Posts Tagged ‘seniority’

Aftermath of the Great Walk Out: The Mighty Bloomberg Reduced to a Scold

February 7, 2011

In his never ending quest to remake New York City Public Schools in his own image, Mayor Mike Bloomberg began last week in one pose and ended it in a strikingly different and far weaker one.

On Sunday last Bloomberg was on the offensive, lashing out and acting essentially as a  political terrorist: on Friday, Bloomberg was babbling on the radio, an incoherent scold.  What happened in between – a mass walkout of UFT members and parents from one of Bloomberg’s signal educational institutions, the mockingly undemocratic Panel for Educational Policy   — was the nearest thing to an uprising that Bloomberg has yet encountered.

And hopefully the first of  many, many more.

One week ago today Mayor Mike Bloomberg entered the Christian Cultural Center in Flatlands Brooklyn, and delivered a divide and conquer, union bashing doomsday sermon that warned of laying off  15,000 newer teachers due to massive cuts in the state budget.

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The New York Times billed the “bluntly worded speech” as Bloomberg’s  “first major confrontation” with Governor Cuomo. I disagree.  I would categorize the speech  as nothing short of a political terrorist attack designed to do nothing  other than to strike fear into the hearts of newer teachers across the city, the better to turn them against their union.

Bloomberg  was demanding Cuomo use the financial meltdown orchestrated by the mayor’s   Wall Street pals and the governor’s Wall Street allies   to somehow justify eradicating the state rule protecting the seniority rights of teachers and other civil servants.  Taking a page directly from Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine, Bloomberg self –righteously insisted Cuomo use the completely unrelated financial crisis to radically re arrange or remove a state rule  that provides some modicum of   security and dignity to   the 80,000 professionals who have dedicated themselves to educating our  children.

Nice.

It is for the children, of course, that the seniority rule  is  to be abolished,  for Mike Bloomberg ( like Michele Rhee, Bill Gates, Eli Broad  and the Wal-Mart family and other prominent education reformers  ) is always putting children first.

A big part,  indeed, the biggest part, of putting children first for Bloomberg and his fellow reformers is stripping teachers of all rights, all due process,  all say in how they should do their jobs.   Oh, yes, and destroying their unions.   For Bloomberg, a perfect world would be one in which  teachers would work in perpetual  competition with   an ever enlarging army of fellow teachers, the younger and less experienced the better, forever attempting to prove their “merit” by raising their  students  scores on standardized bubble tests. The winners of the perpetual competition would get to keep their jobs another year or so.

Of course, Bloomberg cannot say that.  What Bloomberg says instead is that he  wants the seniority rule abolished so that his Department of Education “can take merit into account when making these difficult decisions”  about  teacher layoffs.

What Bloomberg knows is that abolishing seniority will be a major step in giving   principals what Bloomberg wants them to have: the right to  fire anyone they feel like firing for any reason they feel like  firing them for.

Bloomberg also knows that there is no credible method of evaluation in place to measure what he calls “merit.”

Most importantly, Bloomberg knows that the public has no idea that there is no credible method of evaluation in place and would naturally assume that the mayor of New York would not insinuate there was one if there wasn’t one.

But there isn’t.

He knows too that, due to “principal  empowerment”, a Bloomberg scheme that gave principals full control over their budgets,   the negation of   seniority would give principals every financial incentive to fire teachers with experience, and replace them with cheaper, more malleable novices.

Again, Bloomberg  knows that, by and large,  the public has absolutely no idea of such insidious incentives and that most parents would be as appalled as the ones who walked out of  Bloomberg’s PEP hearing at such treatment of their kid’s teachers if they found out.

Rest assured Mike Bloomberg is not about to tell them.

What he will do and in fact did was insinuate that there was a great injustice afoot, both to teachers and to students, and possibly a little racism as well.

The injustice was as follows: due to seniority rules, some of these 15,000  newly hired teachers would lose their jobs despite their great work.  Bloomberg offered not a single shred of evidence, nor a single digit of his beloved data to back up this assertion, which is quite astonishing when you think about the fact that it is with data that this man accumulated his 20 billion dollars.

But then again, maybe not.

