A big topic among teacher bashing reformers, nowadays, is how easy teachers have it as they attempt to work remotely. In my last post I wrote about how some prominent reformers found no shame in kicking teachers while they were down.
Most reformer are either TFA alumni or are big supporters of TFA. In this post I want to look at how some of the lesser known ed reformers have joined in on the teacher bashing.
Dan Weisberg is the current head of the Michelle Rhee founded TNTP (formerly known as ‘The New Teachers Project’). Though this editorial has a small product placement for his own teacher recruitment services, the piece itself does not bash teachers. But anyone who follows Dan Weisberg knows that he is not a friend to teachers. Just three days later, Weisberg’s true colors show with this tweet.
So I looked up this ‘shameful’ contract for Boston teachers and found the list of teacher responsibilities during the pandemic. I encourage any reader to read the entire contract here and decide for yourself if this is something that is unnecessarily easy for the teachers. Here is the relevant section:
50CAN is a big ed reform lobbyist group that has a lot of TFA alumni on staff and that took over Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst.
In this tweet, The TFA alum 50CAN guy is reacting to a New York Times article about the struggles that many teachers who are caretakers for their own children have in trying to juggle both responsibilities. Though that article is pretty balanced, it has the unfortunate title ‘Online School Demands More of Teachers. Unions Are Pushing Back.’ I think the expression ‘pushing back’ has an unnecessarily negative connotation in this context. But for the TFA-Friendly TNTP and 50CAN, they must unfairly continue their teachers unions vs. students narrative.
Both the UTLA contract (which you can read here) and the Boston contract referenced earlier in this one, require teachers to do quite a lot of work. Teachers who are able to will surely go beyond the minimum while teachers who are struggling with many of their own issues will struggle to meet those minimums. But surely it should be the union’s job to negotiate what that minimum should be, and if the Boston and L.A. contracts are the ones that are ‘shameful’ and ‘indefensible’ I would like to see either of these tweeters teach remotely for a week while also taking care of their own young children, with a minimum that they would not consider too light.
This is why I was very surprised, and impressed, to see a counter view from RiShawn Biddle, another staunch reformer and friend of TFA. Impressively, he came to the defense of teachers in a series of tweets.