Early in my career, a lower level administrator tried to renege on a compromise deal. The top central office administrator only had one question:
Did you shake hands on it?
In other words, a deal is a deal. After he made it clear that the agreement would be honored, we had a constructive discussion on the issues in dispute. Back then, it was understood:
If you want to help kids, your word must be your bond.
I want to emphasize that the great majority of reformers, as individuals, are honest and almost every one who I know is sincere. But, they refuse to express public outrage over the situational ethics of their leaders. Convinced of their righteousness, too many top corporate reformers will say and do anything to achieve their objectives.
The Chalkbeat's Geoff Decker, in Cuomo Flip-Flops on Evaluation "Safety Net" as He Criticizes City's Results, reports that the governor may "not hold up his end of a much-touted bargain with the state teachers union" to keep the use of Common Core-aligned student test scores from hurting individual teachers' evaluations.
As novelists explain, the super rich and powerful are different. I believe Cuomo is dead wrong on the substance of the education policy issue, but that's not the point. I was socialized into the faith that a person who wants to promote economic justice and advance civil rights must always be true to his or her word. Yes, the elites might feel free to say one thing and do another, but if progressives do not act with integrity, our power to do good would dissolve.