There is no educator who I respect more than Pete Demyan: a former district administrator and superintendent, professor, and physics teacher extraordinare. I will always be grateful for the invaluable guidance and insights he provided in response to my questions during my tenure as a principal charged with restructuring a school under the auspices of “No Child Left Behind.” Like someone wandering in the dessert seeking an oasis, I still look forward to opportunities to be enlightened by his insights. One of my favorites, which he shared when I was fulfilling my NCLB duties, was this quote, which is as accurate as my memory allows: “The changes brought about by change agents usually last about as long as the exhaust fumes from the agent’s car as they drive off to their next assignment.” His prescience, sadly, was accurate in my specific case. What follows is a recent Facebook post from Pete, which he has graciously permitted to be reproduced here. It is his response to one aspect of the tax reform bill currently being considered by Congress:
The elected troglodytes and “illigitimi” are at it again.
This is just one more attempt in a long, growing list of actions by anti public education, anti meritocracy, anti science richest republicans and their fully paid-for elected lackeys who want to keep marching toward a full kleptocracy and a weak representative democracy.
By sheer luck I was born when the country and its leadership believed a “rising tide lifted all boats.”
That span of seventy one years included Social Security, GI Bill, Brown vs Topeka decision, Voting Rights Act, medicare and medicaid, Elementary and Secondary Education Act, National Science Foundation education postgraduate support, and the Affordable Care Act. (Thank you, Democrats!)
Each of which (along with parents and grandparents who lived and worked hard to give their children/grandchildren opportunities to attain more than they) made it possible for others like me who were first high school graduates from families on public assistance (50s version of “welfare”) to attain a quality education leading to advanced degrees, teaching professionals, positions on notable university faculties and high leadership roles.
Then, what else but these self-serving actions would you expect from a group who accepts a leader who is a pathological narcissist, consumate liar, ill-informed, a cheater of workers and voters, sexual degenerate, incompetent “businessman,” amoral opportunist, deliberately stupid (which, unlike ignorance is not swayed by facts), likely sociopathic, and ….
But, you may ask how do I really feel? This emoji — 🤬 — captures that quite well.
Nothing less than the United States’ hard earned world, premier class, graduate school status is at risk. Foreign students flock to our graduate schools. (Historic facts: Princeton — 1890s—created the PhD degree. The Johns Hopkins University began their program shortly thereafter. Among the first PhD graduates was philosopher/educator John Dewey. Hopkins doctoral graduates constituted over 30% of all university faculty by the 1930s. Before the Princeton/Hopkins doctorates, all PHDs came from European institutions.) Therefore, this group of inept “leaders” is on the verge of initiating the turning back of a positive educational movement that has lasted over 125 years.
If this resonates, I encourage you to consult whatever version of the tax bill is available to you and let your Congressperson know of your concern.