Allen West on Education: No More Feds, No More Unions

Categories: WTFlorida
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Congressman Allen West gave a 25-minute speech on his 2012 platform over the weekend -- expect more in the coming days. Today, though, we tackle education.

"Washington has a good day when it manages not to screw things up too badly. That is equally true when it comes to education. No one is well-served when the federal bureaucracy tries to impose top-down controls on our schools," West said. "Teachers end up hamstrung, parents end up shut out of the decision-making process, and students, our next generation, end up as collateral damage."

It was at this point he said that teaching at Deerfield Beach High School was worse than working in Afghanistan.

His solution to all this hamstringing and shutting-out was simple: Give the power back to parents and the local school boards.

"I know that we can do better. If we really want to, we can get the federal government out of these South Florida schools. We can take ownership of our own kids' futures back," he said. "A nation that refuses to invest in the next generation is paving its way to decline. But that investment does not need to include wasting taxpayer dollars on more bureaucratic policies either. That's why I support giving parents the ability to choose the school best able to meet their child's needs. It's why I support taking power away from teachers' unions."

There you have it: Invest in the next generation, but not with... money.

Predictably, the Broward Teachers' Union disagrees.

"It's probably one of the most completely inaccurate statements I've heard in a long time," said BTU administrator John Tarka. "We are, of course, interested in representing our members, but we know too that public education is one of the cornerstones of our community... It's kind of an unwarranted attack on teachers' unions.

"We really do want to see schools improve," he continued. "We've always said we're interested in what's good for children and what's good for educators."

He also added that federal oversight is necessary to ensure a "constant and consistent curriculum" -- and to make sure schools are getting the support they need. He said state and federal funding was keeping afloat school districts across the country that were in impoverished districts that can't afford quality education.

"They shouldn't get state support, support from the federal government?" Tarka said.
"Some communities are wealthy; some communities are very poor... Does the congressman mean that district rely only on their community for support?"

He conceded that West was right to criticize portions of No Child Left Behind but added that the American Federation of Teachers fought that legislation too.

"It's the kind of statement that's so inflammatory and so baseless... There's a place for criticism, as long as it's constructive criticism." Tarka said. "That kind of a statement by a member of Congress, I think, is irresponsible."

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12 comments
maxteach
maxteach

Allen West - what a fraud! I also served 22-years of military service however I was never brought before a court martial for “conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.” He ended up with what in a civilian court would be “settling out of court” or a plea bargain but it does not change the fact his actions violated the oath he took as member of the military. Like him I also retired from the military and went into teaching however I didn’t quit after one year to go for the mega-bucks job of working with a military contractor! Contractors often do the same jobs done by the military but get at least triple the pay (which of course comes from the taxes we pay). I have worked 17-years as a special education teacher working with the neediest students with five of those years returning to serve the military by teaching the dependents of the military men and women overseas. The special needs students I worked with are the very ones that will suffer most that under programs supported by this fraud. He brags about his service yet he disgraced the oath he took, he brags about being a “teacher” and yet he quit after one year. He talks about cutting wasteful government spending but he jumped for the lucrative contractor job.  I guess the true character of a person does not matter to some if he spouts the tea-party agenda.

 

riverrat69
riverrat69

Welcome to FloriDUH. The masses are already stupid. If they weren't, we wouldn't be on this thread and Rick "I only took the fifth 75 times" Scott wouldn't be governor.

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

Speaking of "collateral damage" ... any update to that poor schlub and his ear?  You know, the ear that was located about 6 inches to the west of West's .45?

Prof. G
Prof. G

If by "fought for your country" you mean were in the military, then no, I didn't. I was always taught that killing people was a sin and a crime, and still believe that. So I could not possibly submit myself to be trained in techniques and weapons to kill other human beings. I assume, judging by Mr. West's militaristic proposed to solutions to every social and political problem, that this sort of death-dealing training and indoctrination warps your mind so that you no longer fit in civilian society. People like this certainly should not be in government -- or education. The only difference between the military and the Mafia is the design of the uniforms.

Pete Pepper
Pete Pepper

So in other words, he wants to privatize education.  In which, if the criminal West gets his way, no more free education.  The masses will end up getting no education, just the way the right fright wing wants it.  If the masses are stupid, they are easily controlled.

riverrat69
riverrat69

 OK toughguy. You have a DD214. Now don't you? Frightwing Sunshine Patriots don't. Now to address WORK. West has never had a job that wasn't on the government tit you teabaggers all despise. And he was one of those teachers he despises. Typical hypocritcal "Asshole" Allen West statement. If it was up to West, everyone would be home schooled by a frightwing teabag Neanderthal.

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

Actually, I am a graduate of DBHS... And I went on to one day work for NASA. You know, that Government Agency known far and wide as bereft of critical thinking skills. I just sort of said -- point SOHO that way... And fuck, there it went.

Rich Abdill
Rich Abdill

Nice to meet you, J.C. You seem like kind of a dick. You're criticizing people for their lack of critical thinking skills, but you've come swinging in here and contributed nothing but name-calling, which is exactly why nobody can have an honest discussion about these issues. We've got a question of education policy and you have the nerve to say "Safe bet neither of you have fought for your country"? Either get an argument or get lost.

JoeMamma
JoeMamma

Students don't pay Union dues.    after 40 years, its time to do something different... the current structure has failed for 40 years.

Jim Campbell
Jim Campbell

Cool, you must have learned your lessons well from "Professor G."

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

Actually, I am not a future Marxist...  I am a current member of the Socialist Party USA.

Jim Campbell
Jim Campbell

Sorry "Professor G."  West is clueless?  Sorry, you have probably never worked a day in your life.  Those that can do, those that can't hide behind tenure.  There is no reason in the world for teacher's unions.  In your case I see the point, you would be out on the street so quickly the door couldn't hit you in the butt. @Kenny ah yes among the clueless.  Trust that the Department of Education will be among the first to be dismantled.  The current system churns on people like yourself that lack critical thinking skills and FMA's..." Future Marxist's of America.....West is right, you are both wrong...Safe bet neither of you have fought for your country...I'm J.C. 

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