Thursday, December 1, 2016

Ed Deform is the NAFTA Equivalent: The Neo-Liberal Assault on Blue Collar Workers and Unions Includes Teachers

I'm writing this as a topic for discussion at tomorrow's ICE meeting. Does the analogy of NAFTA and ed deform as the same type of neo-liberal attack hold water in terms of the loss of blue collar and public school jobs as a way to lower labor costs and funnel the profits into private hands?

As we read analysis after analysis of the Democratic Party's abandonment of the working class as the reason for the Trump victory. But how many of these analysts on the left and left center delve into the Democratic Party's abandonment of public school teachers and their unions, despite the slavish worship of UFT/AFT/NEA leaders  for their almost meaningless little stool at the table?

Commentators talk about blue collar workers but neglect that the major assault has been launched by both parties on teachers and public schools. That giant sucking sound of job loss Ross Pirot warned about NAFTA in the early 90s is being echoed in the public schools by the charters and the upcoming vouchers. But no one is paying much attention to the analogy.

To me there is a similarity between a corporation going to Mexico and New Orleans and Detroit going charter - the very same idea is operating -- the same type of shift to paying lower wages. While some people are fooled by the social justice rhetoric of charters, their mostly positive response to the Trump destruction of public ed shows what they are really about. And note that some big corp just paid around $125 million for 5 charter schools in Florida.
There's charter gold in them that hills

The gold rush is on.

As long as the Democratic Party that shilled for ed deform and charters have ed deform people like Hakim Jeffries and Corey Booker and Cuomo, teachers who are being chopped will not be won over. I know my readers can't stomach what I am about to say but De Blasio was the only one who had the guts to take on Eva and he was slaughtered and backed off -- and even though so many schools are in awful shape and teachers are pissed - just see what options you have next year in the election when the choice will be DeB or an Eva Moskowitz clone -- and I bet some of the angry people who are pissed at DeB and Farina will put their head in the noose and vote for the Eva Clone because to them deB is too liberal. Good luck with that.

Trump-supporting or Jill Stein voting teachers in the UFT were so pissed at our union leaders they will never vote Democratic Party until the Republican Party screws things up so badly they have no other choice -- like imagine if non-Hillary voters find themselves with a vastly reduced pension and without a job as a giant sucking sound that makes NAFTA look like pablum decimates their jobs.

I don't see a lot of ways around this other than to think of a Bernie like party --- it would be left of any Dems and for the right wingers in the UFT out of the question but by then there may no longer be much of a UFT.


  1. We need an advertising campaign that focuses on charter and voucher school teachers. Most of these teachers are newbies and neophytes and most do not even possess master degrees!! How in the world does the public believe that charter schools with average teaching experience between 1 and 2 years qualifies as being a great school with great teachers?? The reality is that most of the brightest teachers in this country are in public schools!! Would anyone send their kid to a charter school knowing that most of the teachers if not all do not possess masters degrees in education and the subject they are teaching and second most if not all of the teachers have maybe one or two MAYBE three years of teaching experience!!! I contend that the UFT needs to do an all out advertising blitz to inform the public about the truths behind these bogus schools. The UFT should spend lots of money to promote this little spoken about topic that really says it all.

    1. A perfect example of uft leadership mispriorities. If from day 1 they had not tried to waffle and straddle the charter fence they could have used millions of $ spent on commercials to educate the public and blunt the charter message look at ads angst de blasio now. Uft should show diapers for Eva campaign. Maybe do a fundraiser for pampers.

