Monday, January 19, 2015
On Student Unions
At present, teachers seem severely limited in their fight against ed. deform. They are easy targets, subject to multiple observations, bogged down by deformity. Jobs seem fragile. If student test scores don't soar, teachers will be shown the door. Tenure is under attack. Many teachers tread water on a daily basis, fighting for survival in the unfriendly waters of deform.
When Parents protest, they are dubbed pawns of special interests. If parents are the pawns, teachers are identified as the "special interest." Yet, teachers' special interest is primarily helping kids. That is what teachers do.
Despite the fact that students, too, will probably be dubbed pawns, student unions often act boldly. Student Unions in Chicago, Newark, Philadelphia, Providence and Philadelphia have been very active. Some are very creative in the best way. Remember the Providence Union protesting standardized tests disguised as guinea pigs. Youth leaders like Hannah Nguyen of Los Angeles serve as role models for others. Some of these kids are good role models for their teachers and their unions as well.