Reader: Should Donald Trump’s Music Teacher Have Carried a Gun?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Reader Carolmalaysia writes:

”Generally, I’m against teachers packing heat. I’ll make an exception in the case for young Trump’s 2nd grade music teacher. If she had overreacted our country wouldn’t have an IDIOT for president. That, however, is the only time a teacher should have had a gun.

“Here’s what Donald Trump wrote in his 1987 book, “The Art of the Deal“:

“Even in elementary school, I was a very assertive, aggressive kid. In the second grade I actually gave a teacher a black eye. I punched my music teacher because I didn’t think he knew anything about music and I almost got expelled. I’m not proud of that, but it’s clear evidence that even early on I had a tendency to stand up and make my opinions known in a forceful way.”

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Norman Rockwell’s Teacher, Armed for 2018, in Trump’s America

Diane Ravitch's blog

Remember the Norman Rockwell of the lady teacher standing in front of her classroom of children.

Here she is, reconfigured for Trump’s America.

This is hilarious!

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John Merrow: End the D.C. Scam and Sham

Diane Ravitch's blog

John Merrow has followed the D.C. fiasco closely. He has been all over D.C. since he spent three years celebrating Michelle Rhee’s Leadership, then realized she was a fraud.

Here he is again, citing the D.C. sham, concentrated first on test scores, then graduation rates.


“Campbell’s Law teaches us that, when too much pressure is placed on a single measurement, that measurement inevitably becomes corrupted to the point of being useless. A straightforward analogy is to physical health. An individual who worries only about weight is a strong candidate for anorexia and bulimia. On the other hand, the person who pays attention to muscle and skin tone, flexibility, endurance, a balanced diet, daily exercise, and personal appearance–as well as weight–is NOT a candidate for an eating disorder.

“The same principle applies to education: When a system values (and measures) many aspects of schooling, such as the amount of art…

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Mitchell Robinson: The Right Way to Arm Teachers—But Not with Guns

Diane Ravitch's blog

Mitchell Robinson explains why it is wrong to arm teachers, and what we should do instead.

He begins:

“Teachers can’t get their schools to pay for the professional development they need for the jobs they have now. Most teachers I know are paying out of pocket for travel to and from conferences, registration fees, professional membership dues, and graduate courses. Where’s the money going to come from to purchase each teacher a weapon and provide the training needed to become proficient?

“Will we be evaluated on our shooting accuracy on a 4 point rubric, with competitions for earning a rating of “highly effective”?

“Will we need to post a daily shooting objective on the white board: “Teacher will be able to hit an assailant with the first shot fired 80% of the time from a distance of 50 yards.”

“Will high school teachers get the newest models of weapons and…

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Economists Don’t Know Crap About Education



I hate to be blunt here, but economists need to shut the heck up.

Never has there been a group more concerned about the value of everything that was more incapable of determining anything’s true worth.

They boil everything down to numbers and data and never realize that the essence has evaporated away.

I’m sorry but every human interaction isn’t reducible to a monetary transaction. Every relationship isn’t an equation.

Some things are just intrinsically valuable. And that’s not some mystical statement of faith – it’s just what it means to be human.

Take education.

Economists love to pontificate on every aspect of the student experience – what’s most effective – what kinds of schools, which methods of assessment, teaching, curriculum, technology, etc. Seen through that lens, every tiny aspect of schooling becomes a cost analysis.

And, stupid us, we listen to them as if they had some monopoly…

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Our Students and Teachers: The Best in the World!

Diane Ravitch's blog

I call a moratorium on bashing our students and our teachers. If I could manage it, I would make that moratorium a permanent ban.

If you have been watching the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on television, you have seen young people who are smart, eloquent, well-informed, and reasonable. They are so much smarter than so many of our elected officials. The elected officials who dare to debate them are quickly shown to be empty suits.

These students are the best in the world. They survived a horrific attack on their school, stepped over the bodies of their friends and teachers, and emerged to tell the world that this American carnage (as Trump put it in his inaugural address) must stop. Now. No more school shootings. They are old enough to vote; the others will be voters by 2020. They are angry and they are focused, and they…

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By Threatening Protections for Teachers, “Janus” Case Also Threatens Students’ Interests


Jeff Bryant’s piece on Tuesday about what the St. Paul Federation of Teachers accomplished in its recent negotiations and threatened strike couldn’t be more timely. The union negotiated an agreement with the school district on February 12, 2018.

After all, on Monday, February 26, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case of Janus v. AFSCME.  This is the most recent case to challenge union “agency” or “shop” fees charged to teachers or other public employees who elect not to join a union but whose interests are represented by the union they have chosen not to join. These non-members are already exempt from paying the portion of union membership fees that cover the union’s political activity. The current case was brought by Mark Janus an Illinois member of AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council.

The Associated Press‘s Mark Sherman explains…

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College Board CEO David Coleman Uses Florida School Shooting to Promote AP Courses

This guy needs to go find a hole and crawl in it with Deputy Peterson.


On February 21, 2018, Eric Hoover of the Chronicle of Higher Ed posted the following tweet featuring the text of an email written by College Board president, David Coleman, in reference to the February 14, 2018, shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida:

Here is the text of Coleman’s email, with my own commentary interspersed:

Dear Members,

The shootings in Florida reverberate throughout our halls, hearts, and minds. As I have spent the last few days reading through the language of adults, none of it felt adequate. But I am writing today because I have words to share that I could not find myself.

So far, Coleman’s letter reads like his goal might be to sympathize with the profound tragedy experienced by…

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West Virginia: Teachers Strike Across the State for Pay, Health Care

Diane Ravitch's blog

West Virginia teachers went out on strike across the state, closing down every public school.

“Teachers across West Virginia walked off the job Thursday amid a dispute over pay and benefits, causing more than 277,000 public school students to miss classes even as educators swarmed the state Capitol in Charleston to protest.

“All 55 counties in the state closed schools during Thursday’s work stoppage, Alyssa Keedy, a spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Education, said.
 “Work stoppages by public employees are not lawful in West Virginia and will have a negative impact on student instruction and classroom time,” West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Steven Paine said in a statement this week. “Families will be forced to seek out alternative safe locations for their children, and our many students who depend on schools for daily nutrition will face an additional burden. I encourage our educators to advocate for the benefits they deserve, but to…

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Teaching is Hard Enough Without the Threat of Imminent Death




I am so sick of coming to school and having an impromptu meeting to discuss why my students and I might die today.


Every time there’s a major school shooting somewhere in the nation it seems a copycat makes a threat in my own backyard, and we react.

The police tell us it’s not a credible threat so school stays open.

However, be vigilant.

Be aware that our students know about the threat and will be talking about it.

We’ll bring in bomb-sniffing dogs…

But try to maintain calm and order.

There will be a lock down drill in a few days…

But try to make the kids feel safe and secure.

An older student violently attacked a classmate last week after threatening to go on a spree…

But attempt to establish an atmosphere conducive to learning.

To which, I say: are you freaking kidding me?

I know…

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