December 14, 2008

Thanks, Chaz!

I haven't written much since Thanksgiving because of a debilitating condition that seems to be on the mend, but I've been able to read a few posts here and there and it's worth the few moments of physical pain it will take me now to draw your attention to the Dec. 13th one over at Chaz's School Daze.

He's made up a list of immediate actions the union should be addressing at this point in time, when corporate forces in our society are doing some pretty nasty things to education professionals.

It's clear from this list alone, without mentioning a single other thing, that the investigatory processes they've designed over at the DoE have much more in common with kangaroo courts than anyone could possibly feel comfortable with in a nation ruled by law, and that teachers — particularly the ones who have been fully certified and who have many years of classroom experience — are being systematically denied the standing to participate fully in the decision-making processes that relate to all aspects of the profession.

There's no doubt about it, that Weingarten and her Unity team are complicit in this refashioning of the profession.

They keep collaborating with a Tweedful of people on manipulating numbers in all kinds of ways — tests, grad rates, school report cards, hiring, etc. — to drive public education into the ground. They sign off on agreements that take chunks out of our job descriptions and make it increasingly difficult to teach children what we know they need to know.

Weingarten doesn't talk straight with the members. She just loves fuzzy language (a loose translation for lies and omissions) and uses it so much in whatever she's "selling" us these days, whether it's in her NY Teacher mouthpiece, or in press releases, or her letters to members.

Weingarten: "I want to thank the ATRs for continuing to press this issue..." In fact, she did everything she could to sabotage the efforts of the ATRs working to build the rally, and you can read all about it at the Support the ATRs website.

Weingargten: "By eliminating the financial obstacles that have prevented principals from hiring ATRs..." The new agreement covers some ATRs (the centrally funded ones), not all of them. There're a whole bunch of ATRs this agreement doesn't help out at all. But she's not saying that.

These couple of examples relate to the ATR rally and the ATR agreement they signed onto, but there's way, way more evidence of her deceit and collaboration in the majority of the NYC ed blogs.

Which leads me to this before signing off for the day:

Thank you to the many ed bloggers who've been carrying the torch on these issues all along, some of whom started their columns way before I started writing Under Assault. I'm especially grateful this week to The Chancellor's (who alerted me to Greg Palast's article on the Klein choice) and Ednotes (for his commentary and all the links in The New Know Nothings).

I'd say it's all good sickbed reading, but you kind of end up feeling much, much worse.


  1. It is always appreciated that there are teachers that read and understand my posts and how important it is to see the big picture.

  2. Unfortunately, most of what has been happening on the education front makes one feel "much worse". Obama's choice for education is a serious let down.
    Part of me wonders if we would be better off if Klein had been selected. At least we wouldn't have to deal with him in New York City anymore.
    Still, I'm sure we would get yet another corporate drone in his place.
    Are Americans even aware of the history of fascism and the relationship between corporate takeovers in a fascist system?
    Probably not, and if our leaders keep appointing their basketball buddies to educational positions, we can ensure that students will learn the least amount of history as possible.

  3. I am aware of that fascist legacy. Since I have family members who died in Treblinka. Others emigrated to Argentina and Chile. In Chile, family members allegedly perished in the CIA-engineered Allende coup back in the early '70's. These relatives were said to be "leftist". I keep saying how the educational system has become a sneak attack on reason and a massive social engineering experiment. I've proclaimed a slide towards fascism, but the economy has become a monumental distraction. I've probably been labeled a member of the lunatic fringe, so I'm glad to see in writing the same take on the evolving educational system.
    I wish Obama wasn't as neocon as I see unfolding in his cabinet.