Sunday, November 18, 2007

Speaking out of both sides

graphic by DB

14 comments:

  1. I can't for the life of me follow her motivation.

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  2. It follows the Master of Deflection theme.It's the politician model of playing both sides against the middle.

    Take credit when it looks like reading scores are going up but trash Klein when they look like they are going down. When 4th grade scores looked like they were rising she was right out of the box saying it was due to the teachers, ignoring the contradiction that the 8th grade scores were bad and the resultant critique teachers could then be blamed for that.

    The UFT for 30 years has supported high stakes testing, narrow standards, centralized control of schools,and all the other baggage that comes along. But when the result of those policies leads to blaming the teacher, use PR to make it look like you are horrified - the old Casablanca line about how shocked you are there's gambling going on.

    Motivation? You should read the Kahlenberg book on Shanker.

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  3. Randi Weingarten is so similar to Hillary Clinton....they both talk from both sides of their mouth and won't take a stand on any issue. They use double speak and dupe the public (or in Randi's case, the majority of UFT members).

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  4. I can understand the impulse to take credit for good and deflect blame for bad. While it may not be admirable, it's only human.

    But this woman has moved the UFT 40 years backward, with the worst contract I've ever seen. All the things we bought with zeros she signed away without even getting us cost of living. And she's so smart, honestly. How could she not know that?

    It behooves her, as a labor lawyer and union president, to be a master negotiator. Negotiating with her on a regualr basis, I can swear my 11-year-old daughter is more hard-nosed than Ms. Weingarten.

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  5. I disagree that she was out-negotiated. She got exactly what she wanted because they care more about getting money than the 40 years of rights. We are claiming that this had been the pattern of the UFT leadership since the 70's when we were seeing the earliest stages of that erosion and were calling on Shanker to fight back. All you had to do was live through the massive erosion of the fiscal crisis, the major outcome of which was the multi-tier pension system.

    It is why I suggest reading the Shanker book so you will see that more clearly than ever, as most of the things she negotiated are consequences of the Shanker plan to "reform" education.

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  6. I agree with the correlation with Hillary Clinton. why can't we start a movement as UFT members to support an alternative candidate? or ANY OTHER candidate than Hillary?? perhaps that would be more powerful - to encourage free and independent thinking (oh my!)

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  7. She was out-negotiated, though, because despite all the talk, she didn't get a whole lot of money. We're still 20K behind our suburban neighbors, and as far as I can tell, we'll be there in perpetuity. Boasting about parity with where they were five years ago hardly brings glory to the home team.

    Giving up everything except the kitchen sink (and doubtless that's next), in any case, is hardly the hallmark of a good negotiator.

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  8. The main issue to Weingarten is not how much money YOU got but how the Unity propaganda machine could spin the straw of whatever amount they did get into gold.

    With the anti-union newspapers ready to proclaim any raise a win for the UFT they could sell beans to the members. They massage the numbers to make them look like parity - and they tell people how the suburban teachers work longer days without talking about the rest of the story like the number of days you work. Thus, Randi was not really out negotiated from her point of view since she really did not want to put up the kind of battle that would give her any leverage to win more -- like if you basically can't or won't strike, you either hold out or punt. If she held out she looks worse because she can't brag about the money.

    It is only blogs which are still relatively read by so few NYC teachers that expose the truth.
    Which is why the only chance we get to counter Unity spin is try putting out stuff at the DA to a relative few independent chapter leaders or to drive traffic to the blogs.

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  9. I'm understanding you a little better now. Thanks for explaining.

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  10. But you haven't been able to put up any alternative. There is a reason you lost - pretty badly too.

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  11. What's with "blog owner approval"? Talk about censorship.

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  12. Check the numbers. You lost pretty bad too when you get less than 22% of the teachers eligible to vote. You've been around 45 years. We've been around 4. Keep watching your back.

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  13. There is no censorship, not like Edwize. Ads, and stupid spam are being removed, especially from anyone who leaves the same dumb idiot messages in 10 places - someone who works for the union by the way and spends entire evenings doing that. Unity's attempts to spam the opposition blogs.

    How about actually saying something that addresses any of the issues raised instead of spamming?

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