Like a skilled terrorist,  Bloomberg was appealing not  to reason but to the  base impulses of selfishness, fear and survival.

There is, in all probability, a small truth in Bloomberg’s statement.  If layoffs,  indeed, were to occur, especially in the massive numbers that Bloomberg threatened, some good or at least potentially good newly hired teachers would lose their jobs.  That’s sad.  And in a perfect world that  would not happen. But that’s the trade off with all seniority rules everywhere.  Seniority is an imperfect solution in an imperfect world created to do several very good things.  It is meant to make arbitrary, capricious dismissal due to one’s race, creed, political views or the fact that  some 24 year old Leadership Academy principal doesn’t like your face, more difficult.  Seniority is also meant to reward dedication to an extremely difficult and taxing profession.   Lastly,  it is meant to provide some modicum of job security in a world in which, pathetically, job security is rapidly going the way of the pterodactyl.

Before the advent and apotheosis of  what Diane Ravitch calls the “Billionaire Boys Club”   ( Bill Gates, Eli Broad,  Wal-Mart family and etc) , those wacky  unelected, unaccountable fellows who,  despite never spending  a single moment teaching are force feeding their moronic ideas on an entire generation of  students and teachers,

it was commonly assumed among people that actually knew what they were talking about that teaching was an art that, no matter what your natural abilities, took years to master.

There are those, and Mike Bloomberg is  surely among them, who would like to see that wisdom too go the way of the pterodactyl. After all, this is the guy who after burdening New York with the catastrophic  chancellorship of prosecutor  Joel Klein,  thought it was a good  idea to follow up that act with publishing executive Cathie Black.

There is a similar message in both of these contemptuous selections and in Bloomberg’s self-righteous indignation over the hypothetical tragic young victims of   seniority: educating is so simple one can do it right out of the egg.    Indeed, one can instruct 80,000 licensed and certified teachers on how to  teach straight out of the egg.

Bloomberg then implied that  not only would these poor young teachers unfairly suffer but  so would their charges in the poorer, high need schools  and neighborhoods where they worked.  As poor neighborhoods tend to be neighborhoods of  people of  color, Bloomberg also seemed to be implying that seniority was not  only unfair, it was somehow racist.

“ The mayor, “ said The New York Times”, told the congregation that state cuts to New York City’s education budget, cuts he has said could reach $1 billion, would disproportionately hurt poor neighborhoods, where schools tend to have the newest teachers because of high turnover.”

Note:  As Bloomberg well knows, poor neighborhoods do not have the newest teachers because of high turnover but because of programs such as the New York City Teaching Fellows which has a policy, dubious indeed if not outright reckless, of deliberately placing the least trained, least experienced, least qualified teachers into the schools with the highest needs.   I know this because I am a New York City Teaching Fellow and I was placed in exactly that situation. Imagine the outcry if a similar policy were implemented by the FDNY or the NYPD.

So much for putting children first.

“So we have to really do something about this,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “Across this city, layoffs would send exactly the wrong message to our kids. You know, we tell them, ‘Work hard, play by the rules, you can rise as far as your talents can take you.’ And yet Albany rules say that when it comes to teaching, talent doesn’t matter, results don’t matter.”

This is truly rich.

The Times makes no mention of the congregation’s reaction to Bloomberg’s speech but one would like to think there was at least one extra high volume echoing horse laugh when the Mayor who contemptuously ignored the will of millions of New Yorkers who voted for term limits, spoke of playing by the rules at the very moment that he was, in fact, arguing to change yet other rules that were in his way.

Ultra rich.

