Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Karen Magee: Parents And Teachers Have No Confidence In State's Education Reform Plans

From the "No kidding" file:

Constant changes to New York education policy and flawed rollouts have caused teachers and parents to lose trust in the State Education Department, said New York State United Teachers President Karen Magee.

Magee spoke about this lack of trust on WCNY’s Capitol Pressroom Tuesday. Teachers have lost confidence in any new plans coming from the department and feel their feedback doesn’t matter, she told Susan Arbetter.

Her comments come nearly one week after educators told members of the Assembly’s education committee that they’re worn out by all the new education reform legislation in recent years. At a public hearing on struggling schools last week, they said the constant changes have districts more caught up in compliance than actually improving anything.

“There continues to be an appearance that the plans have not been well thought out or well-developed,” Magee said Tuesday. “There’s no evidence of pilots happening…on a small-scale basis to identify what the strengths and weaknesses are, to bring in the professionals and all the stakeholders, including the community, to discuss if a plan is working. Get real feedback like you would with any other plan and then make modifications before you go for the all-across-the-state rollout. We roll things out in the state and then wait to see what the consequence are.”

Of course the lack of piloting or planning the reform changes is a crucial part of the education reform playbook.

This is shock doctrine stuff, not meant to improve anythnig at all - just cause "shock and awe" to the system, bring about chaos and calamity and ultimately help reformers in their privatization efforts.

Pity NYSUT and Magee won't say that and instead make as if Cuomo and his reformer buddies actually care about improving things as opposed to wanting simply to "break" the whole thing up.


  1. Speaking of the devils we know...

  2. Oh RBE!!!
    You are a kind soul. You say that NYSUT and Magee "wont say" that this is clearly shock doctrine, manufactured chaos.

    The reality is that there is nobody at NYSUT, including Magee herself, that even knows what "shock doctrine" is or can perceive that this is all done in order to create a chaos that will pave the way for privatizers.

    I used to think that NYSUT leadership was playing a flawed rhetorical-political game by not calling out those things that are so obvious to most of us.

    I no longer think this way, as it has become clear that there is no rhetorical-political game, no broader strategy, and no deep institutional positioning for a rhetorical, philosophical, social, legal, or labor war. One is left with the simple truth: NYSUT leadership, along with much of the city and national union leadership, are simply in way way way over their heads. These people, almost to a person, are no great labor thinkers, and in fact are probably very poorly versed in the most basic tenets of labor history or mobilization. Beyond that, they seem to actually not be that smart individually. This is not our A-team. I don't say this to play at simple name calling. I mean it. There is no evidence of any of the qualities that one would expect in a proper labor leader in any of these people. They are the absolute result of decades of fairly calm, stress-free professional union institutionalized leadership. They are leading our union as if it were the late 90s. They also, to their discredit, do not know better.

    We can ask, fairly, how things got this bad for us. I would say that at least up here in the HV and probably the rest of the state, that the folks who are drawn to the union and aspire to work within it tend to be either very narrowly self-interested or are drawn deeply to bake sales and little events like that. A rising star in our local is such because she "always wanted to be a wedding planner, so I can plan great events!" On a thousand occasions I have had to explain to union reps some fundamental things about common core, VAM, APPR, Cuomo, etc. The head of our negotiating team sat shocked earlier this year as I described to him, days after, what Cuomo won with the heavy hearts club. This isn't to say that there aren't some really talented and smart people in locals across the state....there really are....but we need to identify them and work to elevate them. As it stands now, NYSUT leadership reflects the really-not-prepared-for-this, not-super-smart types I just described. NYSUT, from the locals on up, has become an institution that rewards a very certain type of team player to the detriment of the membership who need, now more than any time in our history, real, strong, fiery, intelligent, witty, and aggressive leadership.

    Magee's comments today are, as always, a wet fart, delivered to softly, too late, and long after other, more important people, have said the same thing.

    NYSUT stands today as an organization of no consequence. If we ever want to end this long nightmare, taking it back must become our first priority.

  3. Randi Weingarten does not fall into the above mentioned category. She knows exactly what she is doing.
    The rest of them might not, but she knows that everything she does is for herself.

    1. She is a very intelligent and clever lady, and we do ourselves no favors by underestimating her.

      Her faux Tough Guy puppet in NYC, on the other hand...

  4. Karen Magee is full of shit!
    Mike Mulgrew is full of shit!
    Randi and Lilly are full of shit!

    I said it before, imagine if teachers voted! My school is undergoing a major change in that we have a UNITY, MORE and SOLIDARITY person running for CL.

    Our CL is UNITY but has had health issues. She is great in handling school matters but drinks the UNITY Kool Aid. However, she knows our staff knows Mulgrew & his policies are garbage. She rips down the two other parties stances claiming the UFT board is hers until she loses.

    Karen Magee and Punchy are the head of the fish and under them, our profession has rotted. If my school is indicative of 120 people waking up then maybe we can take back the jokes the UFT/NYSUT and AFT have become.