StudentsFirst has raised tens of millions of dollars on the lie that they, alone, care about students who need to be defended from all the teachers who only care about themselves.
The biggest distortion of their numbers is their claim that they have 1.3 million members. Many of these ‘members’ are people who are completely opposed to StudentsFirst’s agenda, but have accidentally signed up by clicking on a button on a form that said something like “Click here if you think great teachers should be rewarded!” When they held a rally in Connecticut earlier this year, only about ten people showed up despite the thousands of ‘members’ they claimed they had there.
The most recent example of StudentsFirst playing with numbers to advance their own agenda was something bizarre I read on their blog by teacher Bhavini Bhakta called ‘A Teacher’s Two Cents’ in which she begins “I’ve been a teacher for 9 years and I had to go through being laid off for 8 of those years.” This seems a little too extreme to be true. I’m not sure what her situation was and why she was, supposedly, laid off so often, but I do know that there must be much more to the story.
— StudentsFirst (@StudentsFirst) May 15, 2013
So I did a few seconds of research and found that five months ago Bhavini wrote a similar anti-LIFO article in The Los Angeles Times entitled ‘California’s pink-slip shuffle’. In this one it says at the end, “Bhavini Bhakta lost teaching positions in four schools over eight years because she lacked seniority.”
So which one is it? Has she been LIFOed eight times or four times? When StudentsFirst lies so much, they really can’t be trusted.
Incidentally, in case you’re wondering, I fully support LIFO layoffs. I believe that layoffs are rarely necessary. There is so much turnover in teaching anyway that just having a hiring freeze would make most layoffs unnecessary. I would, however, support something where an experienced teacher who is in her first year teaching in a new district would somehow get credit for her previous years to avoid LIFO layoffs. Most teachers laid off through LIFO, I think, are true first year teachers and not eight year veterans.