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

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Getting Compromised and Neutralized at NPE

Norm Scott has a post up about the special platform that NPE provided the corporate unions to propagandize all the NPE-attending autograph seekers, book salesmen, union apologists, blogger celebrities, button collectors, self-proclaimed activists. 

Half-way through Norm's piece, his ire and consternation at sitting through this bit of bad theater without a chance to ask questions is soothed by his conversation with Leonie Haimson, whose formidable prowess of the protector of the Ravitch myth is exercised with hypnotic power, obviously, on Norm's hot head. 

Calmly, then, Norm concludes:
...I came away with a more nuanced view of the relationship between the leadership of NPE and both teacher unions. While some call for them to declare war on the unions the most we can expect is a form of neutrality for a lot of reasons based on long-term relationships that are not easy to break.
When the money NPE collects from NEA/AFT is added on top of those "long-term relationships" and that "neutrality," you can expect, Norm, that you or the teachers will never be allowed to ask at one of these infomercial events why their unions have sold teachers, children, and parents down the river. 

For NPE, it is loyalty before principle, silence before criticism, secrecy before forthrightness.  These are the qualities that make NPE what it is and has been and will be until it peters out, just like its predecessor, the zombie outfit, Save Our Schools.  NPE is a place for all those desperate, downtrodden, angry, and the angst-filled educators to be dimed, dined, duped, and dumped once again back into schools that remain the products of that ever-important neutrality and long term relationships that keep things just as they are and have been. 

As Myles Horton said, "a preference for certain values determines what is good and what is bad in the eyes of the teacher. So call neutrality, therefore, is a surrender to the status quo." 

Horton goes on to say that dignity can only come to the teaching profession when its guiding values  become "honestly proclaimed" and acted upon.

The movement to end corporate education, segregated schools, and standardized testing can do be better than NPE.  If it can't, it is not movement anymore but, rather, just another blockage.

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