Teacher Of The Year

Perhaps you’ve heard; Minnesota’s new “Teacher of the Year”, Saint Paul science teacher Megan Hall seems to have answered the question “are today’s public schools nothing but left-wing indoctrination centers” with a rousing “Hell yeah!”

This is from her acceptance speech, with emphasis added by me:

Teachers are persistent and responsible and generous because we believe that every child in America, regardless of circumstances of birth, deserves a decent chance at a good life. [Applause] From where I stand, teachers create equality of opportunity. From where I stand, teaching is a profession that takes a gritty patriotism. And from where I stand, teachers are American democracy’s last line of defense against the tyranny of the 1 percent

Don’t believe me?  Here’s the video

How over the top was it?  Even the City Pages’ Aaron Rupar seemed to feel a little uncomfortable: “Yeah, maybe that would’ve been a good line to save for when you’re having beers with your liberal buddies after the speech”.

For all I know Ms. Hall is a perfectly adequate teacher – and in my experience in the Saint Paul Public Schools, adequate would have been pretty superlative.

But I have to wonder:  if Ms. Hall is protecting the students from “the 1%”, who is going to protect them from the Saint Paul Public Schools?

Because between the child abuse, the brain-dead kommissariat masquerading as a bureaucracy, and the massive horde of intellectually-walking-dead union members Ms. Hall shares a district with?

I’ll take my chance with those gol-durned rich folks, thanks.

But look at it her way; I suppose if I taught for a district with the worst major-market achievement gap in the United States, with a minority graduation rate lower than Miley Cyrus’ neckline, a district that minority parents were decamping from as fast as they can find open spaces in charter schools or suburban schools via open enrollment, I’d look for a scapegoat too.

53 thoughts on “Teacher Of The Year

  1. Comments that inane coming from a “Teacher of the Year”, along with the fact that three Pig’s Eye teachers have won the award, calls into question what the real criteria are for this award might be, don’t you think?

    And OK, tell me how 1% of the electorate is running things in this country. They only control 35% of the wealth–certainly that wouldn’t qualify them for the (ineffective) Sherman Act, would it? Again, someone that stupid ought not be teacher of the year, no?

  2. Have to admit – heard this discussed on a non-NARN radio affiliate yesterday. The best part – when one of the hosts reached out to MIN-EDU on this they became like Obama when he was asked what he thought of Rev ‘Gawd-damn America’ Wright’s preaching.
    Then the head of MIN-EDU tweets a blog post written by some Lefty praising what the ‘Teacher of the Year” said at the MEA ‘The Gathering’.
    Look at this way – big city/unionized teachers are fighting the 1% each day… take a look at test scores and graduation rates. Few if any 1%’rs are going emerge from the classrooms of these people. And that’s sad.

  3. Her dumb statement isn’t cogent. She will never defend it in public. It’s just feel good Alinsky blather. Pathetic coming from an educator.

    Alinky works, though. Huge problem.

  4. She certainly won’t be defending it in public, but it would really be interesting if she just were to give her (not post-speech research) explanation of what she actually meant when she said it. What is the 1%? How are they harmful? Exactly how do teachers come into play? Etc.

    Could be that she just plugged-in some of the big concepts she picked up from the grown-ups, or was using terms, thinking that they meant something different. Remember, many teachers are to knowledge what the 6 and 10PM newscasters are to the news.

  5. If Education Minnesota represent the 70k people it says it does, that’s about 1% of the population of Minnesota.
    This is a left-wing award. Being neutral is not good enough. If she did not vocally and continuously push whatever left-wing meme is considered appropriate, she would never had received the award, no matter how good a teacher she was.
    Lefties are all about affirming messages these days, even messages they don’t understand.

  6. quote: Lefties are all about affirming messages these days, even messages they don’t understand.

    And it works really well too.

  7. The two memes from the Left are “conservatives ruthlessly enforce an ideological lock-step”, alternated, when it suits their purposes, with “there is civil war on the Right!”

