Rick Spanier 
Member since Oct 5, 2010


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Re: “Danehy

Let's stipulate, as attorney's do, that we have the means and the laws to end all newsworthy gun massacres tomorrow. No more do we sit entranced as the shootings play out, the killer dead or taken into custody, motives examined, blame assessed, photo spreads of the victims and tales of heroism and lives cut short published, police chiefs daily press conferences and, of course, the thoughts and prayers of officials extended to families of the victims. Great, problem solved.

Unless you are concerned about the other 99% of gun related deaths that go virtually unreported every day of every year. If it bleeds, they say, it leads. But the blood has to be in rivers, not trickles. Danehy jumps belatedly on the bandwagon adding nothing new to the discussion. "Well yeah, they (more gun laws) would. I can think of any number of low-key, common-sense laws that would have cut the Las Vegas death toll by 80 or 90 percent." Great Tom, but how about looking at the forest instead of that one Redwood? One neighborhood in Chicago (Austin) has had more shooting deaths year to date (69) than the toll in Las Vegas. Chew that over. One neighborhood in one US city.

My point should be clear. Mass murders and media circuses aside, we have a problem that will not be resolved in any of our lifetimes. There are roughly the same number of guns in this country as there are people living within its borders. The genie is out of the bottle. No legislation is going to put it back in.

15 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 10/12/2017 at 7:05 AM

Re: “Why Teachers Are Leaving (And New Teachers Aren't Replacing Them)

@Kudos to long-suffering teachers who stay in the game. @Few take an interest in what matters

Here's what I think: I respect those who comment here under their own names. I wonder about those who use ad hoc addresses of the moment to engage. Assuming you are one-in-the-same, why would I continue a debate with a chimera? Are you real? A bot?

6 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 09/27/2017 at 11:38 AM

Re: “Why Teachers Are Leaving (And New Teachers Aren't Replacing Them)

@Kudos to long-suffering teachers who stay in the game

You have no idea of my background in public education, especially at the political level of board politics or supportive parent-teacher groups. None.

My comments concern why I decided not to pursue teaching as a vocation and focused on the negative role played by the teachers union in Philadelphia and the level of instruction in Temple's teacher preparation program.

I didn't disparage teachers, I called the teachers union out for what was then a preoccupation with reducing hours of instruction and concerns unrelated to teaching their students. The instructors in the teacher prep courses were, again in my opinion, unqualified hacks. The parents? What do you say when one or two show up for parent teacher conferences and the rest never show or take any role in their kids' educations?

One city, one teachers college, one teachers union. That was the critical mass that turned my away from public school teaching. There are people like Safier, who dedicate their lives to teaching because they love seeing the lights come on in their students' eyes and are willing to put up with the ongoing distractions that impinge on their ability to teach. All praise to them. They are heroes.

6 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 09/27/2017 at 10:30 AM

Re: “Why Teachers Are Leaving (And New Teachers Aren't Replacing Them)

Teaching in public schools requires people like Safier who eloquently describes what turned him on in the classroom (well said) and what today would presumably turn him off. He also mentions Teach for America, something I view as old wine in a new bottle. In 1969, one of TFA's predecessors was the Teacher Corps. Same premise. I enrolled and stayed in the program for a year as an intern in one of Philadelphia's toughest neighborhoods. The kids, 6th graders, were great, their parents less so, but the end gamers for me were two distinct groups. The first was the PTA, the teachers union. The second was the instructors in Temple University's teacher preparation program. What a deplorable bunch of coconuts. Substandard would be a compliment to these folks whose collective interest and experience in the classroom was self-serving at best and a con game at worst. I remained in Education for over 10 years, received my degrees, but never set foot in a public school classroom as a teacher again. The exodus from the teaching profession has been in the works for decades and likely will continue for decades more as the only new entrants will be those who could not find better, more satisfying careers paying more than a bit above the minimum wage.

David, thanks for your service.

9 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 09/26/2017 at 4:20 PM

Re: “Danehy

"Getting involved with the media" makes sense, Tom. You should try it.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Rick Spanier on 09/14/2017 at 3:34 PM

Re: “DACA Demonstration in D.C. ("Up, Up with Education! Down, Down with Deportation!")

Beneal,

The business community supports DACA because its repeal will cost them big bucks. Not because they are kind and empathetic to the plight of the young people at risk.

9 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 09/07/2017 at 8:08 AM

Re: “DACA Demonstration in D.C. ("Up, Up with Education! Down, Down with Deportation!")

Glad you were there, David, to demonstrate support!

Not sure what Trump is thinking with his "maybe I will revisit this" comment if the Congress fails his test. That said, I think every blind pig finds an acorn or two and believe Trump was right to call out Congress to get off their collective asses and get something done that has bi-partisan support, support of the business community and a large majority of those polled on the issue. And then smacked his Republican congress critters by siding with Pelosi and Schumer on the debt ceiling.

Strange times.

8 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 09/07/2017 at 7:37 AM

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