To the outrage and disgust of many but the surprise of very few, Randi Weingarten has unilaterally awarded the AFT's endorsement to Hillary Clinton for President in 2016. Frankly, I couldn't be happier. I'm thrilled that Weingarten has miscalculated on such a Pearsonian scale that any stragglers left in the rank and file who still believed her when she opened her mouth are going to be hard pressed to swallow any of her malarkey after this gaffe.
Here in New York State, our latest reformy State Ed Comissoner MaryAnn Elia has come to us with a million dollar plus brown parachute stuffed into her valise from her last gig in the educational cesspool we call Florida. And with Randi like disingenuousness, Mrs. Elia claims she wants to talk with the parents and the teachers and the stakeholders and get to the bottom of all this nonsense about testing and angst and Common Core. Why, Comissioner Elia has even declared her intention to set up some panels of teachers who will be charged with looking at Common Core. And as the Duke said to the Dauphin as they posted their handbills for The Royal Nonesuch, "If that don't fetch em, I don't know Arkansas." In a word folks, MaryAnn Elia, like Randi Weingarten, is full of shit. Elia didn't come here by invite from Meryl Tisch and her ilk to abandon the test and punish regimen of her predecessor Little John King. She wasn't hand picked and snuck into Albany under cover of dark for an early morning installment before anyone could protest or vet her previous activities because she was going to make sweeping changes. MaryAnn Elia is John King with an estrogen pump. And hold onto your hats folks but Weingarten to the shock of nobody colluded with Elia in Florida in the creation of merit pay schemes for teachers which anyone who can open a google window knows Don't Work.
If there's a common thread between these two characters -- the ousted and bought out sunbelt Superintendent and the lawyer who ties to parlay some subbing time into a claim that she was once a teacher -- I think they both gamble on a deeply cynical and shared belief that teachers are, in essence, gullible and passive dopes who will sit quietly by while the floor is sold out from under them and their possessions are placed in a box by the door with a card that says "Sorry, best of luck in your career, thanks for your service." Nobody believed John King and Meryl Tisch and Old Bob Bennett's "listening tour" was anything more than a stunt meant to shut everyone the hell up, which it was and it failed on a Hindenburg level. Instead of muzzling the proles they inflamed the entire state to the extent that by the time their medicine show limped into B-Lo they were pre-selecting the attendees and demanding questions be written out for screening ahead of time. So then why after seeing this trick once before would we fall for it coming from the same office a year or so later? When the woman says kids need to take tests, after all, "Life is a test." which part of that makes anyone think she's hear to listen, innovate or change anything?
And when Weingarten conducts her clever polls like the one she claims showed overwhelming teacher support for her pal Hill, we experience the same sense of Nausea-Vu that we felt when she rolled out her bogus poll results indicating that scads of pedagogues are just crazy for Common Core. Randi's corporate collaborators need to foment the lie that teachers love Common Core and they know they can count on her to do their dirty work. Likewise, the corporate ed reform movement needs Hillary in place to carry on where the last fake Democrat, Neo-Liberal left off so there's a seamless passing of the flamethrower against public education and unions. Randi couldn't be happier to oblige with some more fraudulent data and a big wet sloppy endorsement of the pant suited Clinton. Both of these women answer to the same dark lords of Corporate Ed Reform. Neither of them seek to improve education for our kids or the professional lives of teachers.
Both Weingarten and Elia are deeply entrenched in the test and punish for profit paradigm and neither has demonstrated the slightest awareness that any of us are onto them. They really believe they can get away with phoney listening tours, empty promises of looking into Common Core -- which, to my understanding is copyrighted so look all you want but you're not going to change any of it -- and shady push polls that create consensus out of busy signals and dropped calls. Elia is going to have her mettle tested in ways that will make her pine for John King's simpler headaches. Weingarten I am fairly certain has overplayed her hand one time too many. The AFT for Bernie Sanders Facebook page is the tip of Randi's iceberg. The comments on Randi's friend and defender Diane Ravitch's blog are further evidence that our lawyer "friend" has finally stepped in something she can't just wipe on the rug and scurry off to an Al Sharpton party or a Clinton Foundation fundraiser with no backlash or fallout. I think Randi's friend Hillary said it best when she offered the following gem to Americans: