As readers of the blog know, I posted a tribute yesterday to “The Hero Teachers of Newtown.”
Soon after, the vice-president of Teach for America responded with outrage on Twitter and said that the post was “reprehensible” and should be retracted. I had no idea what he was offended by, but not long after I received many Tweets and comments on the blog from his followers, chastising me for daring to….well, I am not sure why they were upset. Some thought I slandered TFA, though the post didn’t mention TFA. Some thought I slandered non-union teachers, because I praised the Sandy Hook teachers and said they belonged to a union. Some alleged that I politicized the massacre by acknowledging (as many others have) that teachers have been demonized for at least the past two-three years in the media and by politicians, who blame them (and their unions and their right to due process) for low test scores. Sandy Hook demonstrated the falsehood at the core of that narrative. Why TFA decided to turn it into a cause célèbre, I do not know. But as I told one of the complainers earlier today, “Don’t be defensive. It’s not about you.”
I was pleased to receive this comment from Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union:
Diane, et. al.
I have read these posts (alas I do not do Twitter), and I am struck by the lack of authenticity by the Rosenberg comment. Diane has been at the forefront of the desire to lift up the beleaguered profession of teaching in each and every post. She has drawn the connections between people who wouldn’t think of sending their children to public schools and their policies that are destroying the common good. Anyone who doesn’t know that in the marrow of their bones, doesn’t read her blog.
On the other, the educrats who do not agree with her, read her posts, too so as to keep abreast of her thoughts and are ready to pounce if they see an opening. There might have been a time where “politicizing” tragic events, especially mass shootings was thought to be in poor taste. That has changed with the 24/7 news cycle that continues to focus far too much time and energy on the perpetrator of the massacre than that of our precious victims. Rosenberg’s “false outrage” needs to be checked. That same false outrage should show itself when policies his colleagues support kill and disenfranchise children from schools across this nation. We in Chicago have been the victims of their experiments on our children since the current secretary of Education “ran” CPS.
The accolades heaped on a group of education missionaries, (hopefully with beautiful intent on the part of the TFA teachers) cannot go unchallenged. Diane does that. Day in and day out, she champions rank and file educators and the hard work they do. She has a special place in heart for those who see the value of the classroom and not as stepping stone to a more lucrative career or the opportunism of self-promoters like Michelle Rhee who, with her lies about her own classroom experience has catapulted herself into the welcoming arms of those who hate unions, tenure and anything else that provides due process and gives teachers real voice.
To David Rosenberg, Shanda! Shame on you for such a paranoid rant. If you had nothing of which to be guilty, those words would have rolled off your back.
To Diane – Keep speaking the truth!