Stand for Children has moved its campaign for privatization and against experienced teachers to Massachusetts. Stand’s politically savvy, well-connected, and well-funded leader Jonah Edelman threatened an anti-teacher ballot initiative unless the unions negotiated away their seniority and tenure.
Governor Deval Patrick agreed with Stand for Children that teacher evaluation (based to some extent on standardized test scores of students, which is a wholly unproven measure of teacher quality) will outweigh experience.
Stand for Children believes that experience is unnecessary in teaching. Like Michelle Rhee’s Students First, Stand for Children holds that inexperienced teachers are just as good if not better than experienced teachers. Stand threatened a ballot initiative, backed by millions of dollars in spending, to destroy teachers’ seniority and tenure. The Massachusetts Teachers Association could not match the spending of the hedge fund managers who want to destroy teacher unionism and it capitulated.
Let’s be clear: Stand for Children and its kind want to put an end not only to teachers’ unions but to the teaching profession. They want teachers to be evaluated by test scores, despite the overwhelming evidence that doing so will promote teaching to standardized tests and narrowing the curriculum, as well as cheating and gaming the system.
An underfunded group called Citizens for Public Schools tried to rally support for teachers and opposition to Edelman’s scheme. Former members of Stand for Children signed a petition against its campaign.
Since Massachusetts leads the nation on the no-stakes federal tests called the National Assessment of Educational Progress, it seems difficult to understand how Stand for Children was able to mount a campaign against the state’s teachers. But the national atmosphere is so poisonous towards teachers, that Stand must have latched onto the sentiment generated by the odious movie “Waiting for ‘Superman'” and the public relations machine of those out to belittle teachers while pretending to care about teacher quality.
This Massachusetts teacher blogger will give you some idea of what teachers think about Stand’s campaign.
At some point in the hopefully not distant future, the “reformers” who are working so hard to remove all job protections from teachers will be held accountable for their actions. When that day arrives, they will be ashamed of what they have done to rob our children and our schools of the experienced teachers they need.