I hate "open letters." I almost never read them because I think they are pretentious and assume that the writer of said missive is so engaging that we should all want to peer over his shoulder and marvel at his wit and wisdom as he addresses A. a social ill B. some personal beef C. someone completely out of his umvelt who will never in a million years read the goddamned thing or respond to it. The third choice is most irritating as it posits the false scenario that writer and recipient are on some sort of equal footing and as soon as it lands in the inbox, said reader will respond to the push notice, drop whatever he is doing and begin the fascinating journey through this open aired epistle that is certain to reconfigure every wrong thought he's ever had as delineated by our able scribe. Ahem. The only one I think I have read in recent memory that made a good impression on me was the Open Letter Bill Ayers wrote to Barack Obama about his wrong headed education policies. The thing was dead on and best of all the two knew each other and worked together on various projects over the years. It was a white version of Cornell West's blistering observations about Obama's neoliberal proclivities. Yet, did Obama read it? Did it make one bit of difference in his thinking? Don't know and definitely not. It likely got Ayers taken off any remaining guest lists Sarah Palin hadn't already vetted him from but he made his point and in the best case scenario of the dreaded Open Letter genre it fell about as flat as the ones the BATS write to people like Arne Duncan and Jeb Bush.
A long way of explaining that this is not of that genre but in all honesty I guess it probably is. I just don't want it to be. Funny. It's a lot like my union leadership at both the state and national levels. It kind of sucks but I wish it didn't. In a nutshell or two, I am hearing that one of the beneficiaries of NYSUT leadership's clever backroom deal on their retirement (one that was introduced by a guy they just happened to have endorsed) is trying to spin his way out of the implications of this secret deal. Word has it he's been spinning his version of events claiming it's not really all that great of a deal and it's coming out of his pocket and blah blah effing blah. I am interested in hearing any of the NYSUT officials involved in this quiet yet lightning quick backroom deal explain how it's perfectly acceptable and membership has no reason whatsoever to be upset with them or the way they do business to benefit themselves in secret. And if they were able to endorse the sponsor of this legislation Peter Abbate Jr. for whatever reasons yet refused to endorse Zephyr Teachout against Andrew Cuomo it does strain credulity. What they want counts but what we classroom grunt rank and filers want doesn't count. That's the message NYSUT is giving us. And if Karen Magoo thinks she can run around with Revive pixie dust on the campaign trail proudly denouncing CCSS with the rest of us then get up in front of Weingarten's AFT Coronation crowd and say we need CCSS or else there'd be dogs and cats sleeping together and complete bedlam across the land, I think we need to tell her we caught her lying to us and she needs to mend her ways or resign. And until I hear this retirement peach explained as yet another selfless bit of sacrifice from Palotta, Messner, Percorare and Magee, I think they need to resign. We are already up against liars and cheaters looking to feather their nests on the backs of our students. We don't need more of them running our union too.