By Kyle Olson
LANSING, Mich. – Public school apologists gathered at the state capitol last week to once again complain about education reform and Republican legislators.
It’s a broken record, repeated in many states, that has fallen on increasingly deaf ears among citizens who are tired of teachers union whining and excuses.
The protest, called “Save Michigan’s Public Schools,” featured overt hyperpartisan and racial rhetoric.
“You want us to believe that this lying, stinky skunk district is helping the children of Detroit? We’ve all seen this script before and it’s called extracting public wealth from the poor. It’s called naked, self-serving colonialism,” said Thomas Pedroni, a Wayne State University Associate Professor of Curriculum Studies.
He wasn’t done.
“Whether it’s Africa a hundred years ago, or Detroit or Flint or Highland Park today, it’s about greed. It’s about convincing the rest of the world that you go in with the white man’s burden to save savages, when what you’re really there for has nothing to do with salvation or education but only your own enrichment by feasting, cannibalizing the bodies and minds of urban children for the public education money you see in them,” Pedroni said to cheers.
The rally also featured former Congressman Mark Schauer, a declared candidate seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Gov. Rick Snyder in 2014.
Despite the hyperpartisan and campaign-related rhetoric, Clarkston schools superintendent Rod Rock had no problem speaking and attending the rally.
“I have to advocate for public schools,” he told EAGnews. He attended on taxpayer-funded school time.
AFL-CIO organizer Sherri Gay-Dagnogo demanded increased early education funding. After her speech, EAGnews producer Jeremey Segal asked what would be an appropriate amount of spending to accomplish that mission.
“I don’t know the actual dollar amount,” she said.
Organizers predicted 2,000 protesters would attend. At its peak, the crowd was estimated at less than 300.
This movement is clearly fading away as more Americans, including teachers, understand that the old system of unions first, students second is not working.