Protesters: Entitled And Slovenly

Steven Greenhut: The California Teachers Association protesters have been wandering the halls of the Capitol and the streets of Sacramento for a few days now, protesting budget cuts and making demands. After listening to their talks (“Education is a human right!”), overhearing their conversations, watching their antics and reading their literature, I’m left with a disturbing thought: These people teach our kids! Really, I haven’t seen a bunch this slovenly and entitled-seeming in a long time.

One teacher stood with his “We Are One” T-shirt on the street corner and tried to hand me a brochure. I said, very calmly, “Abandoning the kids so you can beg for more money?” His response: “You’re a f–king joke.” Who is teaching the kids? I asked. He told me it was a qualified substitute teacher. Yet my colleague Lance Izumi, PRI’s education expert, notes that educational performance drops after repeated absences from the regular teacher, although looking at the politically motivated union activists in Sacramento this week, I’m left thinking that the substitutes have got to be a better group than what I’m seeing.

Dedicated teachers make kids — not union activism and politics — the priority. I know lots of great teachers. My kids have been taught by many of them. My dad was a public school teacher. But my quick observation is the most entitled-seeming and angriest and illogical folks were the ones who took to the streets on behalf of CTA. Imagine the logic my brochure-distributing teachers’ kids would learn in his classroom. Question the teacher and you gotta be an f-ing joke.

MAY 13


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