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DustinVoss

The Podcast Needs To Become More Political

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Agree or Disagree

 

I've heard it become a bit more political in regards to Trump's attack on retirement, but I've thought for a long time that teachers should necessarily be advocates for their students when it comes to political discussions.

 

 

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What do you mean by "I've thought for a long time that teachers should necessarily be advocates for their students when it comes to political discussions?"

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Let me define politics as "how we live together." That political discussions that relate to our two current political parties are political in the sense that we are discussion how we tax ourselves, what our taxes go towards, and how we prioritize our collective initiatives such as defense, infrastructure, etc.

 

So many teachers, and people generally, carry the idea that it is impolite to talk politics and that they'd rather just do their jobs and not get into these necessarily contentious discussions. You can hear this inclination in the first 10-20 episodes of the podcasts. Now that Trump is attacking retirement systems, our hosts are happy to discuss politics but have been more or less unwilling to discuss politics when it comes to pension systems, funding sources, charter schools, equitable funding formulas, and other politically contentious issues (each of them, like retirement systems, misunderstood because of the amount of mis-and-incomplete information available.) Each of these issues relates either directly or through budget decisions on the ability to "teach and retire rich" so there are times I think our hosts can play a positive role by clarifying information and giving examples of advocacy.

 

I do think that when political discussions threaten our students, teachers can play a vital role in advocating for what's in the best interest for our students. To give just one example, early childhood education here in Chicago was funded through social impact bonds paying several banks an 18% return on a 4-year loan. The way this has been reported, most Chicagoans would likely praise the mayor and city council for getting early childhood education expanded, but they would fail to realize the ridiculous and unnecessary costs of the funding program.

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