Wednesday, December 04, 2013

We Have a New Seattle School Board


I attended the Oath of Office ceremony this afternoon for our two new and one returning Board members.  It had all the usual trappings; family, supporters and a fair number of staff.  There were speeches (mercifully brief) but, from talking to others, there is one person who stood out to many of us.

I think I'll write this thread as straight as I can and you can be the judge of what stands out.  (I saw some readers so they can let you know if I get it mostly right.)

Vice-President Peaslee (now the top person in leadership given President Smith-Blum is gone) welcomed everyone.  She almost got ahead of herself by having Sue Peters come up but remembered that Superintendent Banda was to say a few words.  He mentioned that he himself had served on a Board and is often asked how it is to work with a 7-person Board.  He said that he sometimes wonders if it's a trick question.  He said it was very much like being in a large family.

Then Sue Peters came up with her father (her parents had come in from Los Angeles).  There was one funny moment when her father, in reciting the oath to her (and then she would recited that portion back), said, "...King County, California."  Sue smiled and said, "King County, Washington."  At the end, they hugged.

Next was Stephan Blanford who was given the oath by his wife, Janet.  This oath was pretty straightforward.

Last was Director Patu who was given the oath by her son, Paul Patu.  At the end, he smiled at her and took the mic.  She looked a little worried and then he said, "I'm your son and I'm proud of you, Mom."  Then they hugged.

Then each newly-installed director said some remarks with Sue Peters going first.

Peters thanked the voters for their trust.  She thanked her family for their support.  She congratulated Patu and Blanford on their victories.  She said she looked forward to working collaboratively with the rest of the Board.  She singled out Director Patu for her (already) four years of service and her second term.

The new School Board
Director Blanford was next and came up with a written speech.  He said it had been a "long and rocky" road to this day during the campaign.  He said that he and his siblings/cousins had rise up out of "generational poverty" via education.

He stated that his "historic" margin of victory was a validation of his views by voters.

He called out his daughter's school, Beacon Hill, as a model of "equity and excellence."  He said that all the children of the school were served - Special Ed, ELL and Advanced Learning -without parents being pitted against each other.  He said it was a great school.

He said he hoped to work "humbly" with staff and, because of his victory, would champion his views to the rest of the Board.  He also said he wanted to work collaboratively.

He thanked his daughter and his wife for their support.

Director Patu went last.  She first thanked God for her success.  She also thanked her husband, Von Paul Patu, who had always been her biggest supporter as well as her children and grandchildren.  She said she had wanted to change the status quo for her region and was proud that there were very few SE region schools at Level 1 or 2.  She said it was worth the hard work to see these outcomes.  She finished with a Ghandi quote.

I'll finish with what I always say about being on a school board.

1) it's a team sport, not a spotlight
2) compromise and consensus are the order of the day to get things done. 

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

In other headlines from Seattle Times Walkinshaw got nominated last night to fill the vacant 43rd District legislative seat.

43rd's the most liberal district in the city and yet they apparently picked a guy from......The Gates Foundation. I smell trouble.

DistrictWatcher

Melissa Westbrook said...

DistrictWatcher, I am SO disappointed. It seemed rigged from the start and I predict not good things. I'm in the 43rd and very sad.

Anonymous said...

I just have to say what an adorable picture that is of Betty and her husband (and guessing grandson on her shoulder). Their smiles are perfect!

Good morning to you all

Carol Simmons said...

The Board meeting must have been extremely impressive. I was unable to attend and so appreciate the review and pictures. I have great faith in our Board Directors and their commitment to equitable, excellent education for all of our students.

mirmac1 said...

Mr. Banda made a point to greet the parents and family that attended, not huddle with staff. Much appreciated.

Re: Blanford waxing rhapsodic about Beacon Hill and how every kid should get that. Sure thing. Better start recruiting those Mandarin-speaking math teachers. Might take a while.

Anonymous said...

He stated that his "historic" margin of victory was a validation of his views by voters.

Mmmmmm. I could say a lot about that. But I won't. Too easy.

Chris S.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, can you please explain your comment that "it seemed rigged from the start"? I am not following your thinking. But I agree that legislative district representation matters.

SavvyVoter

NE Voter said...

I would caution Mr. Blanford about that supposed mandate. I voted for him, but only because of his opponent. If he had been unopposed, I wouldn't have voted for him.

mirmac1 said...

