Parents keep the kids home to protest gun violence? These school reformers should just keep their brilliant ideas to themselves for a while. Their record isn’t good.

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School reformers Arne Duncan and Peter Cunningham have a new idea.

Lord, help us.

They have launched a Twitter campaign for parents to keep their kids out of  schools to protest gun violence. Most of America’s students are in public schools.

American gun violence is far to common. Guns are way too available. Politicians are too timid and afraid of the NRA.

Cunningham and Duncan’s Twitter plan is not as stupid as the conclusion that gun violence in schools is the result of too many doors.

But it is close.

For many Chicago young people, their public school is among the safest places Chicago parents can send their children each day.

But more to the point, those like Cunningham and Duncan have a dismal history in proposing ideas for public school parents and  as public policy for others to follow.

Carol Burris does an excellent job in laying out their sordid history of failed policy ideas in her recent Washington Post column hosted by Valerie Strauss.

This is not the first time Cunningham and Duncan have targeted public schools with proposals that are not in the interest of parents or students.

I recall Duncan’s praise for Hurrican Katrina when it wiped out New Orlean’s public schools.

Carol Burris:

Then there’s Peter Cunnigham, who is executive director of Education Post, a reform website/news agency that has received millions in funding from the Gates foundation. Prior to EdPost, he worked for Duncan when Duncan led the Chicago public school district. He later moved with Duncan to the Obama administration.

Cunningham tells us not to blame any of the reforms he and his team of bloggers espouse.  In 2016, he told us what we need is “more rigor” and higher standards when twelfth-grade NAEP scores came out. On April 20, 2018, like Duncan, Cunningham blamed politics — specifically unions and local boards of education — for the lackluster NAEP scores.

Yet just 10 days later, Education Post attributed the rise of Florida scores to the very same policies that Cunningham tells us not to blame for the drops and stalls in other states.

I don’t know what the solution to gun violence is. It seems as if most of the current laws being proposed are too weak, even as the NRA opposes them.

That Cunningham and Duncan (who never sent his own kids to Chicago public schools in the first place) should call for targeting schools is not surprising.

They both have made careers of it.

17 thoughts on “Parents keep the kids home to protest gun violence? These school reformers should just keep their brilliant ideas to themselves for a while. Their record isn’t good.

  1. Oliver North, NRA’s incoming president appeared on Fox News two days after a gunman killed 10 people in Santa Fe High School. He blamed Ritalin for the shooting.

    “Nearly all of these perpetrators are male and they’re young teenagers in most cases,” North said. “Many of these young boys have been on Ritalin since they were in kindergarten.”

    Why not blame every everything but guns for mass shootings? It’s the NRA blasting off again to hide the real cause…lack of gun control and TOO many guns. The NRA is a domestic terrorist organization that works for gun manufactures. The fact that more guns equals more deaths means nothing. This killing of innocent people and children will continue over and over and over and over and over again until Congress does something.

    I’m sick of ‘thoughts and prayers’ being given by hypocrites.

  2. and who was head of Dept. of Education when Sandy Hook massacre occurred?
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  3. Fred, Arne is proposing to protest just like you protest. Because his protest isn’t your protest all of a sudden it’s wrong. I think you and Arne are so alike that you can’t even see the likeness. You think his protest is ridiculous just the same way people view your protests. Perhaps you both should sit down and agree to stop protesting. That would be good good thing.

    1. Maybe you should sit down and agree to actually stand behind your silliness with a name instead of send anonymous BS to me.

      1. RE: Anony–what you said, Fred; that was my first thought exactly.
        As to Arne–“My family is all in if we can do this at scale.” Oh, really? How about your “family (being) all in” by not making policy for “other people’s children” something which you & your friends, Arne, are never able to do? Perhaps you should pull your kids out of the U. of C. Lab School & send them to CPS–schools you helped ruin by closing neighborhood schools, reconstituting their populations & sending children into enemy gang territories to dodge bullets rather than to play basketball? How about you come down from your cushy Emerson Collective Michigan Ave, office & reestablish your work digs a little bit more down to the ground, in a neighborhood where “other people” raise their children? I’m sorry, it’s not enough for you to visit our incarcerated youth (after all, your failed school policies helped put them there), then, put your head into your hands & “cry.” (Again, read article in Chicago Magazine–Oct. or Nov., 2016, “Can Arne Duncan Save Chicago?”)
        Unfortunately, I’m typing this as I have my first morning coffee.
        I just may puke all over my keyboard.
        Arne, Peter & Paul Vallas: LEAVE.US.ALONE!!!

  4. Oh, & now I just heard that the Lt. Gov. of Texas wants to arm teachers.
    Perhaps we could just send Trump to every school & let him have at it (as he’d said, after Parkland, he’d have been in there saving everyone).

    1. Hi Retiredbutmissthekids, Can’t you imagine Trump running into a school and rescuing the teachers and kids? Here he comes “faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound”. Here he comes, “Superman Trump”. [I used to watch Superman in black and white at home when I was in grade school.]

      I remember when other world leaders were able to walk and Superman Trump had to take a golf cart.