  8. Emmanuel Goldstein’s Theory and Practice of Oligarchial Collectivism:

    The aim of the High is to remain where they are. The aim of the Middle is to change places with the High. The aim of the Low, when they have an aim — for it is an abiding characteristic of the Low that they are too much crushed by drudgery to be more than intermittently conscious of anything outside their daily lives — is to abolish all distinctions and create a society in which all men shall be equal. Thus throughout history a struggle which is the same in its main outlines recurs over and over again. For long periods the High seem to be securely in power, but sooner or later there always comes a moment when they lose either their belief in themselves or their capacity to govern efficiently, or both. They are then overthrown by the Middle, who enlist the Low on their side by pretending to them that they are fighting for liberty and justice. As soon as they have reached their objective, the Middle thrust the Low back into their old position of servitude, and themselves become the High.


  9. Leaders have always been paid more. But leaders used to be paid 3–10X the median salary in their company, and now they’re paid 100X. The fact that it is socially acceptable to do so (at one time it was not) is a social ill. It would be better if this problem were fixed through social opprobrium rather than taxes or regulations, but there seems to be little movement in that direction.

    You don’t solve the problem of inequality with tax rates, unless you tax so punitively that you cut down all of the high earners, and remove all incentive to work hard and innovate. The point is not to disincentivize entrepreneurs. Not even died in the wool socialist will claim that. The point is to stop rent-seeking high remuneration for people who take few, if any, risks, and who bring good but not exceptional skills to the table.

    The problem is primarily the remuneration of those people who sell and manage finance. While these are talented people, they make multiples higher than rocket scientists, drug researchers, or other demostrably highly-skilled professionals. It is the example of these Wall street traders and consultants making so much money that inspires corporate CEOs to feel that they deserve as much; the boards of these companies and the finance people all summer together in the Hamptons, after all. When you look at who is in the top 1%, the fraction who are finance people, lawyers working for finance people, and top executives who live and work with finance people adds up to about 2/3. Throw in a few grossly overpaid medical specialists (the medical insurance game is deeply flawed), and those people making income off of the money their parents gave them, and the great majority of the people in the top 1% really don’t deserve to make more than 3-4X the median salary. Instead they make 100X. That’s the inequality problem, and making finance substantially less profitable will do more to cure it than people expect. When the financiers stop makig the big money, so will their lawyers and doctors, and their neighbors in the Hamptons, the CEOs, won’t have a foot to stand on when trying to justify their high pay.

    High taxes penalize those who work hard, get a good education, and take risks with their time and money. Taking the profits out of finance and the top end of the medical system help everyone, and lessens the inequality problem in a much more equitable way.

  10. Mitch maybe you can the teacher of the year on your show and ask her this question:

    I’m not the one percent. Years ago much to my surprise I had a chance to meet a Minneapolis School Board member because she came to my group to ask us to support a tax leavy which by now when this happened Minneapolis will be producing brilliant high school graduates. Even though I didn’t sit at any school board meeting I demonstrated with three questions I knew better than the school board member did how much money we were spending per student, what teachers were being paid, and I demonstrated with one question that Minneapolis was spending just 37.5% in the class room for the student.

    My question who protects me and the students from school board members who don’t know how to do their job?

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  11. I know, its a wiki, but check out this chart, Emery: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sectors_of_US_Economy_as_Percent_of_GDP_1947-2009.png
    Look at where the growth is (there are only three sectors with significant growth).
    If finance had only grown as much as other sectors of the GDP since 1980, our current GDP would shrink by 6%.
    If you get rid of the Wall Street whizzes, where are you going to get the trillions to replace its contribution to GDP?
    And why do people who whine about inequality promote immigrant labor because immigrant labor will keep unskilled American labor cheap? Jeez.

  12. @Powhatan Mingo QUOTE: If you get rid of the Wall Street whizzes, where are you going to get the trillions to replace its contribution to GDP?

    NO. NO. NO.

    The GDP number is increasingly un-meaningful BECUSE IT CONTAINS SO MUCH FINANCE AMONG OTHER STUPID THINGS WE DO TO OURSELVES. Finance is an *agency* (brokers, book agents, etc. intermediaries–not producers– in other words) activity that is valuable but can not be a significant part of the economy that by definition is ONLY there to meet human needs and wants.

    Then throw in how they have been screwing around with the inflation measurement, that’s used to create the supposed real GDP. Plus it has been goosed by debt like crazy since 1971.

