Friday, May 29, 2015

Where Ed Notes Stood - or Sat Down - Basic Positions of Ed Notes, Dec., 2000

Fifteen years have passed since I published this statement in Education Notes which was distributed every month at the UFT Delegate Assembly about a decade. I had begun getting reports from George Schmidt and Substance in Chicago about the impact of ed deform. Plus I had experienced a test-crazed principal in the 80s and the 90s and witnessed the impact on school culture and teacher freedom to teach. I tried to bring these early warning signs to the UFT/Unity Caucus leadership, not as a critic, but in a friendly manner -- accepting the bill of good I had been sold that Randi was going to be an honest reformer. My reso on curbing high stakes testing at the DA got a lot of applause, but lost when Randi gave it the kabosh -

Dec. 2000
Where We Sit

Soon to be: Where We Lie Down (preferably in a hammock) [this has come to pass - though that's not me in pic in case you're blind]

Basic Positions of Education Notes
• The classroom teacher should be the primary focus of support. If merit pay ever comes to pass, it should go to those who do the most teaching.

• Everyone should teach. Administrators, union officials, Chancellors, etc. Regular Exposure to Children (REC) by decision makers will give them a proper framework to make rational judgements.

• It’s Not Our Fault: Problems with education are not the fault of teachers or the teachers contract. Our contract does more to defend the children than anything proposed by the Mayor or the Chancellor or so-called advocates for children.

• Testing/standards for children has distorted education and will have a long-term negative impact.

• Testing/standards for teachers has little to do with how we teach and has been used as a political tool by politicians and our union (to keep teaching re- sources scarce as an argument for higher salaries) which admittedly most certified teachers think is a good thing but we view as detrimental to a number of our hard working and capable members.

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