Opine I will

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

Archive for the tag “greed”

The End is Near



Public education is our nation’s most important asset that is responsible for protecting and nurturing our nation’s most precious asset, our children. Public Education is about to be dismantled and sold off to the highest bidder in every state of our nation. Trump’s legacy will someday describe this real estate scoundrel as the demolition expert that has destroyed an American institution that began in 1690.  Unfortunately, a large portion of our populace do not realize that the end is near.

No matter which party you support or who you voted for, you will soon feel the real pain of a Trump administration. Some have said, we may survive four years of Trump, but will we survive many years of an ultra-Right Wing Supreme Court? Will we survive a Tea party controlled Congress? Will our schools survive?

The “end” for public education is one step closer with Trump’s pick for Education Secretary billionaire Betsy DeVos. DeVos is a conservative activist that has pushed for school vouchers across the nation. She supports raiding taxpayer revenues and funneling them to private and parochial schools. She has no experience in education and will be the chief architect in Trump’s demolition plan.

Trump’s demolition plan includes the destruction of unions. The very same unions that advocate for highly effective schools, strong standards that are appropriate, school safety, and protect the needs of our most challenged students.   Trump has signaled that he would establish Right to Work laws nationwide. Trump’s plan would impede all unions’ abilities to provide the much-needed advocacy that has protected our schools and in turn our middle class.

The end will arrive for many of our union sisters and brothers when a Trump Supreme Court dismantles public unions’ bargaining rights and his wrecking ball destroys tenure protections. Public schools will be immediately impacted when teachers that advocate for their students are fired without due process. Public schools will be systematically taken over by private for profit corporations that will not be subjected to collective bargaining. Profits and the bottom line will be the only measure that is important.

The end is near for public pensions. Trump’s demolition crew is about to blow up a system that has allowed hard working public sector employees to contribute to a system that would protect them in their end years. Trump’s crew will raid our pensions and turn them over to his private sector buddies. Public sector employees will now face the same questionable future as the private sector workers who have lost their future.

The end is near for our curricula. Our Science programs will be distorted with creationists warped views, Social Studies will be used as a tool to indoctrinate and not liberate the mind. The Arts will be lost forever. The focus will be on a false accountability system, based on a failed business model invented in some boardroom.

The end is near for our freedoms. Our freedom to worship as we choose, love who we choose, opine as we choose and severely limit our individual life choices. Trump’s demolition crew is about to dismantle our Inalienable Rights.  Disguised as the Righteous, his crew is about to destroy the very fabric of our nation.

We all know what we witnessed the day after election day. Many of us saw our own union sisters and brothers celebrate Trump’s win. Many of us lashed out on social media and even got into heated arguments. We could not believe that our sisters and brothers and even our loved ones failed to see that Trumps win will destroy us all.

If we put aside Trumps racism, bigoted, misogynist statements. We are still left with the unpleasant truth that the end is near. Unfortunately, it will be pain that will eventually open the eyes of many of our union sisters and brothers. The pain will be swift and devastating. It will be too late for I told you so’s. It will be our demise. Unless we stop him!

Resist! Resist! Resist! Put your niceties aside. Inform, argue, debate and be relentless. Boycott when told to, protest when you can. Throw up roadblocks, stand your ground. Don’t accept “maybe things will get better” or give him a chance. All the signs are there. Point everyone out. Point every threat to our way of life. Point out every conflict, every attack, every enemy.

Do what we do best. Teach! Teach others how the end is near and how it will be a reality if we do not wake up. Our national nightmare is here.

Greed the call of the absurd

Greed, that’s the call of the absurd this week.

I’ve been called greedy several times this week as I questioned the motives and thoughts of some self proclaimed school reformers.  I wear these ad hominen attacks as a badge of pride. You see, they’ve all come when these reform thugs are challenged on their views. When confronted with tough questions, it’s easier to lash out with name calling then to answer.

This week I’ve been called greedy by  Neal McClusky, Associate Director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom, and Maureen Castriotta , Libertarian School Board member from Roxbury, NJ and candidate for Freeman.

They all think teachers are paid too much. Neither would commit to what they think a teacher should earn. Castriotta even believes the teachers in her own district, in which she is a Board member, are greedy. ( Castriotta is a board member who actively campaigns to defeat her own school budget presented by her board)

Castriotta, thinks public school teachers should be paid little and that they should look at teaching as a calling, a public service. She uses the example of good Catholic School teachers. When questioned whether teachers are professional by  blogger, Jersey Jazzman, she refused to answer.

So am I greedy?

This is a second career for me, I went back to school at 40 years of age, earned a MA in Education, did my student teaching for a semester without pay, completed an additional 33+ credits of graduate work, obtained  a professional certification in District Administration, and I’m beginning my 15th year of teaching.  Over the last several years 100% of my students have been tested as being proficient at or above grade level. I love teaching.

I’ve also volunteered in numerous organizations in my community, covering  senior citizens, business, youth and sports organizations.

I once was offered a teaching position in a Catholic School. The salary was $19,900. When I turned down the offer I explained to the good Sister that being a family man I just couldn’t pay my living expenses on that. She said I should look at it as a mission. I politely responded, then my community would have to start a mission to support my family.  Was turning down that job greedy?

Is it greedy, to expect compensation that would allow me to pay my mortgage, help my children with their college loans, put food on the table? Is it greedy to expect  compensation to cover a portion of my health insurance, that covered my heart attack several years ago, or is presently covering my wife’s chemotherapy?  Is it greedy to work towards saving for the future and  a pension that will cover some of my expenses in my upcoming golden years?

Is that greed?

I knew I wouldn’t become wealthy when I switched careers. I knew my life would be fulfilled with knowing I was helping children touch the future. To me that’s a wealth these so call reformers are blind to.  All I ask in return is to be able to afford to care for my family, put some food on the table, and do what I do best teach.

Is that greed?


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