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The Golden Verses Of The Stoic

Seneca and Epictetus refer to the Golden Verses of Pythagoras , which happens to provide a good framework for developing a daily routine, bookended by morning and evening contemplative practices. Zeno of Citium , who founded Stoicism in 301 BC, expressed his doctrines in notoriously terse arguments and concise maxims.  However, Chrysippus, the third head of the Stoic school, wrote over 700 books fleshing these ideas out and adding complex arguments to support them. 

Time Hits Hard -- Teachers Judging Cover?

The writers on EmpathyEducates have put out a plea for their readers to demand an apology from Time Magazine, based on the Cover. The cover has the blurb:
It's Nearly Impossible to Fire A Bad Teacher...
I'm guessing that is the offending comment, and what they are objecting to. I'm all in for Teachers, I really am. I spend many hours a week, unpaid, writing, researching and supporting them with all of my skills... however, I'm even more supportive of the kids. That is where my loyalty lies.

The page that requests our support to give Time a black eye for their "attack" on teachers, does nothing to support their request with anything other than emotional appeals. This saddens me.
And Time‘s cover doesn't even reflect its own reporting. The Time article itself looks at the wealthy sponsors of these efforts. And while it looks critically at tenure, it also questions the testing industry’s connections to Silicon Valley and the motives of these players. 
But rather than use the cover to put the spotlight on the people using their wealth to change education policy, Time‘s editors decided to sensationalize the topic...
Right now, there is an extremely high trust value given to teachers from the general population, and this trust value has a long history. What people don't trust are the politicians making the schools their battlefields.  People don't trust Billionaires poking around in education. Even when the billionaire in question has dedicated half of his value to the schools and education (and some other charities), asking nothing in return, not even his name mentioned (aka Bill Gates).

Some findings include:

  • 62% of those polled said they had never heard of the Common Core State Standards.
  • 36% of those polled said that standardized testing was hurting school performance; 41 percent said it had made no difference.
  • 88 percent of parents feel their child is safe when he/she is in school.
  • To promote school safety, 59% of respondents prefer adding mental health services compared with 33% who would opt for hiring more security guards.
These are interesting stats, but more interesting is where the mainstream media chose to focus with them:

Christian Science Monitor, likely the most neutral of group (still, after all of these years) talks about the teachers. Just about everyone else focuses on the Core or  test scores affecting teacher reviews which is the way the Core is being implemented right now by the Department of Education. In other words, eye catching things. Things that are going to sell papers.

Should we mention that for the most part, it is the teachers who are not getting the word out about Common Core, and what it is, what it means? No. We won't go there, but it sure would have helped things if that were done a little more enthusiastically.

This letter demanding an apology is more of a Whistleblower than the cover could ever be. This letter implies that the teachers are very sensitive, overly sensitive, and extremely defensive (which I don't believe is an accurate personification). The letter states clearly that nothing in the article is blasting teachers, and that most of the focus is on calling into question the intentions of these billionaires and bringing to the surface what their real motivations are for putting pressure on the school system.

In other words... what exactly are we asking TIME to apologize for? For selling issues? (as if this is the first time that a publication has gone for sensationalism to sell copy). Are we asking for apology for getting the word out that the Teachers now have some serious opponents and may be up against people that have far greater political and monetary resources than they do? That teachers may need some support from their community as these billionaires move in?

Personally, I think teachers should focus on the article and leave the cover alone. Because it sounds like you do have some serious players looking you over, and their intentions could do you and the school system some harm. Look at our current Congress, and how the influence of a few large bank accounts are affecting them.

In my view, what this really is, is a sensationalism ploy to get more teachers to read this EmpathyEducates website, and I'm not liking it very much. I see it as incitement, rather than support.

Besides, my teachers always taught me not to judge books by their covers.