    Look around. That will tell you more than looking at that deceptive number.

    We are all being fooled and led off a cliff by whores, parasites, and theorists on Wall Street, in D.C., in state capitals, and at universities.

    If Japan collapses before we do it will be that much worse. Get ready.

    http://bit.ly/18VygBA * http://bit.ly/1gPfbXJ * http://bit.ly/H8AEKP

  13. QUTOE Emery The problem is primarily the remuneration of those people who sell and manage finance.

    A lot of that would go away if we didn’t have so much easy money. Since 1971.

    I think regulating for good corporate governance is a very tough problem beyond that. All of the Leftist ideas are worthless, of course.

  14. QUTOE You don’t solve the problem of inequality with tax rates,


    Leftist taxation and government force schemes about inequity and other problems are just bad policies in response to bad monetry policy.

    Since we are ruled by idiotic whores, we are all doomed.

  15. PM is correct. Finance is a one of the big drivers of our GDP. I expect we will eventually end up inflating our way out of the Fed’s QE (loose money) policy. Whereas: Inflation penalizes the ants (savers), and rewards the grasshoppers (borrower and spenders).

  16. Ms. Hall and her fellow-traveler, Emery, both assert there is something wrong with American society. They refer to it as “inequality” or “the 1%” but plainly, they can’t mean that in a literal sense.

    If God himself stepped down at noon today and redistributed all wealth so every man, woman and child in America ended up with exactly the same amount, we’d all be equal. For about 10 seconds. Then the smart ones would trick the stupid ones into giving them money, the strong ones would threaten the weak ones into giving up money, and bang, inequality would happen. After that first 10 seconds, a snapshot measurement of wealth would show some smart and strong owning more than the stupid and weak. A fifth-grader somewhere could figure out percentages to determine the top 1%. And even after Divine Intervention, we’d be no better off than when we started.

    Of course, we could prevent that from happening. First, we seize all the smart people, the intellectuals: teachers, lawyers and bankers, basically anybody who wears eyeglasses, and send them out to the fields to grow crops for the rest of the proletariat. Then we kill off all the crippled, weak and stupid, so they don’t drag down society. Other groups that distract from perfect uniformity can be handled on a case-by-case basis: gays can be sent to insane asylums, Muslims can be cowed by sufficient firepower and we might even find a Final Solution to the Jewish problem. We could do all these things to ensure that perfect equality, once achieved, would persist forever in our perfect, classless society, taking instruction from Ms. Hall’s intellectual forebears, the Soviets, the National Socialists, the Khmer Rouge. We can do all these things . . .

    But should we?

    Maybe the problem is not a mathematical calculation of percentages or results. Maybe the problem is religious, recognized in ancient times as one of the Ten Commandments and in Roman times as one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Maybe the problem is Radix Malorum est Cupiditas.

    And if that’s the real problem, it can’t be solved by speeches or taxes. The salvation of American society would require an entirely different solution, one that cannot from from The Light Bringer but from the One he forsook.


  17. FedSucks, maybe you can answer this:

    I know the GDP includes all spending, including government spending. The government massively increased its spending through stimulus, so if all else remained constant, I would have expected GDP to go through the roof. But it’s basically flat.

    If we backed out government spending – before stimulus and after – what would GDP look like? Would we still be in a “weak recovery” or are we in The Great Depression 2.0?

  18. @Joe Doakes

    I vote for The Great Depression 2.0

    I used to be skeptical of talk like this, but what it comes down to is if the GDP isn’t that bad why are so many indicators of human flourishing bad? Why are we accumulating so much debt w/o much good happening? I think it comes down to two things. 1. The Fed and the government have misallocated so damn much capital since 1971 or Greenspan or whatever that it won’t respond anymore to Keynesian stimulus, but it will collapse without it 2. The GDP figure means less, and less over decades for a variety of reasons mostly having to do with political class rent seeking / getting past the next election. So they recalculate it and they don’t deal with the fact that its goosed with unsustainable debt and government spending.

    John Williams isn’t perfect but his general idea is worth thinking about. It’s on one of those links.

    My peeps say the Fed will print money like until the bond market simply crushes us.

