Opine I will

I am an elementary school teacher just trying to do the right thing

My 6 minutes of fame?

Last Friday I was angry and ashamed, so I sat down at my laptop, after school, and banged out my heartfelt thoughts as a self induced form of therapy and self reflection.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have predicted the reaction that last post received. The number of hits on my blog skyrocketed, and Valerie Straus of the Washingtom Post   re-posted my story . Then things really got interesting, several talk radio stations tracked me down requesting interviews and then Glen Beck’s newest venture  ‘The Blaze’ ran the story. I was then asked to be on Beck’s ‘Real News’ show to discuss my blog and the Common Core.  What a week it has been so far!

The comments I received on my blog were mostly complimentary. Teachers weighing in and agreeing with me for the most part. I expected that, considering most people who would follow a link to my humble site most likely are teachers or parents who tend to agree with my views.

On the other hand, the comments from the Washington Post (well over 700) were mostly mixed.  I expected that considering it has a tremendous following for many different viewpoints.

What I didn’t expect was this from Glen Beck. He did this piece as a tease for my upcoming segment on Real News.  I appreciate that he recognizes my peaceful resistance against the reform policies that are coming  from both the left and the right. However I do have some issues in how he perceives the problem. First,  I don’t view  John Dewey as an ‘evil dude’.

I also disagree with his statement when he says,

Ask yourself that question.  Have our schools gotten better or worse since the federal government got involved?  Why should we listen to the people who gave us the Department of Education in the 1970s?  Since its inception, spending per child has tripled while student performance has flatlined or declined.  What evidence is there to suggest that they have any earthly idea on what they are doing?”

I have addressed this issue on this blog before when I wrote ” Let’s Drive This Data”.

The good news is, Glen Beck does understand that public education is under attack from both the Left and the Right when he says,

” This is one of those fights that exposes the frauds on both sides of the aisle.  This is one that can bring all Americans together.  The establishment Republicans, the Lindsey Grahams, the John McCains, the Jeb Bushes of the world, and the Democrats, they’re beholden to the almighty corporation and the progressive agenda, both of them, and they’re dutifully escorting Common Core into every classroom against your will.”

I wonder if his staff has read an earlier piece that I have written, where I state that in order to win this battle we need to ” Keep it Simple”.  In  this post I have said,

“I am against the Common Core and high stakes testing due to pedagogical reasons, while groups on the Right are against it for political reasons. Political arguments are self serving, they reflect a much larger agenda. Calling it Obamacore may feel good to some but it does not help our cause.

In this case these Right Wing groups are pushing a much darker agenda. They look at Common Core as a grand conspiracy by the left, meant to indoctrinate our children while creating a mega database of ammunition that will be used against the masses. I can’t be an ally to that rhetoric.”

Unfortunately, I don’t believe Mr. Beck is a true friend of public education, teachers and public schools.

I was invited onto his network’s Real News show to be interviewed. It lasted a mere 6 minutes. The interview was supposed to be about my blog and Common Core testing. Watch  and see where it went. I think I held my own  considering this was a first for me.

Let me know what you think. 




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9 thoughts on “My 6 minutes of fame?

  1. Maureen Bryant on said:

    I can’t say how proud of the man who I was lucky to have reach my children! Morgan had you 2 yrs in a row- at my request! Hunter had you sadly the year common core became reality- there was a difference in the style, definitely more testing and attendance taking – but you, Ralph Ratto, are the teacher that gave both my children the tools to succeed and be accountable!!! I fight this fight with you and hope all the people who say ” someone else will fight why should I”. Will wake the heck up!! Who is the government to get involved and dictate where my children can move in their life????

  2. vwclown on said:

    You were FANTASTIC!

  3. Not bad. You could have offered to send the interrogator copies of a number of studies showing how charter schools do NOT outperform regular public schools; or have pointed out that the charter schools with high scores regularly weed out the low-performers and trouble-makers and ELL and SpEd students…

  4. Ralph, the self-appointed “experts” will never be convinced that teachers can be trusted to do their jobs well. They’ve been convinced that we must teach the same thing the same way at the same time. In Texas, we’ve dodged the CC bullet, but we had a state-developed resource, CScope, thrust down our throats; fortunately, sane heads prevailed and changed its status from “the” resource to “a” resource.

    The argument favoring testing has never taken into account that we’re dealing with individual students. Teachers have no input as to which students we will teach, and the students have no say as to which teacher they will have. There are entirely too many variables for anyone one to be evaluated equitably.

  5. I watched. You held your own and you got your talking points out. I tried to find this segment on You Tube but had no luck.

  6. Geriatric Doorgunner on said:

    One need only peruse the posts on social media sites to discern the absolute functional illiteracy that is the product of a primarily public education system. There is no doubt that private/charter/parochial school systems are no better than public, but public takes the hit as the largest percentage of the brain dead are products of the public education system. As far as college acceptance/graduation as a measuring gauge, I find little to have faith in when I see the results of college education. Partially literate fools who know not the difference between fact and opinion, and are thus easily victimized by propaganda. I sometimes find it embarrassing to contemplate the state of a nation that millions of my comrades-in-arms died to protect has deteriorated to.

  7. Roger Ingalls on said:

    Great job, keep it up!

  8. Linda on said:

    Great job.
    For Geriatric Doorgunner commenter,
    When I contemplate the sacrifices made for the nation’s freedom, I don’t understand why veterans’ group don’t demand an end to gerrymandering. How does a legislator look a soldier in the eye, thank him for his service and then, legislatively rob him of his vote? And, why aren’t the politicians called out about it?

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