What’s that smell in this room? Didn’t you notice it Brick? Didn’t you notice a powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity in this room?…There ain’t nothin’ more powerful than the odor of mendacity…You can smell it. It smells like death. — Big Daddy in The Streetcar Named Desire
The stench of mendacity appeared on the pages of the New York Post yesterday, where the DoE’s John White is quoted as claiming “Any statement that the teachers union was trying to satisfy the requirements of Race to the Top through an agreement with the state and the [city] Department of Education is a lie.”
The RttT pledge included a core statement of US DoE and State Education Department principles, but also allowed local school districts and unions to add additional terms and clarifications to which they both agreed. Long ago, the NYC DoE e-mailed the UFT’s Secretary, asking if we would sign a joint RttT application. We responded that we would need to know what was being added, and that we should meet to discuss it. Week after week passed by without the slightest effort on the part of Chancellor Klein and the DoE to meet and negotiate these terms and clarifications with the UFT. The eleventh hour came and went. Receiving signs from Albany that their obstructionism was backfiring, the DoE asked to meet with us at the very last minute. They then proposed all manner of addenda that would have violated the collective bargaining agreement, knowing that it would be unacceptable to us. The UFT submitted a pledge on our own, without the NYC DoE’s unilateral addenda.
What a tangled web the DoE weaves.
UPDATE: We got our Tennessee Williams plays mixed up: the quote was from Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.