Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Those Goshdarn Inconvenient Questions

Yesterday there was an important article in City Limits about an organization I've had questions about for years. Often, when I see their name in the paper, I email the reporter and ask who's in the organization. I seem to remember that the co-called parents union was going to have a big get-together over the perfidy of teachers, or maybe one of those Hollywood productions about how awful we are. Evidently few wanted to go, and they had to cancel it.

Also I knew the parent union was Mona Davids and never saw evidence of another member until this guy Sam someone joined her. I'm not sure whether they came before or after Campbell Brown (or even why we're under constant attack by someone named for a soup can). Still, I know their voices appear in articles that stereotype us as perverts and try to take away our tenure. I grew up being stereotyped and it was no fun at all. Now I teach ESL students, kids from all over the world, and I'm very sensitive to stereotypes. Any of my kids who uses one, and I'm glad to tell you that happens rarely, is surprised to see the lesson stop altogether as I deal with it immediately.

I'm on Facebook a lot and I'm always surprised and disappointed to hear adults use stereotypes. "You libs all think this," or whatever. First of all, anyone who needs to resort to name calling hasn't got much of an idea. Second, a lot of us "libs" no longer blindly support Democrats. I'm a lifelong Democrat, and I keep my registration so I can vote in the primary. But Obama fooled my only once and Cuomo never fooled me at all.

Mona Davids appeared to be an ally of working teachers for a while, but then started taking positions exactly like Campbell Brown. Because a small number of teachers were accused of doing outrageous things we should no longer have due process. The chancellor, who was then denying U-rating appeals at a rate of almost 100%, should decide whether to fire us. No more of this independent arbitrator nonsense. And then, of course, were the dueling lawsuits to end tenure. I can't remember which one is still going forward, but I'm pretty sure one is. Sadly for Mona, she never got nearly the name recognition Campbell Brown walked in with.

And someone has finally bothered to ask questions about her "union."

Reached by phone while on vacation in Florida, the Union's founder and president Mona Davids acknowledged that the four-year-old advocacy group was not listed on Guidestar, an online public register of nonprofits and advocacy groups, nor at, the New York State Attorney General's website of state nonprofits. 

Davids suggested that her organization's lack of an online paper trail made it more authentic. Her group's 9,000 members, a figure whose provenance Davids said she could not explain at that moment, were "unbought and unbossed," "parents on the ground."

Maybe I should start a union too. Instead of being NYC Educator, I can be the NYC Educator union. I can claim thousands of members and multiply my credibility by just that much more. I can get quoted in papers as President, rather than simply me. And the great thing about that is I won't have to necessarily hold any meetings, show where my funding comes from, account for who is part of my group, or bother with any of that grunt work.

I can say whatever I want, change my mind whenever I want, stop allying with people who decline to fund me, get all sorts of publicity for my group, whether or not there is anyone in it, and show up to public events with maybe one prominent supporter. I'm thinking Arwen. And I'm sure I can talk a few people into coming along with us. Maybe I'll offer them a free drink. Works for E4E.

I'll say the same thing and multiply my voice by 9,000. Or maybe a whole lot more. It's a WIN-WIN.
blog comments powered by Disqus