Responding to the ridicule of teachers and the teaching profession by politicians and self proclaimed "experts"!
"Where is Albert Shanker now that we need him?" - Walt Sautter

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Enough is Enough - Really?

We can always make room for more!
I was reading an editorial in the Ledger last week about the blocking of Christopher Cerf’s appointment as New Jersey Commissioner of Education by State Senator Ronald Rice. It cited Rice’s reason for stopping Cerf’s appointment as believing “Cerf is at the center of a conspiracy by hedge fund managers, like David Tepper of Appaloosa Management in Short Hills, to take over public education and turn it to private gain”.
I was certainly glad to see that it is not only I who is suspicious of the “education reform” movement but also someone else like Senator Rice who could act to at least slow its insidious progression.
Then the editorial continues on to demean anyone who could possibly believe Rice’s suppositions to be correct. “No one who is firmly based on the planet Earth believes that nonsense. Tepper is worth about $6 billion and his engagement in education reform is charity work. Does Rice really believe Tepper would need to engage in the mess of Jersey politics to earn a few more bucks?” it says.
Well, I think Rice probably does believe that he would (and so do I) and it is and not necessarily for a “few more bucks”. The current expenditures for education in New Jersey is surely not just a “few bucks”.
If the logic of the editorial suggests that Mr. Tepper is disinterested in making more money just because he now has so much, the question becomes, at what point in his accumulation of wealth did he lose interest in accumulating more? One billion would certainly be enough to satisfy me but evidently not Mr. Tepper because he apparently continued on to amass two billion. Then, I must assume that two billion was insufficient to satisfy his greed (I use this word since our Governor feels it’s OK to use it in reference to teacher’s salaries) since he went on the obtain a third billion and on finally to six billion.
So now I guess the Ledger editor has read the mind of Mr. Tepper and has determined that six billion is the cut off point for his desire to make more money! It must be grand to be able to peer into other people’spsyches and read their thoughts, motivations and desire
                                                                                       as does our editor.
Interestingly enough, a follow up editorial a day or two later seems to emphasize my point. It was about the climate change debate. Here is the excerpt that I found most interesting. “the oil-rich Koch brothers (who have backed climate-denier Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign) donated $200,000 to the Heartland Institute in 2011 and had given before. Their involvement supports the belief that the Heartland Institute is a shill for oil companies that have a huge profit motive in dirty fossil fuels”.
If memory serves me correctly, the Kochs have even more than six billion in their coffers. Using the logic applied to Tepper’s involvement in NJ “education reform” why would the Ledger ever think that the Kochs would want to make even more money?
All I can figure from this is it must be fuzzy thinking or selective naiveté on the part of the Star-Ledger editor. Or could it be something else? 

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