Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Wall That Talked

Meet Gloria Romero, a teachers union's worst nightmare.

Former Los Angeles Lakers Coach Phil Jackson once referred to Sacramento as a "cowtown," but Gloria Romero, a pro-labor Democrat who served as California's Senate majority leader from 2001 to 2008, takes exception to the belittling description. The capitol building in Sacramento, she says, has "the eighth most powerful economy in the world under that dome," and it operates not unlike other wealthy kleptocracies. "There's no other way to say it politely. It's owned."
Topping the list of proprietors is the California Teachers Association, which she calls the most muscular union and political player in the state. Then there are the unions for nurses, prison guards, firefighters and police. Call them California's "deep state."
Ms. Romero now heads the California chapter of Democrats for Education Reform, a large tent of liberals who are as diverse as an Occupy encampment but united by a common desire to improve accountability in public schools. The group supports Democratic school reformers running for political office and promotes legislation that toughens standards.
But before taking up her current charge, Ms. Romero served a dozen years in the legislature, where she was known for trying to clean up the capital's cronyism and corruption.
It wasn't exactly glamorous work, but it was eye-opening. "I've sat in all of those backroom meetings," she says. "That thing, if walls could talk, well think of me as a wall, and I'm talking. I've had it."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some material on this group of "reformers."

In general, far too many people have far too much to say about what needs to take place to “fix” our nation’s schools. The idea that union work rules have some type of negative impact on student achievement is laughable. Unionization doesn’t correlate with high levels of achievement at places like Radnor any more or less than it does with low achievement in places like Chester.
The real reason why the students in one community demonstrate fantastic levels of academic success while the students in another struggle to achieve is poverty. The work of Gerald Bracey highlights two elements of this.
1) Low poverty schools in America are among the best in the world. Our national averages on standardized tests reinforce the destructive role poverty plays in achievement.

2) Politicians and organizations such as Democrats for Education Reform lie about the achievement levels of America’s schools in order to push their version of privatization that masquerades as reform.

President Obama, President Bush (43), Michelle Rhee, Gloria Romero, Campbell Brown, Mayor Bloomberg, and everybody else taking shots at America’s educators can either hand out the necessary tools for schools to fight poverty’s impact on our nation’s children or stop misattributing the causes of student achievement.

September 1, 2012 at 6:07 AM 
Blogger CharlieSix said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 1, 2012 at 8:51 PM 
Blogger CharlieSix said...

Sorry, MediaMike, but let me be the first to point out you obviously did not read the full post of the Spencerblog entry. If you had you would have known that the issue isn't only education or educators' unions. You would have seen that the matter which was the subject of the Spencerblog post is far beyond only one specific sector such as teachers' unions. You are obviously very touchy about anyone challenging teachers' unions. Perhaps if you go back and read the full article included in the Spencerblog post you'll see that there is more in the world than the teachers' unions and their continuum.

September 1, 2012 at 8:55 PM 

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