There is a saying within the walls of the financial industry- No one cares more about your money than you do. The same can be said about teaching. Teachers in NY left the future of our profession in the hands of politicians and union leaders. As a result, we are paying a hefty price.
We attempted to ring the alarm bells months ago and some were listening, but clearly not enough. NYSUT officers were given double pensions, NYSUT claimed the state tests were fair, AFT President Randi Weingarten put out robo calls for Cuomo/Hochul, Cuomo repeatedly lambasted teachers while NYSUT/AFT told us to chalk it up to nothing more than election rhetoric, AFT’s magazine cover offered to restore the promise of charters, dedicating $1 million to fight for fair funding – all while promising APPR would remain untouched or possibly even get better… If you think being crushed by the heavy hearted politicians would light a fire under these union leaders, you would be wrong.
NY teachers will now be evaluated by a matrix that values student performance on state tests for 50%. You would think this matrix would be met with a raised fist and calling for all hands on deck and the boots to hit the ground. Instead it was met with a chorus of thank you:
“Today’s plan seems to be to consider pushing it to the Board of Regents, and at least we are moving toward an education body, a body that understands what goes on in the classroom,” Magee. AFT President Randi Weingarten tweeted,“APPR-matrix better than points,very troubled by outsized role of testing;limits on dt autonomy/cb” “able to negotiate real dt/local autonomy in last APPR(which looks better in retrospect-but lots of criticism back then).” Add to the fact that Randi Weingarten and the more than one million teachers she represents in the AFT are supporting annual Common Core state testing in the NCLB rewrite. I thought it was a sick joke, but it’s not. Mulgrew went a step further and claimed this matrix as a victory.
The budget also includes language that now gives teachers in NY the same treatment as sex offenders. Will communities be given notice that a teacher has moved in? Imagine if cops and firemen received this treatment? Perdido Street discovered this gem in the budget:
Certificate holders shall notify the department of any change of name or mailing address within thirty days of such change. Willful failure to register or provide such notice within one hundred eighty days of such change may constitute grounds for moral character review under subdivision seven of section three hundred five of this chapter.
This is just the start. There is also receivership, ridiculous observations from outside evaluators… Dr. Carol Burris does a masterful job of explaining the impact of all these new harmful reforms that were delivered in this year’s budget.
And with all of the damage that has been done, the union leadership wants us to remain silent??? I keep hearing it could have been worse, but if that is their plan- how will it ever get better? How much more punishment can teachers be subject to before they fight back? Frederick Douglass reminds us that we, “Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.”
Cuomo did not act alone. He had plenty of help. NYSUT and AFT will not support an attack on these politicians. They have put our union in a difficult position. They held the door open an allowed an all out assault by testing companies, corrupt politicians, and others seeking to destroy OUR profession.
It is time for local unions to shut the door and remove the cretins from public education before they are allowed to do any more damage to our children! It starts by targeting the individuals below. We must show them that we are a force, we are parents, we are teachers, we are one and we will not be silenced by misguided leaders.