You Can’t Make This Stuff Up—Presidential Candidate Issues Call to “Abolish All Teachers’ Lounges”

At a time when school districts around Texas and the nation are experiencing teacher shortages, you might think public officials would try to avoid giving fresh offense to educators who are fed up with being scapegoated and sick of seeing their students’ educational experience warped by the testing industry and its allies.

But Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a contender for the Republican presidential nomination, apparently couldn’t contain himself. Today he shared with the audience at a so-called “education summit” meeting in New Hampshire (convened by groups promoting private-school vouchers) his solution for low morale:  getting rid of teachers’ lounges so teachers won’t sit around and gripe.

Here’s how Kasich’s remarks giving the back of his hand to teachers were reported in an online article on the Talking Points Memo Web site:

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) on Wednesday said that he would like to get rid of teachers’ lounges to reduce how much teachers worry about losing their jobs.

Kasich said at an education summit in New Hampshire that many teachers believe that “we’re out to take their job” when schools evaluate teacher performance and that teachers’ lounges provide an environment where this worry spreads.

“No we’re not out to take their job. If you need help, we’ll help you. If you’re a terrible teacher, then you should be doing something else because you’re going to find more satisfaction doing something else that you’re good at,” he said. “We have to constantly communicate that.”

He then suggested that teachers’ unions contribute to educators’ worries.

“I’ll tell you what the unions do, unfortunately too much of the time. There’s a constant negative comment, ‘They’re going to take your benefits, they’re going to take your pay,'” Kasich said. “So if I were, not president, but if I were king in America, I would abolish all teachers’ lounges, where they sit together and worry about, ‘Woe is us.'”

You can see the video of Kasich’s comments here: His remarks were like catnip for his pro-voucher, anti-union hosts at the “summit.” We suspect his words will not go over so well in those teachers’ lounges, however.

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