SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: E4E's Laura Klein Of IS 217 Bronx Mocks Student In Foster Care

Sunday, December 25, 2011

E4E's Laura Klein Of IS 217 Bronx Mocks Student In Foster Care

I keep going and keep coming back to an article that was written by Educators 4 Excellence drone Laura Klein which appeared on December 19. Her article, "'No Excuses' Is Not Just for Teachers" though written to encourage us as teachers to encourage our students not to use excuses for their mistakes, is yet another left-handed swipe at teachers by the notorious Borg Collective which is E4E and which Laura Klein surely is just another mindless, interconnected drone.

Again it is beyond laughable that a Jewish American Princess that attended Northwestern is one to lecture about pulling one's bootstraps up to cure all ills that affect students. Plus on top of that to seemingly lecture to teachers, and the public as well, the obvious continues the condescending, patronizing, self-importance of anyone associated with E4E.

Not only that, but Laura Klein is from a school, I.S. 217, Rafael Hernandez School of Performing Arts in the Bronx, which seems to be not doing well. What with only 13% at a 3 or 4 in reading, and Leadership Academy Seth Litt leading it into the toilet, one must wonder what Laura Klein has contributed to the impending train wreck and it's C rating.

In her first statement; It’s our job to teach them no matter what. We are often the adults that children see with the most consistency and frequency, and we are responsible for their educations, in the broadest sense of that word. But to truly help them be successful, we ourselves have to embody the “no excuses” attitude.

This seems to be written by Captain Obvious. But of course the condensation needs to be thrown in with the statement, 'we ourselves have to embody the “no excuses” attitude.' Yes, teachers will bitch, moan, and kvetch about their students. But at the end of the day we do the right things. Just because we bitch, moan, and kvetch does not mean we give up. We all do the same regarding our family members, it is a natural human way to let off steam.

Klein goes on; Students don’t complete an assignment, and we give them a second chance. A parent comes to school, upset to hear that his or her child is failing math, and we say, time and again, “they can make up the work.” A test is failed and we provide a chance to retake it, or do test corrections for extra credit.

Funny how E4E never bites the Uncle Mike hand that enables it. The above statement can very well be an indictment against credit recovery and the pressure that high school principals feel in producing outstanding graduation rates. Guess what Laura? You and your ilk would have much more credibility if instead of attacking teachers, education, and the union instead E4E channels itself towards those with power that have screwed up the system. Just look at the last month or so of principals being accused in jacking the credit recovery system. Where is the E4E outrage?

There’s a girl in my class with atrocious handwriting. “Illegible” is a gentle word to describe her work. We joke about it, and tease her, and ask her to take her time and write carefully.

“Maybe if I had a mother who had taught me that, I would have better handwriting!” she exclaims. She has been in and out of foster care for years. She has an explanation for her bad handwriting — but when does it become an excuse that inhibits her ability to communicate for the rest of her life?

This is an example? Big deal. My 8th grade English teacher called my handwriting spastic. It still is. However, jeez Laura, the girl has been in and out of foster care. How would you feel as a teenager if you were being shuttled from one family to another? You don't think this affects the student? Or should she just ignore this fact and pull herself up by her bootstraps?  Of course Laura you must be thinking that you are the Great White Hope that she feels she must model herself after. 

I was going to quote more from this frivolous article of self importance but now that I think about it, another thought has creeped into my ADD mind.

Two things. One is not ironic, or sad, that these twentysomething TFA's come into the South Bronx and with their arrogance and ignorance think they and they alone have all the answers? What is the truth is that 99% of them have been feeding from the silver trough of their self importance for so long that they feel only someone as elite a person that join's TFA and has gone to an elite school knows what is best for the brown boys and girls of the ghetto. But in reality, there self importance comes back to bite them in the ass and they soon get their comeuppance from the students and reality. This is not to say that all TFA's are like this. There are many TFA teachers that I know of who keep their mouths shut and their ears open. But the ilk associated with the collective mind speak of E4E are particularly appalling and smug in smelling their own farts.

But I just keep coming back to Laura Klein belittling a student that gets passed around in the foster care system the same way a pack of Newports gets passed around a prison yard.

I put it to you Laura, renounce any and all trusts, allowances, etc... that you receive from your your elite world. Go shopping for clothes on Fordham Rd, shop for groceries at Associated, live in a rat infested apartment. You look down from that perch and just think that you are better than what you are forced to deal with everyday.

We here at SBSB feel badly that you feel that you must mock those that are in foster care and wish to play the world's smallest violin in deference to your horrible work conditions. Perhaps you will feel more comfortable in a white, less transient community of students or students that have easy access to bootstraps. 

We wish you well Laura Klein. Perhaps in your next career, lawyer, lawyer, or lawyer you can associate yourself with those that are more like you.


Robert D. Skeels * rdsathene said...

And so it is with these paternalistic reactionaries. The more privileged their backgrounds, the more loudly they proclaim there's no excuses from others. Ms. Klein's heartless attitude towards her student is indicative of just how obtuse the TFA/corporate ed-reform mindset really is.

Sounds like Ms. Klein would enjoy a meeting with Gene Marks, he would encourage her to write an essay entitled "if I was a struggling foster child."

Aside from opposing these people for clear political reasons, I oppose them from the bottom of my heart since I've watched what their calloused attitudes toward the poor have done in our communities.

Anonymous said...

Typical E4E member. They say something as mundane as "no excuses", as if they are the first people ever to come into the inner city and have this bright idea. Then they get a platform like the NYT to write a vacuous essay about their bright idea. Soon enough, people in the general public start cheering them as if something as simplistic as "no excuses" is a cutting edge educational philosophy.

What disdain these people have for poor people in general, and poor minorities in particular. The assumption is that their empty stomachs and unheated apartments play no role in learning. Instead, they think these kids have been held back by a culture of poverty that allows excuse-making as a way to cop out. It is the worst form of Social Darwinism, since it is said with a sympathetic tone.

These T4A kids are the double-agents for Bloomberg, Gates and the rest of the privatizers. They hold the poor in disdain just as much.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you on most issues most of the time, but you're reference to a "Jewish-American Princess" is suggestive of, at the very least, a thoughtless lapse of verbal craft.

Anonymous said...

I'm concerned that a teacher would include slurs based on stereotypes in their writing. It makes me wonder what other negative stereotypes they promote and whether they might be unknowingly spreading their bigotry to the children they teach.

Pete Zucker said...

If you ever took the time to thoroughly read this blog you would have been aware that I am a Yid, a Hebe, a Red Sea Pedestrian, a Jew. So please, remove your pompous ass from your PC perch.

I wonder if you find Mel Brooks offensive?

Anonymous said...

Whether or not you are yourself Jewish, the language you chose relies on - and promotes - negative stereotypes about Jewish women. If your point was about class issues, your language could have said that directly, instead of drawing attention to her religion and gender - both of which seem to me to be irrelevant (except in the context of those stereotypes).

Unfortunately being part of a group does not make you immune from spreading bigotry about that same group. Probably most of us can come up with a few famous women who rely on sexism and stereotypes to put down other women and build themselves up *cough ann coulter*.

That they are female doesn't make it okay, and it doesn't prevent it from being damaging to children who are raised listening to those attitudes.