Friday, May 04, 2012

Can I Buy a House?

That's what one of my colleagues asked the other day. I told him it was OK with me, but he was neither comforted nor encouraged. "No, will we have jobs in five or six years?"

That's a tough question. Easy answer is yes, but who really knows? If ever the ATRs are given a time limit, it's giving Mayor4Life a free hand to close every school, then close the new ones, then keep closing and closing until the only thing that's left are non-union charters. Lots of teachers are unable to keep up with the pace of charter schools because, oh, they want to get married, have lives, or do things other than worship at the pedestal of Eva Moskowitz.

We haven't got all that much to give away anymore. With the new evaluation system, the best case scenario is 20% of your rating will be based on junk science. We already know how that's been working out around the country. We also know that the tabloids can't wait to seize on any evidence, no matter how flimsy or unreliable, to label teachers the worst in the borough, city, country, universe, or whatever.

In fact, the entire "reform" movement is predicated on the fallacy that there is a bad teacher plague that must be eradicated at any and all costs. And folks like Klein, Rhee, and Bloomberg can't wait to fire as many teachers as possible, for any reason or no reason, and decimate the profession. So will my friend have a job in five or six years?

I'll do everything I can to assure he does, but that won't be nearly enough. We're all wearing targets on our backs, and we need to be really careful, really smart, and ruthlessly efficient in fighting the propagandists and billionaires who hate us for having jobs, benefits, unions, contracts, and time off. Americans read the papers and say, "Boy, those greedy teachers have too many benefits." They read the Post and think anyone can do this job. They're sorely mistaken.

The question is, what do we need to do to get Americans to ask, "Hey, why the hell don't I have a contract, a union, benefits and time off?"
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