Friday, April 30, 2010

The Ballad of Evan and Sidney

Boy are these guys getting coverage - from all sides. First ,Gotham gave them creds and then mention in the NY Times. On the good guys side, Accountable Talk joined Chaz and South Bronx School with his post the other day. One of the things AT points to is the slick E4E web site.

It's certainly nicely done, as it should be--it's powered by Media Mezcla Campaign Engine, which provides tools for politicians to run campaigns. I wonder how two low-salaried teachers managed to put up a website using expensive software that politicians use in their campaigns? A suspicious person might infer that these two fine newbie teachers somehow managed to hook up with powerful, moneyed pols, but we all know that couldn't be, could it? In any case, one of their goals is to join the "debate" on how to improve schools, apparently by eviscerating them. Toward this end, they have a blog that does not accept comments. So much for debate.

People often ignore things from experienced teachers like AT, Chaz and SBS- just gripers they think. Curmudgeons. So how much do I love it when Miss Eyre, who blogs at NYC Educator, and is more of Evan and Sidney's generation than ours, exhibits some tech saavy of her own with this comment over at Accountable Talk:

The plot thickens:

I wonder why two obviously proud young educators would wish to keep the registrant name of their website private. After all, we know their names! Evan and Sydney! Just two squeaky-clean kids puttin' together a little PAC, havin' a little fun! Right? Right?

I checked some of the clients of Media Mezcla Campaign Engine:

Education Reform Now

Harlem Success Academy

Democrats for Education Reform

Ahhh, the usual suspects.

But then again there is this:

State Senator Bill Perkins, New York

I don't see the web site or blog as all that fancy and it seems you don't need a lot of tech skills to do it. So why pay for Media Mezla when you can do it for free?


Michael Fiorillo said...

Why, Norm, you'd pay for an expensive media vehicle if you were some Trojan Horse/Fifth Columnist scabs carrying water for TFA's Board of Directors and other privatizers.

Miss Eyre said...

*blush* Awww, shucks.

For what it's worth, I agree with them, to an extent, that the teacher evaluation system could use some revamping--both how evaluations are done and who's doing them. What I don't like is how they portray themselves as "little guys" fighting against a big bad union, that they are stating the obvious, and that all of their colleagues agree with them 100% and everything would be better if we could just get rid of some of the pesky work rules for which our union fought.

They're not little guys. They are not "grassroots." I sincerely doubt that. I'd have more respective for them if they would admit that *someone* is backing them.

It's hard to be a young teacher and see some things that definitely could use some changing, but also have a lot of respect for the work that happened before I came on the scene. One thing I can say for sure is that Evan and Sydney do not speak for all younger teachers, particularly those of us who would like to be senior teachers someday, not head out to law school in the next year or two with our bridges burning behind us.

ed notes online said...

I'm with you Miss Eyre on the teacher evaluation issue. How and who and by what criteria. Let's always remember to include parents and even kids in our evaluations. If it were an honest process and not "gotcha" it wouldn't hurt to get those viewpoints.