Tonight was interesting. We sent a mole, and infiltrator to drink and eat with Educators4Excellence at their soiree late this afternoon at "Howl At The Moon" bar on 189th St in the Bronx this evening. Our mole has just finished reporting back to the crack team on how it went and what happened. It was quite fascinating.
Soon enough more people came reported the mole, but they were already card carrying members of E4E. These teachers were mostly from KAPPA International High School in the former Roosevelt High School on Fordham Rd. In fact, the reason this soiree was held where it was because E4E is heavily into recruiting at that school. Of the approximately ten names on the list of new attendees, only our mole, and two young ladies appeared. The other 10 or so people there were all under the age of 30.
Brian Erickson, according to our mole, seems a nice enough young man, but quite naive. Brian, a native of St Louis taught Life Science and somehow was department chair in his second year of teaching at Bronx Career & College Preparatory High School in District 12.
As outreach director for E4E Brian's job consists of going from school to school visiting with teachers and observing their teaching. He describes it not so much as being a mentor or critiquing teachers but rather to lend them support and make sure that their voices are being heard. This seems puzzling. Why would a principal allow E4E to just pop into their school? Principals get their knickers in a twist when a UFT DL appears, how does E4E have this kind of juice?
One interesting comment that Brian made, according to the mole, was concerning Uncle Mike. Brian seems to think that Uncle Mike is not the education mayor that he makes himself out to be. That Uncle Mike has damaged education in NYC and that he should be not involved with education at all. We here at SBSB find Brian's candor refreshing, yet curious in that he has bitten the hand that enables and is the wet nurse for E4E.
Our mole initially made some small talk with Little Evan concerning the UFT and the lack of concern from the upper echelon. When the mole half-kiddingly suggested to Little Evan that E4E should run as a caucus in the 2013, Little Evan did not dismiss it, but said, "Down the road it's a possibility." Little Evan also complained that with 40% of votes in 2010 coming from retirees showing that those who vote have no stake. He also intimated to the mole a drive for teachers to get out the vote, backed by E4E in next UFT election.
Little Evan did share some interesting tidbits with our mole in a private conversation. He still claims that he started E4E on his own, not by being recruited as has been published here on September 25. He told our mole that he was unhappy not getting any feedback and not having any say within the union or within the school and therefore contacted other like members from other schools to found E4E. But besides getting funding from the Gates Foundation, Little Evan told the mole that funding comes from The Robing Hood Foundation and Carnagie.
Little Evan bemoans the fact that he was given tenure, and says he taught 4 years, instead of three. The 4th year for Little Evan as he claims was F-status 2 times a week at PS 86. A school in which he also whined that he was rarely observed. Also at PS 86, Little Evan claims that while his test scores were "good," there were not great. Wonder where Little Evan would fall in TDR?
Little Evan went through a crisis of what to do at one time. He didn't know if he wanted to stay in public education, go teach in a charter, or as he told the mole, "open up my own charter school." According to the mole, he stayed in public education because he believes in public education.
Our mole created a story of being a third year teacher at his school. This was a second career as a teacher and our mole shared with Little Evan a "story" on how 15-20 year teachers with tenure at the moles "school" don't care, are just happy with tenure. Little Evan made a face, and told our mole, "that this is what we are fighting against." Little Evan seemed to intimate that with a new tenure process, that teachers like this would no longer be in teaching. Yes, only if there were truly teachers like this.
Little Evan has grand plans for E4E according to our mole. Aside from constantly harping on the 3,000 members, he believes that once he and E4E can be an engine for change and for allowing teachers voices to be heard. He thinks there will come a day when a petition of 1,000 teachers can be presented to the DOE and this will affect the changes that are needed. Funny, why only 1,000 teachers? Surely there are 3,000 members of E4E? Why only aim for 1/3 of the membership?
Our mole shared that Little Evan has quite the upcoming ideas for E4E. The youth at E4E are preparing a white paper for principal evaluation as well as a paper on special education. Little Evan also wants to start a "teacher residency" program in which teachers are in a school assisting, being mentored 4 days a week whilst going to college at night. This, as our mole shared, bring us back to an issue with Little Evan has with teacher education. Evan believes that teachers do not receive a proper education in college, that they come into teaching, into a school unprepared. Well, shit. That's life. Funny how he whines about how a new teacher is unprepared when he, and his brethren, went to TFA's 50 hour, 5 week summer training. Hey, Little Evan, go whine this to Wendy Kopp.
Little Evan also shared with our mole that he sees E4E going into schools and given professional development using card carrying members of E4E. This is funny. A teacher who has only taught two years or so coming in to give PD? ROTFLMFAO!
Hey, it seems that any E4E event is easy to get into. Just show up and have a few drinks on Little Evan. The crack team here at SBSB plan to continue this in the future and plan to share all what our moles have to share.