CBS and Weingarten Strike Back: AFT Prez Defends Tenure on a Sunday Morning Commentary.

October 4th is a crisp fall morning, I’m sipping a cup of freshly ground black coffee and half-watching CBS Sunday Morning and I notice something about Randi Weingarten, Waiting for Superman and Tenure …I moan, and turn up the sound.  

 Lo and behold, Randi spends two minutes, an eternity on prime time network TV, explaining/supporting tenure, defending teachers, promoting multiple measures for teacher evaluation and lauding collaboration.  

Spend two minutes and take a look/listen.

  After the opening of Waiting for Superman last Friday and a week of NBC Education Nation, a week of attacks on teacher unions and teachers, finally, a rebuttal, and in prime time. 

Kudos to CBS.  

Maybe CBS decided to grab the teacher audience after NBC spent a week trashing teachers? Education Nation was  simply a hatchet job; Andrew Cody on his “Living in Dialogue” blog at Ed Week took a poke at both Education Nation and journalists who have jumped on the anti public school teacher bandwagon.  

As Randi told America, superintendents and principals hire teachers, not unions. In their first three years teachers are “at will employees” and can be discharged at any time by the employer. Half of all teachers leave voluntarily within five years. Tenure simply requires a due process hearing before a neutral decision-maker.  

I was walking into a grievance conference and the superintendent called me aside,  

“How can you represent this guy?”  

“John, you hired him, you gave him tenure, and unions don’t pick their clients.”  

He shrugged and nodded.  

From the canard that the “bad” teachers are endemic to the false praise of charter schools, the hedge funds and their elitist home boys drive an anti public school agenda. They ignore that charter schools in NYC had scores 10% below public schools,  

Traditional public schools bested the city’s charter schools on annual report-card grades — scoring 10 points higher on average on a 100-point scale, new data shows.(NY Post 10/110)

The Baltimore Teachers Union and the Baltimore School District just negotiated a breakthrough contract  see Tentative Agreement.

In spite of  a national assault on teacher unions and teachers, in spite of cities like New York, where the chancellor and the mayor seem to delight in battling teachers rather than working for kids, in an increasing number of communities districts and unions are collaborating, districts are developing partnerships with unions, working together in developing teacher evaluation metrics and well as innovative salary schedules.

Maybe the debate is beginning to turn, maybe.

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3 responses to “CBS and Weingarten Strike Back: AFT Prez Defends Tenure on a Sunday Morning Commentary.

  1. Thank goodness there have been some good articles (including this one) about “Waiting for Superman.” The movie is pure propaganda. The agenda is obvious. The “handlers” are easily identified. Public education had been under attack for a long time. The problems are clear and clearly complex. The solutions are more common sense than anyone wants to believe and there are role models to follow. But those in power have a different agenda. The tragedy is that it is the kids who are being sacrificed – kids who would otherwise flourish in school and beyond. We must continue to speak truth to power for their sake and the future of our country.

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  2. For forty years I worked in NYC schools.Not only did I teach children but I taught NYC teachers in various Graduate programs and as a Union representative,I had a pulse from what was going on within the Public School system.Vindictivity and retaliation occurred at any time.Unscrupulous admnistrators gave these teachers that had the courage to stand up for their rights,threats and unsatisfactory ratings.How could these teachers suddenly become so incompetent?
    Yes we have had many,many Superman’s walk the halls of NYC schools.I suggest you video tape segments of the daily existence of the job of most of the teachers in this wonderful school system!

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    • There is a horrific witch hunt going on. I, like Mr. Gutterman, have been the subject of these hunts for whistleblowing. To defend myself I started posting everything online in my first ever blog. If anything it brings awareness. Protectportelos.org

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