Weingarten & Gates - Class Collaboration
The speech by Bill Gates at the general session of the AFT convention on Saturday July 10 was an insult to teachers who work hard every day in the face growing attacks by the ruling class. The invitation by Randi Weingarten was nothing less than the act of A CLASS TRAITOR! Bill Gates makes his billions of dollars by exploiting the workers of Microsoft (a non-union employer). He has led the attack on public education, spending millions of dollars on programs that attack our union, work to privatize schools, and prepare working class youth for a future of war and fascism. Our union should not be working with our bosses to destroy our students.
We are workers--our needs are different than those of the bosses.
The U.S ruling class is currently fighting 2 wars to protect its interests in the oil and mineral resources in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is also preparing for its next war, in Iran or Korea or South America. The bosses are facing a strengthening competition from Europe, Russia and a growing China. At some point soon the U.S. is going to have to take on these other capitalists. If not the bosses will lose their standing as a world power. In order to do this they must commit resources to the war machinery rather education (or healthcare or other services for workers). We, as workers, gain nothing from these wars, except to see other workers like us maimed or dead.
Why does this matter to us?
At the same time they must train the next generation of workers for their future. Workers must be won to working for lower wages, working more hours and joining the military in much larger numbers. To do this the bosses use the education system that they have bought and paid for. The ruling class needs teachers who have bought into their system, so they are strengthening their political indoctrination. At the same time they are working to convince teachers that there is no difference between us and our bosses. Having teachers evaluate each other, rule on hiring and firing, and doing away with the due process protection of tenure are all steps to blur the line between worker and boss.
Look at the main motion pushed by the AFT leadership and at Bill Gates’ speech. They both talked about class collaboration—teachers being evaluated by other teachers, and teachers working with administrators to develop plans to evaluate teachers in order to destroy tenure and bust the unions.
We have been lied to by the liberals, Weingarten, Obama, Duncan and Gates. Under the guise of anti-racism and the fight for better schools for all, we are being convinced that our job is to help them build this fascist system of evaluation and school closings and mass firings. These liberals are using fascist and racist teacher-bashing to force us to work harder and longer for less money, in competition with each other, and with other schools and other states. We need to organize as class without the illusion that these bosses are our friends.