Is Anderson an idiot?
CNN’s Anderson Cooper attacks teachers while the union funds the Cleanup of Flint's dirty ass water
On Sunday, March 6th, the two Democrats running for President met for a debate in Flint, Michigan just days before voters in the state go out to the polls to vote in the primary. One of the main topics of the debate was around fixing the broken schools in Michigan. As UCOMM Blog has reported, due to the state and cities economic woes, Detroit public schools have been put under the control of an emergency manager and have progressively been falling apart.
The candidates were asked by a Detroit parent, who along with the Detroit Federation of Teachers, is suing the Detroit Public School system. The parent asked the candidates how they would fix flailing school districts, specifically in light of problems with the one in Detroit. Senator Bernie Sanders responded first; "We have a Republican leadership in Congress now fighting for hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks for the top two-tenths of 1 percent, but somehow we can't come up with the money to fix Detroit's crumbling public school system," he said. "Somehow we cannot make sure that Detroit has qualified and good teachers."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke next on the topic. Clinton took a more direct approach to fixing our nation’s schools by proposing an “educational SWAT team” that would work out of the Department of Education and would be sent around the country to help struggling schools. In speaking about the crumbling schools in Detroit, "I would use every legal means at my disposal to try to force the governor and the state to return the schools to the people of Detroit," she said. "When Detroit gets back their schools, they should have all the help they can get to get teachers in the classroom and to be able to find spaces while schools are being repaired." Clinton went on to mouth-off a number of issues that she would work on like providing more funding to rebuild schools and working with the Department of Education to fix the teacher shortage especially in poor urban areas and in rural communities.
After Clinton spoke about her education plans, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper asked her if she believed that teachers unions make it impossible to fire bad teachers, forcing disadvantaged children to be educated by the least qualified educators. Clinton received early endorsements from the two largest teachers’ unions, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Educators Association (NEA). Clinton said:
“You know, I am proud to have been endorsed by the AFT and the NEA, and I've had very good relationship with both unions, with their leadership. And we've had really candid conversations because we are going to have to take a look at -- what do we need in the 21st century to really involve families, to help kids who have more problems than just academic problems? A lot of what has happened and honestly - it really pains me, a lot of people have blaming and scapegoating teachers because they don't want to put the money into the schools system that deserve the support that comes from the government doing its job.”
After her response, Copper continued to press saying “So just to follow up, you don't believe unions protect bad teachers?” Clinton responded by saying:
“You know what - I have told my friends at the top of both unions, we've got take a look at this because it is one of the most common criticisms. We need to eliminate the criticism. You know, teachers do so much good; they are often working under the most difficult circumstances. So anything that could be changed, I want them to look at it. I will be a good partner to make sure that whatever I can do as president, I will do to support the teachers of our country.”
After Clinton’s answer, Cooper posed the same question to Sanders who went into his normal stump speech about providing tuition free public education and then spoke about the need to raise wages for child care workers.
Once again we see the corporate interests hidden in a white-haired news anchors, trying to denigrate teachers. How’s a teacher in Detroit supposed to succeed when their classroom is literally collapsing around them?
Not only are the teachers of Detroit the only ones standing up for the students that are charged with educating, the teachers are also standing up for the students and families of Flint. As the debate was happening, CNN reported that Flint Mayor Karen Weaver announced that the AFT and the Union Labor Life Insurance Company had come through with a $25 Million loan to help replace the lead contaminated pipes that have poisoned Flint’s water supply. Maybe instead of blaming teachers, Cooper should look into the good work that teacher unions are doing in Michigan and across this great country.
Also, Clinton should’ve done a better job and protected the theory and concept of due process, and educated the CNN news anchor that all Americans in our court system and all union members working with a Collective Bargaining Agreement have a right to “due process.” Anderson Cooper himself should understand this and that stupid exchange was a direct reflection on his real-life understanding of what teachers and parents go through.
Besides, Anderson Cooper himself is childless, the heir to the robber barron Vanderbilt fortune and a supporter of Charter Schools so that explains a lot.
Kris LaGrange contributed to this story.