Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Greater New York Hates Children

The new Greater New York section of the Wall Street Journal, which is part of Rupert Murdoch's master plan to conquer the New York Times, is trying to destroy the education system. So far I have counted 3 articles either decrying extraordinary teacher absenteeism or claiming that school districts are stockpiling cash instead of returning it to property owners.

Perhaps the most egregious example of Murdoch trying to influence policy through the "news" section was the article on M.I.A. Newark teachers coming right before NJ Governor Christie's contract negotiations with the teacher's union.

The teachers' contract, which will expire this month and is currently under negotiation, is one of Gov. Chris Christie's few chances to influence the work rules of a New Jersey school district. Newark's absentee numbers are "completely unacceptable," said Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for Mr. Christie, who would ultimately approve or reject the teachers' contract. "That kind of history certainly doesn't work in favor of the union and its negotiating position unless that problem can be fixed."

I know the phrase "teacher's union" is shorthand for everything that is wrong with education or indeed almost any societal ill: unwed motherhood, baby daddies, high crime, low self-esteem; but making teaching an occupation with absolutely no job security and turning it into a hapless political football won't fill classrooms with highly qualified individuals. Anyone with half a brain will look elsewhere.

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