Monday, June 12, 2017


Francesca Gomes is a middle school teacher who is also a member of the Movement of Rank and File Educators. She was criticized by the NY Post for putting a question on an exam where the right answer slammed the bankers who played a big part in crashing the economy in 2008.

I know Francesca well. She is a good person and an excellent trade unionist.

In addition to criticizing Francesca for blasting bankers, the Post accuses Francesca of being left because she supports teacher free speech.

Gomes leans further left than even Mayor de Blasio, and blasted him on social media in April for a comment he made at a Staten Island forum when asked about a “gag order” on teachers disparaging state tests.

The mayor said, “Think of what it would lead to if teachers openly criticized every education policy they disagreed with,” the Staten Island Advance reported.

“Um … I don’t know, maybe meaningful improvements? Screw you, De Blasio,” Gomes wrote on her Facebook page.

That sounds pretty good to me.

Below is the entire MORE article in support of Francesca.

I'm really interested in what our politically diverse readers thinks about this one.

In Defense of Francesca Gomes, Bankers Should Be Slammed!

Were banks to blame for the Great Recession? Should middle school students be required to identify words like nefarious or reprehensible? MORE’s Francesca Gomes seems to think so and, last week, the New York Post noticed.

Francesca assigned students a handout with a word bank (a technique, by the way,  that is just good teaching practice). One portion read “Banks are often run by ————— people who look for ways to hurt the most financially vulnerable people in the country.” It seem like the choices remaining were “nefarious” and “reprehensible”.

We suppose that would lead students to conclude that the banks’’ actions were “nefarious” and “reprehensible”. But we also suppose that the banks’ actions in 2008 were, well nefarious and even reprehensible.

Senator Bernie Sanders seem to think the same thing saying once that “greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street”. Former US attorney Preet Bharara agrees. In 2015, the Post reported Bharara’s position that criminal activity on Wall Street caused 2008 meltdown. (They did so in an article they published entitled “Criminal activity’ on Wall Street caused 2008 meltdown: Preet”).

It’s probably important to note that the Post themselves never once blamed Wall Street for the financial meltdown that cost millions of people their jobs and their homes and kicked millions more out of America’s middle class forever. That alone may explain part of the reason for not feeling comfortable with a teacher assignment that associated the banks with nefarious acts.

But TIME Magazine (who did not write about Francesca) pointed mainly to bankers and financial experts for the meltdown in their complete list of “25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis”. We here love the Post, but we’ll take Time’s economic evaluations over the Post, most days of the week.

Other folks who blamed banks for the meltdown include John McCain and Barack Obama, the latter saying in 2009 that Americans had been “tricked into signing these subprime loans by lenders who were trying to make a quick profit. And the reason these loans were so readily available was that Wall Street saw big profits to be made.”, while the former declaring in 2008 that, “In my administration, we’re going to hold people on Wall Street responsible. And we’re going to enact and enforce reforms to make sure that these outrages never happen in the first place.”

Here’s what the bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) had to say on the matter:
“There was an explosion in risky subprime lending and securitization, an unsustainable rise in housing prices, widespread reports of egregious and predatory lending practices, dramatic increases in household mortgage debt, and exponential growth in financial firms’ trading activities, unregulated derivatives, and short-term “repo” lending markets, among many other red flags.”

So, yeah. We’re pretty sure that blaming the banks isn’t anything controversial.

But let’s face facts for a moment ok? Francesca wasn’t featured for having her students provide answers along a premise that everyone in America (besides the Post) seems to accept. She was featured because her political opinions are to the left of what the NY Post has deemed acceptable. She’s a leftist. A lefty. An alternative social something or other and, well, just left. For that reason, and that reason only, the Post decided to attack her. 
Now we’re proud to know that Francesca accepts all students in her classroom and we’re grateful to learn that she challenges those students with rigorous vocabulary. But we don’t much care about her political points of view outside of the work place and we don’t think you should either.

