Failing the Children

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Harlotte Comes to Breakfast

Good Morning, Breakfastpoppers. Today is Tuesday, June 9, 2015. Our creative friend, Spider Harlotte, is at the breakfast table this morning. She has spent the better part of last evening weaving a tale of stupidity that virtually guarantees children in New York City will get the worst possible education. If the insanity spreads across the country, the damage will be unimaginable. Harlotte has asked for the pleasure of your comp I will be providing the liquid refreshment. We hope to see you soon. Harlotte is anxious to bring you up to date about the latest outrage from the PC gang.

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Teachers Flunk Exam

Thank you for joining me this morning. A federal judge in New York has thrown out a test used by New York City to vet potential teachers. I don't think it's a stretch of the imagination to suggest that teachers should meet basic criteria in order to stand before our children and attempt to educate them. If you feel this way, you would be wrong! The judge found that the test discriminated against racial minorities. He knew this because their scores were lower. If their scores were low enough that their ability to teach was impaired, that should have been the end of the story. How are we supposed to graduate competent students, if those that teach them are themselves incompetent? This has nothing to do with race. This has everything to so with keeping standards high, so that our children will be equipped with the tools to help them succeed out there in the world.

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A Simple Question

Just in case you are wondering what the test is like, let me give you one sample question. The prospective teachers were asked to read four passages from the Constitution and identify which of the passages illustrated the concept of checks and balances. Apparently, the test takers and the judge felt this was way too much to ask of those who desire to educate children. The federal judge believed that the question, along with others, were tainted by racism because Black and Hispanic applicants had a lower passage rate than whites. I wonder, do minority parents want their children taught by minority teachers who are lacking basic high school skills related to liberal arts and sciences? Why would anyone in their right mind accept mediocre teaching skills? Clearly, there is an assumption here that minority members are just not as smart as members of the white majority. If I were a member of such a minority, I would be livid right now.

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The Consequences

The ridiculous aftermath of this finding now focused on New York City. The city had to prove that the test measured basic skills essential for teaching. A district judge decided that the city didn't prove their point. The story does not end here. The test has not been administered since 2012, but the ruling will most definitely upset the applecart. Minorities who failed the exam may qualify for years of back pay. Those candidates who failed the exam and became substitute teachers instead might be assigned regular classrooms. We are talking about thousands of candidates and millions of dollars. This test was used throughout New York State, so the ruling may sweep the state. The end result will be a bankrupt city with incompetent teachers deciding the future of the children.

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Who Needs Standards!

Let's take this ridiculous turn of events to the next level. Let's get rid of all testing. Why should future doctors have to pass any exams? Why should they have to pass the boards? Everyone should have the right to open a practice and treat patients. Let's forget about requiring pilots to actually know how to fly a plane. Anyone who wants to be a cop, can be a cop, no questions asked. Let's face it, aren't we doing that right now with the TSA? We let anyone take that job. In fact, I learned today that at least 73 TSA agents have ties to terror. If a terrorist wants to keep our airways safe, why not offer them a job? To do anything else would be discriminatory. Come one, come all. You can be anything you want to be. Just wave your magic wand. Ah, life is good!

Harlotte's Song

Oh, what tangled web we weave

When first we practice to deceive.


Sir Walter Scott


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Comments 47 comments

Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 18 months ago from Moundsville, WV

Pop and Harlotte,

What a country now that its being "fundamentally transformed". Why insist on any silly requirements for any job such as an education, training, ect, ect. These anti-proletarian concepts have run their course and have no place in a progressive utopia!

My head hurts!!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

I worked alongside some bad ones...believe me, I know. :)


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 18 months ago from Arizona

I think that many are deciding to hit the private schools if it is affordable. We are so lucky that we didn't have to deal with this. I remember having really good teachers who inspired me to always learn more. I think what is going on today is beyond ridiculous..and the really bad side of this--it hasn't even reached the point where it is totally unacceptable....we are on the way. I will see you at Cyber Bar tonight with a Shirley Temple for my choice of drink.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 18 months ago Author

Good Morning Tom,

My head hurts too, but unless we get the kind of "change" we really need, we have to get used to it! See you at the Inn. I may move in to the Inn!


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 18 months ago Author

Good Morning billy,

I am sure you have stories to tell! See you at the Inn.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 18 months ago Author

Good Morning carol,

I agree, we are going to be seeing insanity bloom and multiply. More and more parents are homeschooling and I can see why. I'll be at the Inn contemplating this new strange world we are living in.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 18 months ago from Rural Arizona

This decision is just another feather in the cap of those who's goal is to further dumb down America. Good teachers that actually try to put some knowledge in the heads of their students are frowned upon.

