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February 14, 2011
February 18, 2011
March 07, 2011
At first, I really didn’t care. I’m a pretty easy-going guy, all-in-all. Every few years, we’d get some new transfer, another geek to teach the eighth graders Algebra I, like they need that! They’d just about choke on their single-serving chocolate milk from the cafeteria when they met me.
“Fordham? Your name is Thomas B. Fordham? Like those swivel-eyed crazies with the charter schools and the horseflies?”
“D. For Dayton. (Ohio pride, buddy!) Thomas D. Fordham, no relation. But everybody just calls me Tommy D.”
And that would be that; I could get back to the business of teaching seventh-grade gym at Toledo Central Middle School (Go Jackrabbits!). But every man has his limit, and I’m finally beyond mine.
Problem is, you Fordham types don’t quit. It’s not just the charter thing, mind you, or even the bugs. I mean, enough with the “accountability” nonsense, okay? It’s not enough for you to sponsor some random schools? You’ve got to stick your noses in my school, too? And the reports? Oy. Every year, like clockwork, with those Ohio report-card analyses. (Though they’re useful for evening out the legs on my desk the sixth-grade shop class gave me last spring.)
What really got me, though, was this Senate Bill 5 shenanigan. Charter schools just mean I have a smaller fourth-period class. Not all bad. But taking away my God-given right to a fraternal union contract and then saying I can’t strike over it? Oh no, no, no. This Terri Ryan lady is everywhere and needs to STEP OFF. Testifying in the legislature, writing op-eds...slow down.
So I got to thinking: Why can’t I be the teacher-union version of little miss Ryan? Time to turn the tables.
Today marks the founding of the Thomas D. Fordham Institute. Goal: advancing educational we’re-doing-just-fineness. Based out of a corner of the boys’ locker room at TCMS, we will speak truth to power and give “the organization-that-must-not-be-named” an equal sparring partner. And we’re not going to do any of that fancy PodTubeTwitFaceLive nonsense they’re always yammering on about. Tommy D. is old school. Ravitch is on board and she’s bringing in Meier, Berliner, Kohn, and Darling-Hammond. But they won’t have to do much. Every week I’ll just run off copies of my weekly newsletter, Would the Real T. Fordham Please Stand Up?, until the Xerox in the faculty lounge runs out of paper, and then I’ll start spreading the good word. Tack those things up on trees and whatnot.
Fair warning. You watch out, “Thomas B. Fordham.” I’m coming for you.
PS: I got nothin’ to do with that university in the Bronx, either (though I might just start my own college, too).