Friday, July 09, 2010

Faux Democrats March On

From somewhere deep in Bill Gates' pocket, disgraced and unelected lame duck New York Governor David Paterson decided to take even more money away from public schools and give it to charters.  Apparently, the governor felt the draconian cuts we were already experiencing were insufficient.  In my school, I saw young teachers being excessed as a result of these cuts, and it was heartbreaking.

But for Governor Paterson, that wasn't enough.  Nor was it enough for the Wal-mart family or hedgefund managers who dictate what happens in American education.  Not only do charters not get cut, they get more.  Clearly, to the politicians the charter lobby owns, the 3% of kids who attend charters are more important than the 97% who do not.  Watch out for Andrew Cuomo, headed your way in a November election.

It's vital that teachers unite and send these people a message.  Don't believe the demagogues who claim that ruining our schools, demoralizing teachers, and revolving kids' lives around test scores is "for the kids."  Kids need smart, independent teachers--not a bunch of frightened automatons subject to being fired at the drop of Eli Broad's hat.  Kids need decent, clean facilities.

And our kids are not little robots who run around back and forth taking tests to make Michael Bloomberg look good.  Make no mistake--the widespread proliferation of charter schools is aimed squarely at the destruction of public schools, which are a real drag on the tax bills of billionaires.  For many uninformed Americans, reducing the tax bills of billionaires is our prime directive.

We're teachers.  It behooves us to know better.  Paterson can still do damage, but come November let's send a message that he and all his ilk are unacceptable and will feel our wrath.   In fact,  let's hope against hope the AFT sends Bill Gates that same message when he shows up as their honored guest.
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