Another reason to come to the State of the Union Conf. tomorrow: The UFT refuses to recognize and educate its members as to what is really going on with ed deform.Michael Solo from John Dewey HS and I were on a Brooklyn public access cable TV program last night -BRIC- (taped for later showing) discussing the issue of teacher evaluations. I had to race over there after taping a remarkable forum on charter schools hosted by PS 24 with a panel consisting mostly of people who were in our film. About 25 parents came out which was quite impressive. They got an earful. I'll put up the video but right now I am busy finalizing my presentation of the UFT 101 workshop for the State of the Union conference tomorrow (last day to register online).
Back to the BRIC show. The game plan came into even clearer focus to me as we chatted about removing half the teachers at the schools, only as principal union head Ernie Logan said, to be replaced by low-salaried newbies while the senior teachers are thrown into the ATR pool. The excuse of gaining $55 million in order to spend $180 million to cover the costs of ATRs looks insane.
But not insane if the long-term plan is to gain a massive reduction in teacher salaries and benefits. Then it all makes sense. We all know that the biggest costs in education are teacher salaries and benefits. Imagine if you could cut salaries in half. And get short-term teachers who will never get a pension. In a decade you could radically restructure the education budget so you can funnel the money saved to your favorite consultants and business partners. Give more to the Joel Klein/Rupert Murdoch tandem at Wireless Generation.
Bloomberg is a long-term investor. Use the costs of the ATRs to create outrage. Have you noticed the sleazy NY Post targeting on a few teachers? That is just the opening in the campaign. As we get closer to the summer watch Cuomo chime on about the outrage of paying these people and calling for changes in state law allowing them to end LIFO. Just watch that assault. Right now the DOE is spending money on field supervisors for ATRs. Imagine that. Subs being rated. Pleas by to the UFT to get involved result in "But no one was U-rated." Yet.
And of course, along comes their partners in crime, Teach for America. This morning's blog was triggered by Mark Naison's post below.
Teach for America and the Transformation of the US into a Low Wage Nation
More and more, Teach for America seems to be an instrument for union busting by local school districts. Here's the scenario: A local school district is having budget problems. They lay off, or fire veteran teachers, then bring in Teach for America to replace them. The school districts saves millions of dollars in labor costs, short run, and even more money in the long because of reduced pension costs. The students lose because teachers who devoted their lives to their profession, and live in the community, are replaced by sojourners trained for five weeks who rarely stay beyond their two year commitment. But the community also loses because a sector of the local labor force which has decent pay and benefits is destroyed, thereby making it easier for employers in the private sector to keep wages low. Make no mistake about it, union busting, though it may reduce the tax burden on residents of municipalities and states, accelerates the transition of the United States as a low wage nation ruled by a wealthy elite of CEO's and managers. Teach for America, by actively accelerating this transition, is doing deadly damage to the young people it is trying to help by insuring they graduate into a labor force where work opportunities, for all but a small minority, are low paying and insecure. Those young people who seek to become part of this once admirable organization need to very carefully examine what its role in the United States social and economic system is TODAY
blogspot.com/2012/02/teach- for-america-and- transformation-of.html
FEB. 4- STATE OF THE UNION: TIME TO FIGHT BACK Register at: http://stateoftheunionconference-estw.eventbrite.com/
See Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: http://normsnotes2.blogspot.com/. And make sure to check out the side panel on the right for important bits.