Friday, July 23, 2010

Kicked in the Gut (and stabbed in the back)

So, yeah. Every couple of weeks I get a promo email from DonorsChoose about fundraising opportunities and stuff.

Sometimes there's additional funding for STEM, or if you live in a certain state or county, or if your project is part of a college-readiness program, that kind of thing. Other times DonorsChoose enters into charity contests. You can go vote for your favorite chairty, and if DonorsChoose wins, they get like a hundred grand to put toward projects that need funding.

But the most recent email really, really surprised me - and not in a good way. It said that Donorschoose will get money for projects if people pledge to see Waiting for Superman.

Say it with me now: WTF?

I just deleted the email, but reading this post made me realize I was still pretty upset, and I didn't just want to ignore the issue. So I went to the DonorsChoose contact page and sent them this little gem:

Getting an email from DonorsChoose that promoted Waiting for Superman was like a kick in the gut. My stomach literally clenched when I saw that.

Hoping for the best, I went and watched what I guess was the trailer. Guess what - it showed exactly what I was afraid of! Raising test scores is the best way of measuring student progress. Due process for teachers is a waste of time and money. We should expect teachers to be martyrs who dedicate all their time to teaching, neglecting family, society, and personal health. Hygiene, of course, is still important, because you're supposed to look good on camera.

I was shocked and hurt that DonorsChoose would support something as anti-teacher as this. Also, when I went over to their webpage, I didn't see any mention of DonorsChoose, so that was part of the reason that I didn't sign the pledge. The other is that it would've been a lie.

I'm not going to give a dime to that flick.
Now, I didn't cancel my account (although I might have had I been a donor). But... seriously, people, what were you thinking?! I am SO tired of the same old dead-horse stats being used as trampolines to help people with agendas jump to conclusions they like.

Use just a little common sense. Please. Schools wouldn't have bad teachers if they (1) did a better job observing and supporting new hires and/or (2) went through the appropriate channels to remove teachers who weren't a good fit. The issue isn't bad teachers; it's inefficient leadership.

It is just - it's idiocy. The KIPP-charter/TFA model that is soooo loved by anti-union reformers is only sustainable as long as the economy stays in the toilet. I mean, you don't have to be a math major to figure out that working 40% more hours for 15% more pay is stupid.

Also, you're making the profession into an anti-family career. Now, for me (in theory), that would work, because I have no children of my own and no desire for children of my own. None. Guiding other people's children is great a way to give me similar interaction while at the same time keeping me reminded of WHY I've made the choices I have! However, I object to it on principle, because not everyone is like me.


Daily stuff behind the cut.

Anyway. I did NOT go for my walk this morning. I didn't even get up until almost ten. I woke up at eight, sore and tired, and thought, "Eh. It's already going to be too hot to walk." And I went back to sleep.

Given that I performed off-and-on for more than three hours last night, I'm going to say that's a fair trade-in for my walk this morning. My arms, shoulders, back, tummy, and legs agree: OUCH. It's tolerable now that I've taken some naproxen, but still: OUCH.

I was in bed before midnight and I still feel like I could go and sleep for another hour or two. I might do that, since obviously the surgery isn't this afternoon since I HAVEN'T HEARD A DAMN THING. Grrr.

I'm thinking about cutting my word-count requirement down to 250. 750 takes me forever and really cuts into the day. It makes it harder to take time later on for a "real" post, even if I actually have something to say. Plus, I hate it. I think 250 would be a good bit easier to grind out and that'd make it less torturous. And since one of my goals is to begin seeing writing as something positive, instead of something that is full of suck, I think that makes sense.

Last night's ... I don't know, I don't really want to call it a "show" because it didn't feel like that. No stage, no lighting setup... we were at a country club, people. (It makes sense in context - it was a "wines around the world" club dinner. This month was Greece, so: bellydancers! Also because last month it had just been dinner and wine and the turnout wasn't as good as they'd hoped, so again: bellydancers!)

It was a blast. They had a different type of wine with each course, and let's just say that by the fourth course, it was getting harder to hear the music. Hahaha... It was really pretty, too. We were in this sun-room area that looked out over the course - wide green lawns, with rolling forested hills in the distance. The windows faced east, so we got to see the sunset without a glare.

The best part was at the end, when we got these nice proper ladies to get up and dance too! It was absolutely adorable - they were giggly and uncertain but having sooo much fun. They reminded me SO much of girls in middle school. It was sweet.

Images thanks to and


Joan said...

I grew disappointed in donorschoose when they teamed up with Sonic. Now, I love Sonic, I'm drinking a large diet coke as I type, but I found that promoting food that really isn't good for you to benefit education was just wrong.

Clix said...

Eh, I didn't really have a problem with that, given how pervasive fast food and over-processed food is in our society. said...

Hi Clix -

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this partnership. We see this as an opportunity to generate a national discussion about public education in America, and an opportunity to generate more support for classrooms like your own. We know teachers are not part of the problem - and we want to do all we can to support them and help them succeed.

For what it's worth, the film actually makes very similar arguments to your own ("schools wouldn't have bad teachers if they did a better job observing and supporting new hires," etc.), so it might turn out to be less disagreeable than you think.

Thanks again for your work in the classroom, and for sharing your concerns.


NYC Educator said...

DonorsChoose teachers will have a tremendous problem when their schools are closed, replaced by non-union charter schools like those promoted by the film. Kids will have fewer good jobs as teaching, the best job there is, becomes an at-will profession controlled by the hedgefund managers and billionaires who do not share their interests.

In fact, this film generates no support for public school and vilifies those who work in them day in and day out. Who is in teacher unions?

Teachers, that's who. What a disgrace for an organization that ostensibly supports teachers to openly promote attacks against us.

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