Monday, November 25, 2013

Tisch and Merry Band of Oligarchs Get it Caught in the Pickle Cutter

As the march of Oligarchs rolls on here in the Empire State it appears there may be a speedbump or two surfacing in their path.  The Titanically obstinate Regents and their little wooden boy John King insist they are firmly on course with their Common Core implementation full speed into the iceberg. New York remains one of only two dumbass states still clinging to the bogus deal to hand over our kids' data to Inbloom in spite of the uproar from parents and now elected officials. Of the original 9 states who signed up 7 have come to their senses and reneged. Ahh but there's more here folks from the front page of the Albany Times Union's Sunday edition.  Seems Empress Tisch and her friends from the financial ionosphere have been buying and selling education policy and calling themselves charitable donors not influence peddlers. 

The idea of creating a merry band of edupolicy wankers and dressing them us as helper elves who operate outside of the state, the law and any real department is yet another of those clever shuck and jive maneuvers our oligarch class likes to use to put them and their wealth in a position to call the shots with no annoying checks, balances or any of that other quaint democratic process nonsense. They are charitably called the Regents Fellows and they are none of your business thank you very much. Tisch and her hubby kicked in the first million or so and soon after came the flood of cash from all the usual selfless altruistic billionaires. In short they work the will of Tisch and Co. and are accountable to nobody in State Ed or Washington or in any of the local school districts. In typical Tischean hubris they are simply above all that and for that you peasants should shut your holes, eat your cake and be grateful.  She did actually point out that folks should be showing more appreciation for her donation not criticizing it. Here's a sample of the article that's not going to sit well with the Brahmin : 

...Barely heard of outside education circles and a mystery even within them, the "Regent fellows" are paid from entities such as the Gates Foundation and some salaries approach $200,000 a year. The arrangement is stirring concern in some quarters that deep-pocketed pedagogues are forcing their reform philosophies on an unwitting populace, and making an end run around government officers.
"We're a public education system," said Carol Burris, principal of South Side High School in Long Island's Rockville Centre. "Having the wealthy pay for it, you're seeing an agenda that is being pushed ... at a rapid pace, and outside the system of public accountability."

I recognized one of the names listed as a Regent Fellow from an article I read in the Buffalo paper when NYSED and Cuomo were both pretending they'd never heard of such a thing as an M.O.U. before and accused Buffalo Teacher's Federation of circumventing their screwjob APPR. Listen to the tone of the letter from the lovely Julia Rafal whose totally precious wedding announcement can be seen in the NY Times here.  Does this sound to  you like a brainy "fellow" offering a helping hand or is this the voice of a deputized NYSED official putting the smackdown on Buffalo's union President and its Schools Superintendent?  Referring to the Memo of Understanding between the Union and Superintendent  stating that test scores would not be used to fire teachers for the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years. Regardez : 

The state does not consider that letter to be part of the district’s annual professional performance review plan, wrote Julia Rafal-Baer, executive director of the state’s Office of Teacher and Leader Effectiveness, Policy and Programs.
“Accordingly, the department considers void any other previously signed agreements between and among these parties and does not recognize any such agreements as part of the Buffalo Public Schools’ approved Jan. 17, 2013, plan,” Rafal-Baer wrote.
The state reserves the right to revoke its approval of the district’s plan, she wrote – and if that happens, the district stands to lose not only its $33 million increase in state aid, but nearly $14 million in various other funding, she wrote, and could jeopardize tens of millions in additional funding.
In a follow-up letter to Brown on March 25, Rafal-Baer again expressed the state’s objections to the agreement between the district and the BTF.
The state does not consider that agreement to be part of Buffalo’s teacher evaluation plan, Rafal-Baer wrote.
“The department considers void any other previously signed agreements between and among those parties,” she wrote. “The Buffalo Public Schools must implement the terms of its approved [annual professional performance review] plan.”

Hmmm, if I didn't know better I'd say she was acting in an official capacity as a representative of NYSED in rejecting the APPR agreement and informing both Phil Rumore BTF President and Pamela Brown BPS Superintendent that she was officially voiding their agreement and advising them to try again. Sorry friends but I am getting really fucking sick of assholes with a lot of money telling us to shut up and take our medicine. It's time the Regents and Tisch and all of their little overpaid wunderkind get a nice taste of the light of day. This has to end. Now. 

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