There’s a national assault on teacher pensions. I wonder if the AFT and the NEA heard? (Corrected)


Michael “Macho Man” Mulgrew.

Yesterday I began the afternoon watching the live streaming of the debate over Common Core at the AFT convention in LA.

What could be more moving than hearing my friend Michelle Gunderson speaking about the damage Common Core is doing to her babies?

Imagine. An urban public school teacher talking about her students as if they were her own children – her babies. It’s more common than the media would have you think. And knowing Michelle as I do, there was nothing disingenuous about the reference.

Correction: Michelle Gunderson wrote to correct me. It was Saucedo teacher Sarah Chambers who referred to her students as “my babies.” Michelle added, “aptly so.” Sarah Chambers was one of the courageous teachers who boycotted the pointless testing at Saucedo this past year.

Naturally she was mocked by a delegate supporting the AFT leadership’s defense of Common Core. “They’re not my babies,” she proclaimed.

Thank God for that.

And then there was New York’s UFT President Michael Mulgrew. He put on a show of macho bluster, claiming that he would punch anybody in the face who took away Common Core from his clenched fist.

He should only have been so tough-talking over the past years of Bloomberg and no contract.

Or while bargaining the recent one.

It was the kind of tough talk you see at professional wrestling. All phony bullshit.

AFT President Randi Weingarten proclaimed satisfaction over the “passion” exhibited in the 40 minute debate. I think she said it was the longest debate ever over an issue in the history of AFT conventions.

Anne and I spend more time discussing the week’s dinner menu. And we eat out at Dunlay’s on Tuesday.

But the result was all a foregone conclusion. In spite of the tough fight put on by the CTU rank-and-file delegates to defeat the leadership’s white washing of Common Core, the votes were locked up.

You can read about the UFT loyalty oath in the post below.

And just as the national assault on pensions was ignored at the NEA meeting in Denver, there was it seems not a whisper about it at the AFT.

At least not that I heard.

No Michael Mulgrew promising to punch anyone in the face who tried to steal teacher pensions.

After watching the live streaming of the AFT meeting I went upstairs to watch Germany beat Argentina in the World Cup.

I don’t understand a thing about soccer, but it still made more sense than watching what the AFT leadership did in LA.

6 thoughts on “There’s a national assault on teacher pensions. I wonder if the AFT and the NEA heard? (Corrected)

  1. “He put on a show of macho bluster, claiming that he would punch anybody in the face who took away Common Core from his clenched fist.”

    He needs to be told the same thing the prayer in school folks need to be told: not forcing everyone to follow your ideas is not the same as taking your ideas away from you. The prayer people are still welcome to pray (yes, even in school). The CCSS people are still welcome to use them. But don’t try to force your religion down my throat – how hard of a concept is that?

  2. I’m starting to wonder if we’re at a point in America where almost “everybody” can be bought out for the right price?

    1. With Koch bros., Bill Gates, and other billionaires donating to their candidates, I am afraid we are in an uphill battle.
      In Illinois, the ONLY thing protecting our pensions is the Illinois constitution.
      One Koch-approved Illinois candidate, billionaire Bruce Rauner, is out to destroy unions in both the public and private sector. The sad thing is, so much money is concentrated in 1%ers, they can virtually buy elections with unlimited campaign funds.

  3. Teachers will be kept busy rewriting CCSS-BS. (“Thanks for your input. We will consider… blah-blah.”)
    From Mercedes Schneider: “Ironically, the grant money will come from the AFT Innovation Fund formerly financed by Gates to the tune of $4.4 million and doing exactly what he financed: ‘to work on… the Common Core State Standards.’
    Aside from the Gates intention being fulfilled, however, there is a much greater problem with teachers’ ‘rewriting’ CCSS. CCSS is a product owned by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Thus, any content labeled ‘CCSS’ belongs to these two organizations that control the CCSS license. Furthermore, any content in CCSS becomes static– one-size-fits-all, inflexible, unable to be adjusted– except by permission of the CCSS license owners.”

  4. A friendly correction: Sister Sarah Chambers was ridiculed for calling her children “babies.” Meanwhile, the standard bearer for Common Core has meaningful and higher expectations because SHE calls her children “ladies and gentlemen. ”

    And THAT illustrates what is wrong with the CCSS. I’ll let you chew on that.

    Michelle Gunderson was grace and power as an iron fist in a velvet glove. We always have much to learn from her. Her leadership on the CCSS has been invaluable.

    Michael Mulgrew came off as a bully, smug and conceited. When the current president of the AFT decides to give up the ghost, HE will be the heir apparent? If he can’t be a true brother and play nice…

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