Saturday, September 25, 2010

Waiting for Superman, Oprah--Message to staff of FLHS from CL

Arthur Goldstein is chapter leader of Francis Lewis HS, one of the most overcrowded schools in the city.

From: Arthur Goldstein
Date: September 24, 2010 6:03:07 PM EDT
Subject: Waiting for Superman, Oprah

Dear Colleagues,

It's a tough PR week for teachers.  Oprah has decided to feature folks like Michelle Rhee, Bill Gates, and the maker of the new film sociologist Aaron Pallas dubs, "An Inconvenient Truthiness," Waiting for Superman.   Here are some stats about what Oprah presented.  Note that voices of reason, like Diane Ravitch, were not invited.  There's a petition on Facebook to get Oprah to invite Diane.  I urge you to sign it if you frequent Facebook.

I'd like to introduce you to a variety of voices that give a different message than the one mainstream media will be pummeling you with in weeks to come.  Links are below.  Remember that oft-touted statistics are achieved by preposterous means, often by outright fraud, and that we teach everyone, all comers, be they special ed., ESL, or whomever.  Know that when Superman hero Geoff Canada could not achieve the test scores he was "Waiting" for, he dismissed an entire cohort of kids from his charter school.  Can you imagine the sort of stats we could rack up if we had options like that?  Not that we would resort to such nonsense.

Charter schools account for approximately 3% of American schools.  Few do better than we do, one in five if you believe the documentary.  We are the ones doing the heavy lifting.  We are the ones who educate everyone.  And we are the ones who take every single child turned away by the charter schools--who don't count them in their statistics and attribute the failures of those kids to us.   If they were as miraculous as the media says they are they'd take these kids and run with them, but ultimately that's our job.  Be proud of all you do for kids and be proud to be union.   As you can see below, there are plenty of people out there who know nonsense when they see it, and some who know what we really do every day of our lives.

Best regards,


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