Conservatives decry MN Teacher of the Year's "tyranny of the 1 percent" remark [VIDEO]

Categories: Education
MeganHall2.jpg
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Megan Hall suggested teachers fight the good political fight against those rich 1 percenters.
In May, 34-year-old Megan Hall won Education Minnesota's 2013 Minnesota Teacher of the Year award.

Hall teaches life science, Advance Placement environmental science, and biology at the Open World Learning Community in downtown St. Paul. In interviews she did with the media at the time, she kept things mostly apolitical, though she did tell the Star Tribune that "We believe in liberty and justice for all in this country, but we don't have it yet."

SEE ALSO: Conservatives upset Mark Dayton missed speech for birth of first grandchild

"Teaching is one of the best ways to achieve that dream by opening the doors to higher education that ends poverty," she continued.

But in a speech she recently gave to the 2013 Education Minnesota Conference, Hall upped the political ante by characterizing teachers as "American democracy's last line of defense against the tyranny of the 1 percent." Her comments are being decried by conservative activists who believe such remarks are unbecoming of Minnesota's Teacher of the Year.

Here's a transcript of the controversial part of Hall's speech, followed by the raw video:

There is one other thing that I think about when I think about generosity. I think about all of the teachers in St. Paul public schools who gave up our cost of living raise in 2010 in an effort to limit class sizes in our district.

Teachers are persistent and responsible and generous because we believe that every child in America, regardless of circumstances of birth, deserves a decent chance at a good life. [Applause] From where I stand, teachers create equality of opportunity. From where I stand, teaching is a profession that takes a gritty patriotism. And from where I stand, teachers are American democracy's last line of defense against the tyranny of the 1 percent. [More applause]


And here's what conservative members of Minnesota's Twitter intelligentsia are saying about Hall's "tyranny of the 1 percent" remark:


Yeah, maybe that would've been a good line to save for when you're having beers with your liberal buddies after the speech.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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50 comments
marylarue
marylarue

The STINKIN' THINKIN' of this 'teacher of the year' is the sad, pathetic result of the past 4 decades of rampant liberalism and INDOCTRINATION that has trumped EDUCATION, trumped the very basics & superior education that has propelled the Unites States into the preeminent world leader that we are, or least, WERE. 

Because of teachers like this programed robotron, HS dropout rates are horrendously high; curriculum is a 'politically correct' mish-mash that permanently sabotages kids as they are 'graduated' into the real world; bad  teachers being 'kept on' simply because they have 'seniority'; drug use & violence so prevalent in HS, law enforcement needed to bring some kind of order & discipline to the hallways and classrooms.

All this on the taxpayers dime . . . the cost per student sky-high & still climbing, most paid, of course, by those of us in the 1%, something this educated-fool 'teacher of the year' doesn't want to admit.

Yes, folks, this is what is being fed to your kids and grandkids every day, starting as early as these 'teachers'/indoctrinators can get their hands on your progeny.

Had enough?!

jwanbs
jwanbs

While I'm happy to hear someone who promotes character in the classroom, as this is sorely missing in today's society, I'm disappointed to hear her lump all wealthy people into one group and accuse them ALL of being the 'cause of tyranny'.  I find her statement incredibly misguided and quite frankly, ignorant.  Sadly, most teachers have only lived in the sheltered world of academia, so what more can we expect?

Not only is her comment disrespectful to those who pay more taxes than 95% of our country combined (including her salary), or who are serious job creators in our country, how about those who donate millions upon millions to non-profit organizations.  I look at most of the 1 percenters as being responsible for providing us with a majority of our medical breakthroughs, incredible technological advances, and why America is exceptional.  Many of these people are incredibly hardworking visionaries who deserve the fruits of their labor.  Of course, with EVERY group, there are bad, even evil people, but I expect a teacher to have a little more common sense than to make such a ridiculous, blanket statement. 

I'd like to know if she includes 1 percenters like Oprah, Obama, Gates, Jobs, etc. in her 1% statement?  If not, why not?  They're 1 percenters too...or are they only OK if they're lefties?  Kinda political.  She needs to read a little history (before it's changed) to see that a big strategy of tyrants is to divide and conquer...and folks have you EVER seen the division in our country worse than since Civil Rights?  Rich versus poor, white versus non-white, religious versus non-religious, gay versions straight, left versus right...can you not see it?  It was never this bad and started just after 2008...when America was going to be transformed.  Not quite the transformation I was looking for.

studentslast
studentslast

Megan Hall your speech was beautiful and generous and spot-on. You do our profession proud! 

lausdteacher
lausdteacher

She is absolutely right about this. As a teacher, I have bucked the testing obsession and am using whole fiction and non fiction text in history class and having students write and discuss about it.      It is only by developing our minds and not fitting every kid into a mold do we maintain our democracy and indeed stop the tyranny of the 1%. 

nbish
nbish

I applaud her for speaking out against tyranny. It's hard to teach children to think critically when, as a teacher, you are forced into excessive testing, data tracking students and watered down scripted curriculum. Good for her! She deserves the title and all the accolades because she is practicing what she is supposed to teach; critical thinking and respect for the Bill of Rights.

