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.