November 11, 2008

The speak-out has begun

And I hope it's not too late.

JOEL KLEIN knows very well how to take down a system, but has no idea how to nourish children, listen to parents, or support educators.

If the man were an educator, he'd be a failed one — and by the way, the UFT doesn't like to make that point, leaving the rest of us to bring it up all the time. The fact is he's not, and so the question remains why is he even being considered for Secretary of Education?

I've created a sidebar over on the right that contains links to recent blog posts, letters, and commentary on the legacy this chancellor is building for himself. Very few of these are positive or even neutral. Most are scathing and speak of the man's vision, record and character in the most negative terms.

Senator Obama, please trust us.

Klein's a poor choice of this cabinet post — even if the UFT isn't saying a word. (Which it's not, at least not on the main website. But, why am I not surprised. There's also no mention there of the ATR rally scheduled for Nov. 24th. Let me tell you about someone else who should never be considered for Education Secretary.)

Most of us wouldn't even want Joel Klein over for dinner, much less invite him to set policy for our children's education.

There's a funny little poll going over at Fred Klonsky's blog, and a more serious petition to President-Elect Obama against this dreadful nomination (self- or otherwise as it suggests below). It begins:
We, the undersigned, devoted thousands of hours of volunteer time to the election of Barack Obama as President. As Professional educators we were encouraged by the promise to have an open and respectful dialogue within the educational community about NCLB, its limits, and its failures.

Now, a trial balloon has been advanced in the media for Joel Klein, Chancellor of NYC schools to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education in an Obama Administration. (It is quite possible that Klein himself promoted the trial balloon.) Trial balloons are trials. They are floated to see how people will react.

This petition is a reaction. . . "

It sure the heck is.

Actually, there's a more general statement for the kind of Education Secretary some of us would like to see. They've got a petition going as well on their website:
Say YES to public education. Say NO to privatization.

Dear supporters of public education,

Many of you have by now heard the rumors of Obama's potential appointees to the position of Secretary of Education. This list includes several people whose records show a history of dismantling democratic public education in the name of private interests. As people committed to public education, this strikes a hard and fast blow in the euphoria that we have felt since Tuesday, November 4th. But it's not too late to make our voices heard once again. Let's build on the sense of representation and democracy we have just experienced to send a clear message to the Obama Administration.

Please click on ENDORSE THIS STATEMENT in order to sign the following statement that voices our concerns about the kind of Education Secretary that we want. Additionally, please FORWARD this message to your friends and colleagues who are also concerned about the future of public education.

Thank you!

The National Network of Teacher Activist Groups
The signatures on both of these petitions are mounting by the hour. It's obvious people are very unhappy with the way things have been going, and hanging out on the sidelines is not really an option.


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  2. [The comment above has been moved to the Nov.15th post, where it was originally meant to have been placed.]