Nina Seifert Bishop

dianeravitch.com   ,  classsizematters.org  ,  susanohanian.org  , untiedoptout.com

All of the above sites are also on Facebook as well as Badass Teachers Association

cags777
cags777

Well ladi-frickin'-dah!  It's called free speech - something most conservatives claim to support. Don't like it? Go back to Russia!

G_Rex
G_Rex

Truth hurts, doesn't it? Go cry in your Mercedes-Benzes and buy another yacht if what she said gave you an emotional owie--you'll feel better.

Adam Klugherz
Adam Klugherz

Conservatives decry anything that is objectively true, for at this point their entire world view is a lie.

_Joe_
_Joe_

Autoplay = AdBlocked

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

Somebody is killed by a gun. The gun, not the shooter is to blame.

The average Joe can't get ahead financially. The "rich people", not the

corrupt system is to blame.

Groupthink is the most dangerous thing in the world.

DavidFoureyes
DavidFoureyes topcommenter

Fact: Defending the 1% is an excellent foot in the door for renewing donations from the 1%. 

How the concentration of wealth is a political issue is beyond me. All parties represent the other 99% of us. Wouldn't the GOP be better off doing the "say one thing to us, say another to the donors" act that has never gotten any of them in troub...


...disregard.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

jesus christ these guys are dense...i hope the class war comes soon!

Laurie Benson Langer
Laurie Benson Langer

just because she's a teacher and won an award doesn't mean she has no opinion and no right to share her opinion

Kurt Hendricks
Kurt Hendricks

Stop pointing out things, Mr. Teacher Smartypants!

lausdteacher
lausdteacher

@jwanbs Yes I live in the sheltered world of South Los Angeles with poverty, drugs and gangs and a city council that is corrupt as hell.   If anything it is the wealthy that are living the sheltered life.

jwanbs
jwanbs

@nbish I'm all for teaching respect, but question...do you honestly believe the 'tyranny' is coming from the wealthy?  If so...you need to do a little research.  

Do you know what Common Core is?  That it's being pushed into our states by our current administration?  That the only reason states are adopting it is because the Federal Government is giving them lots o' money if they adopt it.  But as the states learn more about it, and see that they'll lose their states rights, many are trying to get out of it?  That the new Common Core standards are HEAPING on the excessive testing and unbelievable amounts of data tracking crap onto the teachers?  That great literature (which inspires reading and critical thinking) is being removed and replaced with manuals/tutorials/etc.?  That Common Core has watered down the curriculum (and changed history) so bad that the one mathematician on the board of Common Core totally opposes it???  

I read a page of a HS history book that was rewritten to state that our 2nd and 3rd amendments grant us the right to bear arms in a state militia...ahhh...NO!  Look it up.  

So...applaud this misguided teacher if you want, but if you want to complain about excessive testing, data tracking, and watered down curriculum, you might want to see where that's coming from...as this kind of 'tyranny' is coming from our current administration.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

The thing is, young Adam, the entire liberal world view is a lie as well. Basically, you're a liar if you identify with either

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@mingtran uhhhh rich people control and create systems. what do you control and create?


debt, servitude, ineptitude

keny1
keny1

@mingtran 

Welcome to the wild and wacky world of liberalism! 

This woman is further proof of how socialistic liberalism poisons one's mind.

The sad thing is that she is teaching (indoctrinating) the future of this nation.

nbish
nbish

@jwanbs @nbish  Yes, I know all about Common Core but you obviously do not.. I've been fighting NCLB, RttT, Common Core, inBloom, and VAM for years. All the money the feds are giving has strings attached and groups like TFA are geared to replace experienced teachers, their unions and to absorb their pensions. You do the research. Have you ever taught a class with 30-40 students? Have you ever taught a special needs class? Yes, I've done the research and experienced it first hand. This teacher is NOT misguided in her statements for it is the 1% funding current education deforms. We don't need more accountability by excessively testing and stressing our children. The country which has the best education system in the world does the exact opposite of the US. They do NOT even have standardized testing, very little homework and a strong teacher's union. Education 'deforms' are profit driven by corporations and corrupt politicians. Follow the money from Bill Gates, Eli Broad, the Walton Family, the Koch brothers and many more all pushing for privatization because education is the new TRILLION dollar marketplace and they all want a piece of the pie. Why do you think Arne Duncan recently appealed for the Chamber of Commerce to support Common Core. It's not about kids; it's about profit. They aren't listening to parents or teachers about what's appropriate for children because all they see are dollar signs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrQbJlmVJZo . http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/10/02/06testing_ep.h33.html? 

