You Might Be An Education Policy Hack If…You Oppose Something Strictly Because It Will Help Somebody You Don’t Like
June 21, 2012 Leave a comment
Check out the thinking behind the New York Post Editorial Board’s opposition to the state’s teacher evaluation compromise.
Gov. Cuomo split the teacher-evaluation baby Monday night, offering up a compromise bill just before a midnight deadline to introduce new legislation before Albany absconds for the summer.
He should’ve gone on vacation instead — because his dark-of-night maneuvering sacrifices students’ best interests on the altar of union-defined “privacy.”
Here’s how you can tell:
The teachers unions support the bill.
So does Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver.
Ipso facto, it’s a bad bill.
Reasons? We don’t need no stinkin’ reasons.
It turns out New York teachers unions can also be the generators of baseless opposition. New York charter school advocates are currently throwing their weight behind legislation that will allow them to pool resources in order to serve more special needs kids. The state teachers union recently came out against bill. Why? Because it will help charter schools prove critics wrong, and that could potentially lead to more charter schools.
But last week, NYSUT circulated a memo urging lawmakers to reject the bill. The memo lauded the bill’s sponsors and acknowledged charter schools’ challenges in serving special needs student populations. But it also warned that the bill could result in ”a huge expansion of charter schools…”
The logic is impeccable. You must oppose charter schools because they’re bad, but you can’t allow them to get better because then there might be more of them, and more charter schools is bad because charter schools are bad. (Yes, there are other reasons the union gives for opposing the bill, but they all appear to be false.)
This kind of baseless opposition adds nothing constructive, incites ill-will, and makes solutions nearly impossible. That’s why if you oppose something with almost no downside strictly because of who it will help, you just might be an education policy hack.