Sunday, April 23, 2017

Randi and Betsy - Giving Cover to a Monster -

Randi is a committed corporate liberal who has faith in the good intentions of corporate power brokers and profiteers and her ability to get them to do the right thing if only they give her a seat at the table. Here, I'm thinking back to the union's brief flirtation with Bill Gates or Randi's flights to Chicago to support Rahm's Infrastructure Trust or to London to sit in on Pearson board meetings ... If some WaPo ink is all Randi was after, all well and good. But if she's providing some union cover for DeVos in exchange for some credibility with the Trump administration, she's playing a fool's game. .....Mike Klonsky, Mike Klonsky: What Was Gained by Randi’s Visit with Betsy?
Diane Ravitch won't openly criticize Randi but she does offer her platform for others to do so by posting Mike Klonsky's comments.
Mike Klonsky: What Was Gained by Randi’s Visit with Betsy?
You cannot turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse.
I think Mike is too nice to Randi, who is providing cover for DeVos. But I never see Randi as playing a fool's game. She plays everyone else for fools. Her game is all about positioning -- "you see how reasonable and willing we are to deal - read - sell out my members -- What does Randi have to gain? Some feel a piece of the choice action - if you can't beat them join them. Maybe make a few bucks to cover the loss of union members to right to work.

The union's $62M loan for 50 Broadway helps them morph into real estate. Become an agent of teacher training. They failed at the charter school approach but maybe there are other options out there.

A comment on Diane's blog from a Norwegian Filmmaker
gets us closer to the root.
And the ruling class are counting on “right to work” as a way to capitalize upon union members’ legitimate discontent with their union leadership and its willingness to compromise for almost 2 decades.

Beware, because this is a perfect storm. These are American unions, not European ones. I fear that is might be better to have union power and prominence – albeit horribly corrupt as Weingarten – than to have mere patches of unionism throughout the workforce.

Which brings me to my own contemplation: Would right to work status help create newer, better unions though sheer demand and market reactive forces (ones that would hang Weingarten in public and derive democratically structured unions) or is it just better to have a closed shop?

Teacher turnover means nothing to Weingarten, as she gets her union dues paid no matter who fills the position. Yet union dues keep unions more than afloat to do what they are supposed to do: fight for educators, children, and families.

The United States is such an amazing country . . . it shines SO more brightly than Norway in many aspects. Yet, Weingarten et al are an example of how deplorable the culture here really can get to be. She’s not a real union leader, nor is her governance militant, forceful, or effective. It’s just there to keep her $500,000+/year salary in tact. She is a master triangulator . . . Either that, or Amerians are not paying attention to her governence.

Something tells me that this is not my European lens talking here, but that more than 75% of Americans would agree about the corruption behind the AFT, NEA, and UFT. I could be wrong.


  1. Deplorable! I love it as I sit rotting away in Newark. My so called union keeps running back to the negotiating table to lose additional ground with King Cerf, who has yet to see a charter school he does not like. Some minor adjustments are being made to the One Newark fiasco. In the meantime, I have shelled out thousands and thousands of dollars to Randi and her ilk. I await the day when The Big Bad Wolf blows the house in.

    Abigail Shure

  2. Dr. Ravitch was more critical than ever of Randi's school visit with Betsy. Not mincing words, Ravitch ridicules and dismisses the very notion of corporate reformers and defenders of public education finding "common ground" as the "pointless" and counter-productive fantasy that it truly is.

    x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
    RAVITCH: "Education Week says the 'rifts' between (Devos and Weingarten) remain. Yeah, a rift the size of the Grand Canyon is not likely to close no matter how many schools they visit together or how often they meet.

    "Betsy’s spokesperson says she is not anti-public school. She just pours millions into campaigns of state and local candidates who support charters and vouchers, not public schools.

    "This effort to find 'common ground' between polar opposites strikes me as pointless. It would be like bringing a devout Orthodox Jew to a Roman Catholic Church in hopes of changing his mind, or bringing a devout Roman Catholic to a synagogue and expecting to find common ground. Or hoping that a Bosox fan would be converted by a visit to the Yankees’ dugout. C’mon!

    " ... "

    "Betsy DeVos will not change her mind about the importance of giving taxpayer dollars to every family to choose a charter school, a religious school, home schooling, a cyber charter, or whatever other option they want. They can even choose a public school.

    "To the extent she is able, (Devos) will divert federal funds away from public schools to the other choices.

    "She won’t resist Trump’s deep budget cuts.

    "This visit will not transform her. It will not make her more attentive to the needs of the children in public schools. No doubt, she feels sorry for them because they are in public schools.

    "Randi will not stop being a union leader because of visiting a non-union charter or voucher school. She won’t stop believing in the importance or value of public schools. She won’t become a supporter of DeVos’s privatization agenda or Trump’s budget cuts.

    "Sorry, friends, but I don’t see the point of seeking 'common ground.'

    "There is none."
    x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

    A post such as that shows that, more and more, Dr. Ravitch is "getting it," and hopefully will continue to "get it" even more as time goes on.

  3. Her crit is along the lines of Randi being misguided and maybe naive. We see Randi in an entirely different light. Privately I believe she gets it but she won't go there publicly and I understand why as she keeps as many options open as she can. But just as Randi gives cover to Betsy Diane gives cover to Randi. Calling her a union leader while we call her a misleader.

  4. Teachers in the urban trenches are living the nightmare.

    Abigail Shure


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