Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bergtraum Chapter Leader John Elfrank-Dana on Joel Klein

I wasn't going to wait for Michael Mulgrew's take on Chancellor Klein's resignation. But, chose instead to give you the heads up and quote a friend and colleague (below) in the struggle to give our students what they really need- small class sizes and social work supports adequate to meet their needs. It appears the Mayor has chosen another shoe-maker, someone with no background as an educator to succeed Klein.

I have always said Klein was just the symptom; that the problem is the concentration of power in the executive (Mayor) along with a thinly veiled agenda to privatize schools via union busting and parent disenfranchisement. As a person with 3 children in suburban schools I know there's no way BloomKlein could have gotten away with what they have thus far where my kids go to school because the parents have great political clout. Our students are the victims of the corporate-privatizers tinkering with the educational system. Our profession has paid through the nose because of concessions our union has made with these corporate bureaucrats in contract rights giveaways who want to see a swift end to us as an organized labor force with rights.

While I must say the Chancellor on a few occasions has come through for Bergtraum on some relatively small matters (your new phone system, increased Internet capacity), we have been the victims of his misguided educational policies of dumping on large schools like ours of large numbers of high need student populations without providing the necessary supports. I have personally seen Bergtraum go from one of the most desirable schools in the city to one where nobody wants to be.

No folks, the fight is not over with the exiting of Klein. His successor will have the same marching orders from the corporate elites- crush the unions and privatize the schools. I hope the UFT leadership realizes this.

John Elfrank-Dana
UFT Chapter Leader
Murry Bergtraum High School

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