Sunday, July 08, 2012

Who Are We Representing?

At the AFT Convention, the exalted meeting place in Detroit for UFT members who've been invited to join the Unity Caucus, there will be two resolutions. One will be in protest of excessive testing. The other will be in support of the Common Core. Exactly why the AFT needs to support Common Core, as it's already been accepted by many states, is a mystery to me.

But if you're going to oppose excessive testing, perhaps supporting a measure that will see kids tested 9 times a year is not precisely the best way to go. I personally do not support Common Core. For one thing, anything that exists because Bill and Melinda Gates want it is likely not good for working teachers. For another, it's unconscionable that teachers are not trusted to design their own tests and assess their own students. If we're really that unreliable and untrustworthy, we may as well be replaced by Bill's virus-ridden, ever freezing computers.

Are we schizophrenic or something? Do we have multiple personalities? Do we support excessive testing or do we oppose it? I oppose it, and that's another reason to oppose Common Core.

It's kind of upsetting to know that my view will not be represented at the AFT convention. In fact, the only UFT members at the convention will be those who've signed a paper agreeing never to disagree with the Unity position in public. That's hardly representative of working teachers, and hardly helpful to us.

If union leadership wants to support this, oppose that, or even take contradictory positions, that's fine. What is not fine is their apparent disinterest in consulting with those who espouse other points of view. This was taken to an extreme when those who declined to genuflect to Bill Gates last time were ridiculed at the convention. While I don't expect Bill to make a return visit, Common Core is a notion he and his billions have stuffed down the throats of the American people. Quite frankly, it doesn't need any help from us. Supporting it will not cause those who hate and vilify us to stop doing so.

If union leadership wishes to consult with representative members, rather than simply put on a show, I'm available, and ready, willing and able to provide many concerned reinforcements.

This notwithstanding, I'm a realist, and I shall sit while I wait.
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