As stated above, contrary to the Times, I do not believe Bloomberg’s weasel-worded address was aimed anywhere near Albany. Bloomberg knows you don’t affect change in Albany by talking to families in a church in Brooklyn.      I believe the overriding purpose of Bloomberg’s speech was an attempt to turn every newly hired teacher in the city  against their union which, like every union worth its salt, unequivocally supports seniority.  I believe that  Bloomberg was attempting nothing less than to help cause a generational rift in the NYC teaching corps, the better to divide and conquer.   (For more of this, see my earlier post on Educators 4 Excellence, an execrable organization funded by Bill Gates and others for the sole purpose of union busting. The DOE has helped them along by allowing the two founders to work as teachers but one day a week.  Sweet! )

Bloomberg’s insinuations were base, divisive and dishonest no matter how you looked at them but information released to the public two days later made them that much the  more so.     Two days after Bloomberg’s speech, Governor Cuomo released a budget proposal that called for cuts of 2.9 % and made it clear that there was nothing in the proposed state budget that would require local layoffs.   Is there anyone in this city not employed by or otherwise beholden to Michael Bloomberg who believes that a man as obsessed with data and power as is Bloomberg did not have this information before he stepped into the pulpit to deliver his speech?

If so, how else to categorize Bloomberg’s actions than as an act of low life political terrorism?  And mark this:  judging at least from the newer teachers in my own school, Bloomberg succeeded in scaring some of them out of their wits.

And lest we forget, Mayor Bloomberg gave this divisive, dishonest   address on a Sunday  in a house of God.

Did no one walk out? The Times does not say.

Tuesday night brought Bloomberg the first of two  rubber stamp Panel for Educational Policy Hearings (PEP) which, despite overwhelming opposition from parents, teachers, community activists and elected officials, ended  predictably with all of Bloomberg’s appointees voting for every school closing and every charter school co-location requested by the DOE, including one in my own school.

If anyone were seeking concrete evidence of how thoroughly contemptuous Mike Bloomberg is of the democratic process and the people of New York, they could do no better than to attend a PEP hearing or cast an eye on how it’s comprised. Of the thirteen members of the panel, eight  are selected by Bloomberg with the understanding that they are to be his puppets, a role in which they happily oblige.  Refusal to obey Bloomberg leads to an immediate firing.  In 2004, Bloomberg  summarily  sacked panel appointees critical of his plan requiring students to earn a minimum score on state exams before being promoted. Not surprisingly, panel members have  never voted down a school closing, a co-location   or any significant policy requested  by Bloomberg. When state lawmakers required the mayor to appoint two parents to the panel, Bloomberg selected two who head  organizations with financial ties to his philanthropy.

Yes, this really is New York, not Bucharest.

Borough presidents select five members.  It is only within these that there is any integrity.

An absolute travesty, as has been every other PEP of the past nine years, the Tuesday night “hearing” dragged on for five and one half hours. This gave me plenty of time to observe the distinguished panel and consider how foolish were those who believed, in Bloomberg’s  first campaign all those years ago, that the same obscene wealth that would keep Bloomberg from being bought would somehow keep Bloomberg from buying others —  and buying them by the dozen.

Twenty billion dollars in the hands of a complete narcissist with limitless political ambitions is as toxic to a body politic as you can get.   And New Yorkers  have been getting it for nine years now.

The Tuesday night PEP was notable for three things.  The first was  the level that charter school mogul Eva Moskowitz would stoop to when she bussed in, fed, and robed in orange tee shirts  hundreds of parents and a small army of five and six year olds. Child after child after child was sent  up to the mic to praise   her ever expanding empire.

It was creepy.

The second was the now infamous incident where an extraordinarily haughty Cathie Black, four hours into the phony hearing, mocked the audience in an open mic before delivering a boilerplate rational for closing schools.

The third and far  most important thing was that for the first time, and none too soon, one saw real rumblings of rebellion against the entire insulting process.  The scorn for Black, and indeed, it for all of the panel members except those not chosen by Bloomberg was  palpable and ceaseless. Elected official after elected official decried the process.   Angry shouts of  “Fraud!”  echoed through the auditorium as the  panel members read their verdicts.

Thursday night brought the second PEP hearing of the week and the great walk out.

References to the events in Egypt were heard again and again. Some invisible line had clearly been crossed.  Outright rebellion was in the very air.

And how does Mike Bloomberg respond to thousands of people at last rejecting his contempt and his phony hearings? At last demanding a real democratic process?

Mike Bloomberg responds as if speaking of and to disobedient children.

Mike Bloomberg scolds them.

Then, for good measure, he calls them an embarrassment to the  country.

