Saturday, August 11, 2012

Fear and Bloating in the Motor City

I'm really rooting for Randi, whose call for a solutions driven union reminds me very much of Neville Chamberlain's fine leadership of England in the years before World War II.  I think with Randi in charge, we will truly have peace in our time. 
One particular bill which the New York faction was behind suggested that perhaps excessive standardized testing wasn't the best idea.  Chicago wanted to go further and actually do something about it.  Fortunately, New York teachers are as good at pulling teeth as New York Dentists and the resolution was passed with a healthy set of gum and no choppers as of yet.
-- Last Stand for Children
Last Stand for Children reports from AFT convention (Warning: Satire alert)

Fear and Bloating in the Motor City


30,000 teachers descended on Detroit last weekend and I think I surprised a lot of people by being among them.  Why did I decide to go to a city without a single Michelin starred restaurant with these lazy public servants enjoying their luxurious Summer vacations?  Because I go where the story is.

I have a natural distrust of Randi Weingarten if for no other reason than the Weingarten Rights she won for union employees, but I soon found myself rooting for her in what seemed to be a battle between the New York union and the Chicago union.  One particular bill which the New York faction was behind suggested that perhaps excessive standardized testing wasn't the best idea.  Chicago wanted to go further and actually do something about it.  Fortunately, New York teachers are as good at pulling teeth as New York Dentists and the resolution was passed with a healthy set of gum and no choppers as of yet.



The speakers ran the gamut from sleep inducing to nausea inducing.  Dr. Wendel Anthony was my least favorite.  I was in the middle of a really nice sleep when he started speaking and he was just too loud for me to get back to slumber land. I think he was rapping to the Bee Gees or something.

Of course Diane Ravitch was there, making her usual excuses for the teachers.   If you haven't seen it yet, Michelle Rhee has a hysterical video of a fat guy as an Olympic athlete that talks about how the United States has slipped and we need to regain our status as the top education country in the world.   Ms. Ravitch naturally disputed this by pointing out that this wasn't true.  I hate the way she attempts to manipulate an audience using facts.  It doesn't matter if our schools are in crisis, what matters is what we're going to do about that crisis.  Diane again and again uses facts to stop people from seeing the crisis that we all know must exist in the public schools. The great Joe Biden spoke at the convention as well.   Once again the  Chicago Teachers Union provided interesting theater.  Rather than calling for four more years for President Obama and Vice-President Biden, they fliered his speech with yellow papers that they held up during his speech that said Stop Race to the Top.  How disrespectful of a great American hero like Joe Biden.  Unfortunately, I had to leave early so I never did see who won the election to be head of the AFT for the next 2 years.  I'm really rooting for Randi, whose call for a solutions driven union reminds me very much of Neville Chamberlain's fine leadership of England in the years before World War II.  I think with Randi in charge, we will truly have peace in our time.



4 comments:

  1. Do we even wonder if Biden went back to D.C. and said why are they so mad at us ? Or can we assume he knows but doesn't care and still thinks we owe him our vote because his party is the party of the people?

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  2. norm, i hope i am not misinterpreting your tone, but i truly hope you were being sarcastic when you say that weingarten will bring peace to all of this and that diane just makes excuses for teachers without facts. . . .

    ms. ravitch uses nothing but facts, albeit she editorializes to advocate for what is just and right. weingarten has featured several key anti-reformers NOW becuase, like a marketer, she sees what her audience is feeling. . . finally she has chosen to get in touch with it. she is a master mind at playing many sides against each other and strategically talking out of 17 sides of her mouth. real union leadership is demonstrated by the san francisco teacher's union, and the CTU, headed by karen lewis. weingarten is false, self serving, and a money grubbing opportunist.

    it is my sincerest hope that you are not corrupted by her charm, and that she remains permanently on anyone's suspect list. if anything, she must be removed and unseated from the AFT, from any union anywhere.

    what ths country needs is a nationwide strike by ALL TEACHERS, public and private, and by all working class people in all professions and trades, period, end of story. we need a resurging labor movement and a major, aggressive expansion of collectivism and unions. easier said than done, but people's suffering is the best and primary motive and driving force.

    no norm, randi will onyl bring further chaos and disaster to public education; she is ONE of the reformers. she joins forces with the reformer and aims her guns with theirs towards teachers and working class people, then, she strips herself of her combat uniform and slips into a clara barton costume, running onto the fields of the fallen and injured, offering them first aid with a sympathetic mien. she is two faced, and disingenuous.

    but rest assured, norm, that through all the fog of war, she is more likely to get up, dust herself off, and come out reeking of power and riches, leaving so many innocent teachers who pay her salary to fester like a sore in the sun.

    put someone like karen lewis at the head of the AFT or NEA, and then let's talk about trust.

    sincerley,
    robert rendo
    nationally board certified teacher

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  3. Rob --- note the sarcasm alert -- I wish I wrote this great blog -- the writing at Last Stand for Children is brilliant and I was lucky enough to hang out with the blogger in Detroit.

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