This one follows the money:

 tkn=PSVFKHcN8KakBJQr1YgONoG3PmkTwT2wVDR%2F&cmp=ENL-CCO-NEWS1

Regarding the our current administration, yes, they're tyrannical and so were the Bush people. Both sides of the political isle support education deform. 

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

Easily amused

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

.01% of "the 1%" are responsible for the creation of corrupt systems. The ignorant masses that buy into group think, (you and others like you), are the ones who make sure corrupt systems remain in place. The system is only as real as one makes it.

I control and create my reality. You could too if you were aware.

jwanbs
jwanbs

@keny1 @mingtran But do you expect anything less from a school named Open World Learning Community?  

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@keny1 @mingtran Better they listen to people like her than racist POSs like you Keny.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@keny1 That's funny, seems like people like you have the most to gain from class warfare. unrefined hicks and whatnot

nbish
nbish

@jwanbs @nbish  Fair enough; I understand your viewpoint; however, mine is a little different. She's from the teaching profession, a field so affected by education deform. Teachers have been the scapegoats and blamed for variables outside of their control. Children are struggling to succeed while living in abject poverty and I believe teachers realize billionaire bucks being thrown at education, have been thrown the wrong direction. When the feds gather up state governors; none of whom have teaching experience, to discuss education reforms, without inviting parents and teachers to the table, are doing our schools, our teachers, our students and our country a disservice. Ms. Hall may have been talking only about the 1% who are doing so much damage within her realm of employment. When teachers, who make so little money and work extreme hours, often taking work home with them, are blamed by the Goliaths of big business for variables outside of a teacher's control; that is tyranny. Teachers do not have the means to fight back because they're fighting industry leaders, the federal government and the media who, let's face it, is owned by the 1%. While there are bad apples in every bunch, I do not believe most teachers are inept or deserve the bad wrap the media of the 1% have given them. 

jwanbs
jwanbs

@nbish  I'm pretty sure we're on the same side with regard to how horrible Common Core is and how there are those who are doing their best to dumb down America.  And yes...I do see it coming in from wealthy people to politicians exempting themselves from the laws they pass; however, I still don't applaud her for blaming tyranny on all 1 percenters.  I agree with you on most of what you say, even going back to Bush.  And yes, I have taught classes with 30-40, and just happen to have a special needs child, so I do have experience here as well.  But again, it goes back to her calling all wealthy people tyrants.  Anytime people lump people together and call them names...well, it's not wise.  There are plenty of wonderful wealthy people in this country providing jobs, paying more taxes than 95% of the country combined, donating millions to non-profits, and leading this country to new medical and technological breakthroughs, etc. But statements like hers do nothing but further divide us which only seeks to anger those with less and create animosity.  What's ironic to me is that she talks about teaching character, but people of character don't tear down others...no matter what group they're in.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@mingtran im happy that i am helping you assimilate and learn about our society. you are too presumptive and have no accolades to speak of. really nobody cares, here in america, what a "mingtran" has to say

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

The thread started with a political paradigm. You live by political paradigms. You are lost and troubled. Stop projecting.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@mingtran who lives by political paradigms?  again, you are lost and troubled. 

refuge can be found at the bottom of lake calhoun. go there.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

That's because entendre is beyond you. You are living a lie if you live by the left/right paradigm because they're the same means to the same ends. Get it?

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

That's an exceptional comeback. Even for you

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@mingtran you cannot begin to speak about the actions of the super elite. understand this

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@keny1 you dumb hick, i have a car and a bike. 


why not man up and prove some shit? 

or you can keep typing and rubbing your pussy


bottom line is you are an unrefined hick and we all hate you

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@keny1  What?  Are you criticizing the guy who doesn't have to fork over his paycheck to own and operate a car?  Probably an additional $10,000 year to spend on the chicks.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

Anyone who argues for their own limitations is for class warfare. You argue more for your own limitations than keny does. Your reasoning is what is killing everything

keny1
keny1

@digitalprotocol

You're almost 30 years old and you still don't have a car. LOL! I bet you get all the chicks.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

 @keny1 that doesnt really connect...  try again. how do stupid bicycles make a point for you?

you're such a pussy and a waste of bits

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