“This is not democracy, letting people yell and scream,” Mayor Bloomberg said on WOR’s  John Gambling radio show. “It’s embarrassing for New York City, New York State, for America.”

Wow.

Note above the same bizarre disconnect  that Bloomberg displayed in his weasly attack on  seniority   where  he  spoke of  changing the rules for  those who played by the rules.  In the same manner, Bloomberg seems to believe that    stacking a public body with stooges and staging pretend  hearings with pre-ordained results is   somehow a perfectly acceptable  part of a democratic process.

Bloomberg then veers not only into slang  ( “ dissing ?”)  but  into absolute incoherence.

“When you’re yelling at a meeting like they had last night, you’re yelling at the teachers, you’re dissing them, you’re dissing the principals, you’re dissing the school safety officers, you’re dissing the custodians, you’re dissing the taxpayers paying for it,” Bloomberg continued.

Whatever Bloomberg is talking about in the above passages has nothing at all to do with the events of   the February 3rd PEP hearing.  The people yelling that were disrespecting no one. The people yelling that night were yelling because they spoke and were not listened to for years.  The people yelling that night were yelling at one thing and one thing only:  the disgraceful and pathetic collection of souls bought by Michael Bloomberg and paid to do his bidding which was to pretend to listen to them.    Ultimately, the people yelling that night were yelling at the Honorable Michael R. Bloomberg who has   treated them, their children, their schools, their teachers, their communities, their government with absolute contempt for nine long years.  All had played by his rigged rules until all good faith was at last depleted and their fury erupted.

Bloomberg is a man who has long been accustomed to being obeyed, long been accustomed to  and getting what he wants when and how he wants it.   The events of Thursday night may well have shocked him to his core.  May it be so.  If ever a man needed and deserved shocking it is Michael R. Bloomberg. And may it be the beginning of the end for this devious, corrupting and tyrannical figure who believes it is his right to overturn any law that stands in the way of his monumental ego.

Let Bloomberg be “embarrassed” by people standing up for their rights.  Let Bloomberg be “embarrassed” by people refusing to be mocked.

Every such statement exposes him  for what he is and what he and his supporters believe.

And in no way do they or Bloomberg believe in democracy.  Indeed, they hold it in hardly hidden distain.

Embarrassed?

As for myself, even as I fully understand that what took place on Feb 3rd is at best the beginning of a beginning and perhaps not even that, I have never felt prouder to be a member of a union, never felt prouder to be a member of the UFT, never felt prouder to be a New Yorker, as I did that wild, electric, passion filled night.  Oppression begins to end with the word  “no “ and oppression is the truest word to describe the Department of Education under the reign of Michael Bloomberg to which   2000 decent, educated and committed  people said “no”  to last Thursday.   Many, many more are needed.  But, if built upon with courage and intelligence the refusal of February 3rdh could be the beginning of a new beginning.

As too many children are being lied to and cheated out of anything even resembling a real education, as too many teachers are being debased and degraded, as too many  families are being turned  against each  other as part of  deliberate, conscious  strategies aimed at privatizing education from Tweed straight across the country, it is  my fervent hope we make it so.

The alternative is simply too bleak to even contemplate, never mind accept.

Educators 4 Excellence: Brought to You by the Insidious Arm of the Disgustingly Rich

January 29, 2011
Brought to you by Bill Gates and and a whole host of hedge fund managers !

Brought to you by Bill Gates and and a whole host of hedge fund managers !

After a bit of pondering, I’ve concluded that from the list of cynical, disingenuous, insidious and astoundingly arrogant characters that make up the relentless billionaire backed hydra-headed campaign to privatize American public education, few are more cynical, disingenuous, insidious and astoundingly arrogant than Mr. Evan Stone and Ms. Sydney Morris, the two 25 year old teachers who founded and front Educators 4 Excellence (or E4E), a recent recipient of a $160,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and so much more. Gates, as anyone paying attention to the issue can attest, is the self-appointed de facto national education policy maker and as such he would top the list referred to above.

On Wednesday, January 25, 2011 Stone and Morris and their eight month old organization were the subject of not merely a luminous article but also a positively worshipful editorial (“ Teachers For Excellence” ) in Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post.

