"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, September 07, 2012

Weingarten Patrolling the Web to Urge Patience for Obama/Gates Agenda

This morning Mark Naison posted a thoughtful response to the President's corporate kowtowing and hope-turned-hype speechifying, and who else besides AFT's own CEO, Randi Weingarten, quickly responded with this:

Mark- I normally agree w/ you-and as you know even in our endorsement of the President we specifically raised our concerns w/ the national policy's fixation with testing. What I don't get is when the President and the party promotes a platform that at least sounds like they are listening, why not give him the benefit of the doubt.
You are so right ant teachers being demoralized- the biggest culprit are the cuts,and the push to privatization.
I would love to see the data on the worsening of diversity. I see it, but have no numbers.

My response:

Yes, listening.  Obama/Gates have been listening for a long time, which has gotten us exactly nowhere.  Or better yet, we are further behind now in terms of corporate control, privatization, and teacher demolition than we were under Bush/Cheney.  They listen closely, mouth some bromides about keeping dialogue open, and then do everything they can to subvert and coopt the resistance to the destruction of real learning, public schools and the teaching profession.  

Unfortunately for teachers, children, and parents, their leading surrogates are the presidents of the two national teachers' organizations, who are at the ready to tamp down any further resistance by urging patience.  If there is anything in the "platform" that signals a departure from the corporate onslaught against schools, teachers, and real learning by children, I suggest to you that  it is nothing more than empty words intended to placate a profession on the brink of a nervous breakdown.  

Meanwhile, you, Ms. Weingarten, and your bosom pal, Mr. Van Roekel, continue to do the same as they, talking out of both of your mouth, depending on whether you are trying to snooker teachers into another bad deal you've signed onto behind closed doors, or making nice with Gates and Broad or the education industry.

If you would really love to see some data on diversity, why don't you spend some of the AFT millions on some research on the segregation, containment, and dehumanization of millions of poor school children across this country?  Why don't you hire some of those researchers who have lost their positions to corporate foundation hacks, some real researchers to do some real research on the conditions of unequal funding, the school turnaround industry, the KIPP chain gangs, or the TFA missionary society, the takeover of public schools by corporations.  

But I forgot--your budget goes to elect politicians with plans to crush teaching, create apartheid systems of schooling, and create data monitoring systems from B to D (birth to death).  You, Ms. Weingarten, represent the problem in its most insidious form.  If you had any character, you would resign and let teachers with a moral compass redirect the AFT to the social justice mission that made it a force for positive change, rather than a corporate subsidiary.

1 comment:

  1. "I would love to see the data on the worsening of diversity. I see it but I don't have the numbers"

    Really? You want data to back up those lyin' eyes?

    Here are some independent studies that took about 10 min to access:

    PA & NJ:



    The "PA triple screw"


    New Orleans:

    Lipman, P. (2010) Summary of research studies on Renaissance 2010. plipman@nic.edu retrieved at: http://pureparents.org/?p=18306

    In 10 years when our children with disabilities, their families and their teachers are living out the segregating and discriminatory ramifications of corporate take-over of public schools, our vacuous media and corrupt politicians will be pointing their fingers back at you and ask: 'Why didn't our teacher's unions speak out against these injustices?' How many minutes will pass before the billionaires send their think-tank and media attack dogs after you? Image preservation and creative destruction are their specialties.
    You won't be able to say we didn't have the numbers. We have the numbers now.