Sunday, November 12, 2006

What to Do?

There's an interesting, though disorganized, thread developing here. Should we oppose this contract or wait until the spring and try to unseat our entrenched, complacent, self-serving leadership?

Over on Edwize, three or four usual suspects passionately defend it, condemning those who oppose it for such egregious offenses as commenting on this blog.

The inflation rate so far this year is 5.2%. This contract, like the last one, fails to meet that threshold. Governor-elect Spitzer has vowed to resolve CFE, injecting billions into the school system. This money is earmarked for good teachers, small classes, and decent facilities for NYC schoolkids. If you're on the Class Size Matters mailing list, you know, despite public pronouncements. this mayor does not really spend money on class size. Also, if you happen to be one of those good teachers, this contract guarantees that the funds won't find their way to you.

That's a good thing for Mayor Bloomberg, who can use the money for yet another billionaire charter or sports stadium. He knows CFE funds are coming.

Does UFT President Randi Weingarten know about this lawsuit? Of course she does. So why would she sign a contract now? Well, there's no re-election literature quite as effective as a check. It's no coincidence tax refunds go out directly preceding elections and the timing of this refund is just as suspect.

What's in it for the mayor, besides billions of dollars he won't have to spend on those irritating teachers? Ms. Weingarten has publicly stated that there is no quid pro quo, and that she has made no determination about mayoral control. That's odd, because mayoral control has been an unmitigated disaster for both teachers and students, and it's been remarked upon repeatedly on the Unity blog.

However, Ms. Weingarten also sat out the last mayoral election, refusing to endorse Ferrer against Mayor Bloomberg, a demonstrated enemy of public education. If you don't believe that was a quid pro quo for a contract, I have a bridge to sell you.

Please comment not on this post, but on the open thread above. I'll postdate it so it will stay there a while and sustained conversations will be possible.