Looking for New Leadership for the Seattle Education Assn.

Monday began the voting period for teachers in SPS to elect the leadership of their union the Seattle Education Association (SEA). The RESPECT slate is hoping to win office and I’m hoping they do too.  The voting continues for the next ten days.

The RESPECT platform proposes a new way of collaborating with parents and community members in the interest of unifying the power of those fighting for genuine reform of our public schools. Many of us believe Seattle needs its own research-based vision for the schools our children deserve. Those developed in Chicago, Portland and St. Paul through a collaborative process between teachers, parents and the community became a foundation from which strong alliances blossomed.

With the RESPECT slate leading the SEA I’m confident that we will move forward on creating such a vision that meets the needs of Seattle Schools' students. I also believe the RESPECT slate will help us come closer to achieving the kind of partnership between teachers and parents that other cities have proven is necessary in building the struggle to prevent the deepening toll of corporate education reform on our children.

You may know Jesse Hagopian, RESPECT candidate for SEA president. Jesse is the Black Student Union adviser and teaches history at Garfield High School, where he helped to lead the MAP test boycott that brought together students, parents and teachers in a common struggle for a sane approach to assessment. Jesse was also the recipient of the 2013 national "Secondary Teacher of the Year Award" from the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences.

Marian Wagner is running with RESPECT for the vice-president position. She is an elementary science teacher at Salmon Bay. Marian serves on the joint SEA/SPS Professional Growth and Evaluation Working Group to ensure safeguards and processes are in place to improve our evaluation system so it is fair and supportive of developing teacher practice.

Dan Troccoli
is currently teaching language arts at Franklin High School and is the RESPECT candidate for treasurer. Dan is a founding member of the Social Equality Educators, serves as an SEA delegate to the MLK County Labor Council where he works to build solidarity between educators and the rest of the labor movement.

These teachers along with others on the RESPECT slate helped fight the school closures in 2008 and organize last year’s MAP test boycott. They have shown leadership throughout the years and a commitment to defending the kind of public education parents want for their kids.

There is also a fundraiser for the RESPECT slate this Sunday, May 4th at 1:00 pm.  Details here.  Please think about attending.

Urge an educator you know to vote for the RESPECT slate today.


Anonymous said…
Who is this slate running against and why is it better than the opponents for students and parents?

North of 85th
My opinion?

I think SEA has leaned far more towards what is good for keeping their leadership in good with the powers that be. That might be a pragmatic stance to take but I don't personally agree with it.

Only teachers can know if they believe the current leadership has been effective for them in working with building leadership, district leadership and the Legislature.

But my feeling is the SEA is a little too cozy with the Alliance and other ed reformers.

I don't see the SEA supporting parents. That's not necessarily their major role but there is the PTA and they seem to have minimal interaction there.

Parents and teachers really should be a team in schools. Parents and teachers should be a team - as the people on the ground in schools - to present something of a united front on issues affecting schools like principal placement and program placement.

And parents and teachers could be quite a huge team in telling the Legislature what matters (hint: fund McCleary now). They could also tell ed reformers what they think of ed reform ideas.

I like people who want to work collaboratively. That's why I support Jessie and his team. He has shown he is willing to stand up for what he believes in (for teachers) and take what comes. He knows how to get attention from social media. He has proven with his own personal work ethnic.

That's why I support the RESPECT slate for SEA leadership.
Anonymous said…
Yes, Jesse knows how to get attention from the media, that is completely true. He is a charismatic leader, but I don't think he has what it takes to move our association forward in a direction that is best for families or teachers.

I sat in on the candidate speeches, kind of hoping the SEE candidates would blow me away with their vision for the future, but I was not impressed. They had lots of "we deserves," and that's admirable, but I didn't hear anything that indicated they can make it happen. In fact, their speeches were rambling, lacked content, and demonstrated no clear understanding of strategic collaboration at all. Jesse's speech was mostly about the books he's written or is writing. The only thing he said that had much value was that he's going to be the father of a Seattle student. Other than that, it was a lot of fluff.

Organizing a MAP boycott at a high school (and I supported that and think it was great) is different than negotiating a solid contract that meets the needs of 5,000 educators and many thousands of families who want excellent teachers for their children. It's not enough to say, "We refuse!" or "We deserve more!" To lead the educators of this district requires something more than what you want or what you won't do. Testing isn't the only thing that matters.

