inappropriate nothing more.
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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The teachers are the NEA. They vote on their leaders, they vote on actions the NEA takes.
That is the way a union works. If you criticise the NEA and call them Terrorists you are calling each teacher who is a member of the NEA essentially a terrorist.

His apology is just as damning. The guy should be tossed out. Someone with those views is incapable of performing his job, which is to work with the teacher and the unions.
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Superbelt
The teachers are the NEA. They vote on their leaders, they vote on actions the NEA takes.
That is the way a union works. If you criticise the NEA and call them Terrorists you are calling each teacher who is a member of the NEA essentially a terrorist.

His apology is just as damning. The guy should be tossed out. Someone with those views is incapable of performing his job, which is to work with the teacher and the unions.
So, you believe every action the NEA takes is voted on by the members? Not a chance.

Calling an organization a name does not filter down to every member of an organization.
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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No every action taken does not have to be voted on, but the big decisions. The policy decisions that cause someone like Paige to call them a terrorist organization for actions like "obstructionist scare tactics the NEA's Washington lobbyists have employed against No Child Left Behind's historic education reforms." That "obstruction" is highly popular among teachers because they know what NCLB has in store for schools. They are solidly behind killing that bit of horrible legislation. Therefore to Paige, they are all terrorists.

Calling an organization a name does not have to filter down to everyone, but he did make a blanket statement, and he based it off of a NEA position that is basically universal. That says it all.
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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This has become so common in the administration, it is sickening. I actually fear for the future of this country, when I think deeply on our policy of corporate government.
All of the above stated examples can be traced to the finances of Mr. Bushs' political history. He has placed into positions of authority, those who contributed to his election campaigns. regardless of skills and background.
If this administration continues, we are going to lose much of the liberty gained over the last 50-100 years, and this is unacceptable. With the implementation of the Patriot act, and the creation of the homeland security offine, we have put into place the beginnings of a totalitarian regime. Granted the first steps are relatively weak, and have yet to be fully implemented.
I hesitate to consider the America of 2010, should these policies continue on the obvious(or not so) path logic dictates. We, the people should wake up to the new reality of losing our country to the few who can afford to control our government, and realize we are about to lose what little voice we have.
I truly love my country, and consider myself devoted to the United States, I am not a patriot anymore, according to my President and his staff. If losing my status as a patriot, in an attempt to keep this country from becoming corrupted by Greed and hatred, is my lot, then so be it.
I am relatively sure many will wish for my departure from this country after reading this reply, and ask you to consider this:

If you truly believe in the direction this administration is taking your beloved country, and support the security implemented here to date.......Why are you so afraid.
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Last edited by tecoyah; 02-24-2004 at 08:38 AM..
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by onetime2
So, you believe every action the NEA takes is voted on by the members? Not a chance.




Calling an organization a name does not filter down to every member of an organization.
Calling the president (or his appointees)a name does not filter down to every member of the administration.

So , you believe every person appointed by the president is voted on by the people, not a chance.


Do you see the correlation here?
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Last edited by tecoyah; 02-24-2004 at 08:41 AM..
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm starting to find it humorous how every action or misstatement from the Bush administration is somehow thought to be emblematic of the overall evil the administration represents.

Apparently everyone here knows exactly what Mr Paige was thinking when he said this and that he meant it towards every member of the organization.

Not much more to comment on then. I guess you know what I think as well.
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by tecoyah
Calling the president (or his appointees)a name does not filter down to every member of the administration.
Did I say it did?
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:40 AM   #11 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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Yes I know exactly what he was thinking. And it wasn't a misstatement. It was well though out and prepared. It was a speech.
He was thinking "The NEA is a 'terrorist organization'" He didn't leave much room for ambiguousness. That's a heavy word to throw around these days. An intelligent man holding high public offic doesn't use it lightly. Is Paige an intelligent man?
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:46 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Personally, I'm tired of people getting fired or let go just because of one comment. Trent Lott says one thing, and everybody wants his head on a plate. Now Paige says one thing, and people want him deep-sixed. Let's stay realistic. One comment does not undermine years of experience and achievements. Now, if this guy were to say "I am all about killing the President and I want Osama Bin Laden to rule the US" then the situation would be different. But just because this guy made a bad analogy doesn't mean he should be fired.
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:57 AM   #13 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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That one comment shows that he is incapable of impartially performing his duty. Again, I say his job is to WORK WITH the teachers and their unions.
We now know he has always and will always go into any talks biased against the unions. But now the unions know that as well, and know it for a fact.
How well do you think any discussions and negotiations will go now? You have two sides who actually revile each other trying to negotiate. That doesn't work.

