The New York State Union of Teachers is having a day of action. Members are wearing blue to classes and having rallies after school. The goals are more funding and less testing. Here’s a storify showing the kind of reaction it’s getting on Twitter.
The last straw for teachers around here was being jacked around with their performance ratings, which were simply composites of the latest, flawed, tests. I have a feeling that wearing a little blue is a first baby step towards more activism from a union that has traditionally been pretty quiet, at least in New York.
Glad to hear this. Good luck to the teachers.
I saw an interesting stat about NY City: Nearly half of the residence are either at or below the poverty line. It was in an article about a girl living with her family in a homeless shelter.
Teachers as a whole have a lot to complain about. It would be good to see them become active in their own labor movement.
And yes, Go, Teachers!
Listening very briefly to my local AM radio station, the right wing critter (Bob Lonsberry) was explaining this was all about them wanting more money.
@Linda Featheringill: They are. Who do you think is in the union?
Added bonus – The brow clutching and swooning these simple acts will trigger.
Fight the power! I can’t wait for teachers to take control over their classrooms again.
Fuck the fake reformers.
Plus, a nice dark blue is slimming.
Not important. The only thing important to this blog is how the evil NSA might use information that was freely given away to corporations and how it’s that blah guy’s fault. That and some dude taking pictures of cats.
The Teacher Action Group in Philly (@TAGPhilly) is also participating. Rally outside Gov Corbett’s Philadelphia office at 4:30 PM today. My wife will be there along side her colleagues.
That is a must read and a devastating read. It just kills me. Here it is the Christmas season that the GOP want to defend and they seem to have completely lost the message. What is the difference between a family of 9 in a shit hole room with rats and cockroaches and a babe born in a manger because there was no room at the inn?
These pre-conversion Scrooges want to stop unemployment benefits right before Christmas?? They kept the billions in subsidies to agribusiness but kicked poor families off food assistance?
I went to the Toledo day of action this morning. It was 7:30 AM to 9. It’s an hour ride for me so I just got back.
Former mayor and newly elected mayor came. Good presentation by AFT on how international test scores are spun by ed privatizers and media. God, we’re just lied to constantly about test scores. No one knows how to read them, and everyone reports on them.
I wore my customary gray and black, BTW, although we were told to wear blue by the union thugs.
I don’t have any brightly-colored clothes :)
More on the national side: http://www.reclaimpublicednow.org/
Great synopsis on the ‘only PISA stat that matters’ – http://atthechalkface.com/2013/12/07/what-is-only-pisa-stat-that-matters/
Ask Santa for bootstraps, you lazy urchins!
@Kay: First you wear blue then the next thing you know you’re chanting “When do we want it…..NOW!”
@Kay: Good point about all the reporting on test scores. It’s important to understand that this is a political issue, as well as one that has a corporate element. Various ALEC-type groups have generic education-associated names, and thus get quoted on news shows.
Somewhat related: I could swear I saw a Subaru commercial over Thanksgiving, and at the end of the commercial, you see the car in the woods, with bumper stickers. One is “Teach for America.” Maybe I’m dreaming, but I’m pretty sure it’s what I saw. Talk about subliminal.
Mike in NC
‘Tis the season for Republican union-bashing!
Oh, wait. That’s the entire year.
@Kay: There’s an excellent and accessible discussion of this in Diane Ravitch’s latest book which I’d recommend for anyone wanting a good overview of the “reform” movement. I didn’t know this was a day of action so I’m glad I wore my teal-blue sweater. It’s close enough I hope!
@wenchacha: You did. Subaru does a contribution to different charities (sic) and TFA is one of them. I noticed that this year and wondered if I should write a letter. (the others are things like the SPCA and Red Cross or United Way I think).
I think I can be more openly combative because I’m not a teacher, so they need that. They have to do powerpoints and score breakdowns.
I can be more…. “you SIR, are a LIAR!” :)
Kansas City. They told the public schools to get the scores up, so they did. The problem is they had already decided to privatize when they told them to get the scores up:
The public school scores getting better caused this panicked email exchange by ed reformers. I don’t think these people are acting in good faith, BG. I’m getting that feeling. An inkling.
@Ronnie Pudding: we need to challenge the normative judgment behind that frame.
When they say its about money, we need to answer in the affirmative – “Damn straight it’s about money. What’s so wrong about paying teachers a decent salary? Wall Street execs get million dollar bonuses for flushing jobs down the toilet but we get crumbs for teaching your children? How fair is that?”
