On the union side, there are many great folks pushing back against the union leaders in the AFT, NEA, NYSUT and UFT, trying to end top-down unionism and make the unions more representative of the views of the rank and file.Say it ain't so.
In NYC, that movement is led by the people at MORE and before I go from the blogging scene, I want to say that I fully support the MORE candidates in the coming UFT elections and hope that we can finally get some people into the UFT leadership who fight for teachers and the teaching profession rather than sell us and it out piece by piece.... RBE
- See Tribute from: The official website of the PJSTA
It is a sad day in the blogging world as Reality-Based Educator, one of the most read and respected bloggers coming from the NYC teaching ranks and beyond, hangs up his spikes (Goodbye And Good Luck) - and they are some set of spikes, offering some of the best in-depth writing and analysis of the ed scene. And RBE has been on top of everything - I used to try to post important news on ed notes but he always seems to beat me to it, thereby freeing me to stay on the couch. Shit - I'm really going to miss all the hard work he did. And what about the music tributes? Come on RBE, at the very least keep doing that.
I've known RBE for many years even though I only met him 2 or 3 times - he grew up in Rockaway - we hung out one day and I found out his music knowledge goes deep.
He has helped circulate MORE lit in his school along with another great guy who transferred there a few years ago, who, when I found out he was going there I told him to look RBE up and they have both been wonderful assets to their school, along with others I know who are working there, forming a core of progressive teachers that are so important to keeping a school alive spiritually. RBE is not hanging up his spikes when it comes to that work.
Before Perdido RBE often co-blogged with Arthur Goldstein at NYC Educator.
In his final post RBE very well sums up where we are at in the struggle:
The battles in education these past ten years have been brutal and we have seen our profession transformed into something barely recognizable from when I first started teaching fifteen years ago.I still have hope that one day RBE will return, as he has in the past. I do share a lot of his despair over the future and keep being involved in MORE and Change the Stakes because there really is no other option. So RBE's endorsement of MORE and opt-out means a lot.
Common Core, teacher evaluations tied to test scores, EngageNY scripts and drive-by Danielson observations have ensured that many of us are teaching by numbers if wish to remain in our jobs for any period of time.
If you're a reader of this blog, you know that all the "change" we hear that is happening in education - from Cuomo's Common Core Task Force "reforms" to the changes NYSED Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says we'll see out of the State Education Department, is just so much window dressing.
The instructional focus of the Common Core remains.
The bludgeon of the Endless Testing regime on individual schools remains.
For many teachers, teacher evaluations tied to test scores remain.
The unions have run ads lately touting change, but quite frankly, there is no change - just more of the same with minor tweaks.
Despite the media narrative of the "powerful teachers unions," the unions never really tried to counter the reformers - they instead collaborated with them on teacher evaluations, Common Core, Danielson, streamlined contracts and the like.
But the Opt Out movement has become that pushback and therein lies the hope I have for the future of public education - that parents, along with teachers, will take back their schools from the corporate reformers, the educrats, the consultants, the edu-entrepreneurs and the bought-off politicians.
If there is any bright light in the maelstrom of deform that we inhabit these days, it is the advent of a parent-led movement against the powers that be and their corporate backers to transform schools into one size fits all factories and children into interchangeable widgets.
On the union side, there are many great folks pushing back against the union leaders in the AFT, NEA, NYSUT and UFT, trying to end top-down unionism and make the unions more representative of the views of the rank and file.
In NYC, that movement is led by the people at MORE and before I go from the blogging scene, I want to say that I fully support the MORE candidates in the coming UFT elections and hope that we can finally get some people into the UFT leadership who fight for teachers and the teaching profession rather than sell us and it out piece by piece.
And with that, I say goodbye and good luck.
Almost every teacher blogger in NYC is not only backing MORE, but many are running with MORE. I'm still working on RBE to join the slate that will total 2-300 people so anonymity will still be assured.