      1. Ha, ha (although this is really no laughing matter, but there’s always a place at the table for sarcasm, the Devil’s weapon). Since you bring up Trump’s golf cart, I’ll never forget when (former, thank G-d) Gov. Chris Christie took a small plane or helicopter to his son’s soccer game, then had a car drive him closer to the field (because he could barely move). When he came to Chicago & was at a famous fast food stand near the U. of I. w/Rauner (who ordered maybe one burger, I think), a woman reporter asked him what he’d ordered (he’d ordered 2 cheeseburgers & a shake, if I recall correctly), & rudely answered, “I’ll eat what I want, baby!”
        Because she was a woman. Also, I find it useful for New Jersey residents to know that his state Cadillac health insurance (paid for by taxpayers) enabled him to get bariatric surgery so that he could lose weight.
        Which was evidenced when he famously closed the beaches in N.J. last Memorial Day weekend, yet he & his family were able to enjoy their private beach (& his answer to the curious citizens? Something like, “Well, you could have this, too, if you were elected governor.”)–great picture of his obvious weight loss stuffed into a beach chair.

      2. Retiredbutmissthekids: It’s hard to understand how someone can have no respect for others nor even care about themselves. [“Baby”…to a woman journalist?] The big question is why people keep this type of person in power. It is leading to the downgrade of this country. Will people get fed up and demand a turn-around?

  5. Hi Fred, I think Duncan’s kid(s) went to Ray School before DC. Think wife was involved with local school council. I never got over the fact that chattin with A and K when he took over CPS, discovered tgat he started kindergarten the yesr I started teaching! Thanks for the revelations and thinking you provide about our field and edu-politics. Best, Barbara Get Outlook for Android


    1. Report: Arne Duncan’s kids to attend U of C Lab Schools Sun-Times Staff
      Add U.S. Education Secretary to the list of the powerful people sending their kids to the University of Chicago lab schools, according to a report.

      The Hyde Park private school was previously chosen by both Mayor Rahm Emanuel and President Barack Obama’s families. Duncan himself attended the lab school as a boy, and his wife, Karen, previously worked there, according to Education Week:

    2. drgrannyz: That makes it even more despicable; Ray happens to be an excellent school, but apparently not good enough for the likes of the Duncan family (unless their kids are too old to attend Ray–does it extend to 8th Grade?
      Anyway, don’t think they’d ever send their kids to Kenwood, another good school.)
      “Do as I say, not as I do.”

  6. Do angles exist?.

    One day a group of four boys walked past me as I stood in the school hallway. They were chatting away about something when one of the kids stuck a pistol under his coat into his waistband gangster style, he slid it down the crack of his butt. I could not believe my eyes, then he adjusted the gun I knew this was not a dream. No other teachers or security were around. What the hell do I do now?
    This happened in the thirdly seventh year of my career, all of which was served in Chicago South Side high schools .It was not an easy tenure, guns gangs and mans ability to kill had made me a pretty hard human being, but it also made me very protective of my students .That little asshole was not going to hurt anybody on my watch. I knew he slipped a Beretta M59 into his belt, a serious weapon with fifteen rounds in the mag and possibly one in the pipe. What I did next might make my wife a widow, or save a lot of lives. One reaction came at once: move.
    Fight or flight are real reactions to terror. Run and get help, or get the gun. It all came back in a flash Ben Wilson laying on the sidewalk bleeding to death, watching the coach and cop washing his blood off their hands, and the horrific next day at Simeon. Reliving that scene day after day for years and remembering how helpless I felt because I could not stop it from happening. I don’t know if it was guilt or something else but that kid never knew how close he came .As I slid in behind him in the hall.
    Perhaps ten seconds had passed, just enough time for a plan. I was right on his six and he didn’t know I was there, close enough to make out each strand of hair. A quick right left sucker punch would have put him down, then on his back and get the pistol .I was capable of killing him right there in the hall. I had the drop on him and nobody would have thought me wrong. Perhaps guardian angels exist because I just tapped him on the shoulder. He turned around and I said in a normal voice “ what do you have in your belt?” .To this day I do not know why I did that. He answered me “The prop gun for the school play”. I took him into an empty room, by now he was scared and kept saying it’s not real. I picked up his coat and there it was. These are called replica guns, same size, weight, and finish as a real gun, it even had M59 stamped on the side. The mag came out, the slide worked, the safety worked and the trigger worked, but it could not fire a round. I took him to our youth officer.
    As we went down to see her he told me the drama teacher asked him to take the prop to the stage and he was just showing off for his friends. When we got to the youth officers room I quickly told her it was a dummy, so she would not shoot me. Then I went into vent mode and chewed out that kid so bad the cop even smiled. And I did not rat out the idiot drama teacher.
    That is why I would never carry a gun in school.

  7. Bob–you had posted this story before (perhaps on Fred’s blog, perhaps on Diane Ravitch’s, both of which I read daily) because it is burned into my mind. It bears repeating & re-posting (on other blogs, as well). It would make a good essay for The Sun-Times Editorial Page, esp. since they’re publishing full-page ads in their series called “31 Bullets,” ideas/action to fight gun violence (31 bullets so called because “there are an estimated 10 billion bullets sold in the U.S. every year. That’s 31 bullets for every man, woman & child.”
    Thank you for this powerful story.
    And I hope you went into “vent mode” on “the idiot drama teacher” (another reason teachers shouldn’t be armed).

    1. I did not talk to her for a couple of days,Then she said she never thought something like that would happen.Thank god nobody got hurt.

      1. You are a better man than I! A couple of days to cool down?
        Yes…thank G-d no one was hurt.
        Just read Gov. Abbott’s new Texas’ plan for combating school shootings & ensuring safety on the CNN ticker–it says that there had been input from the community: parents, students & educators. It would appear that that is the case (& good for TX), as nothing is again mentioned that teachers should be armed, & also–perhaps most importantly– makes the case for provision of mental health services to students who are so identified (by educators, etc.) as needing them, & that this will be funded.

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