In California, a bunch of rich guys got together and pushed a lawsuit designed to shoot teacher tenure right smack between the eyes. After all, if you can't get the law changed, you go wherever your wallet takes you. So in the case of Vergara they've won for the moment, and those awful teachers will have fewer job protections if appeals aren't sustained.
Here in NY it's a little tougher. First of all, the arguments in California were crap to begin with. Firing more teachers will not address the conditions in America that lead children to fail in school. But it's a whole lot cheaper and more efficient to blame teachers than deal with poverty, or people who need to work multiple jobs to barely keep their heads above water. After all, how will Whitney Tilson's hedge fund profit from Walmart and McDonald's if they have to pay workers a living wage?
So here in New York, we heard a great deal from self-appointed education/ legal expert Campbell Brown about how we needed to get rid of teacher tenure. But wait--before Campbell Brown could do it, another self-appointed education/ legal expert, Mona Davids, filed a suit. So the question now becomes which one of these people is out to get us more?
It's tough to say. Brown is married to some bigshot on Students First NY, and is an ex-talking head on CNN. Davids runs something called the NY Parents Union, and vacillates between supporting charters, supporting public education, and going for the throat of working teachers. It appears the whole attacking teachers thing garners more attention this week, so that's what the NY Parents Union is doing. Who knows when they meet, or who's a member other than some unsuccessful Staten Island politician whose name I can't remember? Like Brown, she has a group, it has a name, and that's good enough for the papers.
But there's still the question of who hates working teachers more. How can this be settled? Can they wait until the first day of school, get a bushel of Jersey tomatoes, and see which one can hit the most teachers? I'd say they should save that for when they go after the Jersey teachers, but neither of them is from Jersey. Of course they could both move to Jersey and race to see who can file the suit fastest. That would suit me.
Perhaps they could have a stereotype contest. Which one of them can find the most outrageous story and manage to tar as many working teachers as possible with it? I have to give Brown the edge at this, since it's pretty much her MO. But I think Davids is a quick learner and can give Brown a run for her money if given half a chance. One of the great things about this is that you don't really have to prove anything. I regularly see in the press that the DOE agencies had already found them guilty. But few people understand that OEO is kind of like the police. The police aren't really supposed to arrest people unless they think they're guilty. But guilt is decided by a judge. In our system arbitrators judge.
I don't really care which one of them wins. I fully support tenure. Those of us who choose this profession do so because we care about children. We speak up when they're neglected, even if said neglect is committed by those who supervise us or sign our paychecks. That's our job.
And neither Brown nor Davids is any help whatsoever.
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