Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pertinent Questions

Hannah Giles, the young woman who masqueraded as a prostitute (Go here and scroll down to ACORN Story Resources if you haven't seen the videos) to uncover the absolutely reprehensible behavior of ACORN representatives notes that in all the media hubbub about whether she and her "pimp," James O'Keefe, will be sued by ACORN and whatnot, a number of significant matters are being ignored.

She wonders, for example, why the media is not more interested in the following questions:

Baltimore: Why no mention of the toddlers that were in the room while James and I were being counseled on how to manage our underage prostitution ring?

San Bernardino: The content of this video was largely ignored except for the part where Tresa Kaelke mentions she shot her husband. What about when she told us not to educate our sex-slaves because they won't want to work for us? Or when we talked about making more money off clients who are permitted to physically abuse the girls? What about the whole transport-the-girls-in-a-school-bus-to-avoid-suspicion discussion?

Washington, DC: Why were we counseled by ACORN during a first time homebuyer's seminar, while 30-40 other first time homebuyers sat crammed in a hot room?

Brooklyn: This office was swarmed with people, busy staff members and a full waiting room. Did we take our number and wait in line? Nope. Why were we given the private attention of three ACORN staffers, when more deserving and less intrusive clientele patiently waited?

San Bernardino: What happened to the list of politicians that Ms. Kaelke rattled off when she spoke of her ACORN office's community involvement and influence? Has anyone set out to uncover just how close these politicians' relationships are with the San Bernardino ACORN? Does anyone even remember the names?

San Diego: Has anyone questioned why Juan Carlos would want to help smuggle girls across the Mexican border right after an ACORN-sponsored immigration parade???

Philadelphia: Why did the Philly office go into damage control mode as soon as the Baltimore story first broke? What do they have to hide?

Ms Giles concludes by saying:

I would hate to be known as the journalist who never saw the bigger picture, lacked the creativity and ambition to approach a story from a fresh perspective, and contributed to the apathy of an entire nation. And I honestly, from the bottom of my heart, think every wannabe and professional journalist has the same attitude.

So why aren't they behaving accordingly? Fear? Comfort? A false sense of purpose? I don't know about the rest of the press corps but all of the above scenarios scream scandalous to me. They'd be worthwhile news.

Well, yes, but we have to keep in mind that this is a story fraught with potential for embarrassing Democrats who've enjoyed very cozy relationships with ACORN over the years, including our President. Most of the media don't find stories embarrassing to Democrats newsworthy or worth investigating. Now if Ms Giles and Mr. O'Keefe had walked into, say, the offices of the Chamber of Commerce and gotten similar advice, well, you can bet that we'd be asphyxiated by non-stop news coverage deploring the depravity of it all, and Giles and O'Keefe would be awarded Pulitzer Prizes for investigative journalism.

As it is they have to contend with being sued by ACORN for exposing the incompetence, both intellectual and ethical, of their staff.


Government Can

This must be the third version of this we've posted in the last year but it's still pretty funny (unless you're in government):


Thoughts on Teacher Training

John Miller at National Review Online offers a thougght on contemporary teacher education:

I've always thought that the biggest problem with teacher education is that prospective teachers spend too much time listening to professors talk about pedagogical theory and not enough time learning their core subjects. In other words, a lot of students who go on to become 10th-grade history professors actually take fewer history courses than ordinary history majors.

Miller's right about this, I think. Prospective teachers (at least secondary teachers - elementary teachers may be in a different situation) would be much better served if colleges would simply dispense with all the education courses they require of their students (except student teaching, which should be extended over two semesters) and just have them learn the subject matter they'll be teaching. It's not that education courses aren't valuable. Some are, I suppose, but they become more valuable and relevant to teachers after they've been at the job for a while and see first-hand the need for whatever skills those courses impart. Before someone has been in front of a classroom for a couple of years all that pedagogical theory really makes little impact and is easily forgotten. After one has been teaching for a while, however, it becomes much more meaningful.

Teachers should get their Bachelor's degree in the discipline they'll be teaching, not in education, and then, after they've accumulated some experience, and if they wish to pursue an MEd, or want to take courses to move up the pay scale, those education courses might prove worthwhile for them.