The speeches of the current SEA leadership, (and of Jennifer Matter, running for treasurer, who gave a beautiful speech,) had a clear vision that included a strategy and the concept that SEA is an association where everyone's voice matters. Knapp captured it perfectly when he said, "A Union President almost never gets to speak his own mind, he speaks on behalf of his union's members." I have some serious concerns about Jesse being able to put the needs and concerns and visions of his members before his own.

I have also been in community meetings where I have seen Knapp take on and talk down representatives from the Alliance on issues around seniority, salary, and evaluations. I think he is involved so that the union voice is heard. Because he is willing to listen and respectfully disagree, he is invited to be part of the discussion. I am not sure Jesse would be. Boycotting and protesting has its place, but it's not moving much forward.

Anyway, more than probably anyone wanted to hear, but as someone who listened to the speeches with an open mind I wanted to share my views.

mirmac1 said…
I see that SPS has hired its full complement of Seattle Teacher Residency interns on contingent contracts. These folks were recruited by the Alliance. The SEA was full-onboard with this sweet deal. Likewise, I recall seeing past and current SEA leadership on MAP Adoption and TFA correspondence. Often the private conversations did not jibe with posititons taken publicly.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mirmac1 said…
Considering that I am spsleaks (you''re welcome), I post only 10% of what I get. Who has 40 hrs to go through 1000's of pages of documents).

Furthermore, given that I have close contacts with the Special Education Task Force (not the secret Special Education "Implementation" task force), I see where SEA has been as much obstructionist as helpful towards SpEd students and families).

Suffice it to say, I think Hagopian has the best interests of teachers and students at heart. What does that mean? Less time wasted on standardized testing and test prep. Less reliance on tests to evaluate teachers. Less deprofessionalization of teaching careers. More pushback on Ed Reform efforts led by union-busters on the Gates payroll. Calling BS on "teachers as leaders" sloganeering when its more teachers as political scapegoats and collateral damage.

I've expressed this before: I question the amount of time I spend on defending teachers against the whole "Educational Leadership" canard (meaning concentration of power in principals whose bonuses are tied to "growth measures"), if my own child's teachers don't bother to attend meetings or vote on SEA issues. I work more than fulltime too.

My two cents.
Dan T said…
Wow Anonymous, thanks for the smack down. Well seems how I was out protesting how bankers like Bernie sunk our economy and the tax base for our schools I don't know if I'm more offended by the comparison or the implicit distrust of me given the lack of knowledge of my experience. On that I'll say that I've been the treasurer of the Social Equality Educators since its inception and while we haven't made a mint, I can say we've never been in the red and are healthy and growing. Of course I'll have a lot to learn, but I'm about as dedicated a union member as there is and have sacrificed as much as any to strengthen my union and defend public education.

As far as SEE and the RESPECT slate's positions and plan for achieving them I'll say that we've laid out a detailed platform on our website and have detailed three planks that will help the union negotiate a solid contract- the contract educators deserve, the schools our students deserve and the city Seattle deserves - more details of which we have been publicizing in all the schools and at those speeches you witnessed- my check for learning has revealed you may have been daydreaming or did not fully convey that in your post. Its ok nobody is perfect.

We don't pretend to have all the answers, but we do think that given the tremendous pressures that our teacher's unions face and that public education faces, we need a more proactive and engaging strategy to confront that challenge, a strategy different from our current leadership's. A big change would be actually soliciting the members for input on what we need to face down corporate reform and involvement of that membership in that struggle. Not quite the same as meetings and junkets with the Alliance, but effective given recent outcomes in Portland and St.Paul.

The accounts of SEA's near bankruptcy woes have been greatly exagerated by the current leadership, as I would know from being on the board of directors and hearing the fiscal report from the hired auditors that reported no concerns for SEA's finances. The major factor that "saved" SEA was a dues increase and an increase in membership from increased enrollment in the schools. My guess is this due to the fact that most of our leadership's "accomplishments" were initiated largely from the pressure from below that militants, of which many on the RESPECT slate, were pushing. It's depressing to see our current leadership resort to mud-slinging from anonymous perches and not simply focus on the issues.

I'd say that given the immense challenges our union and schools face from corporate reformers, a threat anonymous seems to underestimate, a new approach and some "flash" just might be what we need to get the RESPECT we deserve.