    The thing that is deceptive is ALL paper money is being depreciated, unlike the 70’s. The currency market will NEVER respond, but the bond market will some day.

  19. @Joe Doakes QUOTE: Ms. Hall and her fellow-traveler, Emery, both assert there is something wrong with American society. They refer to it as “inequality” or “the 1%” but plainly, they can’t mean that in a literal sense.

    There IS terrible inequity and lack of opportunity, but it’s due to the Fed.The 1% just rides on their dumb polices. Leftists want to fix it with government force. it won’t work.

    No one will understand until after the collapse.

  20. In other words, if we had printed lower or negative GDP and higher inflation numbers along time ago, we would have gotten to work on entitlements and the economy when things were easier.

    Also, the CPI is a % change number. Even, if it’s right, which it isn’t, THE ACCUMULATED figure is killing most people in an economy that is all stagnated with speculation and not really productive.

  21. In theory, financial services adds value to the economy by making it more efficient. It does this by correctly evaluating risk. The better they are at evaluating risk, the bigger a financial services company will become. Post Lehman Bros and Bear-Sterns, the idea of this should induce gales of laughter.

    If a consumer loan was completely efficient and was made at 4%, the 4% rate would reflect an accurate assessment of risk + cost to make the loan. That’s it. No real profit, you can only cover costs (in our hypothetical, perfectly efficient loan).
    Nobody likes to make only cost, so the lender and the debtor try to take advantage of inefficiencies in the real-world systems, usually taking advantage of the fact that neither the lender nor the debtor have perfect knowledge. The debtor tries to get a lower rate than his or her risk should allow, and the lender tries to get a higher rate than the borrower’s risk of default warrants.
    The overall economy works best — gives the highest growth — when the loan is efficient and a borrower is charged exactly what his level of risk warrants.
    The problem is, nobody wants this to happen. The lender doesn’t want this to happen, the borrower doesn’t want this to happen, and the government doesn’t want this to happen.

  22. Too much trading, not enough investment, and productive lending. Economic extraction via paper pushing.

    It will end badly.

  23. TFS-
    The key to economic growth is improved tech or exploitation of natural resources. At some point you have to produce something at lower cost while retaining the value of the product (any product). You need economic growth; if you try to achieve ‘fairness’ by redistribution, you end up with totalitarianism because no one (other than the State) will think the results are fair and they will fight them however they can fight them.
    Like it or not, improved tech has nasty side effects — jobs that can be automated or shipped overseas will be automated or shipped overseas, and these jobs have historically been ‘middle-class’ jobs. Exploiting natural resources is a natural, but measuring the cost of their use is critical.
    Our ability to measure the cost of emitting CO2 is miserable, but it hasn’t stopped the totalitarian-minded from forbidding, as much as they can, the exploitation of fossil fuels. They would have us starve in the midst of plenty.

  24. @Powhatan Mingo I pretty much agree with all of that, but Fed policy and bad finance regulation is killing GDP and opportunity for the average person.

    QUOTE: Like it or not, improved tech has nasty side effects — jobs that can be automated or shipped overseas will be automated or shipped overseas, and these jobs have historically been ‘middle-class’ jobs.

    Obama, the Democrat Party and Bernanke put this on steroids for NO GOOD REASON. ZIRP, Obamacare, excess regulation, more government = replace people with capital.

    Rick_ DFL hates people is what it comes down to.

  25. Many good points on this thread.
    An interesting side note on the 1%. The pre-industrial revolution upper class (the 1%) were almost all landowners. The richest were those with the most and best estates. The industrial revolution displaced almost all of them with capitalists, because the new economy demanded capital, not land. The rich became those who invested in the most and best machines. In a world of intelligent machines, the machines are not as important as the intelligence. Capital is not scarce if machine components are commodities. The new rich who will displace the capitalists will somehow control resources of intelligence. What is the new storehouse of wealth? One would have to expect some form of intellectual property, like a patent, or exclusive rights to a valuable database, or perhaps rights of access in a balkanized internet. It’s hard to say, but owning company stocks and bonds is unlikely to be the sole measure of wealth and power 50 years from now. Capitalism is going to be eclipsed as capital becomes less scarce.

