I think I'd like to thank those of you who happen to be of weak heart for your tepid support and wish you well as you seek out your next career in real estate, Longaberberger basket sales or toxic waste disposal as it appears shit is about to get real here in public school land.
Why Mr. Crowley, we've all heard the tale of the kid in your 7th grade class who asked Mrs. McCarthy what the word "cynical" meant whereupon that young pedagogue turned and pointed an accusing finger at yours truly and said Mr. Crowley is what you'd call "cynical" but now what ? Whence cometh this latest bank of your imagination's cumulonimbi ? Well now that I'm done speaking to myself in third person, I always wondered how that worked, let's start with the most obvious :
The state's new teacher devaluation system in working better than Katie Campos and John King could have ever hoped. It's as if they met with the Wyrd sisters on a blasted heath somewhere and dropped an eraser, an apple, an ABC poster and a school bus sweater into the boiling cauldron of the fates and the hags did all the rest. The new formula has competent, professional educators, the very people you wish your own kids would get as teachers doubting themselves, second guessing their very life's work. I've read words of bewilderment on Facebook from people whose rapport with kids, methodology and dedication are unswerving. I see them asking why,out of nowhere, 10 or 15 years into a career the NYSED apparatchiks appear hellbent on finding a way to denounce them as incompetent then fire them.
Why DOES New York State's Education Department appear hellbent on firing teachers who've had nothing but positive evalutions and good results considering what they are up against in the urban district where a lot of us teach? Well let's just cut to the chase shall we ? NYSED's leadership doesn't know a fucking thing about public schools. John King hasn't even taught in one and his Tariq Assiz, Miss Campos, has never even taught. ANYWHERE! So, if they aren't about public schools even though they have the 2 most important education jobs in New York State, then what ARE they about ? Easy answer - Charter Schools.
And what are charter schools about ? Corporate Privatization and PROFIT. Why do corporatists loathe unions the way they do ? Because unions insist that the corporatists share some of their profits with the workers who make them so much money. Teacher's unions are reputed to be vastly powerful entities especially by the enemies of unions who are forever bemoaning the power of unions and especially teacher's unions because they all know anyone who goes into education is a sap and deserves to be mistreated and underpaid and should have to go begging for their job every September in a fair world. So what better way to undermine a teacher's union than with a wholly capricious and unreliable system that can arbitrarily create lemons out of Golden apples with a few quick tweaks and some clever value added and maybe even some test scores of kids who come to school 6 days a year. Once they get their Devaluation on they can start flinging great teachers out left and right and replacing them as capitalists do with cost efficient models. Oh ? And where would these come from ?
Well there's always the do good legionnaires of TFA who can be bought cheap and treated like shite because a lot of them are doing their TFA service for their resume anyway, not unlike Paul Ryan's photo op at the Soup Kitchen where he attempted to present himself as a man o the people but in reality bullied his way in and tried to use photos of himself in an apron washing all ready washed pots and pans as evidence of his true affinity for the downtrodden which his budget aims to trod even a little further down.
So get the devaluations flowing then New York City can rear up in all of its wrong headed Bloombergian stupidity and declare that they no longer should have to rely on colleges to certify their teachers, that they can do that all by theyselfs. Their Leadership Academy is doing such a bang up job cranking out Principals from parent facilitators - unless you count the Principal who had a teachers 3020A'd on the charge that the teacher put a curse on her house - I am sure they can spin some more silk purses out of the multitude of sow's ears currently languishing in ed. privatization madrassas like TFA.
The amazing lie of the corporate privatizers is that they believe it's GREAT TEACHERS who are the main ingredient to an excellent education. Yet at every turn they seek to devalue the great teachers we all ready have and replace them with greenhorns, burnouts, fuckups, hacks and resume writers who think a year or two of teaching will give them gravitas or people cred on their law school application. For every corporate privatizer out there who tries to tell you how much they believe in great teachers I have the same one fingered response. They believe in PROFIT not PROFICIENCY and that's why at every turn they seek to denigrate teachers and their unions, demonize hard working dedicated professionals and when all is said and done their only true goal is to CUT COSTS and maximize profits. For all of their sappy blather about "the children" and "struggling schools" and "taking care of children not adults" they are nothing but bald faced and shameless liars. Good teachers cost money which they know very well but shitty teachers will work cheap and take all the abuse and extra work you can heap on them. They are also GREAT for the profit margins. I hope we're all on the same page to protect our profession because the more I read the clearer it appears that the corporate privatization game is oiled, well funded and loaded up with more lies than a single's bar. Between Bloomberg's newest Super PAC, the Box office flop Wont' Flush Down and even the Buffalo News' own Jan Brady, columnist Denise Jewell Gee now trying to goad mayor Squarepants to flex his muscles with some school interference, it seems we can't even read a report of the Common Clowncil's meeting without hearing they are 4 square in favor of the ChameleonCharterGroup's hostile takeover of Waterfront and East High. You know I got into it with an Elmwood Village Charter supporter in the comments of Buffalo Rising a few days back and after the charteroid trotted out some wrong info about the multitude of free and reduced lunch students at the school my refutation was not allowed into the mix. What really stunk too was I was using the Buffalo News' own charter cheerleader Mary Pasciak's words to point out that EV Charter was in fact no where near comparable to other public schools in the amount of lower income kids attending. I guess that's why we start blogs.