Sincerely and out in the open,
Cindy Jatul said…
Let me give you a clear difference in the leadership and organizational styles between SEE and Jonathan Knapp. Two years ago I helped organize Start School Later-Seattle because as a high school teacher and middle school parent, I see the deleterious effects of our irrationally early start times on learning and adolescent health on a daily basis. Early on I asked Jonathan for his opinion and he indicated it was an issue worth pushing to help students and improve graduation rates. When I and other teachers prepared to bring a resolution to the SEA for a vote, he changed his tune saying the issue was divisive. I wrote several emails asking to meet to discuss how we could coordinate outreach to teachers to dialogue about the issue. I never received a response. After the resolution passed, SEA reps asked Jonathan to present the resolution to the school board. Jonathan agreed and then didn't appear at the board meeting. He offered no apology or substitute. In contrast, SEE has taken a true interest in helping SSL communicate the issue by publishing articles in the newsletter and posting updates on the SEE list serve. In addition SEE members have brought resolutions to their own faculty meetings to help broaden the discussion.
While some have questioned the ability of SEE and Jesse Hagopian to effectively organize on behalf of students, teachers, and parents, I have witnessed just the opposite. As the leader of a grassroots, research based initiative to move to more heathy and equitable start times, I have had far more effective support from SEE, than from the SEA despite my best efforts to work collaboratively with our current union president.
Anonymous said…
So, SEE thinks of their fellow teachers as "militants."

Thanks, Dan, that's all I needed to know about SEE.

".. the concept that SEA is an association where everyone's voice matters."

I can only say this is NOT what I hear from teachers I speak with on current SEA leadership.

"Dan's a nice, earnest guy and I know he cares, but I'd trust Bernie Madoff with an organization's money before I'd ask Dan to manage it."

Bernie Madoff is a criminal; are you suggesting this of Dan? If you are merely saying you believe he might be incompetent, say that but if you are comparing him to a known criminal - and unless you have solid proof - I would back off on such statements.

I would also say, from my own perspective, that the current leadership is not the most open with media and does not seem to have much interest about parents' concerns.
Anonymous said…
Pining for Eric Muhs @ BHS to run again, though obviously that is not happening. As a candidate, he had the right perspective on teachers and parents and standing up for ourselves, but he didn't have Hagopian's self-aggrandizing tendencies. He was much more definitive and dare I say possesses superior educator skills to what Knapp offers.

But what do I know, as Muhs lost, although I think it is because he was at the beginning, not the middle of the wave of pushback on some very bad national policies and local business attitudes.

I suppose I will vote for Hagopian, but I have the same reservations as others - whether he has the negotiation skills to pull off the next contract and to pick the most significant short term battles. We can't battle everything, but we must decide to stand up loudly for a few things.

Anonymous said…
As an unfortunate 'member' of SEA I am supposed to vote. Sorry but Hagopian does not speak for anyone but his own agenda and that is not representation. As for the union overall they don't represent anyone. You have a problem in a school get a Lawyer which will not be paid for either. But the District will at least meet with you. No union official will nor will a District member unless a Lawyer is present. Won't change the outcome but you have an unbiased witness to read the near illiterate letters that arrive from the District representatives. Those are great. They almost rival some of the varying School Administrators equally illiterate missives

- Literate
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
One of the differences is that SEE is basically a splinter faction of SEA. Is it a caucus of the union or a splinter faction of the union with its own officers, fund raising, and policies? It holds its own meetings, doesn’t disclose it’s fundraising, budget, or expenditures to SEA yet likes to use the stature and access that SEA members have worked hard to form for their own purposes.
To me SEE is just like Teachers United. They’re both parallel unions trying to feed off of the hard work and effort of the ‘middle path’ educator-members. Both SEE and TU are essentially astro-turf organizations used to divert and in some cases devour SEA from the inside. Instead of holding their own meetings and having their own websites and treasuries why not give the respect to their fellow members to air those issues and document those funds in the open.
If both groups are willing to take money from outside parties then they must be willing to disclose the donations and the donors. Otherwise it’s more secret and potentially dirty money for these astro-turf ‘caucuses’. If you want Gates funding and love VAM evaluations then stand up and say so. If you want to be the Socialist party caucus then say so. But disclose your funds and donors and do it within the framework of our union rather than SEE and TU using hemi-demi-semi affiliated groups to funnel their funds through.
This leads us to these outside groups and individuals such as Ms. Westbrook or Nick Licata. There is a reason that more people outside of the union endorse SEE than people within the union have. That’s because, in my opinion, each one of these outside groups wants to use SEA and our money and boots on the ground to further their own causes. If that is $15/hr or VAM or Late Start or Striking/Lashing out at it is all the same. It is an outside group using SEA for their purposes.
It is most assuredly not educators working with educators to provide an equitable and supportive working environment for members of the union....