  26. Land used to substitute for capital because it could produce food.
    Money (capital, if you like) has three features: It is a means of exchange, a means of keeping account, and a store of value. Intelligence can never be a store of value. Money can buy it, like anything else.
    The genius of people like Gates, Jobs, and Bezos is in the classic capitalist means of accumulating wealth: they used economies of scale and barriers to competition to amass and protect value. They were lucky, too. Nothing new, here.

  27. I’m not going to disagree with you, as I really don’t have a strong opinion, but I don’t think that’s the whole story. Yes, we’ll still have currency, and we’ll need a central bank or some mechanism to limit inflation, but what might change is that the demand for capital, driven by the need to for large capital investments to drive growth through efficiency, may become a much smaller and therefore secondary economic force. If we’re switching from an era where productivity is driven by newer and better machines, to one where productivity is driven by more intelligent machines, the need for large amounts of capital to invest in capital intensive machines decreases. That diminishes the power of capital.

    A greater supply of capital implies inflation. A reduced demand for capital implies low interest rates (low cost of capital). Central banks are there to keep control over the supply of capital, but if demand is low, they don’t have to try very hard to restrict it. These deflationary cycles we’re seeing may be more than just the effect of a financial crisis. They may be part of a growing trend.

  28. One of the definitions of economics is that it is the study of the rationing of scarce goods. “Scarce goods” mean that there is greater demand for a thing than can be accommodated, not everyone can have all of their needs satisfied (hence “rationing”). Human needs are infinite. Everyone would have, say, every house in the world if they could. If you have it, and you don’t want it, you can always get rid of it. The opposite is not true.

  29. Neve forget there are various whores, parasites, and theorists who’s whole existence depends on Neo Keynesian inflationism working out for the greater good. It doesn’t of course. It’s killing opportunity and causing inequality, but we can’t get off the heroin without a collapse.

    I really think Romeny / Ryan was the last shot to undo it safely.

  30. QUOTE: One of the definitions of economics is that it is the study of the rationing of scarce goods. “Scarce goods” mean that there is greater demand for a thing than can be accommodated, not everyone can have all of their needs satisfied (hence “rationing”). Human needs are infinite. Everyone would have, say, every house in the world if they could. If you have it, and you don’t want it, you can always get rid of it. The opposite is not true.

    What central bankers do is fool everyone (government and private sector) into thinking this can be violated. What happens in reality is the young are going to pay for it because it’s just pushing future consumption into the present. http://bit.ly/18Yj7zA

    Our whole system is nothing but theft and graft via government force.

  31. QUOTE Emery “…we’ll need a central bank or some mechanism to limit inflation…”

    Central banks CREATE INFLATION and asset bubbles. I think you can sort of still get asset bubbles without them but the damage is much more limited, then.

    The ONLY thing a central bank should do is back up banks that can fork over good collateral when they have liquidity problems. Central banking is a very good concept if they would just stick to that; we would have a much more fair and prosperous world that way. Of course politicians wouldn’t be able to whore themselves out anymore to “fix” the crises that they and the Fed create.

  32. Is there any example, at any time, in any place, where a central bank was NOT eventually manipulated by politicians into diluting the value of the money and causing inflation?

    We demand competition in automobiles, computers and grocery stores. Why not currency? Specie (gold and silver) is self-authenticating but currency is merely a Promissory Note backed by the honor of the issuing party. If the managers of First Bank of St. Paul have no honor, its notes are worthless and nobody would take them at face value, we’d demand First Bank of Minneapolis instead, because we know they’re honorable bankers.

    Andrew Jackson was smarter than people give him credit for.

  33. @Joe Doakes That would probably work really well, but think you get a lot of short run volatility that people aren’t used to anymore. The world is so different, now.

    There are different approaches that are good. The big thing is it has to be integrated into a much simpler financial system and the whores in D.C. have to be just smart enough to not tinker with it too much.

  34. Because the fiscal policy distraction is unavailable, we must lean harder on the monetary policy distraction. After all, the idea that America could have any structural flaws is entirely unthinkable. I can and do accept that continued QE is necessary, but I still wish it weren’t.

