Monday, December 22, 2014

Who's Clueless Now?

It's remarkable to watch UFT and NYSUT finally appear to come to the same conclusions about Cuomo we bloggers arrived at years ago.

It's fabulous to see the UFT citing Reality Based Educator as a source. Last spring UFT President Mike Mulgrew, fervently pushing yet another sub-standard contract, stood in front of an audience largely composed of his 800 loyalty-oath signing sycophants, He then declared he didn't read the blogs, but that we were purveyors of myth. He then said he was being nice, having evidently determined we were too stupid to realize he was calling us liars. I suppose when you're accustomed to addressing bought-and-paid-for loyalty oath signers you don't expect much in the way of even marginal critical thought from your audiences.

But RBE is right, of course, as usual, and has been all those years as Mulgrew and NYSUT kept their respective heads placed firmly in the sand. He was right when Eva trounced mayoral control last spring while Mulgrew did nothing. And he's been right to call out Cuomo consistently. NYSUT has now rolled out its big gun, which entails calling Cuomo "clueless." They've apparently put their heads together and determined this remakably clever tactic is the straw that will break the Cuomo's back.

In fact, it's possible they've finally determined that sitting in the cone of silence is not the optimal strategy after all. Six months ago, in a Suffolk forum, I sat a few seats away from NYSUT EVP Andy Palotta as he hemmed and hawed and failed to answer a question--"Will you support Andrew Cuomo for governor in November. My answer,  "No," was very well received. The moderator had to ask me to expound on it, which I did, but the overall gist of it was in that single word.

In a later campaign leaflet, Pallotta and his Revive pals claimed to oppose Cuomo. This notwithstanding, they missed a golden opportunity to do so when their overlords, the UFT, scuttled Zephyr Teachout's bid for the Working Families nod. That was more significant than their failure to support her Democratic bid. Teachout would have been a huge threat to Cuomo in the general. It was quite clear that she inspired people as much as Cuomo left them cold. Could you imagine having the choice of brilliant Zephyr Teachout as Governor of New York? UFT and NYSUT found that prospect unacceptable, and made certain we didn't get it.

Cuomo has now reneged on his promise to spare teachers being judged on Common Core junk science. This is what reformy folk do. They give you the "seat at the table," so valued by our leaders, and then stab us in the back. It's happened time after time. If we just give Bloomberg mayoral control, everything will be fine. If we just make a few people ATRs, everything will be fine. If we just allow him to close a few schools, everything will be fine. If we just allow a few charter schools, everything will be fine. If we just get a few changes to mayoral control, everything will be fine. If we fail to get those changes but support its renewal anyway, everything will be fine. If we just show how open-minded we are by making Gates keynote, everything will be fine.

It's fine that NYSUT and UFT finally appear to have woken up and realize Cuomo, like other reformies, is not our friend after all. But history suggests he's had a consistent agenda to follow the mandates of his huge campaign contributors, and that betraying us is just one more step in enacting it.

It's certainly correct that someone is clueless. But it does not appear, by any stretch of the imagination, that it's Andrew Cuomo. Worse, it's by no means clear that the folks who claimed to be "against Cuomo" when running for election, and call him clueless now won't be in love with him, inviting him to keynote the next convention, or enjoying a "seat at the table" with him next year, next month, next week, or one minute from now.
blog comments powered by Disqus