Former Obama Staffers See the Light

 

bio_gibbsThis is to be encouraged, from Politico:

Teachers unions are girding for a tough fight to defend tenure laws against a coming blitz of lawsuits — and an all-out public relations campaign led by former aides to President Barack Obama.

The Incite Agency, founded by former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs and former Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt, will lead a national public relations drive to support a series of lawsuits aimed at challenging tenure, seniority and other job protections that teachers unions have defended ferociously. LaBolt and another former Obama aide, Jon Jones — the first digital strategist of the 2008 campaign — will take the lead in the public relations initiative.

First, it’s always nice to see what a truly important party schism looks like. The Democratic Party is a wholly-owned subsidiary of a variety of unions — government workers and teachers, especially — and it’s a good sign that some Democrats know how toxic this is.

Second, they’re right. Tenure rules and other job protections are a big part of the constellation of ills that keep our public schools so ineffective. So good on Gibbs and LaBolt. I wish them well. (Although I also wish that this conversion to sanity had occurred during their time in the White House….)

But mostly, I like this because it allows me to gloat. Partisan? Not me. I wholeheartedly support the lobbying efforts of two of Obama’s most highly-placed staffers. I only wish, I can shake my head sadly, that the rest of the Democratic Party wasn’t so blind and bought.

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  1. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    School choice is a disruptive issue to old constituencies. My sister was an Obama voter in 2008, but was so angry about the underperforming public schools in her neighborhood and teachers union obstinance, she voted Romney in 2012. If the GOP is serious about minority outreach, school choice is the ultimate low hanging fruit.

    • #1
  2. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Could it just be that they sense the wind shifting on the issue and are trying to get ahead of it first? As Jon mentions above, it is (and will continue to be) a major social issue especially for those being abused by public schools and their unions. It should be a Republican/conservative issue, but as soon as the Dems grab hold of it we’ll be riding their coattails at best. We’ve been beating the drum for a while now, but reality won’t matter. Gibbs and Co. are leading a public relations drive to make this issue their own. They won’t  abandon their natural allies; they are preparing a shield wall for them by taking charge of the change.

    • #2
  3. Asquared Inactive
    Asquared
    @ASquared

    I guess they have to atone for their sins of knowingly hurting the education of millions of children by sucking up to the teacher’s unions while they were actually in a position to do something about tenure.  

    It just shows how unprincipled all politicians (of both parties) actually are. They will only fight for what’s right when they no longer have the ability to do anything about it. If they are unwilling to do the right thing while they are in office, why should we given them that power in the first place?

    • #3
  4. MLH Inactive
    MLH
    @MLH

    (Although I also wish that this conversion to sanity had occurred during their time in the White House….)

    Perhaps it is why they left/were “asked” to leave?

    • #4
  5. Rawls Inactive
    Rawls
    @Rawls

    House of Cards predicted this rift.

    Remember the scene where Frank gets the head of the teachers union Marty Spinella to punch him in the face, and thus defeats their protests? He then gets the education bill passed and ushers in reform. Republicans get none of the credit as I recall…

    • #5
  6. user_385039 Inactive
    user_385039
    @donaldtodd

    One might consider withholding judgment unless and until one sees the lawsuits unfold.  It sounds good, but … what is written in the lawsuits?  What do the lawsuits expect?  How much money will the taxpayers pony out for this, because no matter what happens, someone will pay.

    Can the Democrat Party afford to confront such a huge union / contributor? 

    Perhaps this will be plowed under when the teacher lobby shakes its moneybags? 

    At what point someone will say, “I guess we got their attention.”?

    • #6
  7. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    Now, if we could only liberate the Republican Party from the Chamber of Commerce!

    • #7
  8. Gaius Member
    Gaius
    @Gaius

    “This is to be encouraged”

    I don’t know. Call me petty or partisan if you wan’t, but I think I preferred it when the right owned this issue. It was our one hook with communities usually hostile to the GOP.

    • #8
  9. Yudansha Member
    Yudansha
    @Yudansha

    We should publicly and loudly proclaim the righteousness of their cause and very publicly invite them to partner with these folks.  Not only do we retain ownership of the issue, we also gain a frienemy. 

    Let’s just see if they’ll put their money where their mouths are.

