Today was the first day of Camp Philos, “a philosopher’s camp on education reform,” being held in upstate New York at the “secluded Whiteface Lodge, which ranks among North America’s top luxury destinations, […] nestled in the majestic woods of our country’s largest wilderness park.”
If you’re not familiar with it, that may be because, as has often become the case when matters of education are being discussed, teachers and parents were not welcome. Of course, millionaires, movie producers, and charter school backers? Roll out the red carpet. And the starring attraction: the Honorary Chair is none other than self-proclaimed (but highly ineffective) lobbyist for children, Andrew Cuomo. But a funny thing happened on the way to this forum.
NYSUT organized a protest (“Picket in the Pines“) which brought hundreds of teachers to this isolated spot in the pouring rain on a Sunday afternoon. How do you think the governor responded?
Coming just a week after he offered to sit down with a local union president if only they would call off the protest at Villa Lombardi’s, it’s clear that Andy Cuomo does not like political pressure, which means only one thing. We’ve got to keep it up until he begins listening to reason, respecting the professionals in education and actually acts like a governor who cares for children.