All that was missing was an audio of heavy breathing. But who knows what next week will bring.

The Post was only the latest in a long line of major media attention this bold young lion and lioness have garnered. They’ve been praised in The Wall Street Journal and all but genuflected to on Fox’s Varney and Company. This virtual shill convention must be seen to be believed. On it Stone not only compares himself to the founders of the United Federation of Teachers who risked their jobs and pensions to build the union this man is being paid to discredit but Varney and another talking head go much further: they liken Stone to the founders of American unionism itself, repeatedly referring to him and his front group as “ revolutionary.” The entire preposterous dialogue is entirely scripted and vehemently anti union.

Throughout it all, Stone humbly accepts this absurd comparisons and praise, oblivious to the fact that real fathers of unionism — men such as the Molly Maguires — would have hung the likes of corporate shills like Evan Stone from the nearest and highest tree.

It gets weirder: Despite the fact that he’s been teaching for three years (and has a completely unremarkable record at that) Mr. Stone was invited to sit on an education policy panel featuring the brilliant Diane Ravitch and then-Deputy Chancellor Shael Polakow-Suransky (currently employed as Cathy Black’s brain.) Then there’s the elevated crowd they’re suddenly hob-knobbing with, not to mention and the A List funding their work has inspired.

Helping Gates help E4E is a Who’s Who of the corporate education reform campaign, which, like the Tea Party, is a billionaire backed media effort passing itself off as a “grassroots” “movement. ” Among the prime movers of the E4E arm of the movement are John Sabat of mega hedge fund, SAC Capital, John Petry of Gotham Capital, and Whitney Tilson’s omnipresent front group, Education Reform Now and Democrats For Education Reform

And these are the only one’s I’ve been able to find out about.

And just who are this wunderkind who have created ex nihilo “a powerful group of teachers more concerned with kid’s futures than the fine print of their labor contract? ” Who are these youngsters “ giving parents new hope and making leaders of their union sweat. “? What exactly are they doing that’s causing all this excitement and raising all this money – not mention the sweat?

Fearless Leaders

Fearless Leaders

Have they created some wonderful new pedagogic method that will help our children grasp the fundamentals of math and science?

Are they proposing some revolutionary teaching method that will explain to students why the USA has the greatest disparity of wealth and poverty in the Western World?

Are they teaching their charges how to feed themselves in a world without work?

Are they for standing up to the billion dollar corporate scam that is the standardized test industry?

Are they horrified at an education so impoverished that is renders our children culturally illiterate?

Are they incensed at the state of an education policy that leaves our children virtually defenseless against an increasingly predatory pop culture?

Are they bucking the ever-metastasizing corporate hijacking of every aspect of reality including our schools systems?

No, no, no.

Nothing like that for these mavericks. Like the motto of Bloomberg’s DOE, the concern of E4E is
“ putting children first.”

Oh.

In fact, that collection of words somewhat approximating a thought is all over E4E’s website, a website bearing the greatest collection of platitudes I’ve seen in a long, long time. Check it out for your self ! It’s a scream!

E4E are also deeply concerned about the prestige of the teaching profession and, while they don’t come right out and say it, more than a little embarrassed by some of the union protected scumbags they work with who very clearly do not put children first. Mr. Stone and Ms. Morris want these parasites out and “good teachers” in. And who can blame them? And after teaching for a full three years who can possibly question their judgment? Who dare?

Revealing the same totalitarian impulse shared by some of their backers and many cults, the site also implores you to sign a pledge that you agree to E4E’s “principles. “

The major principle of E4E upon which all other principles rest, of course, is putting the children first. The insinuation, of course, (their only identifiable talent appears to be insinuating) is that that everyone who is not in E4E is putting kids somewhere else. Again, who can question their judgment?

E4E also wants to “ have a voice in the creation of polices that affect their profession and affect their students.”

Well, who doesn’t?

But wouldn’t that mean you actually knew something about the field you wish to affect?
And wouldn’t such knowledge take time and experience to accrue? And don’t you already have a union representing these very things? A union, like all unions in the USA that is being attacked from all side and at times?

