“Dignity and Democracy in Education:
Blowing the Whistle on the Culture of Fear and Corruption in NYC Public Schools”
New York, NY — New York City teachers are under siege. In schools across the city… usually in hushed tones… teachers talk about their contractual rights — rights hard-earned over many years of service: tenure; fair, objective and honest performance evaluations; the freedom to openly discuss educational issues without fear of retaliation. They worry that these rights are being gradually eroded or simply given away. After 10 years of living with a hostile, anti-union, and anti-teacher Department of Education, some educators have decided to confront this mentality head-on.
WHAT: A Public Forum on New York City Public Schools.
WHEN: Saturday, February 23, 3:00-5:00pm
WHERE: CUNY Graduate Center; 365 5th Avenue; New York, NY 10016 Room 5414 (34TH ST MIDTOWN)
WHY: MORE believes that teachers can’t teach — nor can they advocate effectively for students — in the existing culture of fear.
This forum will include a panel of accomplished educators who have bravely chosen to confront the Department of Education directly on these issues. They will tell their own stories — stories that involve putting their own careers in jeopardy by publicly advocating for their students and suffering vicious reprisals from the system as a consequence.
Together we will consider how to push back against the culture of fear; how to challenge hostile work environments; the role of the UFT and union chapters in fighting for freedom of speech and freedom of thought; ways we can all work together to protect our rights on the job.
WHO: The Movement of Rank & File Educators (MORE) – The Social Justice Caucus of the United Federation of Teachers is sponsoring this event.
Lois Weiner, Ed.D. Scholar-Activist, Author of “The Future of Our Schools: Teacher Unions and Social Justice” & Professor of Education at New Jersey City University
Francesco Portelos – S.T.E.M. Teacher, UFT Chapter Leader & whistleblower , “rubber roomed” for exposing alleged financial corruption of school administration
Harris Lirtzman – Former Special Education/Mathematics Teacher charged with “employee misconduct” after reporting misadministration of his school’s special-education program
Brian Jones – Teacher and Co-Narrator of the film “The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman”, MORE’s Candidate for UFT Secretary