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As a member of the MORE Caucus in NYC, I’ve noticed a stark disconnect between the rhetoric of our union leadership and the interests of working teachers. The Common Core is fundamentally undemocratic – not only in its implementation but in its conception. Handing teachers rigid, scripted curricula benefits corporate interests while neglecting students’ need for a developmentally-appropriate and well-rounded education. Teachers’ hands have been tied as the emphasis on testing and labeling harms the most vulnerable children. I am running for an At-Large Director position to advocate for teachers’ professional autonomy. Allow us to teach students, not standards.
During my first years of teaching I missed almost every union meeting. “I’m a good teacher, why do I need the union?” I naively thought. After I raised concerns, I was targeted, removed from my teaching position, and exiled. I realized the importance of unions, and I ran and won the school chapter leader position from exile. As a member of the MORE Caucus in NYC, I have been mobilizing and supporting my school and other educators who read about my fight. My goal is to use my knowledge, leadership skills, and out-of-the-box thinking at the state level now.
As a member of UFT’s MORE caucus, I am running for an At-Large Director position based on my firm belief that democratic engagement of our membership must be a top priority. Our leadership has been complicit with unresearched Race to the Top policies, diminishing our work to scripted curricula and directing incalculable resources away from enriching programs our schools need. The use of invalid standardized tests has put an entire generation of youth, educators, and schools at risk and has promoted a culture of fear. It is time for democratic policies that respect the diverse needs of New York’s public schools.
Support the Opt-Out Movement & Learn How to Organize Your Chapter
THURSDAY 2/27: ORGANIZING WORKSHOP
A LABOR NOTES TROUBLEMAKERS SCHOOL
Come to a workshop on organizing your members to create a more active, involved union chapter. Discuss organizing challenges with other chapter leaders and strategize creative solutions to build teacher and para power in your school!
What challenges are you facing in your school? - Take our Chapter Leader Survey
Thursday, February 27, 5:00pm
TWU Local 100 Offices
195 Montague St., 3rd Fl., Rm C, Brooklyn
FRIDAY 2/28: MEET WITH PARENTS WHO ARE SAYING NO!
Sponsored by Change the Stakes
(Please Share Widely with your friends, PTAs, SLTs, Parent Lists, teachers)
As children and teachers enter the spring “testing season,” parents must decide if we will continue to allow our children to support high-stakes testing. There are many ways to resist the tests and demand social justice for all public school students.
• Help educate your school community, organize, mobilize and possibly opt out.
• Even if you feel like a lone voice, you are not alone!
• It is time for parents to protect their children and resist by saying NO!
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28
5:30 to 7:30pm
CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Ave, Rm 5409
[corner of 5th Ave & 34th St; entrance on 5th]
Bring photo ID to enter
Special Education Teacher/UFT Delegate
PS 58, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
MORE is the bellwether, the authentic voice of working educators in NYC.
This is Our Moment!
We are on the right side of history, several steps ahead, waiting for politicians and union leadership to catch up.
Current events bear this out; after the excesses of corporate reform reached their apex in 12 years of Bloomberg, the pendulum has begun, slowly, to return to center. Parents, students, and teachers are mobilizing en mass, and Movement of Rank and File Educators is at the forefront of the resistance. It used to be a lonely place, but it has started to become crowded lately. Positions long held by MORE, like strenuous opposition to high stakes testing and the use of VAM growth scores to evaluate teachers, were until very recently considered by the power structure to be extreme. Now, they are core tenets of UNITY* doctrine, and have the potential to be heard with a more sympathetic ear under DeBlasio and Fariña.
In April, the New York State Teachers Union (NYSUT-the state association of teachers unions that the UFT is part of) will be having elections. Since UFT/Unity has a great deal of power in NYSUT, MORE was asked by statewide activists in the Port Jefferson Teachers Association to get involved.
We are excited to announce that we will be running for the 6 At Large positions on the Board of Directors that represents the NYC schools’ district (UFT) at the state union level. Our candidates are Julie Cavanagh, Lauren Cohen, Michael Schirtzer, James Eterno, Francesco Portelos, and Jia Lee.
We will be campaigning for our statewide union to take a stronger stand against test-based teacher evaluations, for more union democracy, and for building an active rank-and-file membership that works in solidarity for improved working and learning conditions.