    Re: Gold
    Simplistic example: some forms of money have a different value, depending on the time frame and circumstances during which you intend to use it. But, I’m not smart enough to know when inflation will occur — not imminently.

  35. When they found found gold and silver in the new world, Spain had asset bubbles and inflation, and sort of a roaring 20’s character problem. This stuff always causes societal character problems.

    My peeps say a straight gold would be better than what we have now, but it’s not ideal if you are realistic.

    Unfortunately, we will probably end up with Soros globalist SDR money with all kinds of fiat crap in it, plus gold and bitcoin.

  36. It is an empirical fact that, since leaving the gold standard, recessions have been less deep and inflationary bubbles less extreme.
    Of course, correlation is not causation.
    There is nothing magic about the gold standard. It ties the hands of the Fed, for both good and ill.

  37. QUOTE: It is an empirical fact that, since leaving the gold standard, recessions have been less deep and inflationary bubbles less extreme.

    I think you are confusing short run volatility as something really bad. Plus, you can actually get better real economic progress than what we have now. Remember prior to 1907 our bank regulations were really lousy and individuals purchasing power went WAY up between 1870 and 1907. Canada had no such problems. So we got the Fed. Ugh. We are trading a “little” inflation for asset bubbles, less reinvestment in the economy and inequality.

    We don’t rely on the Fed and the government, we are HELD HOSTAGE by them and WE ALL HAVE STOCKHOLM SYNDROME is what it comes down to.

  38. TFS wrote:
    “I think you are confusing short run volatility as something really bad.”
    The fed wanted to make the economy more stable, in large part, to fend off socialist, populist, and revolutionary sentiment. The fed is a human institution like any other, prone to the same faults as any other institution.
    until the 1970’s, the Fed was given the directive of controlling inflation. Labor has always interpreted this as a directive to keep wages low (in order to keep inflation low and protect capital). In the 70s, with the support of labor, the Fed was told to keep inflation low AND keep unemployment low. The Phillips Curve, however, postulates an inverse relationship between inflation and the unemployment rate.
    The fault is not in the fed, but in ourselves.

  39. @Powhatan Mingo

    Right, but they still blew the bubble in the 20’s (giving us FDR big government) and created the 70’s inflation (started by LBJ guns and butter Great Society + Vietnam).

    Statist force.

  40. Perhaps it would be illustrative to discuss which specific policies–apart from cheap supply of money, thanks TFS–has led to the super-high evaluation of executive worth today and such.

    First of all, a disclaimer; half a century ago, the president owned the company, and we weren’t tracking his capital gains. So his “stock options”, as it were, were hidden. The difference isn’t quite as big as you’d think.

    But let’s assume that executive pay is out of control. Why?

    Estate tax. Evading the tax man is easier if the assets are liquid–eg stocks. Add liability as an issue for entrepreneurs, regulation, tax law, and the like, and everything the left has done to “protect” the little guy has ended up with the little guy taking it in the shorts.

    Undo that damage, and you’ll see a much better entrepreneurial landscape and a far lower difference between executive and worker pay.

  41. Joe:
    “We can do all these things . . .
    “We did do all these things. . .”

    There, fixed it for yea. You need not be so … (ok, english as a second language fails me to come up with the right word). And they all worked so well EmeryTheUSAHater is still trying to figure out which of the multitutde of these shining examples of soci@list successes to cite.

  42. Just to be clear, I follow some super smart people that I THINK would say pretty much what I said about executive pay. It’s part easy money and part f’ed up corporate governance laws. The problem is with boards and stuff like that.

    Clearly some guys are irreplaceable and merit getting bid up to infinity, though.

  43. JPA, I’ve gathered at some point you’re Jewish by extraction, and the ESL comment caught me….emigre from the Soviet Union in the early eighties? Have worked with a bunch of excellent people of that description, BTW.

  44. You have taken a post about a(nother) leftist spewing (more) inane papspew and turned it into one of the most interesting threads I’ve seen on SITD. Even Dik managed to control himself.

    Gentlemen, this is the sort of exercise that scares the likes of Ms. Hall and her enablers. Their brain washing has not completely sapped the intellectual strength of the population at large.

    I salute you.

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