Saturday, February 11, 2017

A Teacher's Response to a DeVos Related Editorial Cartoon by Lynne Walker Winderbaum


Teacher, Lynne Walker Winderbaum immediately responded to an editorial cartoon done by Lisa Benson of the Washington Post Writer's Group which was posted in the Tampa Bay Times on Feb.9th,2017. The cartoon is the second one in the scrolling strip in this link: http://www.tampabay.com/…/editorial-cartoons-for-fe…/2312511 

In the cartoon there are two children holding a newspaper that reads "DeVos Ed Secretary" looking at a man in a union shirt crying. One child asks: "Bad news?", the other child says:"Not for us".

Here was Lynne's reaction, as she speaks for so many:

"My blood is boiling from this editorial cartoon in my local newspaper. So here is the letter I just sent to the editor of the Tampa Bay Times":


Your Feb. 9 editorial cartoon depicting Betsy DeVos’ confirmation as a welcome blow to teachers’ unions and a great benefit for students is troubling on two accounts.


First, De Vos’ track record of meddling in Michigan schools is abysmal. While she created many charter schools under the guise of “choice” for parents, they were of low quality. Most recorded student test scores below the state average. Her vouchers have re-segregated Detroit schools. Her reforms have never improved education but have improved the profits of their corporate investors. Her lack of any knowledge of pedagogy or curriculum does not bode well for the one chance at an education that the happy little cartoon child has.



Secondly, the implied glee at the blow to teachers unions is a political shot that will likewise have an impact on that child’s education. Right now Florida is one of the top states impacted by a teacher shortage. There are over 6,000 unfilled openings across the state. Yesterday it was reported that 40% of Florida teachers leave within their first five years. Florida demoralizes its teachers with low salaries, over-testing that saps the joy of learning, no job security, and the lack of respect.


In states where unions are strong, educational outcomes outpace Florida and the best and brightest educators are recruited and retained. Unions assure that teachers can speak out against harmful policies such as special education violations, English language learner violations, misconduct, sexual harassment, without retribution. Union programs stand up for school children, have anti-bullying programs, provide student scholarships, and disaster relief. Unions fight to respect the teachers who have the dedication and calling to educate and tend to the needs of our children so they will make it a career and not a heartbreaking trip through a revolving door.

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