Thursday, August 30, 2012

Stand With Chicago Teachers or Fall by the Wayside

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: "Enough is enough..." Strike notice given: Karen Lewis says, "Enough is enough!"

In case this isn't on your radar folks whatever happens in Chicago is going to happen everywhere else. Forgive the ominous and God forbid "teacherly" tone but last week I was talking at the public pool with two lovely kindergarten teachers whose eyes glazed over when I tried to engage them in some dialogue about the current scary state of education. One of them finally announced in an effort to shut me up. "We just close our door and teach." Well as I said previously here that option might have been available to some of us in the 80's and 90's but the privatization wolf is at the door. Any teacher who thinks it's not their problem when fellow teachers are harassed, dissed and generally jerked with by people like the Chameleon Charter Group, Rahm Emanuel or Governor Eclipse Christie will be wondering what hit them when they are offered their jobs back in charter form without benefit of union protection. While safe suburban schools may not face the imminent threat those of us in places like East and Waterfront are facing, they can rest assured the same "reformer" ideas will be slid into their contracts. So when you are told you are the new stamp club moderator or Italian 2 teacher when neither of those duties are within your skill set, when you are advised that you will be keeping your cell phone on till 10:00 or midnight and giving the number out to all of your students and parents, remember the crazy agitated dude with the long hair at the pool who advised you that you can't just shut your door and teach. The days of disconnected teachers fighting over paper towels in the teachers lounge and bitching about someone in their parking space are over. Anyone who thinks they can still do business in a vacuum is sadly mistaken. We all need to get with the program since those who want to do away with public schools entirely are working hard and have billions at their disposal to spread their lies, their shitty product and their false message that charters and their profit driven masters are better than we are. 


  1. Pineapple PrincessAugust 30, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    I hope you didn't scare those kindergarten teachers. You are kinda scary, you know! The reality is that teachers in the PLA schools in the City took it big time in the APPR game this year. I wonder if the kindergarten teachers that you bored with talk of the current situation in education were either suburban teachers or non-PLA Buffalo teachers? They are in for a rude awakening this year when they see their APPR's. I am referring to the fact that the majority of teachers will fall into the "effective" and "developing" categories. NYSED is calling for more "ineffective" rating so that they can begin to publicly pillory teachers as the cause of all that is wrong in education and the world in general. There is a big quota game going on with the APPR's because Arne Duncan and The corporate reformers are attempting to force public school teacher to look bad so as to justify their blaming of teachers.

    NOTE TO PLA/SIG school teachers: Be sure to get your finalized composite scores for last year from your building administrators. They should be finished with them in September. You may be surprised at how low your score is when the "state growth" figures are factored in. If you are not happy with your score, you know what to do. Don't be complacent!

  2. Old RepresentativeAugust 30, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    I have to say that at my school, teachers are pretty complacent. They don't seem to realize what is coming down the pike. They don't realize they are about to be hit by a freight train. I also have to say that I'm pretty horrified by the lack of unity in my building. It is so frightening. Teachers are not banding together. They tend to run to administration when there are problems among themselves. No one cares about seniority unless IT AFFECTS THEM DIRECTLY. Their eyes glaze over when I speak of corporate takeovers and privatization of schools. In fact, I work with a lot of teachers who send their kids to charter schools! We work in a situation that is a far cry from our Tier 1 predecessors. It is really depressing not only as a prol/worker in the education world, but also as a parent of a child in elementary school. I fear I may run screaming to the private school world and eat ramen noodles and canned beans for the rest of my life.

    I thank all of you who write your comments on this blog and I bow down to the long-haired freak who writes the entries. (He is a lovely, lovely long-haired freak if you have not yet had the pleasure to meet him.) It is not easy to do. We all need to get the word out to our colleagues and friends about this blog via Facebook (or email lists if that's your thing) or Twitter or whatever your Interwebs poison is.

  3. Just to make some of you ill:
    These are the words spoken by the loathsome Jeb Bush regarding what Romney should be saying tonite. From the Bloomberg Businessweek interview:

    "Number two is the reforming of K-12, where, you know, the 10th Amendment, just our federal system, does - does drive education policy, as it should. But the president can be a partner. Here - this is a place where, of all the policy areas, I think President Obama deserves some recognition for having a different approach than at least what I expected.

    He appointed a good education secretary, who’s worked across the aisle politically, and I think that could be expanded with stronger partnerships, more waivers that allow for meaningful reform. It’s ripe for - thanks to the president’s - actually, health care is the reason why there’s more education reform in the country today than any other single fact."

    President Obama's corporate approach to education exceeds even Jeb Bush's expectations!!!!!!!

    What a world! Break out the wine, Peg. It's gonna be a long night.

  4. P2 - I think I scared them but not in the way I wanted to scare them. Teachers in my experience have a dangerous tendency to create petty fiefdoms and insulate themselves from the rest of the planet focusing on who got an extra prep period and why didn't I get one, why am I at the end of the hallway when i wanted to be near the water fountain level grievances. Now is a good time for some serious self reflection if Dr. Frazier will lend me use of the phrase. What doesn't unite us and what doesn't benefit ALL of us Divides us and hurts ALL of us. What exactly does everyone think is the REAL reason these corporate schmucks love merit pay as a concept they way they do? Because it will DIVIDE teachers and pit them against each other. Why are we helping our enemies to divide us?

  5. Olde - thanks for the vote of condidence. I agree we need to check ourselves and of our petty sibling rivalries NOW while we still have a chance to fight the billions and the sell out Dumboshit politicians who may as well be republicans for all the good they are doing union teachers. I am not sure you'd be living quite so large as Ramen and beans in the private schools, maybe on holidays but most nights it'd be one or the other. Keep coming backm the more the merrier.

  6. Mouse - Jebber the Hut needs to STFU before Eclipse Christie challenges him to a see saw death match. Loser ends up launched into the cloud of space gas and shite we used to call Pluto. You recall idiot boy Neil Bush the disgraced Keating 5 banker was going to ride the NCLB gravy train to Fancytown with his spiffy edumaterials company. He ended up selling his shit to places like Dubai, Texas and the Bush loving Saudis (home to 15 of the 19 on 9-11).

    Obama's blind supporters ought to be asking themselves about now what it means that both Chris Christie and Jeb Bush are impressed with the way he is treating public education. I told a guty on Facebook today that he really shouldn't use phrases like radical left when describing the moderate Republican currently occupying the white house.

  7. Maybe when the teachers get their own invalid scores that P-P talks about today, self interest will light a blowtorch in their anal sphincters, and propel them into action.

    Disinterested wimps who let people walk all over their faces and expect everyone else to defend them should probably be the first ones let go. That would make room for teachers with spines and a willingness to reach out and help clean up the mess caused by corporations bent on privatizing public education by demoralizing and defaming our teachers.

    I like the DR.Ravitch blogger who said that "everyone should be evaluated in the same manner that the teachers will be be..."
    That will include all congressmen, governors, lawyers, other politicians, police, firemen, pilots, chefs, hookers,CEO's , presdidents doctors...everyone ..just adapt the rubric to the job description. How many would be rated "Effective"?

    ( I get carried away after the midnight bottle of wine, Mouse :] I watched again was like being stuck in a "Revival" tent). Ugh!