Saturday, November 30, 2013

Half Measures Availed Us Nothing

You think Heisenberg would put up with Common Core? 

The phrase I had rattling around in my head all day the other day is one I've heard hundreds if not thousands of times over the years. I was going to just let it go. On the way to Pittsburgh though for Second Bird Day we put on an audiobook of Stephen King's new novel. And whaddya know but Old Stevie opens his book with the exact damned phrase I had in my head the  whole day before Thanksgiving:

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at a turning point. 

When I say half measures availed us nothing I am thinking especially of the tepid, craven, Vichy-Quisling actions of our national representative bodies. 
Vegans for The Outback t shirts All Sold Out Sorry Folks

We have Den Den's NEA minions clad in their spectacularly stupid Educators for Obama t's on the cover of the NEA cage liner and Randi running around around tipsy from the flask of Rocky Mountain Ed Reform up in Aspen and posing for candid shots at Green Dot Schools in NYC.

Union President Posing for Photo Ops in a Privatized Charter School

 Closer to home we have Slippery Dick Ianuuzi who strode into my alma mater last year at University of Buffalo pooh poohing any bold talk of real action with his oft repeated mantra : "We don't do ourselves any good dying on the barricades." I know he'd stuck it to BTF lead man Phil Rumore earlier in the year pulling some power play on a local endorsement that according to protocol was Phil's to make yet Ianuzzi made it instead over Phil's objection. So Richard's not above playing bold and fast when it comes to sticking it to one of us or our elected officers but when it comes to telling Gates and Duncan and Lil John, Sheriff Andy and Scary Meryl to pound salt he just goes to jelly and gives away the farm. 

Randi, Dick and Mulgarten Surrendering to Ed Reform's agenda

Half measures are when you agree to VAM, to Danielson metrics, to APPRs that include inaccurate, unreliable and invalid test scores, when you accept millions from people like Common Core funder Bill Gates and stand by while InBloom tries to steal all our kids's data. If something is developed by Murdoch, funded by Gates and stored by charter school loving Amazon at what point do you need a map to figure out it's rotten ? Half measures are when you refuse to stand up for your teachers as they try to sand up for themselves and their kids by speaking out against an untested curriculum written by people without any background in child development or pedagogy. They were available and arrogant enough to take Gates's money and say we don't give a shit what you think, here's what you need to know because we said so.  Common Core is as Bill Ayers describes it a "faith based" educational curriculum. It has no data to support it. But we are expected to put our faith in the twerpy shithead David Coleman's educational chops and believe he knows better than so many veteran teachers who are looking at CCSS and scratching their heads in horror and disbelief.  Strange coming from the data fetishists of the ed reform set that they have no data to bolster their specious claims of providing college and career readiness by jamming Mesopotamia down the throats of First graders who may miss recess to get through all of their curriculum. And through all of this our national union leaders have managed to screw their courage to the sticking point and say Ummm, uhhhh... hey, we don't wanna offend anyone but can we ummm maybe, have like an, uhhhh, moratorium on some of this stuff for like oh I dunno say three years, maybe? 

Half measures availed us nothing. Forgive my beating the same drum here friends but does this wimpy, sniveling request remind anyone else of the telling words our dauntless Ed Commissioner uttered in Saratoga a few weeks back? Lil John King was stumped that parents were writing to him to tell him they didn't think much of the new standards or whatever the hell was being inflicted on their kids. John King did not get it. He admitted to the audience in a Rabelaisian display of his own spinelessness that when a waiter brings him a lousy bottle of wine he doesn't ask for a good one he just shuts up and drinks it. Likewise if his steak has whip marks from the second race at Batavia. He just hunkers down and orders more steak sauce for that slab of crowbait nag. He doesn't complain or send anything back. He is the polite, obeisant little consumer Common Core aspires to clone a million times over. Lil John King wouldn't say Shite if he had a gobful. He takes what he's given and does as he's told. It's clear to see that as he puddle jumps from Burgh to Burgh all across the Empire State sticking to the script his masters gave him, showing zero empathy for any of the thousands of lives being slam dunked by Common Core, straining to rein in his impatience and anger with so many stupid people who simply insist on sending back a medium rare horse flank and a bottle of Watkins Glen 2012. You can tell it pisses him off that parents and teachers are acting so damned uppity. Why can't we all just go along? -- to paraphrase another less than stellar citizen sharing his surname. Forgive my digression but that clown deserves every syllable you or I can throw at him. The connection I am seeing between our unions leadership and the guy whose face bears the stamp of public education's doom is the almighty half measure. Slowing down this mess doesn't turn it from a turd into a silk purse. It won't age well and mellow like some french cave cheese. It's going to stink the way it all ready does and it's not going to get any smarter or any more developmentally appropriate either. Slowing down a runaway shit train doesn't keep your town from being smeared by it. The only way to to keep public education from being smeared in this foul slop is to stop the train in its tracks and bring in the HAZMAT boys to take it away. 

We now stand at a turning point. It's time to stop this thing in its tracks and do the same with the frauds who've put us up for sale to the very people who'd love to de-professionalize teaching in favor of selling software, tablets and tests. Randi has to go. Den Den has to go. Dick has to go. They can all half step their way to some cozy gig with their real friends in the eduprofiteering world. We need people who don't agree with Bill Gates, John King and Barack Obama. We need people who will ask Obama and King and Rahmbo Emanuel why, if they are so enamored of Common Core, don't any of them send their own kids to schools where they can be exposed to it? If I was onto a great new deal that would guarantee kids college and career readiness I'd sure as hell want my kids to get in on all the action. Strange none of them do, Stranger still not one union person of any prominence has the balls to say so. 


  1. Man, you hit the nail on the head. These are the points that our union locals should be making. We should be hitting the streets--all of us--and working to rule. And parents need to continue shouting and demanding this shit stops.

    You should run for BTF prez. (In your copious free time.) :)

  2. How about the piece from Cohen the Super who points out that 16 of 17 Regents send their kids to private schools where they are safe from Common Core and High Stakes testing? I think I am going to start calling them The Romanovs instead of The Regents.