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

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Weingarten Joins Union Enemy John Engler to Plead with Governors to Keep Common Core

On December 10 Randi Weingarten flew into Newark with her gold-plated bullhorn to protest the entirely predicted outcome to a teacher contract that she helped negotiate just over a year ago.  

At the time, the Newark agreement gave bragging rights to Republican governor Chris Christie for making New Jersey the first state in the Union to base teacher pay on student test scores and on a teacher evaluation scheme that was nothing more than a Christie promise when Weingarten signed off on it.   

Now, with teacher grievances piling up based on the meritless merit pay plan that Weingarten approved of last year, a visit to Newark was called for in order to pretend that Randi was against the contract all along.

The facts tell a different story, however. Upon approving of the new contract last November, Weingarten gushed,

“This agreement ensures that teacher voice, quality and experience are aligned with increased professionalism and better compensation.”
In an interview on December10, 2013 Weingarten had something quite different to say about the contract that her posse of lawyers helped to craft in 2012:
Weingarten aimed some of her harshest and most personal criticism at the teacher contract ratified last November, criticizing not only state appointed schools Superintendent Cami Anderson, but also the man who appointed her, Gov. Chris Christie, who gave the final go-ahead to that labor agreement.
“A lot of people feel a huge sense of betrayal,” Weingarten said. . . “You made a promise to act differently, and you have instead acted exactly the same,” she said of Christie.

Classic Weingarten, who knows more about betrayal than she is willing to admit. 
Since she was "made" by Mike Bloomberg in 2009 for her fealty to corporate education reform when she was the head of UFT, she has not disappointed those who view the role of the union as a rubberstamp for Business Roundtable initiatives. 
While many hard working teachers who pay Randi's way resent the fact that she is paid more in salary and benefits than the President of the United States, she has been worth every penny in terms of her return for CorpEd.
Latest evidence? The Washington Post reported yesterday that Weingarten signed off on a letter on November 26 begging governors not to give up on Common Core corporate standards: 
The head of the country’s second-largest teachers union and a business leader who tried to weaken unions as a onetime governor of Michigan have made a joint plea to the nation’s governors to stand by the controversial Common Core academic standards.
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and John Engler, who leads the Business Roundtable and served as Michigan governor from 1991 to 2003, have written to governors in 45 states — as well as the mayor of the District of Columbia — that have fully adopted the new K-12 math and reading standards.
Weingarten and Engler urged the governors to “get it right” by giving educators time and support as they make wholesale changes in the way they teach and to hold off on testing students on the new standards until schools have fully implemented new curricula based on the standards.
And the pair asked the governors to stand behind the Common Core standards in the face of a growing backlash from critics on the right, the left and in academia
[Note that WaPo's Layton could have used many terms other than the marginalizing elitist label, "academia"--she could used "reality-based educators and parents," "researchers," "educational leaders."] 
“We ask you to stay the course and oppose attempts to impede the successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards,” Weingarten and Engler wrote in their Nov. 26 letter to the governors. None of the governors responded.
Written by a group of governors and state education officials, with endorsements from the federal government and funding from the Gates Foundation, the Common Core standards are designed to prepare students for an eventual career or college.
“This came from the bottom up, this didn’t come out of Washington,” said Engler, who called the standards an “economic and moral imperative.”  
Bottom up?  Written by governors and state education officials?? Really?  Where did WaPo get this idea?  Not out of Washington?
In all fairness to Weingarten, she is asking that states to adopt the Common Core but to hold off on the high stakes testing piece until teachers can be "trained."  So go ahead, get the Common Core in place, Governors, and later on we can get the assessments figured out, just like we did in Newark. 
Remember Newark?  Just exercise a little trust in corporate ed reformers to get it right. What can go wrong?
So remember – the next time that Weingarten comes to your town with her bullhorn and satin handcuffs, along with her posse of fellow lawyers trained in obfuscation and the art of the diplomatic lie, and her well-rehearsed expressions of solidarity with parents, children, and teachers, I hope that you will ask her which of the policies that she now protests are ones that she did not support at some point in the very recent past, or even the present, or even the future--if we can just get it right.
 Randi Weingarten deserves nothing less than our full and enthusiastic support for her immediate replacement. If not immediate, then very soon. From what I am hearing, leaders of the National Education Association have already heard the pounding of footsteps as teachers approach the front gates. Dennis Van Roekel is rumored to soon be history, another discarded relic of betrayal, deceit, and corruption by leaders who have sold teachers down the river.  AFT should do the same, unless the AFT leadership feels teacher revolt is preferable to a smooth transition. 
Seems to me it's time to choose, and those who refuse to choose have by doing nothing, demonstrated their choice.

Below you  will find a YouTube video of David Coleman from 2011 talking in circles about Common Core.  The most impressive part comes in the first 20 minutes, following his introduction by the University of Pittsburgh's most famous corporate academic, Lauren Resnick.  In these first few minutes, Coleman appears to delight in his lack of qualifications or preparedness for the coup that he is just pulled off.

No comments:

Post a Comment