We need to stop being ashamed as a working class from demanding more money.
@Kay: How is it that the media, and I suppose the rest of us, aren’t calling this “corruption”? Funny how we almost never hear that word in this country. Probably a sure sign that we have lots of it.
If the privateers are looting the system by taking it out of the hands of the public, and of accountability, that’s corruption. We need to call it what it is. “Reform” is an Orwellian perversion.
Teachers here in North Carolina have been active on Moral Monday for the past year, but it has been a tricky and dangerous action for many. Teacher unions are illegal here, and tenure has been eliminated so that teachers are on year to year contracts and can now be fired at anytime without a written justification. So good luck New York. Please stand strong.
@wenchacha: You did not dream that TFA bumper sticker on the Subaru commercial:
Why I Won’t Be Buying a New Subaru to Benefit TFA
I call it corruption all the time. It is.
Lawmakers need to get a handle on the foundations. It is absolutely ridiculous that people in Kansas City have to wait for a media outlet to sue for emails before they have any idea what the plans are for their public school system. The same thing happened in Newark, except there the ACLU sued. The Facebook CEO was busily planning Newark’s public school system. It’s out of control.
Public schools are a public good, and we could lose them. We have a publicly-funded, privately operated for-profit health care system. How’s that working out for us? Why would we want to graft that disaster of a model onto public education? It’s a disaster everywhere it’s been tried (Chile and Switzerland). Why is the US adopting it?
The Republicans want to turn education into an “entitlement” and no longer view it as a public obligation to a healthy society.
There’s grift to spread among certain favored people.
I wish it were just Republicans. 3/4’s of Democrats are following the same playbook, including Arne Duncan.
There’s no real debate. Duncan won’t even expressly advocate for public schools. He says he’s an “agnostic”, he’s not taking sides. All schools are the same to him. Give me a break. Why am I paying him? I can get that same line from Jeb Bush or Eli Broad or any number of billionaires. Why doesn’t he go work for them?
Public education can’t just roll along with teachers as the sole advocates. It won’t survive. There’s a huge industry gunning for them. I can’t even keep track of all the “reform” orgs. We’re talking about thousands of paid advocates. Who is on the side of public schools here? Duncan was all over the place promoting “charter schools week”. Where is he today? You know, 90% of the kids in this country attend public schools. The entire political class has abandoned them. They’re all chasing “reform”, while public schools limp along and take hit after hit after hit. Philadelphia isn’t going to have a public school system soon. They’ll be like New Orleans. There are (now) two whole districts in Michigan where there are no public schools left. The schools are run by for-profit management companies. Is this what we want? I don’t think it is.
Another Holocene Human
Quiet? New York teachers were really radical, back in the day.
We have an actual lobbyist on the Ohio state school board. He works for a non-union contractor advocacy organization. Paid lobbyist. Oh, he’s also an “ed reformer”. That’s his second career.
Guess what he’s opening? A “charter school” to teach the poors “building trades”. There’s already a PUBLIC vocational school in that district. This one will “compete” and churn out graduates to drive down wages in building trades, and I’m paying for it. I’m funding a school started by a lobbyist, to serve his client, who is an org (now) getting public funding to train a non-union construction crew. I mean, Jesus. It’s just a feeding frenzy, and no one seems to be able to stop it.
I’m a retiree member of NYSUT and glad to see them finally getting going on this issue. I was seriously disappointed that they were very accepting of some of the “reform” policies put in place for a time and didn’t start active opposition much earlier in the game but better late, etc. Glad to say that the union leadership in my district were fighting this early despite NYSUT’s earlier collaboration with the anti-student agenda, knowing what a mess it would make in a poor district with enormous social issues: health, hunger, housing income/employment, large non-English speaking population, etc. Fortunately one other, more affluent district’s executive council also had the guts & the sense to oppose and, for that, I am grateful because nothing would would have happened if they hadn’t got the ball rolling since who cares about an urban, not rich, largely minority school district.
@Kay: and poorly may add, if the private vocational school in my state is any indication
The public vocational school here is packed. It serves 4 counties. They don’t need private, publicly-funded “competition”. They need adequate funding. Why would skimming off 15% to a management company help anything?
@gelfling545: Their heart was in the right place when they tried their own response to ‘accountability’ standards, but the lesson to take away is that ed reform never had anything to do with education.