Bill Freeman spent a few years helping children, and now he is rising in a remarkably undemocratic and secretive organization. It remains to be seen whether this move will be beneficial to children--or to Mr. Freeman himself. Mr. Freeman was elected by a very small number of people to head the San Diego local affiliate of California Teachers Association (CTA), which elects its president and vice president by a group voice vote behind closed doors. It’s a top-down organization in which getting ahead means doing what you’re told and not asking questions. Perhaps this will go well for Mr. Freeman since he has military experience and is therefore accustomed to taking and giving orders without explanations. Mr. Freeman will be working with (and under) local CTA director Jim Groth, who believes all teachers should stay "on message."
Sadly, school administrators are just as adamant as the teachers union that teachers not think for themselves, or, if they do think for themselves, that they not talk to anyone about their thoughts. No wonder students don't learn to think critically, and don't learn to participate fully in our democracy.
New President for Teachers Union
March 26, 2010
Voice of San Diego
The San Diego Unified teachers union has a new president-to-be: Bill Freeman, who teaches third grade at Porter Elementary in Lincoln Park and now serves as union treasurer.
Freeman has taught for 12 years in San Diego Unified; he chose to teach in elementary school because he mentored middle and high schoolers while serving in the military and decided that he needed to intervene earlier. He was Elementary School Teacher of the Year in San Diego Unified last year.
Freeman will replace provocative teachers union leader Camille Zombro, who is termed out this August; Zombro will become vice president of the union and return to teaching full time. Both were elected through an online vote that Zombro said was unfortunately low in turnout, though she didn't have exact numbers available this morning.
Like Zombro, Freeman isn't a fan of No Child Left Behind, which he said "will totally eradicate public schools" unless it is seriously revised. But he said he would differ from Zombro by making the teachers union more visible in the community, to improve the public perception of teachers...