Wednesday, September 7, 2011

AFT/Weingarten Celebrate Cuts? AFT President to Visit Two Long Island Schools to Highlight Reforms in the Face of Cuts

What else says it all? Instead of engaging in a battle for more funding, Randi Weingarten will be highlighting schools that "made do" in the face of cuts. What worse message to send to the ed deformers? "See, we can do it with less."

Leonie Haimson pointed out:
“Freeport had a $5.5 million reduction in school aid from the 2008-09 school year to the 2011-12 school year; Hempstead saw a $1.8 million funding drop from 2008-09 to 2011-12. Despite the cuts, both districts have implemented reforms that are yielding improved student achievement.”

Strange message; when school budgets are being cut to the bone, thousands of teachers are being laid off and excessed, and class sizes are increasing at unprecedented rates.

Does this mean that the AFT agrees w/ Klein and Gates that resources don’t matter?
This is not a strange message at all from the leading teacher unions that gave up the fight for more resources a long time ago and instead sends a message of: cut, cut, cut - we are professionals and will make do.

I responded:
yes, yes, yes, yes, yes- they practically scream it from the rooftops. They celebrated in NYC when test scores went up. They agreed to merit pay, and the premise that the classroom teacher is the most important element. They leave off class size from major policy statements. They partner with Bill Gates.

What else do they have to do to convince people they are enablers of ed deforms - wolves in sheep clothing?

As long as people view and woo them as "potential allies" the ability to fight back for public education in this war will be weak because they will make some move in what appears to be the right direction but will break your hearts every single time.

What is the alternative as they are the big dogs in town? Build a movement from the ground up that will put the leadership of battle for public education in the hands of people who will stay true to the cause and will not waiver from the commitment to fight for resources instead of continually compromising until there are few resources left to fight for.
For Immediate Release
September 6, 2011 
Contact:
Scott Stephens
202/400-7940
sstephen@aft.org 
American Federation of Teachers President to Visit
Two Long Island Schools to Highlight Reforms in the Face of Cuts

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten will visit two schools in the Long Island, N.Y., school district tomorrow as part of the AFT’s coast-to-coast back-to-school tour highlighting schools that have persevered with reforms despite deep funding cuts and other challenges.
On Long Island, Weingarten and New York State United Teachers President Richard Iannuzzi, who also is an AFT vice president, will visit Archer Street School and Freeport High School in Freeport, N.Y., and Alverta B. Gray Schultz Middle School and Barack Obama Elementary in Hempstead, N.Y.

Freeport had a $5.5 million reduction in school aid from the 2008-09 school year to the 2011-12 school year; Hempstead saw a $1.8 million funding drop from 2008-09 to 2011-12. Despite the cuts, both districts have implemented reforms that are yielding improved student achievement.
Reporters are welcome to join Weingarten as she visits schools. She will be available for interviews following the visits.

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