Beware of false education prophets. They come to you in teacher’s clothing, but inwardly they support the anti-working class bastards who want to destroy the teaching profession.
This is sort of a spin-off from my last blog post on homeschooling. I offended the sensibilities of a few of the admins of a teacher’s discussion group I was a part of on Facebook by being an outspoken critic of parents who choose to homeschool their kids. (Remember, my blog was not completely anti-homeschooling. It was anti-against the idea that a parent can call themselves an educator with no fucking credentials whatsoever.)
Well I’m a big ol’ meanie and my writing sucks. As one of the white, upper-middle class admins who was a marketing major (not an education major) explained to me, I’m “not a good fit” because I don’t hold hands and sing Kumbaya with homeschooling parents. I should be nice to them since they support teachers and school reform. Well Ms. Peggy Privilege, they actually don’t support us, since the whole idea of an unqualified parent homeschooling a child is completely anti-public education and anti-teacher at its core.
Peggy P, who comes across as a progressive and claims to hate those evil “corporatist deformers”, is justifying all the negative shit those evil corporatist deformers say about teachers by supporting unprofessional homeschooling! When you support homeschooling/unschooling, especially as someone who is supposed to be an advocate for public school teachers, you are giving a carte blanche of teacher hate to the very deformers you claim to despise. You are telling the deformers that since little Caligula can be educated in his home by his mom who barely has a high school diploma, what do we need teachers for? You are giving them an excuse to bash us politically, decrease our pay and dismantle our union. You are giving them permission to say our profession is worthless and to do away with us all together. Why give a trained, licensed and vetted professional teacher a salary when we can get little Nero’s mom to teach him for free?
And this little incident just solidifies my whole experience with public education and education advocacy when I first started the journey to become a teacher 15 years ago. Yes, education needs reform. There is over-testing and there are too many private companies involved in testing and tracking our children’s data, just to name two of the several problems with education in America. But there are a lot of phonies in this game.
I learned very early on in my teaching days not to say certain things in front of certain people; they will rat you out to an admin just so they can get their hands on precious per session* gigs. I also learned very early on that a good number of our union leadership, including my chapter leader and our wonderful union president talked out of both sides of their mouths–giving these rah-rah speeches railing against admins and bureaucrats, then turning around and making concessions with them. Let’s not forget, that we gave up the right to file grievances under the falsely militant Randi Weingarten. She was the union leader when many beloved neighborhood high schools across the city were dismantled. Now with the protests against Common Core, you get people like Peggy Privilege who dare call themselves a progressive reformer and teacher advocate, but do exactly as my union leadership did; act all rah-rah in front of teachers but then turn around and support people & policies that directly undermine our existence. As I see it, we will continue to be fooled by these false prophets of education reform.
*Per-session is the New York City Department of Education terminology for overtime.