by Rick Newton
To Superintendent Jose Torres U-46
Board of Education Members and Members-elect
(and other collectivists)
I have included a couple of links that should serve as reminders of the most basic of underlying principles for you as school board members and administrators. One is entitled Indoctrinate or Educate and is authored by Don Jans. In my view, public education in the United States has been hijacked by collectivist-leaning ‘adults’ who believe that teaching students to learn, think, and act on their own is subservient to the wants and needs of labor unions and the superintendent. The second is Balanced Classroom Act – if you aren’t already familiar with Benji Backer and his fight against indoctrination disguised as ‘education’, please watch the first video with Megyn Kelly. Be sure to also view the video at the end of the webpage about a USC ‘professor’ who indoctrinates with impunity.
Though not surprising, it has been readily apparent in the past few weeks that the prevailing Marxist belief system of many of the U-46 board members and the superintendent have been in full bloom. Tax-them-until-it-hurts cheerleader and board member, Traci Ellis, whose level of empathy for taxpayers is summed up by her 2011 statement to “just suck it up”, was very clear in the April 8 open board meeting that the teachers’ union is, in fact, a primary stakeholder in this school district – a claim that should be very enlightening to students, parents, and taxpayers. Also proud to articulate her leftist ideology, board member-elect, Veronica Noland, says she would not approve a charter school unless it provided for the unionization of its employees. Yet, neither of these people can or are willing to explain why or how labor unions provide any value to parents and taxpayers. Lending attention, resources, and priority to labor unions is not only distasteful to those who believe in personal responsibility, but doing so also does nothing to advance the education of our children. It’s truly that simple and shouldn’t have to be spelled when board members share the same priorities.
But one of the most telling statements from the U-46 board that highlights their utter incompetence came during the questioning of a recent charter school proposal panel. During a presentation of a charter school proposal by K-12, one of the board members offered a question to the panel that literally oozed with hypocrisy when they asked “To whom are you accountable?” Anyone who has paid the slightest attention to this board’s beliefs and decisions as well as their attitude toward parents and taxpayers knows damn well they would not be able to honestly answer that question. But yet, blinded by their own arrogance, they asked anyway. Were the proposing panel not attempting to sell their services, they would have rightfully responded, “We have no problem in doing so, but would like to hear your response as well!”
But that’s not likely to happen without corrective action – especially when the board sees itself as an extension of the teachers’ union and servants of the superintendent. Suffice it to say, the emphasis on service and commitment to the teachers’ union provides no value to people who are paying for the educational services of this (or any) school district. The teachers’ union members are, in the simplest of terms, employees – not consumers of the public school system. The school system was not constructed for their benefit – just as General Motors was not created for the United Auto Workers. Though a difficult concept for collectivists to grasp, businesses measure their success by satisfied CUSTOMERS and SHAREHOLDERS. Labor unions do nothing to benefit either.
Rather than quibble over the term ‘primary stakeholder’, the first question to the U-46 board and superintendent should be “What is the service you provide?” But instead of getting a basic and noble reply such as “to prepare and optimize students’ abilities to be lifelong learners and deliberate thinkers who are able to act responsibly as citizens in a free society”, we get Torres’ Marxist rhetoric that states they will provide “College and workplace readiness and elimination of achievement gaps”. Karl Marx would be so proud.
The second question that helps to frame the service of any service provider is “Who are your customers – who are the consumers who acquire your services?” The answer to that question is quite simple – it’s the children, parents, and taxpayers of the school district. Nowhere in that answer is there anything that suggests that the obligations and focus of the board and superintendent should be on the teachers’ union or any other union that may exist within the school district – or, for that matter, on that of a Marxist superintendent who believes that all academic achievement should be equal (“eliminate the achievement gap”); that the best teachers should be allocated to the lowest performing students; and that creating positions such as the Chief of Equity and Social Justice, Asst. Supt. of Elem. Education Instruction and Equity, and Asst. Supt. of Secondary Education Instruction and Equity is of value to the district.
This superintendent and the board have lost sight of their true purpose and priorities of the district. Operating a school system as if it was a social experiment does not bring value to the students, parents, or the taxpayers. In fact, it’s impact is not only damaging to the true consumers, but it is a direct threat to the stability and strength of our most basic freedoms and our nation’s resolve. Why? Because not only do you not focus on the optimization of academic achievement, but you force it to become substandard – and mediocre at best. Believing that your collectivist social experiment is more useful to society than is the American experiment of freedom is a recipe for disaster – and each of you who support this direction or are too weak in character to stand firmly in opposition are only serving as enablers of our societal decline. Jose Torres should be fired and those on the board who fail to support that decision should be exposed for either their complicity in Torres’ ideological motives or their lack of courage to serve the people for whom they were elected to just that.