I am so glad that my own children were raised when teachers actually understood the subjects they taught. And even better, all of my children can actually read and write, and are pretty darn good at math.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 18 months ago from sunny Florida

O my...I was a teacher for 40+ years and I never fail to be amazed at the rulings that come down the pike. I took a kazillion tests along the way including state tests to receive my certification in specific areas as I worked to receive 3 degrees...just short of my doctorate...maybe one day I will get it even though I am retired now for 4 years. O, I digress.

How can testing ever be 'fair and unbiased' for all??? How?

I think the powers that be have let the pendulum swing way out of kilter....yes, teachers should be qualified and competent...absolutely, yes, yes and yes. Finding a way to insure that is impossible via a test. General knowledge, and even specific knowledge in a field can be measured but an individual's ability to teach cannot be measure via a test, any test. The only way to measure that is to put the person in the classroom and watch what happens. Up close and personal observation (providing support to the teacher as needed) is the way to determine if a teacher is a teacher. Of course I have abbreviated my response but that is THE way. Yes, they should pass tests and what test that will be, who knows....

and like you minorities should be insulted...by the ruling.

Perhaps test anxiety is the cause for poor performance??? We will never really know.

And giving back pay to those who did not pass---are you kidding me?? If those who are not minorities did not pass, will they too receive this back pay???

O my..what a can of worms this is...So glad I stopped to read....I always find something that is thought provoking here.

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps Voted up++++


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 18 months ago Author

Dear Mike,

My kids escaped most of the bad teaching, but I do worry about my grandchildren. Between Common Core and administrators and teachers who can't think, the environment is scary. See you at the Inn.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 18 months ago Author

Dear ps,

We need more teachers like you. Our children deserve highly educated and talented people. Anything less is a smack in the face. The effect of bad teaching and parenting are out there for all to see. The dumbing down of America is almost complete. See you at the Inn and thanks so much for coming to breakfast.


DJ Anderson 18 months ago

My son is the smart one in the family. He was tested and put into accelerated classes. One of the parents took note that the color ratio

seen to be tilted to the lighter side of pale. There must be a problem!

She took it to the board of education saying that students who were

not white were being excluded in the advanced program. She wanted the test changed so that the advanced classes showed a more diverse

range of students.

No one could get her to understand that advanced students are advanced because of what was between their ears, and had nothing

to do with the color of one's skin.

She screamed racial bias and discrimination.

To tell you the truth, my son was in his senior year of high school and

I lost interest in her 'case'. It almost sounded like a jealous mom

saying if my child is not smart, I don't want your child to be smart.

I say, without a doubt, our entire nation is being dumbed down.

And, one day, these young people will be leading out nation.

Lord, take me now!

DJ.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 18 months ago from Rural Arizona

I can remember when some teachers really cared, and perhaps some still do. With the new rules preventing teachers from diciplining children for improper behavior, I really wonder why anyone would even want to be a teacher today. The teacher can do nothing even if a student physically attacks them or verbally abuses them.


DJ Anderson 18 months ago

Poolman, my daughter-in-law worked her way through college as she wanted to be a teacher. Her dream came through, but she had to work and go back to college to get her Master's degree to teach high school.

In the state where she lives, she was told that she could not fail a student

no matter their lack of effort. She felt that many had never been give a

proper chance with a caring teacher. She felt that she could make a real difference. She gave opportunities for students to raise their scores but

no one would do the extra work for the extra grade. In fact, one of the males walked right up into her face and said, "You just don't get it. We know you cannot fail us. We have no intention of doing the work."

She gave notice the next day as she finally realized she was not equipped

to handle young adults, in high school, who cared nothing for learning or bettering their chances for a quality life.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 18 months ago from Rural Arizona

DJ - It sounds like she would be a wonderful teacher for a private school for exceptional children. We will soon be faced with a serious shortage of teachers willing to work in Public Schools.

Let's face it, since the Feds took over education it has been a downward spiral from day one.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 18 months ago Author

Dear Dj,

When my girls were in elementary school they were tested and were placed in the Gifted and Talented Program. The tests were completely without bias as to where they children went to school or what grade they were in. My oldest daughter was in the first G & T class and not long after every lunatic crawled out of the woodwork. Those who were not selected were angry and they cried discrimination. Even the teachers behaved badly. I fought the system all the way through, and from what I see now not much has changed. It is no wonder our children lag behind other countries. We have allowed morons to screw everything up and our nation is paying a heavy price for the dumbing down of America. See you at the Inn.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 18 months ago Author

Dear Mike,

All of America is dumbed down, and that includes the administrators that make stupid decisions that affect all the kids and teachers. I don't think a day goes by that we don't hear about another awful decision made by teachers or school administrators. Parents need to get involved and demand better education. Until they do, nothing will change. See you at the Inn.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 18 months ago from Rural Arizona

Patti - We now rank 47th in the world for educational standards. Won't be long and we will be in last place.