-Tired of the B.S.
Anonymous said…
Should union members be involved politically? Absolutely. Should the personal political desires of members all be taken up by the union as a whole? No. The union must fulfill their own primary mission and focus on supporting school and district based issues. There are far too many ways to spend our limited union time trying to put out 1,000 fires when we should focus on 10 so that pundits and people with no real understanding of what is happening in the union can then damn us for not supporting their students while we are haring off a ton of specific political issues.
You do know that there are only TWO full time released union officers right? That’s the President and Vice President. If SEE gets elected I would be very interested to see how often Mr. Hagopian is in town, in schools, and in our meetings per month. Will he cancel his old SEE specific meetings and do business in the open? Will he use his time to further our specific issues here in Seattle? Will he be spending his time working for every member of SEA? Will the Vice President be left to run the union while the President is off hobnobbing with the same but different set of insiders?
I like specific information. SEE has none. SEA already works with the King County Labor Council and a myriad of other labor and community organizations. We support candidates who support education and through a recent revamping of that candidate vetting process will be holding them to a much higher standard of support in order to gain our endorsement. How will SEE not only negotiate but actually get the money to fund all the FTE they want to hire through their initiatives? Where is that money coming from? Our pay? Social services? McCleary money? Well, since SEA and WEA were major partners in the McCleary decision then that work is already done as well. That would neatly allow SEE to claim credit for work they did not do.
Here we can see the hollow nature of the SEE agenda. There isn’t any substance at all to their push. They want to be a political party and that is great. Get out there and push and yell and jump around. I’ll support you, personally, but nobody has the right to turn our union into a political party because that simply leads to more indentured servitude to a specific party, person, or organization. That type of lock step thinking got us to this situation in the first place.
I like specific information. SEE has none. SEA already works with the King County Labor Council and a myriad of other labor and community organizations. We support candidates who support education and through a recent revamping of that candidate vetting process will be holding them to a much higher standard of support in order to gain our endorsement. How will SEE not only negotiate but actually get the money to fund all the FTE they want to hire through their initiatives? Where is that money coming from? Our pay? Social services? McCleary money? Well, since SEA and WEA were major partners in the McCleary decision then that work is already done as well.
Here we can see the hollow nature of the SEE agenda. There isn’t any substance at all to their push. They want to be a political party and that is great. Get out there and push and yell and jump around. I’ll support you, personally, but nobody has the right to turn our union into a political party because that simply leads to more indentured servitude to a specific party, person, or organization. That type of lock step thinking got us to this situation in the first place.
Based on their furtiveness, lack of focus, and fundamentalist ideology I will not vote for any SEE member to gain an office that is supposed to be directly dedicated to the bread and butter issues of the 6000 members of SEA.

-Tired of the faux narrative.
Anonymous said…
I was really surprised to see Teachers United founders/supporters Kristin Bailey-Fogerty and Joe Bailey-Fogerty on the list of SEA endorsers. (Then I noticed that Kristin was actually running for a seat on the SEA slate.)

Wow, Teachers United was formed to undermine our teachers' union. It's nice to have a broad base of support, but I'm shocked that Jonathan Knapp would seek the endorsement of individuals whose anti-union (and pro corporate ed reform) stance is so very clear. I wonder where he would draw the line, and what his core values are. As for the Bailey-Fogertys, looks like they've opted for another tactic!

-- slightly aghast
Anonymous said…
Slightly Aghast, are you serious?

If forming a subgroup of politicized teachers is a problem, it's sure a good thing she's not running for president, vice president, or treasurer, isn't it?

Anonymous said…

It's not the politicization that leaves me aghast, it's the hypocrisy!

slightly aghast
Anonymous said…
Slightly Aghast,

Well, maybe Knapp knows something you don't.

Anonymous said…
I've been semi-'active' in SEA for the last 5 years, and, I've done grunt level politics for over 4 decades.

While I can not dispute that Jetting Jesse might polish his resume more than help us in the trenches working stiffs ...

and how many teachers have noticed the Crap From Knapp evaluation garbage we have to fill out, all cuz Knapp's crowd (Olga, Mary Lindquist...) define "compromise" as listening to the blame the teacher Gate$ paid liars of DFER, CRPE, TFA, NCTQ, LEV, PFL, SFC ... ??

