Teacher Voice The Right Teacher Voice

Just in case you were wondering why teachers’ unions are in so much trouble, UFT’s Leo Casey helpfully provides an example today. Per the post below, first he criticized the NSVF panel about the future of unions for not including a teachers’ union voice. Then when it was pointed out that Brad Jupp, a longtime teacher and teachers’ union activist in Denver was on the panel, Casey refined his criteria much further so that Jupp didn’t fit the bill. But Jupp was a teacher for quite a while, worked for the teachers’ union, and the reform he created was voted on, and passed, by the teachers in Denver! I can’t find a current bio for Jupp but scroll down and here is one from his last job for the teachers’ union. He doesn’t fit the bill?

In other words Casey demonstrates that the issue of “teacher voice”*is less about what teachers think and more about what some teachers think, the right ones. Or is Casey calling Jupp a traitor since he now works for the school district on the initiative he helped create? Either way, it shows the insular thinking that will be the undoing of a once important institution.

*Also, good a time as any to point out that “teacher voice” is a clever turn of phrase like “death tax.” Who on earth wants to be against teacher voice? Not me! I’d be sleeping on the couch. But it’s a clever construct because it means if you criticize the teachers’ unions you want to squelch teacher voice, and that makes you a very bad person.

Update: From NYC, maybe this is teacher voice…but I hope not because I looked everywhere and didn’t see the anything about children, students, kids, etc…It is stirring though, I’m ready to take on those tycoons myself! Seriously, what this resolution illustrates is that contra Leo’s assertion that the panel doesn’t represent the views of teachers’ unions adequately, the real problem is that that the attendees might hear too much happy talk and come away thinking everyone is reasonable and that there is no issue here…Be careful what you wish for Leo!

Update II: Eduwonk gets uppity so Casey responds again, turns out he’s a big Brad Jupp fan! Very complimentary even…But, alas, even so it turns out Jupp still doesn’t have the just the right voice…For some reason, despite his credentials, he’s not sufficiently a teacher unionist…this is truly an odd construct Leo has backed into, can anyone but a current leader of a teachers’ union purport to speak for teachers at all?

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