Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Ghost of Campbell Brown

No more shall it haunt working teachers day to day.Washed-up newscaster Campbell Brown's final attack on teacher tenure looks like it's dead in the water in Minnesota, after having failed in California. In fact, it appears she may have given up on reforminess altogether and gone to work for Facebook or something. 

I don't know why the reformies don't hang around these days. Maybe, after a while you just get bored of saving the world from those awful people who spend their days teaching America's children. I mean, what kind of person would do that when you could work for CNN, or wherever it was Campbell Brown worked before her services were no longer required?

What do you do after having been a reformy? And even if the news media writes daily articles about how reformy you are, and how all the teachers suck, does it pay? Well, you can start a reformy website or something and get extensive coverage over at Chalkbeat, but where do you go from there? Once the last remnant of your effort to kill teacher tenure goes down in Minnesota, and the papers are no longer coming to you to ask which teachers suck, how much they suck, and why they suck, the novelty is worn out.

Uber-reformy Michelle Rhee is now selling fertilizer, which is pretty much what she was always selling anyway. A bunch of the teachers she fired have gotten their jobs back. It looks like they're getting over 5 million in back pay too. And what's going on with StudentsFirst? You barely even read about them in reformy Chalkbeat anymore. 

Now every teacher knows what students first means. It means teachers last. It means go work for a charter school with no union, no job security, no rights, take home a cell phone, answer questions about homework until 11 PM, then get two hours sleep and go back at 5 AM or whatever. Because that's how you put students first.

The thing is, these reformies all make a lot more money than we do. Why aren't they putting students first? Why on earth is Eva Moskowitz clearing over a half a million bucks a year and not putting students first? I mean, if she really put students first, she'd work for minimum wage, go in at 5 AM, scrub the floors, make breakfast for every kid in the building, teach ten classes in a row, stay after school to help the kids, then stay up all night answering those homework questions.

Instead, she's going to gala luncheons, going to visit Donald Trump, and running a small empire with schools that don't have to follow any stinking Chancellor's Regulations. If kids pee themselves in a Moskowitz Academy, that's not corporal punishment. It's just test prep. You or I would be facing dismissal and have Campbell Brown or someone trashing us in the tabloids. Instead, Eva gets glowing notices in the op-eds and gives herself another raise. 

You know, it's funny how the reformies expect us to spend 200 hours a week doing test prep, sit up all night answering phone calls, get fired, find another job in an even worse charter school, and start all over with no credit for years of experience. Meanwhile, they sit around in Manhattan apartments no teacher could afford, take lavish vacations, and make NYC taxpayers pay rent on their private little cash cows.

You know what? Maybe it's time for reformies to practice what they preach. I don't really want to work 200 hours a week. I don't want my kids, or yours to do that. I certainly don't want my students to do that. But hey, a real reformy would set an example.

I'll sit while I wait for them to do it.
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