I actually wrote in KSB so Blanford has no mandate from me.

I believe Peaslee's position is Member-at-Large. Patu was VP.

What Competition? said...

I'll quietly join Chris S. and NE voter in their views.



Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Po3 said...

For Blanford to say anything about his election, when he did not have a formidable opponent is disingenuous.

Noted and watching.

mirmac1 said...

Anonymous,

I hope you're deleted. Your rant is insulting.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Savvy Voter, what I meant (and maybe rigged was the wrong word) was that Walkinshaw went out and got 60 people to be PCOs.

Now that's great except where were these people before he went to them? It looks like he went out to find votes (and right when he needed them).

I myself am not hugely involved at the 43rd but go a fair amount of time. Mr. Walkinshaw did not register with me as someone I'd ever seen or heard of. You'd think I might have if he were that active in the district. I certainly knew who the other candidates were.

Anonymous said...

I too voted for Kay Smith Blum as a write in candidate. Dr. Blanford did not meet my expectations, and his opponent was homophobic, so was an utterly inappropriate choice to hold public offic and represent ALL families.

For Dr. Blandford to highlight election results against a noncredible candidate as a mandate is pathetic. Either he doesn't understand he did not earn a mandate, the way Ms. Peters did, or he knows he doesn't have one but said he did anyway. Either way, that is not a harbinger of good things to come, which only serves to reinforce my impression of him and confirm my instincts as to why I could not and did not vote for him.

-not optimistic

Anonymous said...

I don't think it is insulting to kindly ask from anyone at SPS to separate public involvement and religion. Not everyone believes in a God these days in Seattle. Anyway, hopefully anon was only deleted because the post was not signed.
RD

Anonymous said...

Agree with above; I absolutely do not agree with Blanford's basically only theoretically derived views, but given the choice of a sort of arrogant, inexperienced guy who seems wrong on a number of issues and a raging homophobe who is willing to cruelly insult a dying woman....I suppose we are going with the arrogant guy. No kind of mandate on his views, and in fact I can only hope some of them change as he gets to know actual students in the district and hopefully stops treating them like stereotypes. I have not heard quite the same evenness about Beacon Hill(especially special ed and advanced learning) though it does great things for many kids.

-sleeper

Po3 said...

In God We Trust

is printed on every bill.

sheesh people. relax.

Anonymous said...

FYI, The post was insulting to Texans by stereotyping them. -Was There

mirmac1 said...

RD,

Kindly is not using ALL CAPS and calling someone's beliefs nonsense.

The board meetings begin with the pledge of allegiance, with the majority in the room stating "...under God, indivisible...". I guess Anonymous could rant there.

Mandate Says; said...

Seattle does not want an anti-gay sitting on the board. That's all.

Anonymous said...

Let's all remember that KSB has said publicly multiple times that Stephan is a great choice to take her place. So either

A You liked KSB's approach as a board member, took her kind words on Blanford at face value and are looking forward to his leadership

B You didn't like KSB's approach to leadership and are dreading another KSB.

C You didn't believe KSB's kind words and figured she was desperate for someone halfway credible to step up so she could extricate herself from the board as smoothly as possible after one term.

Me, I think it was C and I am unimpressed with Blanford as well as unimpressed with KSB for taking a very pro-parent stance, quite obviously trying to set up a board coalition, then fleeing.

But on the other hand, I can't really blame her - KSB. It's a no-win, time-suck job. Wouldn't go there in a million years, so at least she stepped up for 4.

Paying Attention



ConcernedSPSParent said...

If Blanford had not stood Kermit the Frog would have been a viable candidate and I guess now have a 'mandate'. Guy needs a wake up call.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I deleted the comment about Director Patu's remark about God because it was anonymous. She said it for herself and not as a director and I don't have a problem with that. If she said she won because of God, maybe.

I believe everyone - including atheists - are allowed to have their views respected but for most governmental entities, there should be none.

Was There, what did I miss about Texans?

Po3 said...

C.

Eric B said...

Not optimistic, I supported Peters, but I also don't think she has a mandate. You have to win by a wide margin against a credible opponent to have a mandate. Peters, IMHO, fails the first test, and Blanford definitely fails the second. that said, lack of a mandate means little or nothing about how people will do on the Board. The proof will be in the pudding over the next 4 years.

Anonymous said...

