Although I do promise to get back stories about my former friends and my love for office supplies soon, I just can't let this one go. CAN'T.
So I guess since we are currently obsessed with treating education like it is a business, the line of argument here is that someone must be fired and since we can't fire poverty, parents, or children, teachers are the only suckers standing. Or at least they were standing until early last week when they were mowed down by a bunch of individuals trying desperately to scapegoat their faces off in an effort to avoid any fingers pointed in their direction.
What really bothers me the most is that Arne Duncan is applauding. I mean, the man is actually clapping for and supporting this kind of bullshit. The federal government. Supporting this. Bullshit. It makes me want to cry about the future of education in this country.
Another hole in this line of thinkig that I failed to point out on Friday (when I ranted and raved away from my soapbox) is this:
Where the F do they think they are going to find a whole bunch of new, fabulous teachers willing to work in this school? I mean, really. If we're going to go firing things and shutting this down, only to reopen them again the next year - where do we expect this group of genius new teachers to come from? Our imaginations? Because if I was fabulous (which I am), I would probably not touch this school with a pole lest I be pulled into this cycle of bullshit for no pay and the potential to get fired for doing the best I can with what I have and in the face of some serious leadership issues. Oooo...let me get my resume together. I know the news is saying that the teachers who were fired will be able to re-interview for their positions and a little less than 50% of them may be hired back but let's be real here for a second. Do we really think they are going to jump at this opportunity? Do we really think that these poor men and women are going to sign up for Round Two of Total Dumbassness? Methinks unless they can't find a job anywhere else, they're not going to be barking up that tree any time soon. Which means back to Imagination Land to find teachers willing to volunteer for more work, less pay and a whole lot of scrutiny. With a dash of job insecurity to boot.
And while I'm still ranting...Have any of these ass hats stopped to consider what this move is going to do to the children who seem to have already been through enough? Reading about the kids who feel that Central Falls High School was a home away from home that they've now lost (NY Times) breaks my high heeled little heart. I mean, where is the evidence that this type of radical move works? Or has a positive effect on children? I found this piece in the LA Times which talks about a group of students involved in a law suit against those who decided to unilaterally fire their teachers. Evidently, in the end, when the smoke from all that firing had cleared, students were left with under-qualified substitute teachers who rotated through their classrooms, providing little stability and no long term learning.
I know I should stay angry and pumped up and ready to fight the good fight for all those teachers out there. But really? I kind of want to crawl under my soapbox and cry.
But I can't cry. Now is the time to be outraged. Even Diane Ravitch, a huge mind in education who has been largely in support of business models of education and choice, has changed her tune and is outraged and discouraged. And while I still don't see eye to eye with her on everything...I do agree with her that it is time "re-empower the school system" which I am choosing to believe means we need to re-empower TEACHERS.
I feel like we should have a Take Back the Night rally or something.
You guys are all right - so many readers have written to me pointing out that teacher and education bloggers everywhere are infuriated by this crazy ass move, yet all we are doing is blogging. We are all upset and I think it is time to mobilize, to motivate, TO DO SOMETHING. I JUST WISH I KNEW WHAT IT WAS....