Why? Well, because as long as the law is being followed, the things a teacher does outside the school door is private. Teachers, especially ethical teachers like Francesca who challenge their students on a daily basis, deserves that privacy when they leave the schoolhouse.

As a good teacher, Francesca knows that it’s only ethical for her to avoid speaking about those viewpoints when she’s at work and in front of her students. We should probably remind you that she has not been accused of acting in an unethical manner in any way. The question on the assignment is clearly based on facts, not politics. 

We think teachers should teach facts. We also think they should enjoy their privacy after work.


Anonymous said...

Attack the strong and competent and everyone else will lie down. Seems like they know what they are doing in going after good teachers

Anonymous said...

She is MORE. She is the one who runs the Facebook, I know because she's attacked me there, calling me "racist" and "right wing" for pretty docile comments. She even apologized for using MORE to post several, telling me she meant to do it under her own account.

waitingforsupport said...

Oh boy...I will always believe in freedom of speech,and I will always challenge bullies. Off my pulpit and will say I hope she isn't 3020-a'd for this situation.

Anonymous said...

The NY Post, defender of Greed, is now taking the logical next step in the war against all things reasonable....individual personalized attacks on those who oppose what they stand for. Whether you're a lefty or not (I'm not), this should offend your American sensibilities. I'm offended but not surprised at the tactic. Roseanne McCosh

Anonymous said...

She's working at a school which is majority white, majority Republican, on Staten Island- Wagner High School. If she's so liberal, she should go into the more needy areas of the city and teach. I guarantee you she would have no problems spewing her liberal garbage in East New York, the Bronx, etc.

There she would see what liberal values buys you.

Anonymous said...

Her job is to teach not indoctrinate.

Anonymous said...

All great points. Teachers should present both sides of an argument and open the discussion. Students can come to their own conclusions based on how they view the info. This is the art of debate which students will use for their entire lives. Controversy leads to interesting and lively discourse in the classrooms. The idea is that people are allowed to have different views. The discussions never end! This is our wonderful country where we are free to have our own opinions!

Anonymous said...

Yes present both sides
1 plus 1 is 2= but lets hear from those that disagree
Nazis were bad, but lets hear the good things they did
Slave holders were evil, but what we need to discuss their accomplishments
The environment is warming, but lets hear from climate change deniers

If you believe there are 2 sides to everything and no facts- we damn well hope you're not in the teaching profession, becuase you belong no where near kids

Anonymous said...

There are two sides to every story.

waitingforsupport said...

Just because there are at least two sides to a story doesn't mean that one or both sides are wholly valid/good/bad--it just means that there are at least two sides. 2cents

Anonymous said...

Sorry, she needs to be fired!!

Anonymous said...

Predatory lending and zero accountability on Wall Street led to a financial collapse that we tax payers had to bail out. But only a lefty liberal would label this as nefarious or reprehensible???? This teacher did nothing wrong. I don't know Francesca and although I'm sure I would probably disagree with her on some of her liberal thinking, I sure as hell defend her right to speak freely. What she did in no way equals indoctrination of her students. Right before the collapse I was offered a 300K line of credit on my home from my bank. I remember thinking... are they crazy? How in the hell could I ever repay 300 grand on my salary with the expenses I already had? Nefarious and reprehensible are accurate terms for offering up money to people who had no way to repay and then having tax payers bail them out when the whole thing went to shit. If someone drowned a litter of puppies I guess there will always be some jackass who would want to debate if that act was reprehensible or not. Yeah, fire this teacher, who in her free time legally and ethically fights for causes she believes in ---that will fix everything wrong with this country's financial and education systems. She's a liberal and those with the knee jerk reaction of assuming she's guilty of indoctrinating her students is evidence that the knee jerkers are the ones who have truly been indoctrinated. Liberal teachers = bad. American banks = good. Who in their right mind defends banks after what they did to this country? Roseanne McCosh

susan said...

One can be a lefty without being a bully. In her private life Francesca is doctrinaire and dogmatic. The only correct voice is hers. She could have discussed the financial crises without the poor choice of words and her personal spin.Fired No But a reprimand sure was called for.