Saturday, July 3, 2010
Is there an award for propaganda, similar to the Emmy, the Tony or the Oscar? If so, I think I’ve found this year’s winner, hands down! I received in the mail this past week a brochure from conservative California Assemblywoman Connie Conway. Camp Nickleby exists within the borders of her 34th district. Conway’s brochure deals with, every conservative’s favorite subject, the dismantling of public education.
The brochure contains the usual lunatic, wingnut talking points against those evil, public school teachers and their unions. A questionnaire within asks the reader his or her views on the usual, conservative screeds: student achievement as part of teacher evaluation (check), support of bilingual education (check), lifting the cap on the number of charter schools (check), merit pay for teachers (check) and increasing career technical education (check). This last one, I actually agree with. NOT EVERY KID NEEDS TO GO TO COLLEGE! But I digress . . .
In this slickly-produced brochure, we also learn that the only thing keeping California school children from learning effectively are ‘SPECIAL INTERESTS’! However, nowhere in the brochure do we discover who or what these special interests are, but I think they’re talking about UNIONS! Just my guess.
As an eye-catching visual, a photo of a freshly-scrubbed young woman (presumably a new teacher) is standing with her ‘students’. She is dressed conservatively in something she purchased at weareamish.com or perhaps WalMart. The ‘school’ behind her looks like it was just built, clean, and of course, painted white! Her little third-graders carefully represent every ethnic and perhaps religious belief. Oh wait, I don’t see an Islamic kid. Maybe the little blonde girl converted? The real kicker on this photo is that, while perusing my email yesterday, I clicked on BE A TEACHER and low and behold, there our WASPY young lady was again. This time advertising for an online, YOU TOO CAN BE A TEACHER IN JUST FOUR SHORT WEEKS website. Yeah, I want my kids’ teachers being trained on the Internet! WTF?
Well, I dutifully filled out the questionnaire, complete with snarky comments in the margins, including an invitation to Assemblywoman Conway to visit my classroom when camp resumes in August. I await her reply.