Saturday, January 29, 2011

Whose Dictator? Your Dictator!

The American response to events in the Middle East where the dictator allies are beginning to fall is an indication of how far we have come from our revolutionary roots as a nation. When I was in school I always rooted for the revolutionaries because I identified with where we came from as a nation. Where did we stand when the French Revolution came so soon after ours? By the time of the Russian Revolution sentiments had shifted - better a Tsar oppressing the people than the scary alternative.

Thus, today's news about Egypt following so soon on Tunis and with Jordon and maybe even Saudi Arabia to come must be sending shivers down the spines of officials - and the pro-Israeli lobby as they know full well how possible it is for all these allies to slip away.

Well, when it comes to your favorite dictators who live high off the hog while leaving the people in poverty as opposed to places like Cuba we know where our government stands. Saudi Si, Cuba No!

Really, how amazing when people take to the streets in the face of tanks staring them down. And then you think of how many teachers say they are afraid to stand up. Will there be a day when masses of educators and parents take to the streets to battle the forces of ed deform in the face of the tank equivalents of Broad and Gates?

Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: And make sure to check out the side panel on right for news bits.


  1. Thing I don't understand is if by some chance LIFO is changed in Albany, does that change the seniority rules for ALL of the major unions in this city/state?

    What I'm getting at is...mass strikes, or at least unification and cooperation, would be key in fighting all of the corporatists, yet the other major unions have been mum on our seniority travails...Aren't NYPD,FD,Sanitation, and the rest directly threatened by this possible drastic change in civil service law?

  2. Evan Stone and Sydney Morris, founders of Educators4Excellence, were on channel 7's Up Close with Diane Williams.

    I'm truly baffled by these young educators whose idealistic approach to reform is to destroy the union's mission and have no regards for the years that every member struggled to win a decent salary, benefits, and for a professional voice. "The UFT is committed to strengthening our communities, our profession and the lives of our members and our students."

    They are willing to give up tenure, which they did, as long as there are reforms. They believe that tenure is too easily given. Who makes the final decision to grant tenure? Everyone knows that it's the principal. They believe in merit pay, which should be part of the reform. They feel that layoffs should be based on keeping the best teacher and not on the seniority rule, which is an ed law.

    If they're so displeased with the current system, why haven't they applied to charter schools? Charter schools, the majority, don't grant tenure, work a longer day and year, have a form of merit pay, and they have the highest turnover than any system, where many leave and many are fired.

    The E4E want reform, want options, please examine what the charter schools are doing the teaching profession.

  3. I wish they (Evan and Syd) would stop saying it is all about the kids. Sure, kids are important. We all went into this because we wanted to be part of children's education, but Adults are important too. It is not all about the kids and it should not be all about the kids. Adults that have given their entire lives to this should be remembered as well. And despite the crazy articles daily in the NY Shpost (spelling intended) most are darn good teachers!


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