Sunday, March 27, 2016

Quote of the Week

"You must have some incredibly bad Principals, if a 50% random evaluation is a good thing." ~Michael Lillis, President, Lakeland Federation of Teachers

I'm gonna agree that's the case, although it doesn't really buttress UFT Unity's disingenuous and idiotic argument that MORE wants principals to have 100% control over evaluation. In fact, even under the junk science system, a vindictive principal can sink the rating of any teacher. Here's an exchange in which a Unity member agrees with me:

Now of course Michael is correct that a principal could sink a rating under the S/U system. And it may indeed have happened more often. The tremendous distinction, which neither he nor any of his Unity pals was able to address in a reasonable fashion, is that under the current system teachers bear the burden of proof. It used to be that principals had to prove teachers were incompetent. Under UFT Unity's beloved junk science system, teachers need to prove they are not incompetent.

In case it's not clear what that implies, think back on all the times you read in the tabloids about how tough it was to fire teachers. Personally, and I'm confident I speak for MORE/ New Action on this point, I think removing the livelihood of a working teacher ought to be difficult. If it was tough to fire teachers under the old system, it will be tough to defend teachers under the new system. Therefore, if I am to follow the logic of UFT Unity, they're good with the burden of proof being on teachers. And if you follow the logic of history, it will be very tough for teachers to win at 3020a.

So I decided to give Unity a taste of their own medicine:

Now I've made this point before, but Mike Lillis has made me think a step further. If, in fact, we have a preponderance of vindictive and small-minded administrators, who enabled that? I'm gonna have to say it was UFT Unity. After all, they've been in power for over a half a century, and have rigged the game so dissenting voices are totally shut out in NYSUT and AFT.

Why the hell hasn't UFT Unity done anything to stop the flow of insane administrators? Why did they, despite lip service against Bloomberg, enable his mayoral control not once, but twice? Diane Ravitch wrote that mayoral control was a tool of the Billionaire Boy's Club to shut out community control. Why the hell did our union leadership enable that at all? Even worse, after demanding a few changes before its renewal and failing to get them, why did they endorse it a second time?

In 50 years, there's been plenty of time to demand and/ or enact changes for the better. Why hasn't UFT leadership been in the forefront of demanding administrators who aren't insane? Aren't administrators supposed to support us, rather than target, vilify and fire us? Isn't 50 years enough time to have made at least a little progress?

Of course not. UFT Unity is all about "solutions-based unionism," which basically means getting in bed with the reformies a little bit at a time. And what has our process of appeasement bought us?

We're now facing lawsuits to not only take away our tenure, but also to make the USA a right to work country for public employees. Reformies are not dissuaded or satisfied by concessions. They just smell our weakness and are even more emboldened to go in for the kill.

That's why we have targets on our backs, and that's why the UFT now has to run a campaign to educate teachers on the most basic concepts of unionism.
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