Archive for the ‘You’ve Got To Be Kidding’ Category

The Silly Language of School Reform

29 Feb

You Got To Be Kidding

Submitted by Frank Murphy on February 29, 2012

This video was linked in a post titled “Geezer Teachers” written by Nancy Flanagan and published on the blog Teacher in a Strange Land. It was written in response to the statement that career teachers are becoming a thing of the past. This article is an interesting read.

I watched this You Tube video several times.  After each new viewing, I wondered the same thing.  Do people really talk like this?  Or is this video a gag?

If Teach for America fellows truly do engage is this type of dialogue, then I have to say they’ve got to be kidding.  This school reform gibberish is seriously silly. It is as nonsensical as the  “words of mass reduction” that I discussed in this post.  What do think?



Its a Hard Knock Life

13 Dec

You’ve Got To Be Kidding
Submitted by Frank Murphy on December 13, 2011

In a post I published last week, I jokingly wondered, whether Dr. Evil was Arlene Ackerman’s financial advisor.  I didn’t expect to make a reference to this humorous embodiment of the bumbling mastermind of worldwide domination again so soon after my last “You’ve Got to Be Kidding” entry.  But here he is once more.

I couldn’t help but bring Dr. Evil back for an encore performance.  I decided to do so after reading our former school chief’s response to the resignation of Estelle Mathews, published in last Sunday’s edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  Ackerman expressed shock and dismay over the allegations that Matthews had demonstrated favoritism and nepotism while discharging her duties as a district employee. Read the rest of this entry »


Who is Arlene Ackerman’s Financial Advisor?

01 Dec

You’ve Got to Be Kidding

Submitted by Frank Murphy on December 1, 2011

For a short period of time this past Tuesday, the earth shook in the Philadelphia region. There was initial speculation that this world-moving experience was a result of another earthquake.  Local authorities quickly discredited this theory.   They had discovered after careful investigation that this tremor had been caused by the impact of an area-wide collective jaw drop.  This unusual phenomenon occurred shortly after the Philadelphia Daily News reported that Arlene Ackerman had applied for unemployment benefits.

How unbelievable is this news?

Didn’t she already collect enough money from our school district?

Who is her financial advisor?

Could it be Doctor Evil?

Who do you think is Dr. Ackerman’s financial advisor?


Vallas vs. Ackerman

08 Sep

You’ve Got to be Kidding

Submitted by Frank Murphy on September 8, 2011


On September 6, 2011, Kristen Graham, education reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, posted an e-mail that she received from Paul Vallas on her blog at Philly School Files.  His email was an attempt to set the record straight regarding his accomplishments during his time as the chief executive officer of the Philadelphia School District.

Through this communication, Vallas was responding to the accusation that the city’s schools were in terrible shape when Arlene Ackerman succeeded him as the District’s leader.  You can read Paul Vallas’ email here. Read the rest of this entry »


McGraw Hill Is Doing Well In Hard Times.

05 Apr

You’ve Got to Be Kidding

Submitted by Frank Murphy, April 5, 2011

The financial news for the School District of Philadelphia is bleak.   A $629 million decrease in revenue will result in drastic cuts to student services. Superintendent Arlene Ackerman has begun to outline a proposal to reduce the district’s budget.  The operative word in her plan is “reduce”.

School budgets will be reduced.  Programs for Music, Art, Athletics and Gifted and Talented students will be reduced.  Full day Kindergarten will be reduced to half-day.   The number of school nurses and special education liaisons will be reduced.   And these reductions will hardly amount to the sum of money that will need to be trimmed.

It is likely that many other programs will be reduced.  As a result, the district’s schools will find that they are unable to provide an adequate instructional program to their students.  But they will still be held accountable to do so. Read the rest of this entry »


Don’t Think About Thinking. Its Time For The PSSA!

15 Mar

You’ve Got to Be Kidding

Submitted by Frank Murphy, March 15, 2011

This is it!  Finally Pennsylvania’s Super Bowl of testing, the PSSA is here.

After months and months of vital and essential test preparation, your students will now have the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned this year.

Sure you are probably feeling more than a bit tense.  You want them to do well.


Your leaders believe in you.  That is as long as you have done as you were told:

•You have covered everything that will be on the test.

•You have followed the instructional script with fidelity.

•You made sure that your students completed all of their “do nows” and test prep materials.

