*** UPDATED x1 *** Missing the point, Part 2: Elitist snobs cover for the bureaucracy
Monday, Jul 14, 2014
* Absolutely nowhere in the Sunday Tribune’s “Clout for teachers” story did the paper find an unqualfied person who got clouted into a teaching license. Instead, they found 100 instances over five years where legislators made inquiries about people who’d been stuck in the bureaucracy or used legislation to try and repair the bureaucrats’ decisions. But legislators are made out to be the bad guys here. It’s a completely ridiculous premise considering that there are about a quarter million certified teachers in this state and all the Tribune could come up with was a handful of calls and letters and two pretty darned good bills.
* Look, this is what some reporters will just never understand…
And when people call, responsive legislators check into what’s going on. Sometimes it’s just a goofy constituent who is totally in the wrong. Other times, constituents are having real problems dealing with the bureaucrats.
* But instead of recognizing this, a certain breed of reporters loves to twist stories by heaping praise on what is really just bureaucratic red tape…
Bureaucracies are run and staffed by human beings. Sometimes, even often-times, those people make mistakes, partly because they work in under-funded and under-staffed programs.
The natural inclination by some citizens who have to deal with those mistakes is to call somebody with power. And those “somebodies” are usually state legislators or US congresscritters.
My uncle, for instance, was having some serious problems with transferring over to Medicare. They apparently wouldn’t listen to reason or facts. So my mom, his sister, called his congressman and had him straighten things out (my only involvement was telling my mom the congressman’s name - just in case somebody wants to stupidly claim I “clouted” my uncle into a program he was clearly qualified for).
Making an issue out of someone who has had trouble dealing with unelected bureaucrats and then turns to an elected legislator for help and/or guidance is just out and out elitist.
* Also, that “sacrosanct” phrase is used high up in the Trib’s story. Deep down in the piece is this…
Apparently, it’s not so sacrosanct.
* And then there are the evil-sounding words like “donor”…
It looks to me like a constituent’s issue turned into a really good idea. Finance degrees are A-OK to be a school business official but a master’s in public freaking administration isn’t? What the heck is that about? Of course the law should’ve been changed.
Sometimes, good legislation is written because a constituent finds a real problem with the way things are being run. This is a clear and obvious example, which is why it passed unanimously in the Senate and almost unanimously in the House.
* Let’s get back to the notorious “donor” word. Notice how Karantonis is described as “a donor,” but the level of his involvement is not revealed.
Remember how I’ve been telling you lately that when reporters don’t attach numbers to their stories it’s safe to assume they’re exaggerating for affect?
Well, In the six years before Cross took that action, Karantonis and his wife had contributed $250 in 2010 and a whopping $25 in 2005, which was on top of another mind-boggling $150 contribution that year. The two had contributed a few hundred bucks before that.
Somebody, please, call the feds!!!
Again, we’re dealing with a totally elitist attitude here. If you are a “donor,” then you’re automatically tainted. Do not ever dare to offer up a valid legislative idea or you’ll be dragged through the public mud by a bunch of anti-democratic snobs who think the public should just butt the heck out of the oh-so-superior bureaucrats’ domains.
* The Trib story also goes into great detail about another bill that Cross passed to assist a guy who who had been “a math teacher, dean of students and coach at a private Aurora Christian school but wanted to make a career change.”
Nowhere in the story, however, do the reporters mention the real reason for the intervention.
Steve Hanson was enrolled at a university which for whatever reason didn’t realize that ISBE had changed the rules. It turns out there were four schools - Aurora University, Dominican University, St. Xavier University and Lewis University - which didn’t alter course requirements. So Cross’ bill (which passed unanimously in both chambers) allowed students in all those schools to be grandfathered in under the previous ISBE rules.
Hanson is now an assistant principal at Coal City High School. He’s a success story - a man who wouldn’t allow the bureaucrats to keep him from his dream. Good for him.
* And I just love this…
That’s classic bureaucracy”in-action” for ya. In fact, it’s probably the biggest scandal in the entire Tribune story. No wonder people are making calls to their legislators. Sheesh.
And when Speaker Madigan’s office asked to skip someone ahead a bit, the ISBE complied…
Wanna guess why?
Because ISBE’s delays are stupidly long and they most certainly know this. If they had decided to be bureaucratically rigid on top of inept, then they would have attracted unwanted attention from a very powerful dude.
But if ISBE was smarter, they would’ve kept the brick on the teacher hopeful and waited for Madigan to react (as is his standard MO). When he did, they could tell him that they can’t help his friend’s kid because he’s not appropriating nearly enough money to process those requests in a timely manner. This being Illinois and Madigan being Madigan, the friend’s kid gets the license and nothing gets fixed.
* Let’s get back to what I said earlier about how some constituents are goofballs and are in the wrong…
Notice, again, that the Tribune doesn’t say how often Jacobs’ office called. Either way, the ISBE stood firm and the guy wasn’t given a license. I’ve asked the Board of Education for the precise number of calls Jacobs’ office made. I’ll let you know what they say.
*** UPDATE *** Here is the original e-mail from Ian Scott to Sen. Jacobs’ district office…
Talk about misleading. The guy never mentioned he was disciplined in Iowa for falsifying academic credentials.
And he was a major pest. According to internal ISBE e-mails, Sen. Jacobs’ district office manager contacted the ISBE about the matter after herself receiving “a lot of calls” regarding the delay.
A month later, Jacobs’ office manager sent an e-mail revealing that Ian Scott had been repeatedly calling Sen. Jacobs on his mobile phone while he was on vacation and was “also having a couple of others” call Jacobs. “Wondering if you have an update,” she wrote.
The ISBE staffer’s response two days later…
A few weeks later, the Senator’s staffer called again to get an update. The ISBE staffer sent an e-mail to other staff members…
The response from a higher-up…