That's how many I got from UFT head Michael Mulgrew - one touting the changes in teacher evaluation, the other offering the rationale for why he agreed to the changes and a FAQ link for all the questions a teacher might have over how the changes will be enacted and what they will entail.
And of course it is all jive.
He claims that these changes will limit test prep in New York City schools - but they will force new tests in every grade in every subject.
Exactly how is that limiting test prep?
Interestingly enough, Obama said the same thing about what he wanted to do with his education policies when he was running for president - that he wanted to limit the test prep that had to be done under NCLB.
And of course he has since promoted policies that add more and more tests to every subject and raise the stakes for the tests by placing people's jobs and salaries in jeopardy if the scores do not "add value" to students' scores every semester.
Yesterday in my remedial Regents class, we worked on a poem about guilt. I had students write a journal about things that made them feel guilty, then they shared their journal writings. Finally I offered my own experience with the subject, we read the poem and talked about the theme and why it was important to find healthy ways to overcome feelings of guilt for things we may or may not have done in the past.
Only at the very end did I mention "literary elements" and tie the poem and the discussion to the Regents exam work we have been doing ALL semester.
For the next 20 days of class, I will have to return to ALL test prep ALL the time because I need to make sure that these children - many who are in the support services program or resource room program - are prepped well enough to remember all the idiotic things they have to remember for the four part, two ELA Regents test.
Tell me, Mr. Mulgrew, how your "agreement" with Steiner and Tisch at NYSED enables me to limit test prep and engage my classes with more lessons like the one I did on guilt and fewer lessons on multiple choice strategies and Task 2 essay writing outlines?
Same question to you, Obama - how does your forcing all this test prep and teacher salaries and evaluations based on test scores improve the quality of education?
The NY Daily News says today that New Yorkers feel betrayed by Obama who came to town yesterday to raise funds from Wall Street while cutting the homeland security budget funds for New York at the same time.
While that is just one more piece of hypocrisy from this very hypocritical person (Change We Can Believe In?), I want to say that if you're a teacher and have watched the policies enacted by this administration or listened to the things they say about teachers as whole high schools are fired and the president and the secretary of education "applaud" the move, you already know about betrayal.
Same goes if you're a UFT member. I did not vote for Mulgrew - I voted straight ICE. So I am not one of the 91%ers who elected Mulgrew. But they ought to be feeling betrayed today as well
Betrayals all around, blame for education problems solely on the backs of "bad" teachers (and the DOE thinks 2/3rds of us are bad - presumably the most expensive two-thirds.)
You can be sure that firings will increase with this new system and that they will neither be justified nor rational.
Older teachers who make too much money will be set up to fail and canned.
Systemically, New York City schools will be full of 5 year and under teachers within 10 years of these changes.
That should make for some great education.
Change we can believe in?
Nope - change for change's sake - because Obama and the other education deformers mistake activity for action and change for progress.