Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Murder on the Reform Express

If you're a frequent reader of this blog, you may recall that I recently compared the way a teacher at my school was being hounded to The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie. I mention it because today's fiasco, brokered by Michael Mulgrew, that will effectively end tenure, seniority, and due process, reminded me of another Agatha Christie tome, called Murder on the Orient Express.

In that story, a man is murdered on a train called the Orient Express. There are 12 suspects who could have done it. The twist of the book is that all of the passengers are guilty. Each took a turn stabbing the victim, resulting in the twelve stab wounds that took the murdered man's life.

The irony is that the passengers all took a turn stabbing the victim so that none of the individuals could be completely guilty--yet of course they are all equally guilty of murder. And that's what reminds me so much of the current situation in which Michael Mulgrew effectively sold us out and gave away what little shreds of protection we had left. Initially, I was mad as hell at him for this, and I still am. He is not, however, the only guilty party. There are plenty of culprits to go around, and all of them are equally guilty.

Bloomberg and Klein were never our allies and strove from day one to sound the death knell for public education. They were, however, far from the only guilty parties. The charter school people have stuck the knife in as well, hoping to privatize a public system so they could pilfer their share of the education pie. Obama, who was supposed to be a friend of education, has tried to shank us with the Race to the Top funds that rip a page from the Republican playbook. Rookie teachers like those cretins involved with E4E slashed us and got praise from the chancellor in return. Randi Weingarten, Richard Ianuzzi, and David Steiner ran us through as well.

The reason today's betrayal hurts so bad is that it seemed to some--even me at times, that Michael Mulgrew was different--that despite being Randi's handpicked successor, he just might have some backbone and stand alone as the person who would stay his hand. And then he plunged the knife in and twisted.

Public education is now effectively dead, and just about everyone has blood on his hands.


reality-based educator said...

The big victor in this is Obama. It is his RttT policy that has driven all these deforms all across the country. And he's gotten all this "change" without paying much in return. Less than $750 million so far to two states. You can be sure they will not give the rest of the money in the RttT kitty at the end either. They will hold some more back to finagle out more "reform."

But as you note, none of this matters. Tenure and seniority are dead today. Education is dead. It will all be test prep from now on in every subject at every grade level. And when teachers get to be too expensive, they'll get loaded up w/ low performing students, declared "ineffective" two years running and fired.

And Bloomberg and Company will pass all the yummy yummy pension savings onto their base - the hedge fund managers and other Wall Streeters who are paying the lowest level of taxes since the 1950's.

A sad, sad day for teachers. And as you note, the betrayal and the secrecy make it even worse.

I'm starting to explore alternative career options. I can read the writing on the wall.

Even if the students in my remedial Regents classes cannot.

Philip Nobile said...

There is a silver lining in linking evaluations to tests. Principals and teachers do the scoring. And we all know what that means.

Ms. Tsouris said...

It's more than a sad, sad day for teachers. It's a sad, sad day for the remnants of democracy and we now only have memories of how great this country once was; the shame of it is that this deterioraton occurred within my lifetime. What ever happened to "of, by, and for the people"?

NYC Educator said...

I have to say, while I can't much disagree with anything you've written, it makes me very sad to read this.