    • #9
  10. douglaswatt25@yahoo.com Moderator
    douglaswatt25@yahoo.com
    @DougWatt

    I was educated by nuns that were imported from South America to a poor parish in the United States for my elementary school education. There was not a teaching certificate to be had among the nuns. By the time I entered high school my parents realized that my comedic talents were overdeveloped and I was sent to a boys only Catholic high school. I spent some time in detention and unlike the Breakfast Club the janitor came to the Dean of Discipline with a list of chores that needed to be done each day. I was well on my way to a career in landscaping. I attended a small Catholic university as a philosophy major. I remember one day in class being asked by the priest that taught Medieval Philosophy on what authority my argument was based upon. I said Father I make up my own facts, which was good for a laugh. This same priest, the Head Resident of my dorm over scotch and cigars on a Friday night said to me; your answer was very amusing, you are allowed one amusing answer a semester. I was very fortunate. I wish every young person could have this educational experience.

    • #10
  11. A Beleaguered Conservative Member
    A Beleaguered Conservative
    @

    In the push to get rid of tenure, we should not forget the critical task of attracting the best people to the teaching profession.  Imagine that you are an undergraduate considering a career in teaching.  You see political forces aligning to get rid of one of the perks of the profession.  Are you more or less likely to go into teaching if  tenure is abolished?  I am no fan of giving tenure to teachers who do not deserve it, but if we are going to get rid of it altogether we need to also find ways to make the profession attractive.  That task is just as important — nay, more important — than eliminating a perk, even if the perk deserves to be eliminated.

    • #11
  12. profdlp Inactive
    profdlp
    @profdlp

    A Beleaguered Conservative:

    In the push to get rid of tenure, we should not forget the critical task of attracting the best people to the teaching profession…

     I agree with you.  A good first step would be to get rid of the idiotic accreditation requirements.  There is no reason a smart person who actually KNOWS something can’t teach it to others.  This idea that you need all these Education classes is nonsense.

    • #12
  13. user_385039 Inactive
    user_385039
    @donaldtodd

    A Beleaguered Conservative: #11 “Imagine that you are an undergraduate considering a career in teaching.  …   I am no fan of giving tenure to teachers who do not deserve it, but if we are going to get rid of it altogether we need to also find ways to make the profession attractive.”

    Imagine people growing in professions other than teaching, who later find a call to teach.  Jaime Escalante was such a person.  He was a computer scientist / mathematician who decided he wanted to teach high-level math in a Los Angeles high school. 

    The master teacher for the math department tried to dissuade him from an early morning math club, noting that the kids were to dumb to learn.  The end of the movie Stand and Deliver is a litany of the young people who got full and partial math scholarships to two and four year colleges and universities because they learned from a man who actually knew the subject.

    If you really want to appeal to someone, find people who have done the work in the world of business or science and convince them to try teaching.  Skip the “schools of education” with their pass/fail criteria.

    • #13
  14. Asquared Inactive
    Asquared
    @ASquared

    A Beleaguered Conservative: In the push to get rid of tenure, we should not forget the critical task of attracting the best people to the teaching profession. 

    We need to pay teachers better early in their career to attract young energetic teachers that still care about teaching and less in their later years when they start just going through the motions to collect their too fat pension.  

    A few years ago I looked up the teachers salaries at the public elementary school my kids would go to (they go to catholic school).  One grade (can’ t remember which one) had two teachers, one making $35k and one making $135k.  I don’t know either teacher, but if I had the ability to choose, I would pick the $35k teacher for my kids EVERY TIME.  

    As far as I’m concerned, those two teachers need to make approximately the same amount of money.  Teaching third grade for 30 years does NOT make you a third grade teacher worth three times as much as a brand-new college graduate.  

    If we leveled their pay, we would attract more young teachers into the profession and keep fewer overpaid bad ones. 

    • #14
  15. Asquared Inactive
    Asquared
    @ASquared

    profdlp: I agree with you.  A good first step would be to get rid of the idiotic accreditation requirements.  There is no reason a smart person who actually KNOWS something can’t teach it to others.  This idea that you need all these Education classes is nonsense.

     Totally agree.  I have an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering, and MBA and Finance and I have a passion for history.  I’ve always said I would love to semi-retire and teach math, science, or history, but I know that it isn’t possible (at least in public schools) because I haven’t been indoctrinated into the proper education theory cults (which is one of the biggest reasons why I would be a better teacher than many).

    Our firm presented a series of business classes to underprivileged kids last year and I participated at a local Catholic high school.  The economics teacher pulled me aside and asked me a question about the stock market. I can’t recall the exact question, but I recall being dumbfounded that an economics teacher would ask that question.  My only thought was, these kids are doomed if this is their econ teacher.  Education major for sure.  

    • #15
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