Melissa,

The poster said something like "this is Seattle not Texas". I have noticed often people in Seattle tolerate insulting stereotypes about people not from the NW especially Southerners and only object when something negative is said based on race, religion, sexual orientation.
-Was There

Melissa Westbrook said...

Was There, right I forgot that was in there. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

@Eric B

Ms. Peters won by about 16,800 votes. That smells like a mandate to me. She won by 10 full percentage points, and yet, if you consider the dollars of the District 4 race, when the opponent's coffers overflowed with bucks and some heavy-duty "professional political machinery", that victory really does speak of a true mandate.

Dr. Blanford's statements, in contrast, to me smack of hubris and arrogance, which is why I remain

-not optimistic

Eric B said...

Not optimistic, thanks for the update on Peters' numbers. I stopped paying attention to the numbers in that race when Dale-Estey conceded, when Peters was about 5% up. I guess she pulled further ahead like Sawant did in later ballot drops.

Samantha said...

Estey had an enormous financial advantage. Peters was repeatedly attacked by Estey's PAC and received over 92,500 votes. Estey received 75,000 votes. I'd say Peters won handily and has a mandate.

https://electionsdata.kingcounty.gov/election-results-nov/three/School/Seattle%20%28%231%29/Seattle%20School%20District%20No.%201%20Director%20District%20No.%204

Melissa Westbrook said...

Ah but Samantha. there's the point. Peters and Blanford both know these stats.

But only Blanford chose to claim a mandate. That he believes his vote total gives him a mandate, given his opponent, is something that other readers have noted as puzzling.

I don't think is just a rookie error. I think it was quite deliberate.

Anonymous said...

last night was the 2nd time I've heard Blanford speak - sounds like all the dolts in the buildings need to be replaced by real leaders who'll learn about being real leaders from places filled with real leaders, because real leaders are not in places filled with dolts.
Imagine how glorious it must be to be a real leader in a leaderly place like u.w. leader-ville, instead of some stuck in a

BuildingDolt?

mirmac1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mirmac1 said...

Building Dolt?

I get it and agree.

I'm gratified that there was less grandstanding at the board meeting tonight. Blanford made a point about growing from the (DeBell) gutter of disunity and disrespect to one that McLaren has espoused from the start: we must begin from a point of mutual respect and collaboration.

I hope this is not just the honeymoon phase....

Personally, my heart was set on President Betty. But I think we have a board that can move forward on constructive things that can actually help students and teachers.

M. Jackson said...

Once again... with name this time.

1. Regarding Texas and schools…
I don't think the previous comment was a 'rant' or trying to insult Texas. It was a reference to the fact that in Texas Rick Perry and similar-minded people allow 'intelligent design' and related religious nonsense get into the public education agenda. See here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/29/education/creationists-on-texas-panel-for-biology-textbooks.html?_r=0

2. Regarding thanking God on a school board: Such comments (in addition to being factually incorrect, referring to perceived support of a non-existant entity) are completely unnecessary and sound fairly backwards, especially for Seattle where the percentage of atheists/agnostics is one of the highest in the country; 35 religious adherents out of 100 residents. (Not to mention the church/state division, that teachers and school board members should be well aware of). References below

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/14/atheism-rise-religiosity-decline-in-america_n_1777031.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_church_and_state

M. Jackson said...

Oh, and about the earlier side note on Pledge of Allegiance…

Of course this unnecessary practice should be stopped eventually - there are attempts nationwide by the ACLU and enlightened parents who are fed up with this, and there is no question that this effort will prevail, it's just a matter of time. In the meantime (in case you did not know this) participation is completely voluntary in Seattle schools.

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Court-rejects-Pledge-of-Allegiance-in-schools-1090149.php

http://aclu-wa.org/sites/default/files/attachments/PledgeGuide_2012.pdf

In related news: this latest attempt to sneak christian religion into Bainbridge island schools is being rejected, as we speak. So, there is hope. We are in Seattle, after all.

http://www.insidebainbridge.com/2013/10/08/investigation-launched-into-ongoing-presence-of-three-youth-pastors-at-woodward-middle-school/

http://www.king5.com/news/local/Bainbridge-Island-holds-meeting-on-investigation-into-school-volunteers-234339791.html

mirmac1 said...

Hi M

Thanks for taking off the caps lock. I absolutely agree that Rick Perry is bonkers.