The man doesn't deserve a public position.
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Old 02-24-2004, 10:48 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Let's take a look at Rod Paige's biography and see if he has any right to discuss the NEA and whether this one comment should condemn him:

It seems he was born into education since his parents were a principal and a librarian. He is the oldest of five children, all of whom have graduate degrees. He earned a bachelor's and then went on to earn a masters, and Phd in physical education.

He was a teacher, a coach, and eventually a school superintendent. He is the first local school superintendent to hold the US's top education position.

When Rod Paige first took the helm of the struggling Houston public schools seven years ago, Gayle Fallon, president of the local teachers' union, blasted him as "the most antiteacher superintendent we've had in the past decade."

By the end of Paige's tenure last month, however, Fallon was giving a far different testimonial. She gushed that Paige "will leave a better district than he came to" and that "he'll be a very effective Secretary of Education."

http://www.time.com/time/education/a...8013-1,00.html

Yep I can certainly see how this one statement should destroy the decades he has spent improving our nations education system.
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Old 02-24-2004, 11:20 AM   #15 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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I think the Houston area schools also had some of the highest dropout rates in the nation. And there was some degree of coverup associated with that so that people wouldn't know just how bad the dropout rate was....
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Old 02-24-2004, 11:23 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Superbelt
I think the Houston area schools also had some of the highest dropout rates in the nation. And there was some degree of coverup associated with that so that people wouldn't know just how bad the dropout rate was....
Is there evidence or is it just speculation? If there was evidence, I doubt that Mr Paige would have made it to where he is today.
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Old 02-24-2004, 11:23 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by onetime2
Let's take a look at Rod Paige's biography and see if he has any right to discuss the NEA and whether this one comment should condemn him:

It seems he was born into education since his parents were a principal and a librarian. He is the oldest of five children, all of whom have graduate degrees. He earned a bachelor's and then went on to earn a masters, and Phd in physical education.

He was a teacher, a coach, and eventually a school superintendent. He is the first local school superintendent to hold the US's top education position.

When Rod Paige first took the helm of the struggling Houston public schools seven years ago, Gayle Fallon, president of the local teachers' union, blasted him as "the most antiteacher superintendent we've had in the past decade."

By the end of Paige's tenure last month, however, Fallon was giving a far different testimonial. She gushed that Paige "will leave a better district than he came to" and that "he'll be a very effective Secretary of Education."

http://www.time.com/time/education/a...8013-1,00.html

Yep I can certainly see how this one statement should destroy the decades he has spent improving our nations education system.

Thank you for the much needed perspective, onetime2.
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Old 02-24-2004, 11:24 AM   #18 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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And here it is, here is the "Texas Miracle"

http://www.rethinkingschools.org/arc.../drop181.shtml
Quote:
Robert Kimball, an assistant principal at Sharpstown High School, sat smack in the middle of the "Texas miracle." His poor, mostly minority high school of 1,650 students had a freshman class of 1,000 that dwindled to fewer than 300 students by senior year. And yet and this is the miracle not one dropout to report!

Nor was zero an unusual dropout rate in this school district that both President Bush and Secretary of Education Rod Paige have held up as the national showcase for accountability and the model for the federal No Child Left Behind law. Westside High here had 2,308 students and no reported dropouts; Wheatley High 731 students, no dropouts. A dozen of the city's poorest schools reported dropout rates under one percent.

Now, Dr. Kimball has witnessed many amazing things in his 58 years. Before he was an educator, he spent 24 years in the Army, fighting in Vietnam, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel and touring the world. But never had he seen an urban high school with no dropouts. "Impossible," he said. "Someone will get pregnant, go to jail, get killed." Elsewhere in the nation, urban high schools report dropout rates of 20 percent to 40 percent.