I don't know what will IMPROVE under Jesse - at least his messaging isn't compromising and pathetic. I do know what will happen with Knapp's insider, last minute, keep WEA pooh-bahs happy sell us out crap - we'll keep losing, and our day to day jobs will be harder to do, and we who do the work will shoulder more of the blame we don't deserve - filling out Knapp-Contract-Crap like TPEP.

IF my students weren't underage, I'd gladly Sign

I am deleting one of Seavoter's comments b/c he/she will not verify the comments against Dan T. Do NOT post comments that imply criminal activity if you can't back those comments up with proof.

Tired, I'm not trying to use SEA for anything. To suggest that is very amusing. Believe me, I don't think the SEA is the avenue I would use to be heard.

We're trying to explain an election that could have an effect on what happens in the classroom. It is the teachers' choice of who they elect.
mirmac1 said…
UGH. No wonder SPS teachers have lost ground with respect to district politics. Yes, politics.

Does anyone think Mayor Murray would be putting forth a $15/hr minimum wage if the great unwashed did not "agitate"? Somehow I don't see Hagopian busting his hump in Haiti after the quake in 2010 as someone looking the climbing the ladder to higher office, or someone looking to land a cushy Central job post SEA like Kimball who's hands were all over that MAP boondoggle.

I expect Tired thinks I'm somehow going to benefit from a SEE slate election: like Melissa and Nick are going to make out like bandits. Last I checked these two are not on the public or philanthropic dole - unlike Tim Burgess, Mary Jean Ryan, Holly Miller, Tom Stritikus, Viet Lu, Chris Eide, and Jennifer Wallace.

I remember how, at the height of the national attention brought about by the MAP boycott, at rally at JSCEE with TV cameras and everything, Knapp strides up to the megaphone and sounds like a born-again radical. I was "tired of the BS" of that charade.

BTW, I just happened to read this nugget at daughter's piano lesson this afternoon, regarding the too-little too-late battle at Enfield's Highline SD where she lied (again) about TFA only taking "hard-to-fill posts" at (politically-motivated principals' ) schools. Knapp showed up at the HSD board mtg to testify, once again a day late and a dollar short:

Jonathan Knapp, Seattle Education Association president, said the presence of TFA members is a continuing “open wound” to Seattle teachers, who feel that administrators believe the five-week TFA training is as good as extensive training obtained by teachers.“I’m surprised how much that has stuck in the craw of teachers,” Knapp noted."

Not a surprise considering he once told me conditional certs are just dandy because, as a CTE teacher, he had one too. Doh!

But, hey, parents like me are motivated by self-interest. Right.
n said…
Also pining for Eric Muhs . . . :)

Sorry. Jonathan smiles and then ignores everything you say. He's the perfect bureaucrat who gets nothing done. He has little knowledge of the needs of K-5 schools and he certainly isn't spending any time learning. High schools drive everything. I suppose the RESPECT slate will be equally guilty but I'll give them their chance to prove me wrong.

I suspect Jonathan will win again. Teachers are such a cowardly bunch. They never want to rock the boat which is why we are in this dismal position.
Anonymous said…
Melissa, its good to know your on the right side.

Jessie is going to carry us out from under the thumb of big business. He's going to return power to the people! Testing is the whip of union haters and ed deformer pawns, and we're sick of it.

SEE members have been fighting for this for a long time. Yes we are militant! We're fighting for kids! Were fighting for teachers! We deserve respect! Is SEA going to get you a contract that respects you? No! Its time for Gates to get his money out of our buisness. Its time for teachers to get respect!

We don't have to take it anymore. Knapp might be interested to listen, but he's just a pawn. So many weak suckers.

I'm proud to be a SEE member! We ARE teachers. Its the direction forward!

No More
chunga said…
As a parent, I've seen how Jesse has consistently worked hard for teachers and kids both inside and outside the classroom. From promoting better assessment, professional development, to culturally relevant curriculum he's been out front. He's also worked to create real partnerships with parents and community. As a parent, I would like to see teachers stand up more and be proactive in fighting for what they and our kids deserve. Though he seems well-intentioned, Knapp has clearly not shown that leadership. Jesse has and I believe our kids and schools will benefit from his leadership and a more active SEA.
Dora said…
This is all very interesting.

I didn't think a teachers union race could be so contentious.

Hmmm, I wonder why.

There seems to be a lot more riding on this than just who will be the next president of SEA.

I'll get to the candidates after I share a few observations to all who care to listen.

