12 thoughts on “The op-ed attacks

    • I meant to say, You can stomp off now, ZACK–we know how upset this has made you. How about a cookie, or some kool-aid from the charter association?

  1. Hey Zach,

    I asked this via twitter, but my tweets are protected and maybe you didn’t see it. You say that the Tennessean named the article. I’m curious, did they name it without your knowledge and/or consent? What would you have titled it?

    • Yeah, anytime you write for a newspaper, they name it. I believe it’s the same way for reporters. I used to be a columnist for a paper and that was the norm.

      On the title: I don’t know what I would have named it. I wouldn’t have used squabbling because that’s not a word I use in my lexicon. I didn’t know that was a word that was used before by other organizations.

      • Do you not take issue with that? They pretty much framed your whole piece with some pretty inflammatory language.

        Additionally, and more to the point about the subject at hand. I think the exchange on twitter is simply an extension of the exercise in public debate. I’m not sure I would label the exchange as “attacks” as much as it is board members, who you call out, staunchly disagreeing with your characterization of educational politics and open debate. They do bring up some very valid points about the narrative as a whole, which you chose to enter into. Furthermore, you should expect to have your agenda, intentions, and allegiances questioned, especially if your positions have shifted (for whatever reason). I’m not saying everything that was said was right or defensible (I don’t think there was any form of character assassination either), but It is what it is with political discourse.

        Hey, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I get it. I don’t really agree with your position, but your entitled to it. But characterizing a twitter debate as attacks doesn’t move the conversation forward, which I assume was your original intention with the op-ed. When you talk about the nature of discourse and then follow up labeling a response as attacks, you verge on falling into the same pitfalls you chided. Just my two cents.

        • I think labeling myself as a person who must be a puppet for the chamber/charter center is a personal attack. They are telling me that I am not smart enough to have my own thoughts and opinions. I think that saying that I want to dismantle the public education system as a whole is attack. I am a public school teacher. Disagreeing with me because of the content of my blog post (which said nothing of charters, vouchers, or any specific education movement), is different.

          • Advice for next time: always ask the paper to use a title you give them. I learned that lesson after my first ever op-ed ran and I received some similar blow-back for a title I had not approved. In general I’ve found if you ask they will agree to use what you suggest

          • Like I said, some of the things said aren’t defensible, but should be expected. Especially since A) this narrative on school boards is ongoing among the charter lobby and B) you compare the behavior of the school board to that of children (which itself could be labeled an attack). I mean, what’s even being discussed at this point? Calling for civility with uncivil manners? Pushing forward conversation by shutting it down? I just don’t get it. I’m not sure any party is in the right here.

  2. I just think an article on op-ed attacks cuts against the argument for progressive discussion and civility you were arguing for in your op-ed.

  3. I’ll be honest with you Zack- and I’m a fellow teacher– I read your article and thought, “He’ll be out of the classroom and ‘consulting’ for some charter group within a year or two.” The people that manage the charter are making big bucks. I just can’t see why a public school teacher would support efforts that weaken public school. Charters draw money and involved parents away from public schools. Charters have been around for 20 years now and they haven’t improved education.

    • The people who manage public schools make big bucks, too. Some principals are making over $100,000 a year. Some administrators in the central office are making more than that. There are ways to make money in typical education as well.

  4. While I agree with you that those salaries are large, especially compared to what the rest of us make, they are not in the same neighborhood of what private, for-profit companies will make off of public schools. And that money will come from teacher pay and benefits, in the name of “efficiency.” You only have to look at what they pay for lobbyists nationally and locally (and what they are willing to put into local school board campaign coffers) to see what the whole enterprise is worth to them. Have privatization detractors grown defensive? Perhaps. But not without reason.

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