Entourage_007 profile image

Entourage_007 18 months ago from Santa Barbara, CA

The schooling system needs to improve around the country, at my high school teachers were almost held to no standards of education at all. Sure I had some good teachers, but some were obviously ignorant in so many ways. Great article breakfastpop


Learn Things Web profile image

Learn Things Web 18 months ago from California

There's an attempt to get more minority teachers into classrooms, which I completely understand. It's important for minority children to see people like them in important positions. Otherwise they grow up believing important jobs are for white people only. But this isn't the way to do it. Universities need to do a better job preparing teachers, so all teachers can easily pass these exams. If someone can't pass these tests, it means the college they attended failed them.


drbj profile image

drbj 18 months ago from south Florida

It was bound to happen sooner or later. The imbeciles are now running our country and our courts.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 18 months ago from Rural Arizona

It won't be long and we won't have any parents smart enough to homeschool their own children. If teachers can't pass these tests there is no way they should be given a job. This is one of the most stupid things I have ever heard of.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 18 months ago Author

Good Morning Mike,

The rest of the world is laughing at us and shaking their heads. We should be number one, but we have completely lost our way. See you at the Inn.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 18 months ago Author

Good Morning Entourage,

If we went about things in the right way, we could get rid of teachers who were awful. Instead, we hold on to them because of an antiquated tenure system. Tenure explains a great deal about the failure of education. Government intervention explains the rest. The same applies to government jobs. Government workers never get fired, they just get moved around and promoted. What a mess! Thanks so much for coming to the breakfast table.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 18 months ago Author

Dear Learn Things Web,

The same standards should apply to everyone without regard to race. A qualified teacher is a qualified teacher, period. We just can't get things right anymore. It seems that we have lost the ability to problem solve and think clearly. Thanks for coming to the breakfast table.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 18 months ago Author

Dear dr,

Yes, the chickens have come home to roost and we are paying a very heavy price for all this ignorance. See you at the Inn.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 18 months ago Author

Dear Mike,

I'm afraid that stupid rules the day. The ability to reason is a lost art. See you at the Inn.


taxlarry 18 months ago

Why have intelligent and incompetent teachers when we don't have intelligent and competent leaders? Just look at what's in the white house.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 18 months ago Author

Dear taxlarry,

We have a president who refuses to release his transcripts. I wonder... did he even attend the schools he says he did? In any case, we are a mess from the top down. Correcting things is going to take a miracle. See you at the Inn.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 18 months ago from Rural Arizona

The only thing that will ever help is the parents getting involved in their childrens education. Far too many parents use schools as a low cost alternative to day care and pay no attention at all to their childs progress.

When a parent discovers that their child, whom is a senior in high school, can barely read and write, they should be alarmed and outraged. They should be standing in the school Principals office asking why their child is so far behind and why they weren't notified.

Now we have millions demanding that the minimum wage be increased to at least $15 per hour. Many of those demanding this wage are the very one's who graduated from High School and still can't read, write, or do basic math in their heads. The idea that they need to be better educated or learn a skill to earn more money is something they are not willing to do. They accept an entry level job, do nothing to improve themselves, and demand more money. How crazy is this?

End of rant.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 18 months ago Author

Dear Mike,

Then I say, live the life you have chosen. Parents must monitor the schools and demand better teaching and better results. I did that years ago and now my children are in there forties, and very accomplished. I am already at the Inn, saving you a seat.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 18 months ago from Minnesota

It's ridiculous to me to make standard testing a race issue. Things just get weirder and weirder in this country. Meet you at the Inn my friend.


Pino Krisio 18 months ago

POP: I am not surprised. If a poorly educated child makes it through college in NYC to become a teacher, it only goes that they should not be able to take a test to prove they were poorly educated! This was done with the Firefighters in New Haven, Ct. They had to dumb down the test because the minorities could not pass the test to be promoted. Our now Supreme Court Justice Sotomeyer ruled on that issue. If we keep them dumb. they will follow the democrats, because the dems give free stuff.

Get it? If I was not smart enough to get into Yale or MIT, I should have sued them years ago. My fault for not thinking it was someone else's fault.

I am so sickened by this that I am off to the bar.... See you there.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 18 months ago Author

Dear Minnetonka Twin,

What's happening now is in direct proportion to the dumbing down of America. It's absolutely frightening! See you at the Inn.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 18 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Honestly pop.....I don't want to hear the word "race".....The sight of Sharpton hurts my head.....Black and white- black on white- white on black- black on black.....police brutality, protests, looting.....every thing begins and ends with racism....that's all there is anymore.

No one is a person, an American, a man or a woman.....they're black, white, Hispanic or Asian......Muslim, Jew, Christian,Atheist, Far right far left, Independent, Conservative, liberal, fascist, socialist, anarchist....Where are the plain old regular PEOPLE?

