Ball State Claims, “No Teacher Shortage”

Muncie, Indiana – The Center for Media & Democracy, who investigates the American Legislative & Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Charles & David Koch corporate funded bill mill, said recently, be ready for Indiana Policy Review to spread propaganda refuting the teacher shortage in Indiana.

It took less than a month before the Koch paid professors at Ball State, Cecil Bohanon and Michael Hicks, started circulating their “study” which said there are no teacher shortages in Indiana. Their  analysis was based solely on adding up the number of teacher certifications in Indiana and comparing to the number of jobs – purely quantitative.

Of course, their study ignored the testimony of real teachers last month at the Statehouse, or fellow professors who teach in the field of education. Who needs qualitative input? Definitely not “researchers” who are being paid to support ALEC’s agenda. Shills paid to ignore facts about how the decade long assault on the teaching profession by right-wing ideologues has finally come home to roost.

Never mind that teachers are choosing to work outside their field. Let’s ignore the facts that young students having witnessed how their teachers have been treated by lawmakers, so choose to avoid the teaching profession.

Now we know why Rep. Behning made teachers across the state wait seven hours to testify and then turned his back to those teachers testifying. He knew the newspapers and Indiana Policy Review had their backs. It was their strategy. We’ve written plenty about IPR here and here.

This is how it works…based on our Google Alert, every city newspaper in Indiana printed Ball State’s press release version propagating this study’s rhetoric. None of them asked the hundreds or thousands of teachers in their immediate areas for comments about this study. Those who did ask local teachers, immediately rebutted criticism of lawmakers with the study – a study about the total number of certified teachers showing more than enough teachers in Indiana.

Is it any wonder Hoosiers vote uninformed and against their best interests. Corporate funded institutions produce garbage reports printed by corporate owned media interests. It’s a great set up and this is why the gravy train keeps rolling to large corporate interests. It’s also why public operated institutions like education are on the decline. Privatization is the end goal. Smaller government motivates these folks, but not the part of the government which subsidizes Billionaires or their corporations. Not the government that funnels trillions into the banking industry. Only those parts of the government which redistribute the wealth of the Billionaires to the poor.

The moneyed interests want to eliminate the public sector to reduce their tax burden, but their greed is redistributing wealth upwards away from the Middle Class into their bank accounts.

Since the economic crash of 2008, and later bailout of the financial industry and large corporate interests, is now known as the greatest upward redistribution of wealth this country has ever experienced. And, it’s not over…billions of dollars are flowing monthly into the banking system which finds its way to Wall Street traders/investors/fund managers and bank executives.

Unions have been intentionally decimated in the private sector and now public sector unions have cross-hairs on them. Where is the fight? Why aren’t teacher unions taking to the streets protesting?

For years, Hoosier lawmakers have ripped at the teacher profession to the point where folks are leaving, retiring early and simply avoiding the profession. Washington Post slammed Indiana several months ago after studying the case and talking with teachers. Valerie Strauss wrote:

The Republican leadership of the state — including Gov. Mike Pence — showed their respect for teachers by working very hard this year to strip power from Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz, a veteran educator who won election to the post in 2012 (by defeating Tony Bennett, the incumbent who was a protege of former Florida governor Jeb Bush). Oh, by the way, she is a Democrat. David Long, the Republican president of the Indiana Senate, said while explaining why the legislature would want to remove Ritz as chairman of the state Board of Education: “In all fairness, Superintendent Ritz was a librarian, okay?”

Here is testimony from experts during the legislative hearing in Indianapolis:

“Joshua Francis, interim dean of Indiana Institute of Technology’s College of General Studies and director of teacher preparation, said that he frequently hears students and teachers cite too little pay, too much testing and lack of respect for abandoning the profession.

Suzanne Ehst, director of secondary education at Goshen College, said teachers and students she surveyed also blamed an emphasis on standardized tests and a general lack of respect toward teachers among reasons that might discourage people from getting into teaching.”

Sadly, our Koch paid shills only looked at “licensed teachers” which shows a large number of teachers working outside the profession. No mention of standardized tests, lack of funding or resources, no support from parents or administrators, and years of degrading teachers and their unions.

Free market policy makers create the problem, so they hire like-minded academic shills to cover their backs while more like-minded newspapers publish their reports. As the saying goes, “Garbage in, garbage out!”

Where are Ball State’s professors who actually educate teachers?  Why aren’t the newspaper reporters asking experts in the field of teaching? Why are we asking free market, Ayn Rand loving economists?

The answers are simple – the free market economists owned by Charles and David Koch will offer the answers Billionaires need to match up with the legislation (already created bills from ALEC) that Indiana (Kansas, Wisconsin & North Carolina) lawmakers propose. To further illustrate, the lawmakers are also funded by the Koch’s “dark money” and attend ALEC conferences. It’s a scam committed against the American people by Billionaires who fund these institutions, bill mills, PACs, “think tanks”, republican politicians and the media.

If you want to know why Bernie Sanders has been “blacked out” of corporate owned media – it’s because he’s leading a political revolution against our corrupted economic/political system – an unfettered capitalism where the wealthy Oligarchic few use their vast fortunes to manipulate our public sector by buying politicians.

If you want to know why teachers don’t want to teach – ask a teacher. Listen to the teachers who have been attacked by Mitch Daniels, Mike Pence and Tony Bennett for over a decade in this state. Listen to Ben Carson who’s leading the republican presidential field. He wants to limit liberal speech on college campuses across the country. This anti-government, anti-liberal, anti-collectivism and anti-democracy is ruining this country. Meanwhile, large corporate interests and the Billionaires who own them get policies which improve their profits and boost their bank accounts.

As long as the masses listen to the garbage produced by shills and our news media, we’ll see the continued decline of America as corporate interests push their profit agenda on unsuspecting Americans. Bernie Sanders stands outside the corrupted systems and is calling for a “political revolution”. Listen to what he has to say…you’ll have to actually go directly and research his policies because our corporate owned media refuses to share with the American people.

Teachers are part of a union – they are protected by a union. The right-wing ideologues who run this state have done everything in their power to end unions in the private sector to drive down wages and end worker protection from abusive corporations. The politicians work for these corporate interests and they’ve been gunning for teachers and teacher unions for over ten years.

They have no intention of stopping until they’ve eliminated teacher unions by creating an alternative education run by corporations (charter schools) versus local school boards. Their agenda is clear and the negative consequences are rushing to the surface. The shills can write all they want for the Billionaires with large trust funds like Eli Lilly, Arthur Pope, Walton’s, etal.


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Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.

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