By Kylie Holley
Tim Callahan, spokesperson for Professional Association of Educators writes about Tony Robert”s “double speak” on charter schools in an editorial in the Athens Banner. In my opinion that is “the pot calling the kettle black”.
Tim Callahan is director of membership for PAGE, which I have been a member of for the past 10 years; that is until recently. I can’t help but wonder if Callahan helped write these lines in order to gain membership by unsuspecting educators of Georgia: “ PAGE offers its members unmatched legislative advocacy”; “engage in collaborative networks that build the capacity of all educators to lead schools and school districts in processes resulting in transformational change”; “PAGE was founded in 1975 by a small group of educators who believed that a professional educator focuses on what is best for children, works in a professional manner for positive results and does not resort to militant or adversarial actions.” ; works to establish collegial relationships with elected officials to promote positive legislation for education.”
So, let’s talk about double-speak. As a member I have not received advocacy, but rather a slap in the face with the opposition of a resolution that supports me and the staff at my school. It is not about ALL educators, but only about the majority of educators. I suppose they are more important than our little teachers that work 60 hours a week to ensure all students’ needs are met. What exactly does PAGE consider as “transformational change”? It seems to me that they are actually satisfied with the status quo as long as they keep the membership support of the “majority” of educators. Don’t get me started on “adversarial actions”. Does Callahan really think calling someone a “weasel” is not adversarial? And as far as “doing what is best for children” and focusing on “positive legislation for education”, what they should have said was “doing what is best for local boards of education” and “promoting positive legislation for a monopoly on education.”
I am sadly disappointed in an organization that I felt had my best interest in mind for over 10 years. I have since resigned my membership with PAGE, and I requested my membership dues be returned to me; since I was misled by their double-speak. I, of course, was denied that.
I strongly agree with Tony Roberts’ “weasel words” (which seem more like common sense to me), why would anyone want to deny the citizens of Georgia the right to vote on such an important issue that affects all the parents and children of this state. To me, this un-American, un-democratic stance just proves who the real “weasels” are.
— Kylie Holley is a Founding member and principal of Pataula Charter Academy in southwest Georgia. She is also a FORMER member of PAGE.