Saturday, April 21, 2007

Small Victories

The road to the destruction of public education and towards privatization hit a temporary roadblock yesterday
excerpts from an excellent analysis from norm at ednotesonline.blogspot
There has never been any give from Tweed, only take. That they sat down at all is a sign of weakness. Instead of negotiations, there should have been take it or leave it demands. The May 9 demo was long overdue.

The basic idiocy of the reorganization plan is still in place (ok, gang, everyone compete, total power in the hands of principals (all too many power hungry and pathological) - except they need permission of the district Superintendents).

The fact that the continued idiocies that will result from mayoral control seem guaranteed to continue in perpetuity. Nothing has changed for the people in the school community who have suffered over the past the past 5 years.

On class size, I don't care what they say or what committees they form. They do not believe that reducing class size will have the same impact spending money on professional development will. That is their mantra, inherited from Anthony Alvarado. They will say one thing and do another. To put any trust in Tweed given their record is a mistake.

It is funny that Tweed can say they are going to do A,B,C,D horrible things and when they modify D, everyone cheers like it's a victory.

From the very beginning, the focus on the reorganization rather than the entire package of control of the schools by big city mayors and its impact on the schools has made a deal like this likely. And when the leader, the UFT, is always looking to make a deal, the entire movement seemed doomed from the beginning. The groups left out of the process were used and will be very reluctant to get involved in the future. An historic opportunity to bring forces together to become an educational force has been lost. But long-time observers of how the UFT operates are not surprised.

From day one of BloomKlein, the UFT wanted a seat at the table and seems to have gotten it. They also are and will continue to support mayoral control. Their candidate Spitzer confirmed it today.

The strength of any coalition is in the numbers they can bring to the table.

As pointed out, "CEJ is one of the many Community Involvement organizations financed by the Annenberg Institute of Social Reform at Brown University, headed up by Norm Fruchter, formerly of NYU."

How do they get to be considered representative of local parent groups while groups actually elected (and which had passed resolutions against the reorganizations, no small reason why they weren't at the table) are left out? Who does Fruchter, who has supported much of what Tweed has done, represent?

Where was the "transparency" in these negotiations so many people on this list have been calling on the DOE to show?

The proper way to go about the process would have been to get reps together of all groups to decide on a strategy. But the UFT is always looking to make a deal even at the expense of some of its allies.

A unique opportunity has been missed.

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