It came from Dale Weiss, an MPS teacher and devoted radical.
“The process of addressing budget cuts with my students taught me an incredible amount,” Weiss recently wrote. “I learned that laying a social justice foundation for young students is a complex process. I learned when issues are addressed, they need to be revisited many, many times.”
“Social justice foundation?” Oh wait, dear readers, the giddy and proud Ms. Weiss explains how she set the 8- and 9-year olds up for a fall:
“Several weeks later, right as the bell was about to ring at the end of the school day, I casually mentioned to my students that I wanted to learn more about doing art with children since Ms. Sue [the art teacher] would not be with us next year. The students clearly were taken off guard:
“But I thought if we wrote letters to the school board there would be more money for MPS and we could keep Ms. Sue.
“Michael and Dakota read their letters at that meeting, and they asked for more money for our school. I really thought we would get more money. But now I don’t think it happened.
“Looking at the disappointment on their faces, I realized I had unintentionally led my students to conclude that if we believed something to be unfair and took action, the unfair situation would turn into a fair one. I remembered saying over and over: ‘There is always something you can do to try to turn the unfair situation into a fair one.’
Yet my students heard something quite different. In their hope and optimism as 8- and 9-year-old children, they knew that their actions would bring about a miracle. My heart sank; I felt I had let my students down.”
To Ms. Weiss and other unionists, the students are little more than political pawns in their game. They’re setting them up to do their dirty lobbying work.
Weiss once called those pesky, fact-filled textbooks “the enemy of progressive education.” In advice to first-year teachers, she explained:
“In content areas where I felt the strongest, I tried out many different ideas and did my best to be creative. But in areas where I felt a lot more challenged, I stuck real close to those textbooks. This helped me gain a better grip on the curriculum as well as understand how students grasp ideas and learn. Then, I was better able to slowly move away from the textbooks and create more of my own curriculum.
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