Tuesday, June 5, 2012

In the Trenches In the Republican War Against Women

The frontlines.

While national news outlets are picking up the hue and cry of Republican efforts to keep women down, one needs to give an hat tip to our Democrat Governor, Teh Kitz. Susan Castillo has been over her head--drowning--since taking office. In a brilliant move, the Governor decided to create a non-Constitutional office to replace her.Chief Education Officer.

Imagine the Attorney General's response, if the Governor appointed a Real Guy In Charge of Law in some state position. Fortunately, he doesn't have to do this at State Forestry, since the current guy is Man Who Hugs Trees and Governor's Butt.

That the Governor hired a man to displace--without Constitutional authority--the state's chief education officer because she was a woman, puts him on my team in the Republican War Against Women. Now we don't have to worry about wage disparity. The Governor put the coyote on her. She's gone.

I remember Kitz' press release:

“'Dr. Crew is the right leader at the right time for Oregon,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “We’re at a critical moment, and Dr. Crew has the experience, the national reputation for innovation, and the courage for change to deliver better results for students.'

“'Oregon is well-positioned to boost achievement for ALL students,” said Dr. Crew. “But we must not shy away from the difficult work and change necessary to ensure children are ready to learn when they enter kindergarten and many more are graduating from high school and prepared for post-secondary education and training. I can’t wait to get started.'”

"The Chief Education Officer was created by legislation passed in 2011 as part of a package of education reforms meant to ensure that by 2025, all Oregon students will graduate from high school, 40 percent will get at least two years of post-secondary education or training and another 40 percent will earn a bachelor’s degree or higher. For the first time in Oregon, funding and governance is aligned for the entire continuum of public education, from pre-K to college and careers.'" (See here, .pdf.)

I loved getting the Superintendent's last e-mail, letting me know that she would be traveling, again. From her office's last press release:

"Week of May 7 – Superintendent Susan Castillo traveled back from Beijing, China. The Chinese Ministry of Education invited and hosted a small group of education leaders from the United States to participate in the 3rd Annual US-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange in Beijing. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong, the highest-ranking woman in the Chinese government, co-chaired this event purposed with engaging state education leaders with provincial education leaders in order to form new or strengthen existing partnerships in the areas of K12 education. This year’s education focus was on standards; quality, including teacher quality; and equity. While visiting Beijing, Susan met with high ranking officials from the Confucius Institute, also known as Hanban. The Oregon Department of Education has a Memorandum of Understanding with Hanban confirming a partnership to provide teacher training programs, educational materials, and support through various other resources. Susan also spoke on an education panel at the 2012 China Overseas Studies Forum that was hosted by the Tencent QQ – a social network based in China with approximately half a billion users.

"Week of May 14 – The Superintendent traveled to Pendleton to visit Washington Elementary School, a 2012 Celebrating Student Success Champion; met with local educators for a listening session and to share updates on education reform; and met with Les Minthorn, Chairman of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Susan also participated in the State Board of Education meeting.

"Week of May 21 – Susan will travel to Cincinnati, Ohio for the Collaborating to Transform the Teaching Profession Conference with a team from Oregon consisting of: Hanna Vaandering and Lindsey Capps of OEA, Betsy Miller-Jones of OSBA and Chuck Bennett from COSA. This conference is focused on highlighting innovative approaches – at both the State and district levels – to improving student achievement by dramatically increasing the stature of the teaching profession and the number of highly effective teachers in our nation’s schools."

I'm glad she had a chance to travel. She was a total waste of time. I don't know if you ever knew Verne Duncan, and chances are, you heard--if you heard--things that may have alarmed you. Me? He was like a Jesuit priest. Teach. Demand learning. Make them think.  Your job, as a teacher, is to challenge your students, not to ease the way. Susan Castillo? Well, she worked in T.V. for a while, and she had an Hispanic surname. 


Oregon is doing fine, if you're asking. Just a travel tour of blind men, driving the State's Ferrari.

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