Monday, November 24, 2008

The Mystery Ms. Weingarten Cannot Solve

Leo Casey, noted UFT big shot, has written yet another article about how wonderful Green Dot Schools are, and how privileged we are to have them in the Big Apple. I commented on the piece:

I certainly appreciate your informative posts about Green Dot. I am particularly fascinated by your assertion that Green Dot’s “just cause” provisions are better than tenure, since new hires can take advantage of them.

I’m very interested in how these provisions work. Kindly tell us how many teacher positions this “just cause” provision has saved. Also, how many times has it been used?

Green Dot’s website proclaims its teachers have neither tenure nor seniority rights. Oddly, it neglects to mention that its teachers have protection superior to tenure.

By the way, do you think it benefits working teachers to have no seniority privileges?

Thank you in advance for your response.

Alas, Mr. Casey, despite my gracious thank you, has thus far declined to respond. And here's the response Edwize saw fit to run:

It looks like being caught in an outright misrepresentation on the Green Dot Charter School makes some folks want to change the subject.

This is a misleading and false accusation, much like the one Mr. Casey made when he blamed me for the words of the LA Times editorial board (suggesting teachers throw tenure out the window to join Green Dot). It refers to a piece from the ICE blog, a piece I had nothing whatsoever to do with, which Mr. Casey refers to as "groundless speculation and factual misinformation." The writer refutes this in the comments, but meanwhile, on Edwize, Mr. Casey declines to respond to the membership he is paid to represent.

My question is simple--if Green Dot openly refutes tenure, and the UFT claims they have a system that's better, how does it work in practice? Didn't they check before agreeing to partner with them? I've seen no evidence to suggest this.

I've asked repeatedly, and no one from the union has seen fit to respond.

And there's the other question--Green Dot openly rejects seniority, the UFT has not offered any justification or rationale for that, so do they think it's a good thing? Have they considered it?

It appears they have not.

So I have to ask, if the UFT leadership has not bothered to examine such fundamental questions, if they don't plan, if they don't think things through, how can they deal with someone like Joel Klein, who clearly has his eye on the future?

And if they refuse to respond to serious basic questions from real working teachers, what on earth are we paying them for?

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