Somehow I don't think Patu's personal comments are sending us down that path. I liken this to an awards ceremony, when someone accepting an honor or award thanks their same-sex partner or Allah or the dice, it's not for me to say. Director Patu has never indicated that she would let her religious beliefs influence her judgment as a school board member.

Further, I don't think that somehow the % of religious believers in Seattle makes us a backwater of ignorance or intolerance. And I say this not as a devout anything.

Sorry I got pissed off. We'll agree to disagree.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Building Dolt, please refrain from using that word again. We're not name-calling here. If you have an issue with someone's job performance, say that.

Mr. Jackson, I would say that you might dial that back a bit. I appreciate you have a different view but your perception of another's belief might not be taken well (even in a fairly non-religious area like Seattle). It was the only time I have ever heard God invoked (except for the pledge and you don't even have to say that part or any of it).

M Jackson said...

Melissa…. Just one more question or comment please, to illuminate the discussion. Why does one have to respect other peoples' imaginary friends? See below. OK. Done. I will dial it back now.

“The president of the United States has claimed, on more than one occasion, to be in dialogue with God. If he said that he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate a national emergency. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ridiculous or offensive.”
― Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation

Anonymous said...

M. Jackson,

Thou dost believe in the enlightenment of Seattle way too much for my belief system.

I'll take a humble servant with a heart like Betty Patu any day over an enlightened Seattle type like Michael DeBell.

Thanking God publicly before receiving an honor is a form of humility in many cultures. Thanking oneself is too often the "Seattle Way."

Thank God for Betty Patu

--enough already

M. Jackson said...

OK since you asked. Back to the issues at hand.

Here are some of my pet peeves with respect to public education; perhaps the new School Board can start doing something in the right direction. But I doubt it.

1. The pathetic state of science and math education. According to Dave Barry, US students regularly score lower on standardized tests than several plant species. But seriously, look at these rankings: US is at the 28th!!! place or 14th place, depending on the test used.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0923110.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_student_performance

http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/12/american-schools-vs-the-world-expensive-unequal-bad-at-math/281983/

We need much better teachers, much better books, and a much better curriculum. What we have is pathetic and completely unacceptable.

2. The low quality of teachers (in general); paralleling the low level of respect and appreciation of schoolteacher as a job in general. (In sharp contrast to places like Finland, Singapore, which, naturally, score much higher than the US on all international tests). A complete reform would be needed in how teachers are trained, evaluated and compensated. The strong protective power of the Union of low-performing teachers should be abolished.

3. Lack of teacher-directed after-school academic programs. In many other countries, after-school math clubs, physics clubs exist, specifically to prepare kids for national and international competitions. These are run by teachers who are rewarded in their career by the successes their kids bring to their school and to their country. In the US, such clubs and preparations are non-existent, or, at best, run by parents (!!), as opposed to teachers.

4. The intentional destruction of the APP in SCC. While I understand the essential need to improve the 'bottom end', this should not come at the expense of dumbing down the education for gifted students. APP curriculum is incomplete/non-existent; APP courses are taught by teachers without APP credentials, etc etc.

5. Overly soft and overprotective school environment, unsuitable to prepare kids for real life. How is it possible that a math teacher who puts out the test results of the kids (with names) on the classroom door gets in trouble for it? (School sued by parents etc etc?) Our kids become way too soft and pampered in this environment.

6. Compared to all of the above, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, prayer time in schools, infiltration of school lunches by priests etc etc is really a non-issue. But in reality, it is still a problem, as it is a form of child abuse to let religion or any other form of superstition be part of our kids' education.

Anonymous said...

"M. Jackson said...
OK since you asked"


-enough already, did you have to open that can of worms...?

Mr. Yuk

M Jackson said...

-enough already, did you have to open that can of worms…?

That particular "can of worms" (especially math and science education, but also gifted education) is the future of this country. Could be important.

Anonymous said...

How is it possible that a math teacher who puts out the test results of the kids (with names) on the classroom door gets in trouble for it? (School sued by parents etc etc?) Our kids become way too soft and pampered in this environment.

It's a violation of FERPA. I can't imagine actually taking legal action as a parent, but the school and teachers should know and follow the law.

-parent

Anonymous said...

How is it possible that a math teacher who puts out the test results of the kids (with names) on the classroom door gets in trouble for it?

