Sunday, October 28, 2012

Desolation Crossroads

 Desolation crossroads, yeah, that's the expression I have come up with as I look at this presidential battleground.  The current attacks on teachers and the teachers' union are muddled with duplicity, obfuscation and false representation. On the national stage we, as teachers and union members, need to thread the needle here and really, "strait is the gate".  What do I mean?  The R/R ticket professes to love teachers and of course, this makes us all laugh because we know that they would really love us to death.   Hey, remember the '60's when Nobody For President had the rally with Wavy Gravy at the UN Plaza? Ah, the good old days.  Ya know some of us even considered voting for George Wallace with the hope that it would revolutionize by extreme. But I digress. So, here we are, still free to choose between O and the Green Party or you can take your pick of pointless choices. The problem with O is Arne Duncan is calling the plays on the court and the only people who can touch the ball are those on his team. Is this new?  No, it just happens to go along with the usual trajectory of power and for some reason, I guess we all kind of expected that this roadmap would have changed.  But not.  The RTTT is riddled with dubious distinctions and claims and is, again, typical of top-down solution thinking that policy makers seem to embrace.  In any case, for those of us in the classroom who see this as an end-run to privatize, the hope was with the true representation from our union. Surely, an educational policy designed with input from, oh, let's see, maybe some teachers would lend some credibility to the output. Surely, our union, our teacher's union for public education would see the Broad virus of privatization insinuating itself into the effort of school deform. So, what do we get? An endorsement without qualification and barely a mention of the media assault on our very existence.  Teachers with hard-earned tenure, who can withstand real evaluation and who understand that they are on a mission (see Blues Brothers) are going to find that they are standing alone at those crossroads and neither way will get them to their goal. We kind of thought that someone had our back, that we as unionized teachers had the backing of the D party but that has not quite worked out. And that is why our backs are now against the wall. Well, I guess we gonna have to make a new road; here we go again.

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