Friday, May 8, 2009

Tweed Syndrome

The Stockholm Syndrome is the name of a psychological phenomenon in which hostages identify and bond with their kidnappers, sometimes going to court to testify on their behalf. I think it's time we identify and recognize a new mental illness, which I propose calling Tweed Syndrome. In this mental malady, individuals who are utterly screwed by another party in a contract negotiation end up praising said screwer in return for some ridiculously small crumb in order to save face.

In this case, the screwee is Randi Weingarten, who said the following regarding the ATR situation:

We often criticize the Mayor and the chancellor when we think it is warranted. Now they deserve credit for trying to find permanent positions for these dedicated educators who are much better utilized as full-time teachers.

Let's not forget that Randi is the one who idiotically allowed the whole ATR mess to occur in the first place when she gave away the store in negotiations. Let us further recall that her alternate plan--giving principals monetary incentives to hire ATRs--likewise did a belly flop. Now Randi is actually giving credit to the mayor and chancellor for choosing to force principals to hire ATRs.

The questions is, why the turnaround? Did Klein suddenly say to himself, "What are we, idiots? Why are we allowing highly qualified teachers to languish as subs? I gotta change that right now!" No, it wasn't anything like that. As always, it was about money. Randi explains it herself:

With shortfalls in school budgets, it is imperative that every dollar be spent wisely and to best effect. This policy will avoid a waste of talent and money and get these skilled educators back into the classroom.

Hey....wait a minute. Wasn't it imperative before the shortfalls that every dollar be spent wisely? Couldn't the 80 or so million dollars the ATR situation flushed down the toilet have been put to better use? Or was it only a waste of money and talent after the city's economy started to tank?

We may never know. At least not from Randi. She has Tweed Syndrome, and she has it bad. Before you know it, she'll be thanking the mayor for 37.5 minutes, eroding seniority rights, and lunch duty. Let's hope this disease isn't terminal, lest we're all terminated.


Chaz said...

You forgot that he new small schools will be exempt from this directive, These schools will still be allowed to hire half of the staff from the outside.

NYC Educator said...

Honest to God, I can't figure out what the hell that woman's motivation is, beyond onward and upward for Randi Weingarten. I mean, there must be something, but it isn't better working conditions or higher pay for the people she's paid to represent, so what the hell is it?

Mr. Talk said...

Chaz, that is true, but I believe Bloomy is serious this time, because the ATR mess makes him look bad as he tries for the hat trick as mayor.

NYC--I think you answered your own question. She is out for herself. Everything is a win in her world.