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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Friday, May 27, 2011

Gov. Walker Reads to Students

by Bert

Scott Walker is visiting the Banting Elementary School in Waukesha today to read to children. By itself there’s nothing wrong with this. Politicians of all stripes pull this empty, self-serving stunt all the time. But this particular stunt highlights what’s wrong with other stuff that the governor has done.

Walker is actively complicit in the latest effort to demonize teachers as part of the wider strategy to weaken them 1. as democratic supporters and 2. as a tax obligation of the wealthy. The specific tactic at work is good cop/bad cop.

While Walker poses above the fray, his obedient attack dogs highlight teachers who neglect their day-to-day teaching of kids. Some called in sick to protest in Madison. The dogs themselves neglect to explain that these teachers are opposing Walker’s policies that will systematically and more permanently harm the education of children than missing a day in the classroom.

And let’s face it, missing one day of school is not the end of the world. Just ask all the parents I saw on TV at the Brewers home opener explaining that they took their kid out of school to watch baseball.

Meanwhile, in Sept. 2009 the Waukesha Superintendent Todd Gray refused to allow 20 minutes of the Waukesha school day to broadcast a speech from President Obama directed at students. His reason was that it subtracted from real learning.

Now, to the governor’s visit to Banting late this morning. Just for the record, let’s acknowledge that his visit will stop many students at the school from receiving the benefit they get from the normal learning over the time this visit takes. I am only bringing this up to highlight how selective is the concern of the enemies of public education that every moment of every day be the normal classroom moment.

Walker’s visit is wrong because it is Walker paying it. The cynical use of a traditional visit by a governor to read to children is the same shameful tactic that the state GOP leaders are so relishing right now. Because their party can, they hijack government, public service agencies and “news” media to disguise a war for power on Democrats.

So this is no normal waste of Waukesha children’s time. This is a hypocritical show of support for public schools by a leader in the movement to cripple public education in Wisconsin.

It’s like Richard Nixon making the peace symbols with his hands. It’s like those big-headed Martians in the Tim Burton movie Mars Attacks that carry a translating machine along with their lazer guns that broadcasts “we come in peace”. It’s like Judas and his kiss

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