Monday, April 21, 2008

The attack on teacher unions...

..... is broad-based and international - Lois Weiner put together an excellent presentation at the Teachers Unite forum last week and I hope to have the video up in a few weeks.

Naturally, one aspect is money. Non-union teachers can be paid less - don't be fooled by 125K salaries - the numbers still don't compute in terms of time. The other costs associated with contracts are health care, preps, and class size and other aspects.

But it goes beyond to the ability of organized unions (not the UFT, of course) to drive a progressive education agenda by mobilizing people.

Teachers are the point people all over the world in bringing information to the mass of people and are viewed as potentially dangerous to any agenda unless they can be controlled through fear and intimidation. That's the Taliban assassinate teachers, especially those working with girls. And why teachers in Mexico have been murdered. This is echoed all over the world where teachers are amongst the leaders of progressive movements - except here.*

Thus the real reason for the attack on tenure and senior teachers, people who are the most capable and knowledgeable in terms of resisting the idiot ed ideas being fostered on them.

They want teachers to respond when they are told at 12 midnight that it is really noon to say, "Where are my sunglasses?"

*[Analysing the Kahlenberg "Tough Liberal" book on Al Shanker with supplemental reading goes a way to explaining a lot.]


  1. Norm:

    There are conservative minded people,like me,who agree with your analysis of the despicable tactics of the DOE and the UFT who don't buy this "progressive educator" BS.

    Why do you mix apples and oranges?

  2. I don't think they're apples and oranges. While you think the tactics ot the DOE and UFT are despicable, I and other "progressives" - read that as left oriented - left of the Democracts - see things as part of a pattern. That Mayor Daly/Arne Duncan and Chicago TU Pres Marilyn Stewart play the same role as BloomKlein and Randi is not an accident. When I post the Lois Weiner video I hope you'll take a look and comment.

    I would say that recent events have moved me further left. I do not think the conservative movement - though I find I agree more with many of them on some issues than I do with traditional liberals - has no real answers to the problems.

  3. I remember learning in History class that the first thing that is done after a revolution in a country is to kill or imprison the teachers.
    I've been looking everywhere for that reference lately but can't seem to find it anywhere.

  4. See if you can track it down. In Chile after they overthrew Allende teachers were targets. Shanker had connections to a front group that was involved indestabalizing left oriented unions to assist the cia in the overthrow. George Schmidt did a pamplet on the AFt and the CIA in the late 70's. It was recently retyped for a re-issue soon.

  5. I've read of the same, though I'm also at a loss to remember when. There was a great Chinese movie with Gong Li, To Live, I think, that showed a teacher being humiliated as part of some revolutionary rehabilitation program.

    As for what is progressive or not, some people associate every trendy new educational idea with liberalism, which isn't always the case.

  6. This author writes about the violence against teachers in China:


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