Just look at that smile over there on the right.
That picture was circulated in the Chapter Leader Weekly this week, with a caption that read:
"Enthusiasm was in the air at UFT headquarters during the March 3 kickoff for the Measures of Effective Teaching Project, a two-year study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in which volunteer teachers will help create objective and reliable measures of effective teaching."It's not enough that the city hires grad students, calls them "teachers" the first year on the job, and uses them to kill tenure and push veteran members out of their jobs. The UFT accepted that. It talks a good game, sure enough, but it's positioning itself beautifully: when we lose tenure and the ATRs are all fired, they can claim it's not their fault.
And it's not enough that know-nothing administrators — sometimes unsuccessful, unmotivated, or unlicensed teachers before they jumped into admin — get absurd freedoms to evaluate us. The UFT accepted that too, and even gave up the right to grieve the truly wicked stuff.
And it's also not enough that the Steve Brills, Nick Kristofs and so many others of the capitulating press continue to heckle from the sidelines, passing off the EdDeform press releases as if they were real news. The UFT buys into the same jargon just as much as the press. It took them way too long to reject the profound deception of the school report cards and faulty test data.
Now the UFT has signed on big time to the new Gates project on teacher evaluation.
When I first heard about this project in the fall, I thought Bill and Melinda were just bored in bed and looking for a way to spice up their sex life. Why not hit teachers again. It was fun last time when we destabilized the system with those new small schools.
But I'm clear now, thanks to the NY Times Sunday magazine article, which says the reason they're spending big bucks on teacher evaluation is because Bill's just "personally very curious." It's nothing to do with sex at all.
We learned about the UFT involvement in this project months ago, when a ripple of shock went through the Delegate Assembly as Mulgrew announced it. Not much of a ripple, it's true. Unity delegates were by that time comatose or running on automatic.
The union's total commitment to both Gates and EdDeform can't be more clear in the article describing the project in the Dec. 11th issue of the NY Teacher. :
Another Gates focus is teacher quality. The foundation would pour $500 million into three to five “deep dive sites” around the nation, including big urban districts, which will act as laboratories for new ways to measure teacher performance and better link it to tenure and salaries. It will pay for research on using data systems to measure student and teacher performance.More horrifying is this other paragraph talking about the November event at which Gates unveiled his project:
Invited were such lions of education reform as New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, his Washington, D.C., counterpart Michelle Rhee and Bush Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, along with top advisors to President-elect Obama and AFT/UFT President Randi Weingarten.This is not the outside press. This is our union rag calling Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee, and Margaret Spellings "lions of education reform."
In my experience, calling a person a "lion" of something is a compliment. The term is never used to describe someone's antisocial accomplishments. Take George Bush, for example. I hate what he did to the US Constitution. It was a massive offensive, but I don't go around calling him a "lion of Constitutional reform."
I see no reason for our union paper to call Joel Klein a lion of anything, except that he eats red meat and takes no prisoners.
You can blame Mulgrew for this new collaboration with Gates — and you must — but don't forget Weingarten, who's a one-woman steering committee at the national level.
THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THIS KIND OF COLLABORATION.
LOWER CLASS SIZE.
MAKE NEW CLASSROOMS.
SPEND MONEY ON ALL FACILITIES, NOT JUST THE BOUTIQUES WITH SELECTION CAPABILITIES UNHEARD OF IN LOCAL SCHOOLS.
PROVIDE THE SERVICES THAT KIDS NEED, and SOCIAL SERVICES TO HELP FAMILIES.
WE ARE PAYING GOOD MONEY FROM OUR PAYCHECKS TO THIS TWO-FACED UNION BUYING INTO TEACHERS BEING THE HEART OF THE PROBLEM.
IT IS TREACHERY WHEN A UNION IS INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM THE BOSSES.