A Tale of Two Unionists and How Rank & File Teachers Lose
I’ve been meaning to link to this for a few days. A great analysis of the Common Core from MORE’s Julie Cavanagh.
Via the Daily News… (emphasis is mine)
The truth is, these tests were designed to create a narrative of failure, and the trends are not so different from those we saw on the old tests: we are failing our children with special needs, our English language learners, our children who live in poverty, and a disproportionate number of black and Latino pupils.
It is no surprise that the results mirror the struggles and deep flaws in our society. Of course, the goal was never to actually fix our schools — there are no profits in doing that. There are no profits in providing small class sizes, experienced educators and services like counseling, tutoring and family support — proven reforms that would benefit all students.
Instead, the focus is on unproven standards and the tests that supposedly measure our student’s competency — written by the very people who profit from their use.
Whether it is being quoted in the New York Times, appearing on MSNBC to discuss education issues, or co-hosting the movie The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman Cavanagh always does a remarkable job representing teachers. Her track record of activism and her ability to articulately state what classroom teachers are feeling are exactly what we should expect out of our union leaders.
So it is extremely telling that there is a problem with the UFT and NYSUT elections when you consider the fact that a teacher and activist of Cavanagh’s caliber has, not once but twice lost elections to Michael Mulgrew. She lost an election to him for UFT President in 2013 and then lost to him this past April when she ran against him for an at-large position on NYSUT’s board of directors. You saw Cavanagh’s well stated opinion on the Common Core above. Contrast that with Mulgrew who talks about punching people in the face and then pushing their face in the dirt if they take away his Common Core. Keep in mind the UFT President is likely the most powerful teachers union position in the country. Wouldn’t we be so much better off with someone like Cavanagh representing us in that position?
Two different takes on the Common Core, two different takes on unionism. It’s a shame our leadership is on the wrong side in both cases.