Let's talk about the elephant in the room and that is corporate reform.

That reform, decided upon and paid for by big bucks and not through any democratic process, includes charter schools, Teach for America, Inc., busting unions (charters have to make money some kind of way), high stakes testing (and the huge profits that go along with that) and Common Core Standards, a bust before it has even gotten out of the door.

There is more on the subjects I just listed on this blog and mine, Seattle Education.

I've watched both candidates over the last 6 years, rather closely.

Without being unkind, I will say that Knapp has a tendency of leading from behind or not at all.

Jesse I met 6 years ago during the round of school closures that our former Broad supe brought about. Remember that fiasco?

Jesse invited community members, teachers, parents, students and concerned citizens, to get together and see what we could do to stop the closures. He and Dan organized the meeting.

They organized and led. It was a great experience working with the two of them and the others who formed that core group. The schools still closed and programs got moved around to a disastrous effect but I admired Jesse and Dan for their leadership.

I have found Jesse and Dan moral leaders who believe in the Democratic process and are concerned that all children receive an equitable education.

Leaders make noise and yes, they can receive media attention for that but you know, that's how you get the attention focused on issues that matter.

I leave you with an unfading memory of Jesse that I think describes his character and focus.

I was in DC for the SOS March and Rally a few years ago. There were thousands of people marching around the White House. I was marching with a friend and then I saw Jesse, by himself, marching and chanting with all of his strength. He was marching for his students and all students. He was simply another teacher in a crowd of thousands, raising his voice. I admired that in him. He traveled to DC without any fanfare, to make his voice heard. That's the kind of person he is.

Don't be distracted by those who want to move the discussion outside of what is truly important about this race.

The Respect slate has a lot to say and share. Just listen and decide for yourself what type of leadership you really want.

Dora Taylor

By the way Teachers United is another front for big money trying to get their hands on public funds allocated to public education.

For more on the formation of Teachers United, see
Anti Teachers’ Union Activity in the State of WA: Chris Eide and Northwest Professional Educators

I would be very concerned about any Teachers United member being on an SEA slate.
Dora said…
I must have erred on capturing the link to the article I referenced above. The link is https://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/anti-teachers-union-activity-in-the-state-of-washington/.

peonypower said…
Jesse is an excellent negotiator. I have worked with on many things and he has a clear and level head and he always seeks to engage many voices. I think it funny when I see comments that he is self-aggrandizing because I see a confident person willing to risk being fired for opposing the current SEA mantra of "we better agree to this scenario or something worse will happen." Frankly I'm tired of a leadership that does not communicate clearly, well, or make transparent what the plan is for SEA and then members are criticized for not participating more in SEA. I'm hopeful with a change in leadership we can engage with all stakeholders in education, teachers, community, and students.
I have to wonder when I challenged SeaVoter on defaming Dan T. and he/she didn't answer. Makes you wonder why someone would flame-throw and not have the courage of their convictions to explain their words.

Might be something to consider, teachers, along with the words of Dora and Peonypower.

I find Jonathan to always be a day late (and he has absolutely no appreciation about how hard this blog works to protect and support teachers).

Vote SEE.
Sahila said…
for those of you who are tired of the politics in public education (and unionism) and wish it would just go away....

sorry..... the day's when public education and teaching could stay out of the political fray ended the day that people with big money decided it would be a good thing to privatise public education and to control every aspect of it...

there now is no longer any difference between the political parties in that the republicans are now controlled by neo-conservatives and the democrats are now controlled by neo-liberals, who are, underneath, one and the same - people who are only interested in power and money - that is, the plutocrats even recently-released research says are who/what is running this country...

so there you have our schools and kids on the verge of being 100% controlled and milked by the plutocrats.... and people in the unions and the PTAs and a host of other ancillary organisations have been co-opted into enabling that to happen in the first place, and to allow it to continue in the second....

IF you dont like this state of affairs, THEN you better get militant, radical even.... cos - as history has shown us time and time again - nothing but militant/radical action will push this back...

We - as parents - should be grateful to Jesse and Dan and all the other people in SEE for taking on and fighting back against the corporate ed reform agenda as its being played out in their own unions... they are our allies and we should be supporting them as best we can in that....

A teacher should be a great model for the students. A student never reminds a teacher who is arrogant and rude. But at the same time, a teacher who builds a good rapport with the students always lingers in mind. By maintaining good relationship, a teacher helps the student to grow personally and socially.
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