I have been blogging for ten years at various sites.
For reasons that have been brewing for some time now, I have decided ten years is enough.
I can no longer give the blog the kind of attention I have given it in the past and so, I’ve decided it’s time to shut it down and move on.
Thanks to all the readers and commenters over the years.
Thanks especially to Arthur Goldstein at NYC Educator, who got me started at this all those years ago, and thanks to my blogging buddies Norm Scott at Ed Notes Online, Sean Crowley at B-Lo Ed Scene, James Eterno at ICEUFT blog, Brian at Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association blog and Chaz at Chaz’s School Daze.
The battles in education these past ten years have been brutal and we have seen our profession transformed into something barely recognizable from when I first started teaching fifteen years ago.
Common Core, teacher evaluations tied to test scores, EngageNY scripts and drive-by Danielson observations have ensured that many of us are teaching by numbers if wish to remain in our jobs for any period of time.
If you’re a reader of this blog, you know that all the “change” we hear that is happening in education – from Cuomo’s Common Core Task Force “reforms” to the changes NYSED Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says we’ll see out of the State Education Department, is just so much window dressing.
The instructional focus of the Common Core remains.
The bludgeon of the Endless Testing regime on individual schools remains.
For many teachers, teacher evaluations tied to test scores remain.
The unions have run ads lately touting change, but quite frankly, there is no change – just more of the same with minor tweaks.
Thankfully there is a parent-led pushback movement in Opt Out that continues to terrify the politicians and educrats, that continues to keep them off balance and on the defensive.
I must admit, I don’t have a ton of optimism for any positive substantive change coming to public education in the near term, but if any does come, it will be as a result of the Opt Out movement and all the tireless folks there doing the work to end the Endless Testing regime.
When I first started blogging, the corporate education reform movement was in the ascendant, with no real pushback to them in the media or politics.
Despite the media narrative of the “powerful teachers unions,” the unions never really tried to counter the reformers – they instead collaborated with them on teacher evaluations, Common Core, Danielson, streamlined contracts and the like.
But the Opt Out movement has become that pushback and therein lies the hope I have for the future of public education – that parents, along with teachers, will take back their schools from the corporate reformers, the educrats, the consultants, the edu-entrepreneurs and the bought-off politicians.
If there is any bright light in the maelstrom of deform that we inhabit these days, it is the advent of a parent-led movement against the powers that be and their corporate backers to transform schools into one size fits all factories and children into interchangeable widgets.
On the union side, there are many great folks pushing back against the union leaders in the AFT, NEA, NYSUT and UFT, trying to end top-down unionism and make the unions more representative of the views of the rank and file.
In NYC, that movement is led by the people at MORE and before I go from the blogging scene, I want to say that I fully support the MORE candidates in the coming UFT elections and hope that we can finally get some people into the UFT leadership who fight for teachers and the teaching profession rather than sell us and it out piece by piece.
And with that, I say goodbye and good luck.