Tuesday, March 11, 2014

W.T.F. V.A.M.: Value Added Measure: Jen Hogue's Parting Words and Requiem for Valueaddedmeasure.blogspot.com

V.A.M.: Value Added Measure: Jen Hogue's Parting Words and Requiem for Valueaddedmeasure.blogspot.com:



Jen Hogue's Parting Words and Requiem for Valueaddedmeasure.blogspot.com

Dear Reader (from Jen Hogue),

I was told by my friend, Adam Bergstein, Monday, March 10, 2014, that our blog site must go black since he can find no way (even through contact with Google) to keep it up and simultaneously disassociate his name.  He is busy with committees for the NYSUT convention and  UFT leadership, to the best of my understanding of his words, sent out a general advisory that Union names should not be associated with things such as our blog.  It may have to do with Unity's loyalty oath, something I only learned about through NYC Educator and, then again, I may be mistaken.




Let it be known for the record that, to the best of my figuring, I wrote 95 pieces of the 105 pieces posted prior to this last one (and to prove that I do not hate all data, just some of the uses to which it is misapplied, I will tell you that was 90.476%).   So, let my 95 pieces in no way impugn the slate of Adam Bergstein. He shares none of that guilt.  His guilt only lies in recruiting me with powerful words and a winning way to make a pact with him to use all of our combined "firepower" to try to save public education.




I can never again view Unity with equanimity (and this is Jen Hogue speaking, let me emphasize, not Adam Bergstein) if it asks its members to sign loyalty oaths to publicly rubberstamp leadership decisions at the expense of the free inquiry, the free thought and the free speech of highly intelligent individuals elected as chapter leaders by highly intelligent educators who are supposed to teach people how to think, not what to think.




Adam said I might repost my near  one-hundred pieces on a new blog site from which he is disassociated before he soon dismantles our valueaddedmeasure.blogspot.com and all of that hard work, dedication and love is erased from public record.  I am too sickened by the situation and paralyzed by grief to undertake such an arduous task now.




I am saddened beyond belief that perceived and, doubtless very real, pressures should lead to the dismantling of a blog site founded upon the sincerest feelings of a love that values public education, humanity and a faith in the future.  The situation is made even sadder by the fact that my eldest daughter had taken great pride in her mother's work, helped me post a piece with her own design and only the other night asked for our web address to locate on her Nook--which I'm sure she wanted to share with her teacher.  I fear for when she finds out the site is gone.  I fear for when she asks me to explain.  




In retrospect, the blog was less than a year of my life, but it was part of one of the most significant years in my life.  I suppose if we had not been mildly successful with over 10,000 hits in about three months (really starting 12/22/2013), maybe no one could ever have possibly been bothered at all by our existence or could have even guessed at our existence.




I just have to thank any divine spirit(s) or sweet serendipity that there are kids in this world because without them I would really wonder what many of us, adults, are doing on this planet. 




I will make one of my first pieces the last piece, "The Day the Teaching Died." For anyone who read any of our pieces, puzzled about them whether in agreement or not, smiled, laughed, nodded or once said, "Brilliant" or "That's friggin' awesome,"  I say the words that have always come easiest to me in my life, "thank you."




Another Slice of "American Pie" (a variation on the lyrics of Don McLean)








A long, long time ago 
I can still remember how that teaching used to make me smile 
And, I knew if I had my turn that I could make those people learn, and... 
Maybe they'd be studying a while 
But, February made me shiver with every test score I'd deliver 
Bad news on the scantron - It made me want to rant on 
I can't remember if I cried when I read about a cheating tide 
Something touched me deep inside the day the teaching died 

So, bye bye Miss American Pie 
Took my marker to the whiteboard but the marker was dry 
Them good ol' boys were listening to some lie, singing... 
This'll be the day that I die 
This'll be the day that I die 

Did you write the Book of Love and do you have faith in God, above? 
If the Bible tells you so 
Now, do you believe in ABCs? Should you learn to swallow some bees? And... 
please don't teach me how to be Michelle Rhee 
Well, I know that you just want to teach, but all your dreams are now out of reach 
Hedge-fund managers rule - man, they're trying to kill my school 
I was a lonely, teacher workin' hard with a pink eraser and a metro card, but... 
I knew I'd been fed some lard the day the teaching died 



I started singing, bye bye Miss American Pie




Took my marker to the whiteboard but the marker was dry
Them good ol' boys were listening to some lie...Singing,
This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

Now, for ten years we've been so degraded, "scapegoated" and evaluated, but...
That's not how it used to be
When the Chancellor sang for Duncan and Rhee in a coat he stole from you and me
With billionaire's dollars from Bloomie
Oh, and while we all were looking down the Chancellor stole his thorny crown
The courtroom was adjourned - no contract was returned
And, while Rhee clapped for erased marks, the Union chanted in the park, and...
We sang dirges in the dark the day the teaching died

We were singing, bye bye Miss American Pie
Took my marker to the whiteboard, but the marker was dry
Them good ol' boys were listening to some lie...Singing
This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

Helter Skelter in the wake of Sandy - we looked to the A.F.T. and Randy
Pearson's making profits fast
Older teachers are harassed
The Charters had ensured all kids pass by kicking out half the kindergarten class
Now, the lunchtime air was sweet perfume while Michelle taped our mouths shut too soon
We all got up to eat, but Rhee with her broom had us beat
'Cause the teachers tried to save their school - billionaires passed an unfair rule
Do you recall who was their tool the day the teaching died?

We started singing, bye bye Miss American Pie
Took my marker to the whiteboard, but the marker was dry
Them good ol' boys were listening to some lie, singing...
This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

Oh, in there we were, all in one store - with only one choice, common core
With no time left to speak our mind
So, come on, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick - Jack Flash sat on a mem'ry stick, 'cause...
Data is the Devil's only friend
And, as I watched him on the stage my hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in Hell could break that Satan's spell
And, as the flames climbed high into the night to light the sacrificial rite, I saw...
Satan laughing with delight the day the teaching died

He was singing, bye bye Miss American Pie
Took my marker to the whiteboard but the marker was dry
Them good ol' boys were listening to some lie, singing...
This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

I met a guy who sang the Blues, and I asked him for some happy news
He just smiled and turned away
I went down to the old classroom when I'd heard that tenure met its doom, but...
The man there said that teaching wouldn't pay
And, in the streets the children screamed, the lover's cried, and the poets dreamed, but...
Not a word was spoken - the school bells all were broken
And, the three men I admire most: the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost, they...
Caught the cheese bus for the coast the day the teaching died

And, they were singing, bye bye Miss American Pie
Took my marker to the whiteboard, but the marker was dry
Them good ol' boys were listening to some lie, singing...
This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

They were singing, bye bye Miss American Pie
Took my marker to the whiteboard but the marker was dry
Them good ol' boys were listening to some lie, singing...
This'll be the day that I die



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