If there has ever been a politician who has affected my life it has been Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree and a teaching certificate. Do I work as teacher? No. A large part of that reason is that Brownback’s deep cuts in education caused teacher layoffs for about six years and that has left me out. I’ve also had to watch as my profession gets attacked over and over and I have to wonder why anyone wants to teach today.
Each year as I applied for a teaching position the teachers I worked with were discussing who was going to get fired. Brownback kept cutting the education budget, so the Wichita School District (USD 259) kept cutting its budget which included firing teachers to stay within its shrinking budget. That also meant that we were not likely to get a pay increase.
Brownback has attacked teachers on several fronts, such as tenure and the need for due process. To fire a teacher in Kansas the school must have a cause before a teacher can be fired. From Education Week:
Teacher tenure is a complex process that refers both to the granting of continuous employment and the conferral of due process, which means teachers can't be dismissed without cause. The Kansas bill appears to get rid of the latter component, but preserves continuing contracts. (This is a bit different from other states that have eliminated tenure, as in North Carolina.)… Veteran Kansas teachers may no longer be given a hearing before they're dismissed, under a policy included in a budget bill awaiting Gov. Sam Brownback's signature.
If I were to aspire to be a full time teacher I would not want these new changes. This means that a parent could complain about something that offends them, such as the readings of a particular writer and without a hearing, the teacher can be fired. Any place the teacher applies to work at will not know whether he was presenting his class with pornography or something that offended only one parent. For example, Where’s Waldo was objected to because one woman believed a tiny drawing of a woman on a beach was topless.
According to Banned Books Awareness:
So why would a harmless series of funny illustrations be on the ALA’s Top 100 Banned Books list for much of the 1990’s?
A handful of people say that the otherwise-innocent images contain “inappropriate and seditious hidden imagery” including topless sunbathers, gay lovers, characters holding up the rocker hand sign (or, as they call it- the “hail Satan”), and a medley of other hysterical claims.
Anyone who’s seen the books knows it’s almost impossible to find Waldo himself, let alone anything of controversy. But that’s exactly what someone claimed in regards to the debut 1987 edition of the series. The infamous charge was in reference to a page containing a frenzied beach scene in which a woman tanning without her bikini top is being splashed on the back with water and the dots in the sand creating the impression that her nipple is erect. The scene is made all-the-more controversial due to the image of two men in a somewhat compromising position to the upper left of the topless sunbather.
Other parents may object to mainstream writers that they believe oppose their own beliefs, such as Charles Darwin. Such due process also prevents a teacher from being fired for personal or political beliefs. With these kind of idiot complaints that a parent can come up with it is easy to see why teachers need protection.
As with other states, such as Wisconsin, teachers’ unions are being maliciously attacked and the rights of teachers are being ridiculed as unnecessary. From The Washington Post:
Mass firings of teachers in so-called failing schools have taken place in municipalities throughout the nation and some states have made a public ritual of humiliating teachers. In Los Angeles and New York, teacher ratings based on student standardized test scores — said by many to be inaccurate — have been published by the press. As a result, great teachers have been labeled as incompetent and some are leaving the profession. A new study showed that teachers’ job satisfaction has plummeted in recent years.
And for those reasons I have lost interest in being a teacher. I’m already a radical writer and that is difficult in such a conservative state. If I were working in the private sector I may have been fired already for my political leanings. It is hard enough being a communist in this state. But to be a teacher and get attacked for all of those bogus reasons—such as claiming we are incompetent after taking all those tests and classes and after having to have high GPA scores—I have lost interest in teaching as well as a lot of other potential teachers.
There are other reasons I can’t stand Brownback. He plans to take control of Medicare and Social Security. He has proven he can’t manage much of anything in Kansas. His privatization of Medicaid into KanCare has been a dismal disaster. It only follows that doing that to Medicare and Social Security will also be a disaster.
There isn’t much this man has done right. He has done all he can to go against Obamacare and all the president’s programs. He is one of those leaders who will harm the people of Kansas to get at Barack Obama. The irony here is that Obama has followed the same disastrous path on teachers and education as Brownback—so much for him being the most radical leftist president ever.
There are many reasons to oppose Brownback, but these are my personal reasons.
- សតិវ អតុ
Pix by www.pitch.com.