Saturday, September 26, 2015

When the 1% Hire Educrats It's No Background Checks Required

Meryl Tisch Thinks The Public Can Simply Mind Its Own Damned Business Thank You Very Much

What happens when the 1% installs its handpicked stooges in Public Education's big jobs?

In Buffalo we experienced the six year train wreck that was the James Williams era. He bristled and bullied and blustered and blundered. Meanwhile, M&T Bank's bluenose edu-buttinski extraordinaire Robert Wilmers took a comfortable seat behind the tall hedge to watch the destruction his hand picked Superintendent rained down on Buffalo students, parents and teachers. One imagines a twisted senior citizen voyeur got up in an ascot  and smoking robe clutching a shaken not stirred martini while peeking over the verge in an inappropriately excited condition as James Williams fires attendance teachers and threatens to kick Phil Rumore's ass after calling him a snake in the grass...

Wait. Why you ask was a bank CEO allowed anywhere near the process of hiring a public school Superintendent? Glad you asked. Buffalo being the third poorest city in the Milky Way was dutifully redeeming Genesee Cream Ale cans and selling plasma to raise money for a Superintendent search when old Bordeaux Bob popped up out of his grapevines offering to pay for the search. Wow, who could refuse the old bugger's high minded offer? Not the sad sack brokeass Buffalo Board of Ed, that's for sure. They pounced on his offer as if it was one of those subsidized Wegman's subs they were known for powering down at their board meetings. Buried in Bordeaux Bob's generous offer however was the stipulation that Wilmers would pick his search company Heinrich & Struggles and would also be given all but one short of the majority of the final votes on the candidate they selected. So all Wilmers really had to do was tell his plants how to vote and convince one of the others with a vote to go his way -- which in this town isn't exactly splitting the atom on a degree of difficulty scale. 

Long story made solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short, Wilmers installed his guy with the hopes of breaking the back of the teacher's union and bulldozing the landscape to create the type of Pan Charter dystopian nightmare that now exists in New Orleans and is about a bad sneeze away from happening in L.A. too.          J. Dubz landed some pretty good body blows, firing nearly the entire staff of attendance teachers and grinding teacher morale down to conditions one might have expected in Harlan County before the big coal strike. Williams' assorted rats slowly began to desert him. The Buffalo News, whose chief honcho at the time was an old Harvard squash pal of Wilmers, stood by him with blind and inexplicable loyalty right up until JW marched a gang of boys back into Performing Arts where they'd knocked out another kid and put a teacher in the hospital. They were each given Williams' cell phone number with instructions to call him if any of the adults in the school were mean to them. At this point even the Buffalo News had to bail. They then turned loose an education reporter whose sole aim seemed to be covering the foibles and missteps of James Williams. And before too much longer Williams was faced with his exit interview that came with a suitcase full of cash and a Size 12 Buffalo footprint on his ass on the way out the door. 

In the post mortem a few of us inquiring minds wanted to know how a guy who'd pretty much turned the Dayton Public Schools in Ohio upside down and inside out and hid a $20 million dollar deficit until he was safely gone was ever given an interview let alone the gig itself here in B-Lo. Oh and there was plenty more fire behind the smoke Williams raised in Dayton. He'd provoked a strike, opened and jettisoned charters like empty beer cans all over the city and somehow dodged a jail term in a no show teaching gig at Wayne State that one of his fellow conspirators was not able to avoid. This guy was Kryptonite yet Wilmers' hand picked search company somehow missed all of that nastiness in Ohio and presented him as though his hometown was Galilee and he'd walked across Lake Erie to get here. I think in the so called real world of the MBA types ( the one we teachers are always being told we don't understand) this is known as "oversight." The Oversight seems to come in large supply for classroom grunts in public schools but in Charterlandia and whenever these bluenose characters involve themselves in the Public Ed it just doesn't seem to trend very well. 

The same scenario is playing itself out like an insidious repeating decimal here in the Empire State with the swift and irreversible coronation of MaryEllen Elia as the new Chief of NYSED. The general understanding of Elia's abrupt rise to power is that Meryl Tisch thought she was swell and believed she'd pick up right where Lil Jon King left off in tone deaf defense of and strident implementation of the Corporate Ed Privatization agenda. 

There will be no let up on high stakes testing or any question that Common Core is a gift of the gods that New Yorkers are simply too dumb and brainwashed by teacher's unions to appreciate. The Opt Out movement will meet its grisly fate in the Niagara Falls brawler's reptilian stare. MaryEllen Elia will not blink. And a quarter of a million kids' parents who refused last year's April Foolishness will be frogmarched into compliance this year if it takes a little carrot and a lot of stick or just a lot of stick. This lady has a history of blowing her top and unleashing streams of profanity on underlings dumb enough to stand in her way. And after all, who are these Opt Out parents to a Gargantuan ego like Elia but underlings who need to be squashed and put in line?

 Like the smoking crater Williams left behind in Dayton, Elia's Reform Dance with the Gates Foundation is racking up a huge tab that the district never saw coming down Hillsborough way. 

Ironically, the Gatesers are crawfishing on Teacher Merit Pay they'd originally promised to the district but are now withholding as they don't really think it ever worked. 

Did you hear that friends? Ed reformers-- when it's their money getting shelled out for a Merit Pay scheme--  are agreeing with the research and experience of the past 100 years in saying it doesn't work. The downside in Florida though is that Gates and Co. are screwing the schools out of money they promised them. They also cited a clause where their offer stated up to $100 million -- then said I imagine while looking at the ceiling -- that doesn't mean you're going to get the full $100 mil... We said Up to $100 mil. The Gates Foundation's renege on merit pay is only one of several that could put the district in even a deeper hole than Williams left for Dayton. It's just now starting to come under scrutiny and promises to produce some red faces, black clouds and possibly a few pink slips. Once again the 1%ers have managed to slam their person into place with virtually no accountability or oversight whatsoever. Whatever mess Elia left behind they can feed to the gators, cause Meryl Tisch isn't feeling their pain any more than Robert Wilmers felt Dayton's. Funny how neither of them seemed to give a damn about Buffalo's and New York State's pain either. 


  1. Hilarious and brilliant. Great work.

  2. And then there is this woman, who will be assistant commish of the newly created Office of Innovation and School Reform. She is of late coming from Syracuse where she is the state-imposed Chief Ombuds Officer (works 3 days per month...paid $275k per year). She will be in charge of the 144 schools in receivership.

    1. Are you assigning me homework? I have seen this elsewhere and I guess it's time to read a little closer. Sickening how they have so much money to throw at their little poop staff yet nothing to hire more teachers.

  3. Yes, Susan Vance. This woman will be trouble. She is a Broad-ie, with a tarnished history. We here in Buffalo need to read up on her. I am sure she will be imposing some nonsense on us any minute now. I will follow your links for more information!

  4. Our elitist shadow government is da bomb! Wilmers and of course Tisch's own assistants who really write all policy. It's so nice of them to help the rich kids!