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Wisconsin Revolt Reflects 'Road to Cairo' In U.S.Op-Ed by Henry Clay Ruark Salem-News.com
Education, agency workers near strike-readiness prompted by unwarranted, unfair political attacks.
(SEASIDE, Ore.) - Fair questions, fairly asked as demanded by any rational approach to a controversial subject, must be applied to honestly evaluate any one person's "opinion" about the menacing manipulative Wisconsin attacks on state/agency workers.
The honest answers, from personal experience rather than manipulative political sources, is more-desperately demanded these days than since the pre-Civil War era.
Those same questions qualify or bar the proliferation of unwarranted destructive power when applied for (im)pure political process --as is surely the situation now-seen in Wisconsin.
Recognize, please, that Wisconsin is not all-that-different from the other states --and that what can happen there can be the worst "can of worms" that citizens will ever have to deal/with, if it is allowed to spread to other state.
That is why unions of every description --not only of government/agency workers but also of ordinary people, --in ordinary occupations, fed to the teeth with manipulation by unfair and untrue myths about both agency/workrs and unionism itself-- are responding so rapidly and so strongly there.
The long-simmering budget/manipulations evident for the past thirty years in nearly every state are now coming to the working surface of simple everyday life in nearly every community, nationwide, motivated by political potential multiplied and made highly visible by the continuing impacts of The Great Recession.
Massive myths about the educational system and its basic financing are especially valuable to those who attack for political purposes --despite the dangers to our upcoming generation of learners at all levels.
They have been the heavy relaince of manipulative politicians for far too many decades in this nation, and now MUST be challenged by the simple process of self-questioning in forming opinion.
That's the YOU-basis for ANY "Must-DO" action, for responsible-citizen full utilization of that major American principle of "informed" CHOICE.
The educational process itself demands professional competence and specialized training --as well as personal dedication to the most/complex of personal services. Would you allow it to be otherwise for those working with your own children at any level of learning?
From the earliest days of the American Revolution, the American teacher--and all others involved in what has always been a most precarious enterprise--won and deserved high regard and respect.
That undeniable fact lies at the heart of the myth-generation now being used to defy, deny, suppress, subvert and minimize the great, full, freedom-building impacts education can offer to every person, in a democracy dedicated to effective and efficient support for the complex process and the organized system so clearly demanded.
ONLY since it became politically profitable to deny, distort and defeat forward progress by myth and manipulation has this rightfully-honored profession been placed under such irrational attack.
CHOICE-as-process clearly demands personal answers to some penetrating questions prior to acceptance of such destructive myths, from any source.
Here are some "starter questions" to make sure you are approaching this whole issue in Enlightened fashion and by sensible, sensitive understandings surely demanded for that rational approach:
Depending on YOUR answers, perhaps you should give full weight to the evaluations and decisions-resulting reached by those dedicating themselves to that task --as in local school-board work as well as the system itself.
Wisconsin's curriculum and the basic management of its educational system are not all that different from those found by national law and operating mandate in every other state.
We in Oregon today must answer some unavoidable questions concerning every aspect of our own continuing educational system.
What will YOU DO when the "Wisconsin syndrome" strikes YOUR OWN state and your own local school-board??
The proper position when YOU DO ask probing questions, first of yourself, is in front of any mirror;
THEN you are ready for that long-postponed visit to the local school-board, too, when YOU can DEMONSTRATE what your choices should really be.
Disclosure: I made it through a three-year Maine Normal School, taught for some years, reported for most of that time simultaneously in print, radio; went on to a full decade visiting schools and working with teachers and others including school boards, in Oregon; accumulating an Ed.M from Oregon State University and an Ed.D (abd) from Indiana University. It was the actual classroom and school contacts from which I learned to ask these questions for anyone professing an "opinion" on the educational system.
Recently-elected Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker has proposed a bill that would eliminate almost all collective bargaining rights for most public workers and slash their pay and benefits, and has notified the National Guard to be on alert.
DEMOCRACY NOW interviewed John Nichols of The Nation magazine, and Brad Lutes, a Wisconsin public school teacher.
WATCH REPORT BELOW:
At 21, Henry Clay Ruark was Aroostook Editor for the Bangor, Maine DAILY NEWS, covering the upper 1/4 of the state. In the ‘40s, he was Staff Correspondent, then New England Wires Editor at United Press-Boston; later Editor for the Burlington, Vermont 3-daily group owned by Wm. Loeb, later notorious at Manchester, New Hampshire UNION LEADER for attacks on Democratic Presidential candidates.
Hank returned to Oregon to complete M. Ed. degree at OSU, went on to Indiana University for Ed.D. (abd) and special other course-work; was selected as first Information Director for NAVA in Washington, D.C.; helped write sections of NDEA, first Act to supply math, science, foreign language consultants to state depts. of education; joined Oregon Dept. of Education, where he served as NDEA administrator/Learning Media Consultant for ten years.
He joined Dr. Amo DeBernardis at PCC, helping establish, extend programs, facilities, Oregon/national public relations; moved to Chicago as Editor/Publisher of oldest educational-AV journal, reformed as AV GUIDE Magazine; then established and operated Learning Media Associates as general communications consultant group. Due to wife’s illness, he returned to Oregon in 1981, semi-retired, and has continued writing intermittently ever since, joining S-N in 2004. His Op Eds now total over 560 written since then.
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