Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Randi Endorses Opt Out - Will Mulgrew be next? Will UFT/AFT put skin in the game?

Thank you, Randi, for personally and unambiguously endorsing opt out! Encourage your members across the nation to join those who are defending their students and their profession. It is hard to stand up alone; in unity there is strength... Diane Ravitch
Fred Smith from Change the Stakes writes:
I hate when they are spineless until they are forced to do the right thing---and then they have the balls to take credit for it. They are complete cowards, phonies and revisionists. What a sick labor world--when Randi, with no teaching experience, can continue to act out her hollow charade.
I hope Diane is not falling for this. Fred hasn't. Let's see what Randi does - ie AFT money into supporting opt out - not what she says.

People have been in touch asking what is going on just a week after Unity caucus rejected the MORE DA reso on testing and then failed to even get to their own tepid reso at that meeting.  I reported yesterday:

Did NYSUT Pres Magee Just Endorse MORE Testing Reso That Unity Rejected?

I wasn't at the DA but here is my analysis.

The MORE reso got too much support from non-Unity delegates and was a warning sign to the leadership that we had a hot issue. I believe they purposely made sure their own reso wouldn't come up as time ran out -- they could have extended if they wanted to. So they went into their "let's co-opt the issue before it takes hold."

Massive kudos to MORE's Mike Schirtzer for devising a brilliant strategy and leading the charge. He wrote most of the reso with some input from me.

They also see opt out as the only weapon - and look for some loosening of support for common core as they see themselves on the wrong side of history - as they always seem to be.

Now we know to watch what they do, not what they say. Now that Ravitch is reporting: BREAKING NEWS: AFT President Randi Weingarten Endorses Opt Out! we can expect the UFT to start making similar noises.

But reality will be if they actually do anything by using their ability to reach into every school in the city - sending their people out to spread the message, attend PTA meetings -- which CTS is doing. After all, when there is a contract or elections or anything they really want they inundate the schools - how about some literature - print up some of the CTS resources -- in case they don't know where to find them: https://changethestakes.wordpress.com.

Now we know from Randi's past, this is probably just rhetoric - let's see the AFT jump in with money to support opt out.

Ravitch argues for opt out in ways teachers can use with parents asking questions:
Opting out is not about helping the teachers' union or opposing accountability. It is a clear, unambiguous message to governors and legislators, to Congress and the Obama administration that testing is out of control. Testing is not teaching. Since the passage of NCLB in 2001-02, billions of dollars have been spent on test prep and testing. In the case of the Common Core tests, the results are not reported for 4-6 months, the teacher is not allowed to see what students got right or wrong. The tests have no diagnostic value. None. They are used solely to rank and rate students, teachers, principals, and schools. Furthermore, they are designed to fail the majority of students because of the absurd "cut scores" (passing mark) pegged to NAEP's proficient level.
 Here are some of Randi's social media meanderings -
@lacetothetop et al have asked what I'd do if I had kids in NYPS—based on what I’ve seen, if I had kids, I’d opt them out of the PEARSON (PAARC) tests this yr
It’s crazy what’s happening in NY, w/ Cuomo leading the misuse of testing. We understand why @NYSUT and parents are calling for an opt-out
We believe parents have right to opt-out & tchrs shld be able to advise parents how. We’ve said it repeatedly, are fighting for it in ESEA.
Randi tries to say she has been consistent in supporting opt out, belying the Ravitch "Breaking" headline.
I've been involved with the opt out movement for years and for the first time it seems to be reaching deeper into the schools and UFT membership who are beginning to see opt out as the only thing that can save them from ed deform - when thousands of parents use their choice -- Eva's parents don't get choice -- to vote with their feet.


  1. Weingarten is providing cover for Cuomo's budget machinations. Magee was the trial balloon for the Weingarten publicity stunt. Ravitch is drowning in comments, not all of which are favorable.

  2. Weingarten, Magee and Ravitch are completely full of SHIT. They are providing a distraction for the Cuomo Massacre. Where is Mulgrew? Is he punching somebody in the face?

  3. I never knew that stripped skunks were part of the weasel family. We have one that occasionally comes to eat left over cat food just outside our kitchen door. Bear in mind that I live in walking distance of the high-rises of downtown Los Angeles.


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