I'd certainly complain if my kid's teachers did that - it may be nice for the kids with good grades, but it public humiliation for the kids that did not do well. If it were as simple as hard work = good grades, that would be one thing, but there are kids who work hard & still don't have good grades, or who do well in one subject but struggle with another. What does it accomplish to embarrass them? The kids who got A's can be happy about their grades without seeing how many kids they beat - the point of school is to learn, not to constantly compete with your classmates.

Mom of 4

Melissa Westbrook said...

"Why does one have to respect other peoples' imaginary friends?"

You don't. You have to respect their right to have that belief just as others would respect yours.

I appreciate that many people mistrust those who are not believers and they are wrong in that. (This respect thing is a two-way street.)

I don't agree that there are that many "low-quality" teachers. Maybe if they were not so demoralized and underpaid, you'd get the better quality teachers you desire.

M Jackson said...

"How is it possible that a math teacher who puts out the test results of the kids (with names) on the classroom door gets in trouble for it? (School sued by parents etc etc?) Our kids become way too soft and pampered in this environment.

It's a violation of FERPA. I can't imagine actually taking legal action as a parent, but the school and teachers should know and follow the law."

OK - FERPA. This is one more of those over lawyered overPCd unnecessary and overprotective things that needs to be corrected. What we have is too many lawyers, too much PC, not enough common sense science or math.

M Jackson said...

"I'd certainly complain if my kid's teachers did that - it may be nice for the kids with good grades, but it public humiliation for the kids that did not do well. If it were as simple as hard work = good grades, that would be one thing.."

You would complain? That's too easy. How about you would sit down and study a little bit with your child? Maybe next time he would study harder and get a better grade?

This type of competition has immense stimulating power for kids, and worked for hundreds of years and continue to work everywhere else, just not in the present-day overPCd US classrooms.

But it is too late; too many things are weak, soft and overprotective. Hence the low performance, compared to international standards.

Anonymous said...

M Jackson is totally correct in his criticism of math and science education. In SPS there is too much discovery math, where story problems only confuse students and fail in teaching the basics.

Parents have complained, UW professors like Cliff Mass have complained, and where are we? Hopefully the new school board members can change things since they ran on a better math curriculum. Still waiting....

I also liked his comments on the importance of APP education and the lack of importance of religious dogma.

S parent and non believer

M Jackson said...

A couple of more comments, since I am such a crowd favorite.

1. On the subject of the confidentiality of students' grades... This is actually a more controversial issue than you think. In many European and Asian countries, the grades are published with names, and nobody makes a big deal out of it. See here and in the comments.

http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2008/11/anonymous-students-and-their-grades.html

Is it a coincidence that many of the same countries which publish the grades with names happen to perform better than US students on the international tests?

Here is a question for you all. What happens when these soft, overPCd, overprotected kids end up in real jobs in real life. Let's say they screw up (for argument's sake, because they did not have a good enough math education...) and then a Steve Jobs type boss calls out their substandard performance in front of his peers? Then the overprotected kid starts to cry and you as a parent will end up complaining to Apple's BOD?? (I realize this example is a hypothetical, because most kids who come from the US education system would never get a job at Apple, Microsoft, MIT etc etc.)

http://www.informationweek.com/team-building-and-staffing/microsoft-defends-hiring-foreign-workers/d/d-id/1107611?

http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2018709561_h1b18.html

2. Another interesting pattern: Teachers' Union is constantly fighting against disclosing names/performances of poor teachers... Sometimes common sense prevails, though, like in NY:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-10/new-york-can-publish-teachers-performance-reports-with-names-judge-says.html

Do you see an overall pattern here?

I do.

School should have something to do with real life. What we have is too much protection, too much softness, too much PC. Not enough common sense, pressure, competition. Not enough math and physical science. Teachers who are often soft on performance, but are protected for life by a system where the teachers seem to be more important than the students. The result? Weak kids, unprepared for real life, real jobs and real competition. No wonder most Universities and most high-tech places are staffed with people from foreign countries with real education.

Over and out.

Melissa Westbrook said...

"OK - FERPA. This is one more of those over lawyered overPCd unnecessary and overprotective things that needs to be corrected."

No, it actually protects student data from being sent out to anyone the district chooses. Because data about students - including grades with a name attached to them - does not belong solely to the district. Parents get to have a say.

Steve Nesich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

M Jackson said...
"A couple of more comments, since I am such a crowd favorite."