I’d like to believe that anyone entering a field as complex, as nuanced, and as unpredictable as education would have at least a little humility – at least until you have some idea of what you’re doing. Humility, after all, is what allows you to learn.

Mr. Stone and Ms. Morris, mind you, have both been unremarkable teachers for three years. This last year they have apparently worked but one day a week.

Yet, somehow they know all the answers. They don’t actually say they have all the answers. As I stated above, like everything else they do, they insinuate that they have all the answers.

Allow me to repeat something: Mr. Stone and Ms. Morris have been full time teachers for three years.

I may be wrong but they seem to be demanding the right to negotiate their contract and to do so not through the UFT but somehow around the UFT — the same UFT that provides them with every protection and benefit they have. They seem to be demanding nothing short of a seat at the table.

The big, big table.

And they seem to be demanding it for no other reason than to surrender everything the good and brave men and women fought for, everything good and brave men and women risked creating a union so that fools such as themselves might be treated as professionals and have some dignity.

Wow.

Even in an age as demented as is ours, does something about these two people and this organization strike you as insane? Does anything about these two mediocrities and their absurd, insidious organization merit the amount of media attention they’ve received? Does anyone doubt that the huge amounts of cash dropped at their feet is in direct proportion to the degree their masters believe they’ll succeed in undermining the UFT?

Allow me to state the obvious: to believe you can speak with authority about teaching, about contracts, about what is means to “put students first ” after three years experience is beyond arrogance.

It is beyond foolishness.

It is hubris.

And the idea that, after three years you should
“ have a voice in the creation of polices that affect their profession and affect their students” is mind-boggling.

Indeed, everything about these two people and E4E is simultaneously ridicules and disturbing. Outside of their preposterous (or super-natural) conceit of knowledge, Stone and Morris make several claims that display a staggering lack of integrity. They claim, for example, that they are not anti union.

This is a lie. A hideous, insidious lie.

Consider E4E positions on everything — particularly tenure and seniority — two subjects they display no understanding of whatsoever. Contrary to Mike Bloomberg and his pals at the New York Post– conscious liars all — tenure does not mean and has never meant ” a job for life,” a phrase they repeat as often as they can for no other reason than to stroke the blind rage of a citizenry increasingly jobless and terrified.

Tenure means due process. Nothing more and nothing less. It means a teacher cannot be fired on the whim of a crazy principal or because he or she has a nephew who needs a job. It is difficult to understand what Stone and Morris are talking about when they talk about tenure. They seem to want tenure to be something that is earned on an annual basis, meaning whatever it is they are asking for, is not tenure in any recognizable sense of the word.

This change, they claim, is necessary to keep teachers from becoming complacent and thus failing to keep the students first. Tenure, according to the Stone, does nothing less than encourage complacency. A complacent teacher, by definition, does not put students first. Stone knows. He’s been a full time teacher for three years.

Hmmm.

Can you imagine any real teacher espousing this condescending, toadying idiocy? Can you imagine any teacher with any understanding of the arbitrary viciousness of the DOE under Bloomberg even considering this lunacy? More to the point, can you imagine any one who is not a paid and protected agent of union busting billionaires even suggesting this stuff with a straight face?

Seniority, on the other hand, E4E wishes to abolish altogether. Again, they wish to do this not for reasons of selfishness, mind you, nor to please their pay masters but for the kids who deserve the best teachers.

And E4E, saintly and wise beyond their years, knows exactly who they are and how to identify them.

As Gates and Broad and Bloomberg know, even if the idiots running E4E do not, the abolition of either of tenure or seniority would spell the death of the union. That same union that, somehow, E4E is not against.

It would also instantly usher in an era in which teachers would be virtually defenseless against a growing army of vindictive and clueless administrators, already growing like a cancer due to absurd institutions such as Bloomberg’s Leadership Academy and Eli Broad’s similar “academy” for instant superintendents. Both, needless to say, have been created exclusively to stock as many schools and school systems as possible with the monstrosities that are the logical result of the insane idea of the principal as a CEO.

Somehow, according to E4E, teachers stripped of rights and due process would create a world that would be better for kids, a world where teachers could be free to put students first. Somehow this world would then attract and retain dedicated professionals such as themselves. Just as importantly, such a world would repulse and reveal all those clock-watching scumbags who seem to surround them and make them so sad.

