Saturday, September 13, 2014

Beseiged at Every Angle

It's pretty fun to watch Mona Davids and Campbell Brown bicker over who is best to curtail the right of working teachers to due process. Who wins the prize for hating working teachers more? I read that Mona was passing out fake money with Campbell Brown's face on it. After all, how dare Campbell Brown be more famous, have more money, and get more attention than Mona? Who the hell does she think she is?

It's amusing to see someone like Mona fighting money and influence. After all, causes she espouses would not even exist without it. There is no teacher crisis. There is no need for insane and incomprehensible rating systems to fire teachers. And the fact is, even if the handful of examples Campbell Brown walks around reciting like a studious fourth-grader were true the remedy would not be curtailing the rights and academic freedom of all.

In fact, it's a pretty well-established practice in bigotry to use examples of the few to tar the many. Let's not even focus on an ethnic or religious group and rather look at actual criminals. It's a fact that they exist. Were we to extrapolate the Davids-Brown philosophy, we'd eliminate the court system altogether because the guilty are sometimes acquitted. Let's stop coddling the accused with trials and lawyers. If some cop says you're guilty, that's good enough for us. That's pretty much what the teacher-bashers advocate when they say you should be left at the tender mercies of a tool like Dennis Walcott. And the more I see of Carmen Farina the more I wonder whether she's much of a step up.

If you really hate teachers, isn't it enough that you make them sit through 80 minutes of faculty meetings every Monday? If there's a hell, Mona and Campbell will sit through them for all eternity. But that's little practical consolation as they drag us through the press in their quest to make us chattel.

At a recent chapter leader meeting Mulgrew asked whether the PD was like a faculty meeting, and the CLs agreed it was. He stated it ought not to be that way, and spoke of committees, and asserting what's written in the contract. But here's the thing--he can spin the 80 minutes of teacher torture as a victory. When it crashes and burns and they find some other way to waste the extra time they inserted into the day, he'll spin that as a victory too. After all, it was a victory when every aspect of Danielson was included in evaluation, and another victory when it was cut down.

It's so tiring to wonder whether or not the people we pay to represent us will be standing with us or those who'd destroy us. I know that Mulgrew wants to punch me in the face because I oppose Common Core. For now, he's defending our due process. But he seriously weakened it when he helped write the APPR law that can place the burden of proof on us rather than administration.

I sometimes think Cuomo is a better governor than Astorino would be because he has to at least pretend to be a Democrat sometimes. On that basis, I'll have to grant that Mulgrew is a better union president than Campbell Brown would be.

This notwithstanding, I see room for improvement.
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