•You encouraged your students to attend the after school and Saturday test enrichment programs.

Trust the district’s “empowerment scripts”. All that is important has been written there. Don’t think about thinking.  It’s not on the test. To help ease your mind, listen to this pleasant song. It will help you to focus on the true meaning of NCLB testing.


Vicious Attack On Charter School Management Organizations

08 Mar

You’ve Got to be Kidding
Submitted by Frank Murphy, March 8, 2011

I recently came across this vicious attack video, while conducting research concerning charter schools. The disdain shown in this production towards the noble intentions of educational entrepreneurs is despicable. I don’t understand how anyone could question the efforts of these heroic school reformers. After all, they are only trying to restore our public schools to their former greatness.

The hostile views expressed in this film towards charter schools are the rants of misguided and disgruntled teachers. The producer most likely is employed by one of America’s many dropout factory schools.

Clearly the agenda of this propaganda piece is to protect the monopoly that public schools enjoy in providing educational services to our nation’s youth. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that a powerful teachers union financed this production.

This kind of reckless attack on our business leaders must stop. They are only trying to do what they know is best for our children. We need to do a better job of protecting them from the will of the people.

It is also time to get tough with the malcontents who are blocking our schoolhouse doorways. Their demands for transparency and inclusion in school planning decisions are impeding the reform efforts of our leaders.

In one city school district, a teacher who publically disagreed with the plans of the local business leaders to turn a public school into a charter school has been recommended for termination. Now isn’t it a comfort to know that there are educational leaders who will recommend such an action?

Can you imagine what our public schools would look like, if we had more leaders who won’t allow our children to be endangered by the civil protest of their teachers?


The Divisive Language of School Reform

18 Jan

You’ve Got To Be Kidding

Submitted by Frank Murphy, January 18.2011

When talking to reporters, people sure can say the strangest things.  Both Veronica Joyner, the Chief Administrative Officer of Mathematics, Civics and Science Charter School and State Senator Anthony Williams recently uttered questionable quotes.

Ms Joyner was cited in the Philadelphia Daily News as saying:

“I’m noticing a trend over the years that a lot of the charter school students are being attacked because they’re wearing uniforms. They’re being seen as nerds, and they [other students] resent the fact they’re getting a better education. They’re getting attacked by kids in the neighborhoods.”

The news article quoted was written as a follow-up to an earlier story describing a brawl between a group of students from West Catholic High School and Boys Latin Charter School.  During this mêlée, several students suffered stab wounds that required treatment at area hospitals. Read the rest of this entry »


School Reform Satire

06 Jan

You’ve Got to Be Kidding

Submitted by Frank Murphy, Jan. 6, 2011

Recently I have been considering adding a new category to .  In it, I would place posts, videos, links and images that communicate the hypocrisy and/or absurdity of the billionaires’ school reform efforts being forced on public schools across our nation.

The Philadelphia Public School Notebook’s, “Notes from the News” for January 4, 2011, included a post from the blog Practical Theory, titled Satire-The Arena and Dialogue of Ed Reform.  The You Tube video featured in this post is an excellent example of the type of material I am interested in occasionally featuring here on

I will be titling these new post entries under the category heading, “You’ve Got To Be Kidding”. Suggestions from readers for links or leads to other satirical school reform materials would be greatly appreciated. Please send any suggestions you might have to

I have included in today’s post, three examples of school reform satire that amuse me.  Like the Reformer versus Real Reformer video that is featured on the Practical Theory blog, these are funny and painfully accurate representations of the diabolical and manipulative nature of current school reform initiatives.

The first example is a link to a mock web site titled the Last Stand for Children First Blog.   As you can see in this content, it is the caring billionaires and politicians who support them who will help America’s children succeed in school.   They will do so despite having to face the obstacle of the presence of a teacher in every classroom.

In fact, as exemplified in the second video clip, the “reformers” are working on devising a strategy that will eliminate the ill-effect on children caused by the presence of teachers.  By utilizing a “proper” evaluation system of current teachers, they hope to gather information to be able to clone truly effective test prep facilitators.

In the final example, if you are an energetic young entrepreneur interested in supporting the mission of the friendly billionaires, you need to purchase the tool kit described in this video.   To help you become a successful school reformer, you will be tutored in the language described in the Corporate Reform Action Pack.