Last week we wrote about Sue Edelman at the NY Post being informed by Councilman Robert Holden that the FBI is investigating NYC schools for fraud. It inspired a rather big response of mostly anonymous comments. Save your keystrokes; I'm telling you writing anonymous comments, although it shows the blog has readers, is basically a waste of time if you aren't willing to take the next step.
I was contacted by a reporter seeking to find further information on what one particular comment stated. I asked several contacts at a particular school to expose the fraud, telling them they could be confidential sources and their anonymity would be protected. After a week of trying, it appears nobody will talk to the press, even if assured anonymity.
The comments here are a nice lead for the reporters but a journalist has a professional obligation to verify what is told to them. They also require some documentation. This is why I keep saying to stop complaining about the UFT if you are not willing to do anything to change the situation. At Jamaica High School, we were not shy about going to the press if it was necessary. They weren't bashful at Forest Hills either. Their aggressiveness helped cause a change in leadership. Jamaica was closed but we had some integrity. All of us survived and most of us were fine in other settings. After we protested with everything we had, even Mayor Bloomberg slowed down school closings in the last two years of his misrule of NYC. Our fight was a big part of that.
I understand the pressure on teachers from administration can be enormous to pass students who have done nothing but complete an internet packet of makeup work or to not report safety incidents. A new teacher recently told me of being advised by senior colleagues that when it comes to passing undeserving students, the teacher has a choice between having integrity and having a job. Ouch!
The reader who keeps commenting that nothing will change could be right only because too many teachers are not willing to stand up for themselves and each other. That is what a union is for. We need one badly. That is why I keep saying to band together with other teachers and stop whining about the DOE/UFT. This is a call for collective action, not a call to abandon a union. Unions are still the best hope for workers to achieve a better life. Change from within our union can come from the rank and file and not the leadership who is invested in the status quo.