You remember that lovely little MSNBC promo that features the woman with too many last names? You don't? Well, YouTube is here to remind us all.The basic gist: Your kids are all of ours*.
Let's head down to Louisiana now, my home state, the land that birthed Mr. Erickson (It's true. The ground just opened up and he walked out with a coat and no tie, just like all his profile pictures.), and turn our attention to the Louisiana education battle. Governor Bobby Jindal instituted an education reform package that has people all in a tizzy. I normally don't comment on it because I had (and largely still do have) some concerns. But it was a start, a kick to the rear of a failing education system in the state. And it forced people to care.
Say what you want about the education overhaul, good or bad, and say what you want about unions - I'm a wee bit biased because my wife's a teacher, my mom's a teacher and I know teachers aren't the problem. It's the leadership (ain't it always the way?). What you CAN'T say, however, is that Jindal feels children are a commodity, something we own and utilize as we see fit**.
You know who did, though? The Louisiana Association of Educators president, Joyce Haynes. "“There isn't anything fair about using something like that only against the public schools," she told WBRZ in Baton Rouge, "and then taking our children from us, and sending us where we don't know what they're getting.”
I know some folks will say "She was talking as a parent," and I might agree, except this isn't the first time the LAE has said some... disturbing things. Brian F. Blackwell, an attorney for the LAE, said that the New Orleans Recovery School District “is more a Katrina than a ‘Silicon Valley!’”
I'm very pro-education. And pro-teacher. I'm not pro-my-kids-aren't-mine, however. Regardless of where the education reform goes from here (it's not been successful in court, mind you), this kind of thing is something we should be teaching against.
*If anyone posts "All your kids are belong to us" in the comments, I will find you.
**Lawn mowing services excluded.