They know. They have been full time teaching for three years.

Is it merely a coincidence that the policies lusted after by Gates, the Wal-Mart family, Democrats for Education Reform, Eli Broad and Mike Bloomberg’s DOE and every other union busting organization in the nation and the polices sought by E4E are exactly the same?

Not similar, here and there, mind you, but exactly the same?

Consider too E4E’s desire for the scam called “merit pay.” Forget for a moment that ample evidence shows that merit pay makes no difference whatsoever in what is chillingly called “student achievement.”

Consider too that if there is a way to distribute merit pay fairly it has yet to be discovered. Consider then that merit pay gives teachers every incentive to game the system, garner the best students, avoid those most in need, and destroy the collaboration necessary for any decent school environment to function, never mind flourish.

In short, the desires of E4E – which are the desires of every privatizer in the US of A – are fundamentally and profoundly opposed to the ethos of solidarity and fraternity that is at the core of any true union. And anyone who has any knowledge or understanding of what a union is — or for that matter of basic history — would find these positions and these people repulsive.

They would also find the attempt to pass them off as anything but repulsive as contemptuous.

The Post’s love letter to E4E centered on a “conversation” between the followers of E4E and UFT President Michael Mulgrew, whom the paper slanders as often as possible. I must admit that I was mystified why a man of Mulgrew’s statute and intelligence would dignify this ridicules and miniscule group with a meeting. Still, I must assume he had his reasons. From all accounts, the meeting was unremarkable – except for something former Chancellor Joel Klein said to Mulgrew before his the Klein’s departure: “Chancellor Klein told me before he left: ‘I’m going to pit new teachers against older teachers and I’m going to do it by trying to make it look like we’re doing layoffs.’”

Despite the fact that city officials immediately denied that Klein ever said this, the statement rings true to me. Very true.

In fact, after I read it the idea came to me that Klein may well have been referring to Mr. Stone and Ms. Morris. How else to explain the fact that two teachers three years into the job are allowed to work one day a week in a public school system? How is that possible? Who is permitting it? On what grounds? Who is protecting these horrible people?

One hint can be found in a Gotham Schools post of last year, which tells of E4E throwing a party to celebrate the DOE’s announcement that there would be no teacher lay offs. And who was their guest of honor? Why none other than that friend of teachers everywhere — party animal Joel Klein!

Can you imagine any self-respecting teacher in all of NYC inviting this loathsome person to your party? Can you imagine Joel Klein showing up at a party held by any other group of teachers besides these champion ass kissers? Klein, mind you, is the man who needed police protection at PEP hearings.

The more you look at E4E the sleazier it gets. Nothing makes sense with these people or this organization. Nothing, that is, except that in exchange for being shameless shills for their billionaire backers and conscious operatives hired to undermine the UFT as much as possible, they will be given extraordinary privileges, protections and recompense.

Their work situation with the DOE should be investigated forthwith. It stinks to high heaven and points to collusion with the DOE.

Creatures of zero imagination, creativity and integrity, Mr. Stone and Ms Morris are of no importance in themselves for in themselves they are but ciphers and nothings who can only echo the weasel words of their masters and employers. What importance they and E4E does have is in what they reveal. What they reveal is the fragmentation of this nation. What they reveal is the logic of so many dwelling in perpetual survival mode where empathy is not and life is “an endless war of one man against all others.” What they reveal is a moral and spiritual void where only power over others is honored. What they reveal is the alignment of much of the media with the most anti democratic forces and individuals in the nation.

Above all these two fools reveal the ruthlessness of the dangerously rich who believe it is their right to strip us of our rights and to impose their will upon all they can, however they can. Mr. Stone and Ms. Morris are merely two willing and utterly shameless collaborators in that process. And rest assured, neither one of these “revolutionaries” have any intention whatsoever of working under the conditions they are demanding for others. Their job now is to tell others how to do their job — and how to put children first, of course.

They need to be exposed, all of them, as people who loathe democracy and the freedom of anyone other than themselves.