Thursday, May 25, 2006

Eva's Baby

Eva Moskowitz, yet another in the new breed of "progressive" self-styled education experts, is working hard to eviscerate unionism. What Reagan started in the 80s, demagogues like Moskowitz hope to complete.

Listening to Eva, who seems never to have crossed the Nassau border, you'd think there's just one way to build good schools--the wholesale destruction of teacher unions, one of the last bastions of vibrant, active organized labor.

You may recall her from her one-sided harangues against teachers back when she was a mere political hack, before her aspirations were rejected by city voters (the same ones that have now been deemed unfit to decide whether they want lower class size).

Eva supported Klein's 8-page contract, which increased hours, did not increase pay, eliminated all workers' rights, and, for the kids, struck down all limits on class size. Despite the fact that no union could have voted for such a contract, she chastised Klein for not insisting on it.

She then composed a one page contract for her city-supported charter giving herself the right to fire anyone, at any time, for any reason. Why? Because she, apparently, has such poor instinct in hiring, she feels it's the only way she can keep her job.

Since NYC has not seen fit to pay a competitive wage since well before they hired me, I've worked as an adjunct for CUNY for the last 16 years. While they do occasionally make errors and fire people, they at least grant us contracts each semester. Anyone who signs Eva's one-sided"contract" is too stupid to teach.

Unions are the only viable protection for working people. This country, with idiotic, self-destructive "right to work" laws blanketing the red states, is moving ever closer toward the oligarchy we'd find, say, in Mexico. Perhaps we don't need immigration legislation--soon it may not be much worth it for Mexicans to cross our borders anyway.

It's preposterous to heap blame for the state of NYC education solely on working people. To do that, you have to ignore the city's thirty-year policy of hiring virtually anyone with a pulse, and granting tenure based on the ability to continue breathing.

That's precisely what Moskowitz did in her kangaroo-court style hearings, so celebrated by the virulently anti-labor, teacher-bashing New York City tabloids.

We don't need Eva Moskowitz to demonstrate that schools can be run Wal-Mart style. For those who'd make the ridiculous argument that efforts to better conditions for working people ignore the needs of kids, I must point out that said kids must grow up in the society we create for them. My kid, ten years old, sometimes speaks of being a teacher. I think she'd be a good one, and I'd like the job to still be worth doing if she decides to follow up.

Cross the Nassau border and you'll see scores of well-run union schools. In fact, we used to have them in New York City before various administrations determined hiring on the cheap was more important than seeking quality teachers.

If this is what charters are all about, you can keep them. Where I live, we have good teachers, small classes, and decent facilities. No one even discusses charters because we don't need them.

And, like all working people, we don't need the likes of Eva Moskowitz either.
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