Friday, February 25, 2011


Thursday, February 24, 2011


Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Sunday, February 20, 2011


Saturday, February 12, 2011


Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Unions Should Not Push Reform—They Should Resist It

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Stryer’s argument that unions should be at the vanguard of reform suggests that he knows very little about education “reform” or that he is a true believer in the bogus reforms currently being pushed by Duncan, Gates, Broad, et al. It is against the interests of teachers and their unions to collaborate with administrators in the implementation of vouchers, charter schools, merit pay, value-added schemes, high stakes testing, or the destruction of tenure. Each of these “reforms” will cause an exodus of experienced good teachers and harm students, too. Yet many of our unions do collaborate with management to implement these reforms, contrary to Styer’s myopic impression of unions. UTLA’s parent unions, CFT and CTA, certainly collaborate with Sacramento in implementing ....

NCLB is a good example of this. While unions complain about NCLB, they accept it in practice, taking the stance that since NCLB is not a contractual issue they can do nothing about it. Yet we know it is bad for our students and a phenomenal waste of money. We even know that it is designed to cause more schools to fail, rat... Yet year after year we continue to comply, to accept it as inevitable or untouchable. This is nonsense. Teachers can and should refuse to participate. If we all refused, they would not be able to pick off individual teachers to punish. If we all refused, eventually it would wither away. This is exactly the kind of direct action that requires large-scale collective participation that unions should support. But alas, our unions are too concerned with appearing reasonable and maintaining their seat at the table with the political, educational and corporate bosses, with whom we have nothing in common.


Monday, February 7, 2011


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Saturday, February 5, 2011


As Obama's plan in the works, Race To The Top (RTTP), rests on dastardly corporate values which have compromised our country forever yet teachers are left holding the accountability bag. Truly a disappointment for those of us hoping for some common sense about the viral infection of standardized testing which has all but ruined public education. Competition as a way of improving schools is just bogus theory. Mysteriously missing in the plan is the teacher voice. Teachers are left out, especially in urban areas where student behavior is at a new low, where their voices are needed the most. The societal problems caused by poverty are overwhelming and have metastasized into our public schools, and not just in the failing ones. The levels of violence, weapons, the tolerance of chronic disgusting language and the intimidation of district powers has brow-beaten the teacher. We are afraid to speak up, talk to the media or question authority with its insane forced failure methods repeated year after year. Gang root holes in urban high schools have taken hold while its threat is minimized or ignored, or at least kept secret from teachers, parents and the general public. Who is accountable for what and to whom? Now teacher evaluations will be attached to student test scores for more "accountability". Who else is being held responsible, on their job evaluations, for student success? Who? Let's share some stories here to show those not familiar with the shocking state of public education that they have no idea about what's really going on. There aren't any true efforts to invest in the necessities required to turn poverty, racism and class division around. Who makes too much? And who "has it made", what was that again about my job and test scores?