A miracle? "A fantasy land," said Dr. Kimball. "They want the data to look wonderful and exciting. They don't tell you how to do it; they just say, 'Do it.'" In February, with the help of Dr. Kimball, the local television station KHOU broke the news that Sharpstown High had falsified its dropout data. That led to a state audit of 16 Houston schools, which found that of 5,500 teenagers surveyed who had left school, 3,000 should have been counted as dropouts but were not. (Superbelt Editorial Comment, HOLY SHIT! 54% dropout rate!) In early August, the state appointed a monitor to oversee the district's data collection and downgraded 14 audited schools to the state's lowest rating.

Not very miraculous sounding, but here is the intriguing question: How did it get to the point that veteran principals felt they could actually claim zero dropouts? "You need to understand the atmosphere in Houston," Dr. Kimball said. "People are afraid. The superintendent has frequent meetings with principals. Before they go in, the principals are really, really scared. Panicky. They have to make their numbers."

Pressure? Some compare it to working under the old Soviet system of five-year plans. In January, just before the scandal broke, Abelardo Saavedra, deputy superintendent, unveiled Houston's latest mandates for the new year. "The districtwide student attendance rate will increase from 94.6 percent to 95 percent," he wrote. "The districtwide annual dropout rate will decrease from 1.5 percent to 1.3 percent."

Dropouts are notoriously difficult to track, particularly at a heavily Latino school like Sharpstown, with immigrants going back and forth to Mexico. Dr. Kimball said that Sharpstown shared one truant officer with several schools. Even so, Houston officials would not allow principals to write that the whereabouts of a departed student were "unknown." Last fall, Margaret Stroud, deputy superintendent, sent a memorandum warning principals to "make sure that you do not have any students coded '99,' whereabouts unknown." Too many "unknowns," she wrote, could prompt a state audit the last thing Houston leaders wanted.

A shortage of resources to track departing students? No "unknowns" allowed? What to do? "Make it up," Dr. Kimball said. "The principals who survive are the yes men."

As for those who fail to make their numbers, it is termination time, one of many innovations championed by Dr. Paige as superintendent here from 1994 to 2001. He got rid of tenure for principals and mandated that they sign one-year contracts that allowed dismissal "without cause" and without a hearing.

On the other hand, for principals who make their numbers, it is bonus time. Principals can earn a $5,000 bonus, district administrators up to $20,000. At Sharpstown High alone, Dr. Kimball said, $75,000 in bonus money was issued last year, before the fictitious numbers were exposed.

Dr. Paige's spokesman, Dan Langan, referred dropout questions to Houston officials, but said that the secretary was proud of the accountability system he established here, that it got results and that principals freely signed those contracts.

Terry Abbott, a Houston district spokesman, agreed that both Dr. Paige and the current superintendent, Kaye Stripling, pressured principals to make district goals. "Secretary Paige said, and rightfully so, the public has a right to expect us to get this job done," Mr. Abbott said. The principals were not cowed, he said, declaring, "They thrive on it." Every administrator under Dr. Paige and Dr. Stripling, Mr. Abbott said, has understood "failure is not an option" and "that failure to do our jobs can mean that we could lose those jobs and that's exactly the way it should be."

As for adequate resources for truant officers to verify dropouts, he said individual schools decided how to use their resources, but added, "Money is not the problem, and money by itself won't solve the issues we deal with every day."

To skeptics like Dr. Kimball, the parallels to No Child Left Behind are depressing. The federal law mandates that every child in America pass reading and math proficiency tests by 2014 a goal many educators believe is as impossible as zero dropouts. And like Houston's dropout program, President Bush's education budget has been criticized as an underfinanced mandate, proposing $12 billion this year for Title 1, $6 billion below what the No Child Left Behind law permits. "This isn't about educating children," Dr. Kimball said. "It's about public relations."

If Houston officials were interested in accountability, he said, they would assign him to a high school to monitor the dropout data that he has come to understand so well. Instead, after he blew the whistle on Sharpstown High, he was reassigned, for four months, to sit in a windowless room with no work to do. More recently, he has been serving as the second assistant principal at a primary school, where, he said, he is not really needed. "I expect when my contract is up next January, I'll be fired," he said. "That's how it works here."

Last edited by Superbelt; 02-24-2004 at 11:50 AM..
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Old 02-24-2004, 11:27 AM   #19 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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You are also welcome for my much needed perspective.
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Old 02-24-2004, 11:45 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Superbelt
You are also welcome for my much needed perspective.
Bravo!
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Old 02-24-2004, 11:45 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Actually, thank you for the additional information.

