Compelled behavior is the essence of tyranny.
Induced behavior is the essence of
leadership. Both may have the same
objective, but one tends to evil, the other to good.
Dee Hock, Birth of the Chaordic Age.
The Kleinberg administration prides itself on bringing modern management to the Department of Education. Ironically they violate all the basic rules of effective management. They have created a school system that is rigid and deaf to the innovative ideas of its worksite employees.
We have to ask ourselves why the school system leadership ignores a library of literature dealing with leadership. Expert upon expert speaks of creating innovative teams with the authority to make decisions at worksites. The Klein model supports creating autocrats at the worksite with total power to hire and fire, a medieval model that we know is failing.
“The beatings will continue until moral improves” should be motto emblazoned above the caverns of Tweed.
For those of us who are a bit paranoid we wonder whether Klein wants to improve schools? He can’t use the “move the factories offshore” concept: he is creating an equivalent model.
Bloomberg/Klein proffer the creation of 250 union free charter schools, the first step toward creating a union free work environment. In addition there is a growing campaign to create vouchers and/or tax credits for parents of non public school children. The voucher/tax credit initiative is a combination of parochial school and inner city advocacy organizations.
This attack on public schools and unionized public school teachers is only beginning and will grow stronger.
We, the teacher union movement and public school parents, must form coalitions beyond the schools. Coalitions must widen and include community and advocacy organizations. The very survival of public schools is at stake.
Teachers have become complacent, at the present time parents send their children to public schools. We must be involved in the swirling world of politics. We must be careful that our heads are not embedded in the sands of ignorance. Our brothers and sisters in the United Automobile Workers never envisioned that Americans would choose to buy “foreign” cars and that these cars would ever be manufactured at non union plants in our country.
Whether small high school or large high school, elementary school or middle school, we, unionized public school teachers, must work together to create high functioning schools.
Too many of us complain and point fingers. It was encouraging to see over two thousands colleagues and parents in Albany on Lobby Day. These are perilous times and I fear that the future of public schools is in our hands, and, I hope we are up to the challenge.