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A concerned member of the human race

Sunday, April 5, 2015

A Short History of V.A.M. It--Updated

Trying to Turn "Time to Flowers" Before Ed. "Reformers" Would Have It Wilt
In 2013, a colleague asked me to write a blog with him to fight the ed. "reformers."  Since I understood the magnitude of the problem, I did that.  It was called V.A.M.  

In 2014, in anticipation of the NYC NYSUT conference, it was suggested by someone in UFT-Unity that members should disassociate their names from anything that might be contrary to Unity's line.  In that spirit, with regret expressed to me, my colleague annihilated our blog--because his name was associated with every single thing on it.  With a zap, there went my first 95 pieces and the handful he had done.

At that point, I decided, "hey, that's no way to say goodbye" to my blog.  So, in three days, I worked tirelessly to resurrect those pieces and, then, went on to add over four hundred more.  It wasn't popular with a certain Dad*, not my own, who liked to inform me that nobody agreed with me--until Cuomo's State of the State made it entirely evident that we are all under attack.  And, we need to rally to the defense of public education.

Last week, for reasons that are feelings more than thoughts, I made the decision to stop writing my blog.  I couldn't say why.  I'm pretty sure I'll keep coming up with ideas.  And, I'll put them together, sending them here or there, in one form or another.  I just won't be doing it via my blog.

So, Easter seemed the time to put that decision in place.  It's a time of rebirth.  And, I don't feel so much that it's an end as much as a beginning to other things--always with a sincere love for public education, the kids in it and a resolve to defend these things come hell, high water or ed. "reformers."  

With that in mind, Happy Easter, Happy Passover or just happiness!  Thanks for reading.

*For the record, I would like to mention that since I stopped writing this blog, I was honored to win a position as a UFT delegate.  (I hope to represent the teachers in my school with energy and intelligence; sometimes, I may agree with UFT-Unity and, at other times, I may disagree.  I will take no oath of unquestioned loyalty).  Prior to the election, I wrote a letter to colleagues.  In it, I referenced my work on this blog as well as its predecessor, the one which met an untimely end at the hand of my Unity-bound, Co-blogger colleague.

In the letter to colleagues, I stated that "due to the constraints of a UFT Unity Loyalty Oath" (http://thepjsta.org/2014/02/18/on-binding-delegates/),  Co-blogger "was unable to continue the blog."  He told me he had to "delete it in anticipation of the 2014 NYSUT meeting in NYC."  In no way, did I state this information in a vindictive way, just as a matter of fact.  Today, May 18, 2015, Co-blogger changed his tune.  He told me he terminated the blog at that time because my spouse disapproved. This, of course, would indicate Co-blogger engaged in an elaborate lie to me at the time the blog was terminated--an elaborate lie of which I remember every detail.

I have many reasons, including some referenced in prior e-mails that lead me to believe his most recent story is the lie.  And, I could give a long list.  Let it suffice to say, however, my husband never approved of my blogging, but this was nothing new.  My husband, however, did not tell Co-blogger to delete my hard work.  He has assured me of this and I believe him.  Co-blogger could have closed the blog by simply changing the password at his end without deleting all the pieces--which he was more than happy to have his name upon, and even advertise, up until mid-March of 2014.  Here is a copy of my parting words at valueaddedmeasure.blogspot.com (just prior to the deletion of the blog) picked up by Big Education Ape.

The time at which the original blog was deleted corresponded with a couple of events.  First, there was an e-mail from Dr. Ravitch, stating that she would be pleased to reference our work again, potentially generating many more "hits."  It also corresponded with NYSUT materials Co-Blogger showed me, relevant to possible committees, including ones on the Common Core.   There are many more things I could say here, but I do not willfully hurt others unless it is in the name of self-defense.

So, do I know the truth for sure?  No.  Perhaps, Co-blogger has lied to me with both stories.  Perhaps, he is lying to himself.

At any rate, although it could be part of an elaborate lie, the excerpt from Co-blogger's e-mail to me below (written after Dr. Ravitch agreed to cite our work again and shortly before his deletion of our blog)  is one of the many reasons I believed Co-blogger's concern for his own career, "professionally" and "politically," was the primary motivating factor in his decision to delete our blog:

"Thanks, that's awesome about the big Rav
Sorry, been busy as shit with the over-sized grievance... [matters particular to our school omitted here] and the upcoming NYSUT convention.  There are so many committees to be formed and/or joined and/or, well...  Man, they own you as a convention delegate."

Whereas I could try to understand when Co-blogger deleted my 95 or so pieces to protect his double-pensioned job in a union office given the current system, I could not so easily forgive Co-blogger if he had taken it upon himself to delete my 95 or so pieces because I am a woman with a husband who objects to her exercise of free speech.  I value free speech for women as much as I do for men.  I value my intelligence and I value the example I set for my daughters.

And, I also value honesty.


  1. I'll miss your blog. It's often brilliant. But it will always be there if you change your mind!

  2. Re-birth -- and simply a new way to tell the story. Your voice will still be out here in cyberspace! :)