Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Those Awful Lazy No-Good Unionized Public School Teachers...Where Can We Sign Our Kid Up with One?

Well, it's not a pretty time to be a UFT member, if there ever was one. You scarcely need to scroll back even a week here at one of the top 20 teacher blogs to find tales of demoralization, indignance, and ineptitude by (un)elected officials that will make whatever hair is left on your head curl. But every so often, a little gem comes along, a comment so perfect and serendipitously obvious that it makes me smile a secret little teacher smile. This comment slipped in under the radar at GothamSchools, but I'd like to highlight it here.

Context: over 1000 kindergarteners-to-be have been lost in the shuffle here in NYC, some shipped to schools several miles from their homes. This might be understandable in the Alaskan tundra or the lonesome prairie, where there might be only one school around for miles. But here in NYC, the problem is overcrowding for which the school system did not adequately plan, despite the fact that they saw it coming. Parents are understandably confused and upset. After all, kindergarteners aren't ninth graders with MetroCards and subway maps. These are the kids who can't yet tie their own shoes or print their own names. I can understand why parents would like them close to home.

But anyway, parents citywide are pretty upset. "But wait," any casual viewer of the television news or the Post might ask, "don't the public schools all suck? Aren't they full of those lazy good-for-nothing unionized teachers?"

Indeed, right? So why, the commenter asks craftily, are parents fighting over slots at their neighborhood schools? Don't they want their kids in those supposedly better charter schools? Are they all out-of-touch, oblivious, negligent parents?

Or could it be that neighborhood schools, full of those worthless unionized teachers, are actually worth fighting over?
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