Political Correctness......someone's being OFFENDED......Let's drop the name "Red Skins."???? What college did you go to? What''s your GPA? Can you pass a simple test? How can you teach children when you FLUNK a simple test? Are you on the terrorist list? The Child Predator list? Do you have a record of violent crimes? Why is an alcoholic with a DWI driving our school bus??

WHO THE HELL IS IN CHARGE AROUND HERE???!! ANYBODY??

It's OK. I feel much better.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 18 months ago Author

Dear Pino,

You can't possibly stomach any of this because it is positively insane! I will arrive at the Inn shortly. I may sleep over because I don't think it is safe out there!


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 18 months ago Author

Dear fp,

Just breathe..., As to who is in charge, well the lunatics are in charge. At this point I am so sick of hearing about race that I could become a racist!!!! I blame all of this on Obama, Holder, Sharpton and a thousand other fools who decided that they just had to keep the issue alive and on fire. See you at the Inn....


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 18 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Reminds me......Hire the backhoe......It's time to move the INN underground. WAY underground. It may have to be enlarged as well and stocked for years of self-sufficiency for the small group of remaining sane, stable, Americans willing to RE construct the Country we once had.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 18 months ago Author

dear fp,

What a wise and splendid idea, so great that I feel better already. The loons are taking over the world. See you at the Inn and we'll start making plans. Bring some shovels!


savvydating profile image

savvydating 18 months ago

I am generally an optimistic person, despite the ills I observe and sometimes write about. But this is just too much. Political correctness is sinking this nation into the abyss---it would seem. This whole race issue is really getting on my nerves. For crying out loud, of course teachers should pass tests and be qualified to teach!

That being said, it is the character of an individual which will determine whether he or she can truly teach and inspire a child to reach for the stars, so to speak---but first they have to learn so that they can know what they are talking about!! Sheesh!

And that back pay thing??? Really, really unfortunate.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 18 months ago Author

Dear savvydaying,

All of this is too much for me. So much of what is happening in the schools is the result of administrators and teachers who do not have the ability to think clearly or act fairly. I heard today that a principal in Texas was removed from his job because he gave an opinion on a website about the incident at the party in which a police officer resigned. Apparently, free speech is truly dead. See you at the Inn.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 18 months ago from Rural Arizona

I believe that what most of us are feeling is total frustration in regards to our education system. The downhill spiral started with the Federal Department of Education, and that has passed on down to State and Local levels. We now have one of our most important needs being run by the most incompetent people they could find. Results tell the story and our educational ranking continues to sink lower and lower compared to the rest of the world. If this were a private enterprise most of them would have been fired and replaced long ago.

They blame their poor results on a lack of money, but most of us know that is not the problem. We could hand them billions of dollars and nothing would improve until the people in charge are gone and replaced.

If we could get the Feds completely out of our education system and return the power to the States we might be able to turn things around, but that will never happen.

The parents of these school aged children have got to get involved or we will be in last place in the very near future.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 18 months ago Author

Good Morning Mike,

You just gave the perfect blueprint for turning things around. We also have to get rid of tenure and expect the same kind of performance levels that are applied in the real world. The government can't run anything and shouldn't run most things. I hope you are enjoying your weekend. See you at the Inn later.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 18 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Dump all government run schools and issue vouchers instead. Then watch how quickly education improves as private schools compete for that all voucher money.

The only reason Democrats resist this obvious fix is tremendous pressure from the country's largest labor union..the uber-liberal NEA.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 18 months ago from Rural Arizona

Great ideas WillStarr. We could also fire some people who have been making big bucks to make sure our schools are running the way they should.

That would apply to the head of the Federal Department of Education all the way down to individual school administrators and teachers.

But of course their excuse is that they don't have enough money. I seriously doubt anything would improve if they had an unlimited budget.

We really need to apply the "two can't" rule to our school systems. That means if you "can't" do the job, you "can't" work here. But as you point out, even the weakest most incompetent employees are fully protected by the Union.

Perhaps the Union is the major source of the problem?


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 18 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

The Founding Fathers took great care to limit federal authority by granting only certain powers and forbidding federal authority over anything not enumerated. Education was not one of those powers because a government would sooner or later use education to indoctrinate. That's why the federal Department of Education is illegal and should be eliminated immediately.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 18 months ago Author

Good Morning Will,

You just solved the problem. Unfortunately, the Dems have a vested interest in keeping people controlled and dumb. The same thing should be done to the TSA. Get rid of the fools and privatize the entire program. See you at the Inn.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 18 months ago Author

Dear Will and Mike,

If more people were as intelligent as the two of you, Obama would be in Chicago and our children would be able to compete in the real world.

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