Friday, March 4, 2011

UPDATE Diane Ravitch and Julie Cavanagh Kick Butt

Last Update: Friday, March 4, 10:45 PM

I had to run out this morning before finishing this post. Check below for the follow-up.

I was at the viewing party last night for Diane Ravitch's appearance on Jon Stewart with Diane as the guest and we all enjoyed not only watching her appearance but Stewart's wonderful defense of teachers and take down of the ed deformers. No time to find the links now but will update later.

We were also treated to GEM's Julie Cavanagh's kicking of an E4E member's butt from one end of the NY1 studio to the next on "Inside City Hall". And all the while doing it with civility and grace.

Here is the link to Julie:

Let me point out that Julie did what the UFT won't do: defend LIFO and seniority in a strong and well-thought out way. Was that the best E4E has? She contradicted herself time after time.

Here's a link to Ravitch on Stewart show. But watch the first part of the show too where Stewart lays out the ed deformers in a brilliant way.

From Leonie to those who attended the viewing party (I have some tape). (Yes, we survived One if by Land wonderful meal and headed uptown after I sobered up.)
Thanks to all of you who came last night to our viewing party, at such short notice, especially Diane, for being our hero and working so hard every day to advocate for rational policies in public education. 

The conversation and company was terrific and it was great to share it with all of you. 

I have posted links to all of yesterday’s shows on the NYC parent blog, including Inside City Hall with Julie Cavanagh about LIFO, the Daily show with Diane, and the NPR radio show that Diane and I were on yesterday here:

Julie Cavanagh told me today that Errol Louis , the host of Inside City Hall, had a print out of our Parents Across America fact sheet on “why experience matters” in front of him during her debate.

If you haven’t yet subscribed to our Parents Across America newsletter, please do on the website at

Thanks so much, and pl. keep in touch!

Leonie Haimson


  1. Julie Cavanagh for UFT President!!!

    What a tremendous job done on NY1...

    -John Powers

  2. Wow Julie Cavanaugh was absolutely fantastic. I want to thank her so much for such a wonderful debate. She kept her cool and just was terrific. No link on GS. It figures.

  3. Absolutely! Agreed with John Powers. Julie Cavanagh for UFT Prestident! She actually lit a fire in my chest and brought a tear to my eye. This is exactly the type of fight we need to bring to the media!

  4. Julie Cavanaugh,
    PLEASE run for UFT president. You care for our children and for our teachers.

    You have my vote already!

  5. Julie Cavanaugh cited incorrect research, please cite your peer reviewed study! So what does Julie think is the way to dismiss an ineffective teacher? what criteria do we use. The anti accountability folks like to poke holes in all efforts for accountability but don't propose real alternatives.

  6. First, let me thank Stephane Barile and Liza Campbell, two young teachers from NYCORE and GEM who had the courage to put together an amazing letter for teachers w/ less than five years in support of seniority rights. That form letter, if you haven't signed it, can be found on the GEM site. They were contacted by Inside City Hall, couldn't do it, and passed the opportunity on to me- thank you ladies!

    Second, to the very flattering comments above. Thank you, and I will simply say this: our union leadership must be responsive to its membership. Our membership and the parents we serve overwhelmingly support Seniority Rights. Seniority is the ONLY research-based method for laying off educators and hiring them back. Seniority is the ONLY objective method for lay-offs, and it protects educators so that they are not the targets of arbitrary firing or are otherwise a target b/c of race, sexual preferance, or their advocacy for children.

    Finally, to the corporate reformer above: the reasearch is clear, Jane and Mr. Louis spoke to it. There is a great fact sheet which includes much of the research I cited on the Parents Across America site found right in this post. And, if you are saying my research is incorrect (which of course it is not), than why do you need me to cite it?

    I did offer a solution which closed out the piece.

    Finally, I am not "anti-accountability", I am anti-attacks-aimed-at-undermining-public-education-and-dismantling-public-sector-unions. Most importantly, I am FOR KIDS. The only way we know, acccording to the research, to serve kids best is to give them small class sizes and experienced educators... let's do just that.

  7. Julie Cananagh, give me a break with your lies, lies lies.
    In our school I'm on the hiring panel and we invited over six ATRs to open positions not one called or had the courtesy to let us know they were not showing.

    Julie lied and said Mayor tells schools not to hire ATRs.
    Big Lie they are given financial rewards to hire ATRS. Why would someone want my workload of teaching five classes a day, calling parents, counseling kids, attending meetings and conferences when it is much easier to sub all day or work in an office. The vast majority of us teachers work hard day in and day out and my union keeps catering the to lowest common denominator. We will never be a union of professionals until we stop defending the unprofessional.

    Teach as if your own kids are in the class.

  8. The fact sheet that shows teacher experience matters for up to 20 years of more that Julie refers to is posted here:

    It has charts and links to peer-reviewed studies. It also reveals how smaller class sizes and teacher experience are the only two objective factors correlated with better student outcomes. Sad the way the mayor is trying to undermine both.

    Secondly, if E4E really cared about kids they would focus on preventing layoffs, not using layoffs as an opportunity to attack experienced teachers.

  9. Come on, E4Anonymous, give it up. No one attacked teachers till budget-cutting, pro-privatization Bloomberg came along. This "best and brightest" and "do it for the children" scam is getting old.

    The education field welcomes new teachers through natural attrition and retirements. As far as the code words, "bad teachers", that's a principal's job to help, handle, and hew, if need be. (fairly, mind you).

    Now, get back over to your web site. Arne, Mike, and Bill want their latte's refilled.

    P.S. Julie, Leonie, and Diane Ravitch were fantastic. Congratulations.

  10. Don't be so sure it is E4 and not a Unity slug.

    And E4 = Wall Street's Poodles...ruff ruff

  11. I watched the show with Diane Ravitch, and I too appreciated John Stewart's raw wit in presenting his viewpoint of the ongoing debate on teachers today. As a teacher for almost 20 years I have decided to do what I can to reach the politicians who are making decisions regarding our schools. Teachers need a voice. VIVAteachers is a place where a teacher's voice is beginning to reach the political realm. We need teacher involvement!

    Tweet: @VIVAProject     
    FB:        The VIVA Project

  12. Ravitch's, Stewart's, and Cavanaugh's conversations are well-timed to capture a resurgence of awareness in the nation that something is wrong in the current superficial discussions of teacher effectiveness (the absence of the terms "equity" and "poverty," for starters).

    Meanwhile, back at headquarters, Cuomo is making nice with Bloomberg in private phone conversations. Check out the NY Times article:

    Another example of how politics trumps policy in education almost every time. Some teachers and myself created a set of policy recommendations to advocate for teacher perspectives on teacher evaluations, but we have been getting little response. Read our report and help us to advocate for policies that better address contexts within schools and the idea of professional collaboration:


Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Comment moderation is on, so if your comment does not appear it is because I have not been at my computer (I do not do cell phone moderating). Or because your comment is irrelevant or idiotic.