Inchoate and Incoherent: The Tweed Imam Cries of an Educational Jihad Falls on Deaf Ears.

The Caliph cries from the Tweed Towers of Babel … SSO, PSO, LSO, FSF, ARIS … the jihadists prostrate themselves and chant Sura from the Qur’an of Klein … and teachers look at each other quizzically and shrug.

As I speak with teacher after teacher I receive the same responses … Klein is anti-teacher with “crazy, unproven” ideas. I’m sure there are some, a few, one, teacher(s) who support(s) Joel … I just haven’t found her/him/them.

Teachers struggle with the day to day challenges of the classroom. The kid who doesn’t get an adequate breakfast, single parent or no parent homes, homelessness, foster care, abusive caregivers, and on and on … how do these external situations impact the child sitting in that teacher’s classroom? Are supplies and resources appropriate and adequate? Is the classroom too hot or too cold? Are supervisors supportive or intimidating? Do I feel “wanted” and “respected” and “rewarded” by my principal and the school system?

In the pre 2003 days, the pre-Klein days, teachers knew they taught in a certain district with a certain superintendent – now most teachers have no idea about the “Support Organization” with which their school is involved.

The inchoate nature of the system dooms Children First. The 29 members of the Tweed Communications Department can spin out press release after press release to no avail. We just don’t believe them! It is not only teachers who don’t believe them … it is also parents, elected officials and advocates.

Effective organizations are characterized by coherence, clearly defined messages and a synergy among the stakeholders within a learning organization.

Tweed is a parody … an organization that learns nothing and stumbles from one “new thing” to another “new thing.”

What saves the school system, and the kids, is the dedication of untold numbers of teachers who plod along in the trenches doing the best job they can as system leaders, who have become pariahs, threaten teachers with flaky theories (i.e., Weighted Student Funding, Student Pay for Performance, etc.).

You roll your eyes, hope the union can fight the good fight and concentrate on the kids … after all, they’re the only ones who count. 


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