Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Minor Musing In Which I Play Political Consultant

In a Madville Times comment Donald Pay offers the following advice about the campaign to refer HB 1234:
Here’s the campaign. This isn’t about teachers, so don’t have teachers out front on this. It’s about students and incompetence in Pierre. Put parents, students out front against the bumbling idiots in Pierre.
Pay is correct; teachers will not successfully refer this bill if the pubic believes that they are merely complaining.

Pay is also incomplete;  Scott Kemp adds some necessary nuance:
Too many people don’t like teachers.
They don’t like them for their summers off, their short work hours, their “gold-lined” pension and their high salaries.
However, the reality is many people love the teacher.
They love the one in the room, helping their kid achieve great things. They love the teacher who coaches the sport, who supports their child when times get tough, who tries everything to connect with the child off the tracks.
Too often the conversation is about “teachers” and rarely about “the teacher”.
That’s how the narrative needs to change.
Governor Daugaard has shown that he wants to make the campaign about teachers and unions. Teachers need to make the campaign about students and the teacher who made learning possible.

Further, this campaign needs to be cast in the light of returning sanity to education and politics.  A piece of legislation that allows Rep. Steve Hickey to make his point only by speaking well of President Obama, a politician Hickey surely loathes, shows HB 1234 increases political insanity while harming education.

Finally, listen to Thoreau: "Simplify! Simplify! Simplify!" The legislation is unnecessarily complicated. Instead of getting into the bill's minutiae, remind voters that HB 1234 won't help parents stay involved in their students' education; it won't help students learn, and it won't help a classroom teacher teach.  It will hinder all of those goals.

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