I received a letter from Jon Pelto last evening expressing his, um, anger I guess, at my recent post on the Ravitch and Cody April NPE talkathon coming up in Chicago, this year featuring both corporate misleaders of AFT and NEA.
Here is the heart of the letter, which details precisely how Pelto got screwed in every bad way by Weingarten during his run for governor of CT last year. In the end (pun alert), however, he remains loyal to his very core.
. . . I write the note on my own behalf and certainly don’t speak for any of the 220+ members of the Education Bloggers Network – since the very essence of the Education Bloggers Network is to promote the multiple voices that make up the crusade to save public education in this nation. . . .
Collective cause, really?? It's worth remembering that NEA and AFT were the chief corporate enablers and appeasers whose support made possible the proliferation of VAM for teacher evaluation, pay for test scores, 6,500 charter schools, Common Core, alternative certification, and many other loser ideas that have been implemented to benefit the profiteers of the education industry.. . . .I write the note on my own behalf and certainly don’t speak for any of the 220+ members of the Education Bloggers Network – since the very essence of the Education Bloggers Network is to promote the multiple voices that make up the crusade to save public education in this nation.
The fact is, there are few in the country that are as disappointed as I am in the actions of the leadership of the AFT and NEA, and fewer still who have burned by that leadership the way I was.
As a petitioning candidate for governor of Connecticut, I ran straight into politics of appeasement that is being orchestrated by the leadership of the AFT and NEA.
Facing the only Democratic Governor in the nation who proposed to do away with teacher tenure for all public school teachers and eliminate collective bargaining for teachers in so-called “turnaround schools,” I will forever be disappointed, and even bitter, that the AFT endorsed the incumbent without even allowing me to fill out a questionnaire, meet with the PAC committee or even the AFT-CT executive committee before they made their endorsement. Adding insult to injury was the fact that Randi Weingarten came into the state to endorse Malloy, claiming that despite by “good friends” with me, she was endorsing him for his outstanding work on education – work that not only included trying to eliminate tenure and collective bargaining, but was focused exclusively on promoting the privatization of public education and the destruction of the teacher profession.
And, although as I legislator I received the highest award from the Connecticut Education Association, I’ll never forget that in my effort to collect a sufficient number of petition signatures, the ONLY group in the entire state that refused to allow me to stand outside a meeting and ask people to sign my petition was the Connecticut Education Association which prohibited me from attending their summer leadership conference for fear it would upset the sitting governor.
And finally, since I announced my campaign for governor, I’ve been blacklisted by the unions and told – to my face – that my opposition to one of the two more anti-teacher, anti-public education Democratic Governors in the country means that the unions will not fund any project that I am involved in.
But that said, as nothing more than a foot soldier in the war against the corporate education reform industry, I find your remarks about Diane, Anthony and the NPE offensive, insulting and absurd.
Our collective cause is important enough, our tent is large enough and the task is great enough that I am eager to participate in the NPE conference – despite the fact that the presidents of the AFT and NEA are in attendance. . . .
I have no intention of getting inside a tent, regardless of how large it is, with arsonists.
My reply to Pelto:
A couple of questions, and a brief comment:
1) When and how have the unions aligned their positions with supporting the eradication of
a) high stakes testing,
b) segregated learning environments, and/or
c) corporate control in public education?
2) When and/or how has NPE initiated any action of resistance to high stakes testing, segregated learning environments, and/or corporate control of public education?
3) How does NPE “promote the multiple voices” of those who are not signed up to support the union-approved agenda of NPE?
If you were, as you say, "promoting the multiple voices that make up the crusade to save public education in the nation,” you would be willing to acknowledge my criticism as an attempt to promote those multiple voices, rather than acquiescing to the echo chamber that Ravitch and Cody have built to contain the resistance in ways that make the world safe for corporate unionism.
Public education won’t be saved by talking about it saving it or by protecting those who are selling teachers and kids down the corporate river. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you will stop wasting your time being pissed off at those who are willing to point out that obvious fact.