Sunday, April 12, 2009
How do you know when the UFT has done something useful?
When the press excoriates them.
The City Council held a meeting on charter schools, and the UFT was there in force, distributing cards to council members with questions to ask about charter schools. The Post rails that the questions about charters were "sharp", as if that's a negative thing. It's a GREAT thing. Someone should be asking the tough questions about charters rather than accepting the biased pronouncements of Arne Duncan, Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee, and Gotham Schools.
The only negative quote the Post managed to find was from Simcha Felder, a councilmember from Brooklyn who has his head so far up Bloomberg's ass that a dentist could work on both of them at the same time. Said Simcha: "You couldn't get by without (the UFT) handing you a card." Again, this is GREAT. Finally, the UFT doing exactly what we pay them 80 million dollars a year for--to lobby for us.
Let's face it--charter schools suck. They are an educational gimmick that work only on a small scale by syphoning off the best students with the most motivated parents. They then claim success without ever having to show that they can achieve the same results when they have to accept students with disabilities, behavior problems, and parents who don't give a damn. Of course, politicians generally love charters because they give them a chance to say that they are doing something and weaken support for unionism at the same time.
Far from being embarrassed by this, as the Post claims we should be, we should all send letters of thanks to Randi for finally getting something right. We should encourage her to show up at city council meetings in person and hand out those cards herself. Let's face it--Felder and the NY media aren't really upset because unions show up at meetings, they are upset because they absolutely hate it when anyone questions their goofball education ideas.
So, in a rare gesture for this blog, I salute Randi and the UFT for doing the right thing. Keep it up. Let's start fighting to make all schools great.