More information is a good thing.
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Old 02-24-2004, 11:50 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Let's see, Mr Paige had the gall to have "Frequent meetings with principals", put pressure on principals to achieve goals, AND expected them to know where their students went if they left the school. Those who didn't perform got bad reviews while those who did got bonuses. Sound like good ideas to me.

I missed where it said that he encouraged or forced the principals to falsify documents. I do find it interesting that he throws in a condemnation of the No Child Left Behind Act as well.
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Old 02-24-2004, 11:53 AM   #23 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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Ok what you need to get out of that is:
His schools were crap. Below the national average. So he was not effective. An executive is defined by the people he keeps under him, so don't pass the buck. He did not have the kind of policy to improve his schools. His demeanor and bonuses without independent confirmation of numbers encouraged falsification of data to a gross degree.

By all measures this man can't run schools better than my grocer.

What did he do to deserve to be in charge of the nations schools? His ideas didn't work

Bad Superintendent, BAD! No turkee 4 u.
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Old 02-24-2004, 11:55 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I think the comment in itself just makes him look pretty silly - although his general attitude doesnt seem very befitting an education secretary. It will be very difficult for him to go forwards, I feel that both his own department and the teachers and unions will have very little confidence in him after that tasteless gaffe...
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Old 02-24-2004, 12:02 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Superbelt
Ok what you need to get out of that is:
His schools were crap. Below the national average. So he was not effective. An executive is defined by the people he keeps under him, so don't pass the buck. He did not have the kind of policy to improve his schools. His demeanor and bonuses without independent confirmation of numbers encouraged falsification of data to a gross degree.

By all measures this man can't run schools better than my grocer.

What did he do to deserve to be in charge of the nations schools? His ideas didn't work

Bad Superintendent, BAD! No turkee.
I got what the article offered. You seem to be making broad assumptions about his actions and demeanor based on a single article and one comment, especially in light of the fact that principals were being held accountable in ways like never before. You immediately assume that he was the cause of the fraud that took place when it's equally (or possibly more) likely that the principals committed this fraud on their own because they didn't have the ability to meet goals. Perhaps he set goals too high. Certainly he has some level of responsibility as the leader. But there is also a lot of responsibility to pass around to the principals and the system which allowed this fraud to take place.
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Last edited by onetime2; 02-24-2004 at 12:05 PM..
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Old 02-24-2004, 12:13 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Paige might just be a victim of the educational system in this country. He weren't edumacated.

Or maybe he's just floating a trial balloon. Next on Fox: Terrorist lawyers, terrorist ACLU, terrorist Sierra Club, terrorist Audobon Society, terrorist soccer moms, terrorist NAACP, terrorist John Kerry, terrorist John Edwards.......

Remember, only the GOP is fit and ready to fight terrorism.
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Old 02-24-2004, 12:14 PM   #27 (permalink)
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He"WAS" the system which allowed the fraud to take place, that was his job, remember?
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Old 02-24-2004, 12:19 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by tecoyah
He"WAS" the system which allowed the fraud to take place, that was his job, remember?
The "system" has been forged over decades not the single term of one individual.
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Old 02-24-2004, 12:28 PM   #29 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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Quote:
I got what the article offered. You seem to be making broad assumptions about his actions and demeanor based on a single article and one comment, especially in light of the fact that principals were being held accountable in ways like never before.
Is this a joke? There was no accountability. He had no accountability. The principals lied to him, there were no measures in place for Paige to know that (that would have been his job) and Paige paid them 5-20 thousand dollars a year in bonuses. The bigger the lie the bigger the bonus. The only accountability was for the Principals accountable for the level of padding in their wallets.
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Old 02-24-2004, 12:53 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Really I still don't see why Paige was given the education post. He only ever was in charge of Houston's schools and they failed. Usually you give the post to someone who has had success at turning a school system around or at least continuing a school systems high standards.

He has no credentials of effectively running a school system and that is the bottom line.
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Old 02-24-2004, 03:20 PM   #31 (permalink)
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He was wrong to refer to it as a terrorist organization. Instead, he should have referred to it as a mob (mafia) organization -- that comparison is much more accurate.
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