Monday, May 7, 2018

Norm in The WAVE: School Scope - Teachers REVOLT and MEMO From the RTC

Both articles appeared in May 4, 2018 edition of The WAVE

School Scope:  Teachers REVOLT
By Norm Scott

We returned from a 9-day tour of Greece – mainland only – with so much new knowledge, knowledge I was too bored to absorb in school – to find the same education stories lurking when I left. Opt-out stories related to the awful reading tests were infecting the math tests and we’ll see if more parents opted their kids out as a result of the bad press the reading tests had.

The major stories were the spread of the fascinating red-state teacher revolts from West Virginia to Oklahoma to Kentucky to Arizona and now to the blue/purple state of Colorado. All these states had big tax cuts that turned education into banana republic territory. Teachers are not just talking about poverty level salaries but severely restricted working conditions. After all, poor working conditions for teachers lead to poor learning conditions for children. Given the nature of these states, many teachers live and work in the same community and students are often neighbors. So when on strike, the West Virginia teachers helped feed the kids, which garnered parent and community support, thus dashing the hopes of politicians (mostly Republican slugs) that they could turn the public against the teachers.

This is all tricky ground to navigate. An interesting aspect not being talked about is how these revolts come right out of the classrooms, instead of union leaderships at the state level. These are all right to work states which has weakened union leaders at the state level where the two main national unions, the NEA the AFT, operate. We have seen independent movements grow up in these states that are challenging the NEA and AFT, which In some places are competing with each other for members.

Now, will we see some kind of revolts here in NYC in the UFT where Unity Caucus has a lock? Interesting question which I will explore in future columns.

Norm is revolting every day at

Memo From the RTC:  Lovers and Other Strangers Opens This Weekend
By Norm Scott

The first adult play of the season finally takes the stage with the Rockaway Theatre Company production of the Renee Taylor/Joseph Bologna play, “Lovers and Other Strangers.” It was made into a movie in 1970 and garnered three Academy Award nominations, winning one for best original song. While I helped a bit with the crew building the sets, I haven’t been able to get over to rehearsal and know very little about the storylines. I hear there is a great cast and directors Peggy Page Press and Michael Wotypka always deliver a top-level production. There reputations are impeccable (other than that they gave me my only two serious speaking roles in two plays) and expect a wonderful experience. I am going to do the video on opening night – and also scam any snacks if they have a post-opening night celebration at the theater. I’ll tell you more in next week’s column.

Evening shows are at 8PM: May 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19. Sunday Matinees at 2PM: May 6, 13, 20.

For Reservations: Call RTC Hotline @ 718-374-6400
Or email

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