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

Thursday, September 01, 2016

United Opt Out Partnering with AFT Vice-President

It's been a busy summer for Houston Federation of Teachers President, Zeph Capo.  He was named to Weingarten's Executive Council at the AFT Convention in July, and he was also tagged as AFT Vice-President.  

Not only that, but Capo greeted a new Superintendent in Houston, and found that they have many of the same priorities, including using multiple assessments to evaluate teachers.  

In fact, as the AFT headline says here, HFT is ready to collaborate with new Houston superintendent, Richard Caranza:
A hopeful sign, Capo and Weingarten says [sic], is that in San Francisco, Carranza signed a written agreement with the United Educators of San Francisco to not use test scores as a criteria for teacher evaluations. "We would advocate for a similar agreement so Houston's educators are evaluated and given appropriate support based on multiple measures of performance," Capo says. 
With the Power Up personalized learning initiative well underway in Houston schools, there will be plenty of other test scores to use beyond the old-school annual testing.  Testing will be as natural as breathing or constant surveillance.  

Houston ISD has committed over $100 million to build wireless networks and to buy 65,000 Windows computers for every high school student. And that's just the beginning.

It's all part of a $1.89 billion Houston bond issue that is making wealthy Houston insiders even more fabulously wealthy.

Oh yes, I almost forgot, AFT VP Capo was also able cut a deal with UOO to host a joint conference in Houston in October.  Be sure to get your advance ticket soon, before Weingarten makes sure all the seats are filled by AFT members.


  1. Schools Matter has become the expert investigating what everybody is doing wrong. I was asked by several supporters, is there any way that we can learn who, using the rule of thumb of Schools Matters's bloggers is do doing anything good. We like to know what, and who out there is doing the good work, if they can share it, so that those of us who are trying hard to help our children can use, in order to improve our work. I think that a good rule of thumb, before a journalist writes up their piece, that they use the professional ethics of verifying their posting with the accusers. It seems that Schools Matter does not feel the need to at least give the subject the opportunity to verify the validity of their contention.

    1. Please provide corrections where you see that they are needed, and we can talk about them. The links are provided to show Capo's role on the AFT Executive Council and as VP for AFT. Is there something I did not document?

    2. It is not about who is doing "good work". There are corporate and Wall Street interests who want to privatize public education for profit. Standardized tests are at tool for achieving that objective. Since the inception of Opt Out, the leadership of the AFT has been trying to neutralize the Opt Out movement through "collaboration" with corporate interests. That is what the takeover of UOO is all about. It all comes down to which side are you on?
      "Is Corporate Education Reform trying to Co-opt the Opt Out Movement?" - April 8, 2015 http://tinyurl.com/zftork6
      "Turning 'Collaboration' Into a Bad Word" - December 17, 2015 http://tinyurl.com/jyuvul7
      "Which Side Are You On?" - July 14, 2014 http://tinyurl.com/lbrjn5x

  2. I did not know this about HFT President Zeph Capo. I knew there was an executive board member of the HFT who was just brought onto the board of United Opt Out, name of Zack Rodriguez.

    Zack and two of the other remaining Opt Out board members were on War Report the other night. I phoned in and had a discussion about Zeph and his support for the Power Up initiative. Zack was very evasive, talking out of both sides of his mouth about how Power Up is a "frenemy". They were talking also about their opposition to the AFT leadership, and how unions are complicated ... but nobody mentioned Vice President Capo! Is he presenting himself as an insurgent?

    The call in starts at about 69 minutes, if anybody wants to hear us argue these points.

    1. Capo is too big a chief to have to answer for himself. The young Zack is sent forward to defend his chief.