What "crowd" is that, sir? Only in a crowd of people with sociopathic tendencies would your ignorant and bellicose ramblings be anyone's "favorite".

Where does one begin with your series of bombastic and specious postings? They are replete with cliches, contradictory claims and noxious insults.

Overall, what you're claiming is nonsense. Our kids are not "coddled"; they're under more pressure than arguably any generation before them. Have you actually talked to any of our 5 to 18 year olds? Please.

There is no one "Education System" in the United States. There are several. But only 20% of our standardized test takers do poorly; take them out of the totals and the US is at or near the top of the PISA rankings on everything.

Also, did you know that a number of countries don't administer these tests to their lowest academic performers? A lot of the numbers and rankings can be explained right there.

It's also pathetically obtuse to assert that unless we berate, embarrass, call out, degrade, and humiliate our students through constant, public comparison with their peers that they'll somehow never succeed in the workplace once they're adults.

This is so ridiculous.

Children are children. Adults are adults. And abuse is abuse.

The psychopath bully boss who gets off on terrifying those "below him" in the company structure---by threatening their income stream and career status---is no better than the sadistic teacher or the playground monster who likes to target certain kids for intimidation and the "rush" of dominance.

We shouldn't be implicitly sanctioning this way of treating human beings by telling our kids to "just toughen up because it will only get worse in the real world."

It won't in most instances. But in those cases where the kid DOES grow up to have a sociopathic megalomaniac of a boss, we shouldn't be enabling such sickos, but working to eliminate such abysmal behavior ANYWHERE it exists.

I don't think we should be encouraging abusive treatment of our students under the spurious c by telling them that such abuse is something "You'll just have to get used to because that's how you'll be treated by your boss when you grow up."

If you think that's a good thing, maybe YOU need to go back to school and spend a bit of time hitting the books---the ones that are realistic about children and how they should be treated if we want them to be sane, healthy, kind and happy (gasp!) grownups.

And take your shopworn, insipid cliches about our students, teachers and parents and file them...where the sun don't shine.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:44 AM
1. You could be deleted any time since you don't have a nickname required to write in this blog.
2. It would be good if you could provide some source for your claims. Otherwise it seems you live in your own bubble.
RD

Puget Parent said...

M Jackson said...
"A couple of more comments, since I am such a crowd favorite."

What "crowd" is that, sir? Only in a crowd of people with sociopathic tendencies would your ignorant and bellicose ramblings be anyone's "favorite".

Where does one begin with your series of bombastic and specious postings? They are replete with cliches, contradictory claims and noxious insults.

Overall, what you're claiming is nonsense. Our kids are not "coddled"; they're under more pressure than arguably any generation before them. Have you actually talked to any of our 5 to 18 year olds? Please.

There is no one "Education System" in the United States. There are several. But only 20% of our standardized test takers do poorly; take them out of the totals and the US is at or near the top of the PISA rankings on everything.

Also, did you know that a number of countries don't administer these tests to their lowest academic performers? A lot of the numbers and rankings can be explained right there.

It's also pathetically obtuse to assert that unless we berate, embarrass, call out, degrade, and humiliate our students through constant, public comparison with their peers that they'll somehow never succeed in the workplace once they're adults.

This is so ridiculous.

Children are children. Adults are adults. And abuse is abuse.

The psychopath bully boss who gets off on terrifying those "below him" in the company structure---by threatening their income stream and career status---is no better than the sadistic teacher or the playground monster who likes to target certain kids for intimidation and the "rush" of dominance.

We shouldn't be implicitly sanctioning this way of treating human beings by telling our kids to "just toughen up because it will only get worse in the real world."

It won't in most instances. But in those cases where the kid DOES grow up to have a sociopathic megalomaniac of a boss, we shouldn't be enabling such sickos, but working to eliminate such abysmal behavior ANYWHERE it exists.

I don't think we should be encouraging abusive treatment of our students and justifying it using the spurious claim that such abuse is something "You'll just have to get used to because that's how you'll be treated by your boss when you grow up."

If you think that's a good thing, maybe YOU need to go back to school and spend a bit of time hitting the books---the ones that are realistic about children and how they should be treated if we want them to be sane, healthy, kind and happy (gasp!) grownups.

And take your shopworn, insipid cliches about our students, teachers and parents and file them...where the sun don't shine.