  2. Like Hillary, DeBlasios will need a better message than "the other guy is a monster" if he wants to win re-election. What message does he have for teachers? He caved on charters. DOE legal still runs the show. Abusive administrators still ruin the careers of good teachers. And we also have the pleasure of being told by students to go f*%k ourselves on a regular basis while they, instead of the adults, run the schools. And to add insult to injury because some of these kids tell us to go f*%k ourselves during an observation, the Danielson rubric calls for the teacher to lose any shot at being highly effective (and if enough kids are disruptive the teacher also loses any shot at being rated effective). DeB and farina think all these disruptive kids need is love and counsleing in lieu of any real consequences for their horrendous behavior yet DeB and farina fail to provide any counsellors to counsel these disruptive and often violent students. These are the realities of a teacher's life in many NYC schools. DeB allows danielson, as is, to stick. DeB allows kids and administrators to abuse teachers daily. I know the likes of Eva are worse....but again...that's not a winning message. Rage, blind or not, cost Hillary the election and perhaps DeB will be the next victim of it. All DeB needs to do to win over teachers is to tweak Danielson to make it fair and reasonable and suspend kids who abuse their teachers and classmates. He can provide counselors at suspension centers if he wants to. When a student with a history of violent behavior tells you he's going to kill you (happened in my school this year) and DeB's policy is to not suspend---rage, blind or not, sets in. This is the bullshit that is attached to liberalism and what drives teachers like me away from it. Roseanne McCosh

    1. DeB is too often tone deaf and with Carmen in charge with her basically anti-teacher attitude - remember she wss Klein's 2nd in command for a few years and endorsed all his crap -- there is not much hope for change. Thus we are between a rock and a hard place. Some people are hoping that Carmen packs it in after this election and we get someone better -- don't count on it. But on the suspension thing I do get what you are saying -- but I also get that schools that have implemented an alt policy effectively have seen an amazing turn around in behavior and teacher buy in -- and from pretty surprising places like some middle schools in Brooklyn.

    2. WE need a better message than "the other guy in a monster" if we want to take our union back. And that's the rub; we're all guilty of that nonsense communication strategy on our respective certain levels and I blame the party. The DNC hides the truth and reveals just that part of the myth they want their followers to see. A lot of folks follow suite with that approach without even knowing or realizing it.

    3. "The other guy is a monster" as a strategy is a long term political failure. Might be convincing to the already-converted at MSNBC, CNN and the readership of the NYT. Plus a few dedicated libs.

      Beyond that, when much of the 'monster' proof turns out to be demonstrably false (Trump as racist, homophobic, and antisemitic, for example), those that parroted the lies lose all credibility. Folks (NYT, Democratic spokespeople, etc) without credibility who discover real issues (flawed economic plans, misguided foreign policies) are ignored. Unsurprisingly.

      We are in for a long stretch of of Republican domination. Dems have now gained the reputation as main stream media supported, idea-less, and wolf-crying. Ouch.

  3. Back in February With a Brooklyn Accent wrote about Democratic policies against teachers.
    And Politico, in April I think, about twice as many teachers supporting Bernie over Hillary.
    Someone else wrote, I can't find it, that if UFT leadership had a Democratic candidate selection process, then possibly there would have been enthusiasm for the election.
    I think you're right, the privateers will try to NAFTA-ize our jobs. Our big job now is to not let the privateers define us. Thank goodness most parents want a teacher for their children, not a computer. Now, more than ever, we need to make alliances with families and other workers.
    On another note, Alternet has a good take on the Carrier situation. They go over Bernie's reaction and his demands for keeping companies in the U.S. In my opinion, worth reading.

  4. I'm not a big fan of De Blasio (although I think he's probably the best, most "progressive" mayor we're likely to have for a long time) and agree that, via Farina, he has left many of Bloomberg's anti-teacher policies in place.

    However, it's wrong to blame him for the Moskowitz/charter school fiasco. The fault there lies with the UFT, which has abdicated its role as a defender of teachers and public education. Where were the counter-demonstrations and picketing against Success Academy and privatization in general? Where was the calling out and shaming by name of the patrons of these sweatshops for students and teachers?

    The fault also lies with teachers themselves, who are uninformed, apathetic and easily cowed.

    De Blasio tried to rein in Moskowitz, and had his ass handed to him. And where was the UFT? Where were rank and file teachers in support of his efforts? That's right: nowhere.

    It's naive to think that, absent wide mobilization, we can depend on elected officials alone to safeguard our interests. That has always been the case and is especially so now. Until teachers, with or without the UFT, engage in some politically disruptive innovation of their own, De Blasio may go down, almost certainly to be followed by someone far worse. And that's the least of it...


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