Movement of Rank & File Educators

The social justice caucus of the UFT

“Our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions”

MORE

 

Weekly Update #22 – 08.29.12

more@morecaucusnyc.org

 

Keep it rolling – Spread the word–help build MORE!

Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/MOREcaucusNYC

Follow us on Twitter: @morecaucusnyc

Check out MORE’s website: MOREcaucusNYC.org

 

Email us at: more@morecaucusnyc.org

 

MORE Upcoming Events

Sept 12: MORE Planning – 6PM  – right after the UFT Chapter Leader meeting: Killarney Rose at 127 Pearl St New York, NY 10005.

Sept 14: Election comm meet – CUNY

Sept 19: CL/Del Training – Murphy Institute

Sept 22:  MORE General meeting – noon – CUNY – Rm 5409, 5414

Oct. 19: Dist 15 Happy Hour, Freddys bar

 

Help MORE Petition the UFT:

For a Democratic Discussion and Vote in the UFT on the New Evaluation System

Every educator deserves a fair evaluation as a basic part of our working conditions.

Training for new chapter leaders, new delegates, or anyone trying to build activism within the schools.

SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday September 19

The Murphy Institute

25 West 43rd Street, between 5th and 6th avenues

18th Floor, Room C/D

Labor Notes, a publication for rank and file labor activists that has been around for more than 30 years, is teaming up with MORE to help provide training for UFT activists interested in trying to build membership activism in the schools. At our workshop on the 19th we’ll discuss ways in which we can identify potential activists and leaders within our schools, figure out how to approach and activate them, and discuss what kinds of issues are likely to interest our co-workers.

Join us on the 19th to meet experienced activists from other unions and from among MORE’s deep bench of rank and file leaders.

For further info contact Kit Wainer.

Thanks,

Kit Wainer

UFT Chapter Leader, Leon Goldstein High School

KitWainer@yahoo.com

 

Join the MORE Chapter Leader and Delegate Meet-up group listserve.

 

Send an email to more@morecaucusnyc.org and ask to be added to the chapter leader listserve (not the same as MORE Discussion).

————–

Possible MORE issues for the 2013 UFT Election

 

Expect MORE From Your Union

1. Organizing and defending educators in their schools. (due process for all members)
2. Tenure and ATR’s (arbitrary denial of tenure, making highly qualified teachers go school to school while TFA are placed immediately)
3. Teacher Evaluation/Danielson
4. High Stakes Testing/Curriculum/Common Core
5. Charter Schools/co-locations
6. Mayoral Control
7. Closing Schools
8. No Contract
9. Metal Detectors/Discipline Codes/Restorative Justice
End to the automatic blame the teacher in discipline issues: kids that are crying out for
Help need services.
10. Union democracy

Mike Schirtzer’s additions
As we learn from CORE and continue to build upon social justice unionism we must also have student/parent centric issues on our platform that will resonate with the greater community.
11. Classsize- this has been the main educational discussion in the presidential election
12. Schools staying open later as community centers- before Arne Duncan became tea party he spoke of schools staying open late and weekends
13. Budget cuts- have a disproportionate effect on children in poverty, cuts to arts, musicals, drama, school newspapers/yearbooks . These afterschool programs keeps our children safe in schools with adult supervision, where as the wealthy can afford to send children to private classes
14. Cuts to afterschool programs-budget cuts have also meanr cuts to SAT prep and literacy coaches, honework help after school- again hurting the poor
15. Special ed/esl Are our school doing enough for our students with special needs- do we as a union need to speak for them
16. Layoffs of DC 37 school support staff, has meant a decrease in adult supervision in our buildings
17. 4 years of stem (science technology engineering math)- every high school students deserves 4 full years of classes including science math foreign language and electives. We should push for a change in state standards to represent this view in credit requirements
18. Rich elementary school curriculum- due to test prep there has been cuts to amount of time spent in Physical ed (1 day a week), history, civics, arts
19. School infrastructure- Equality of opporrunity vs equality of condition- new charter schools have beautiful buildings that are fully tech equipped (internet, laptop carts, smart boards) and air conditioned- MORE must fight for equal resources and learning conditions for all our students. All buildings have to be in best condition and equipped for 21st century learning

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MORE’S LISA NORTH ON CHARTER SCHOOLS

Lisa North presented the case against charter schools, and for fully funding public education, at a hearing in Brooklyn on Tuesday.  The public was commenting on two new charter school proposals.  Here is her report.

I went to the “public hearing” on two proposed charter schools in District (13).   Only 2 people showed up that were not charter school people…..myself and a representative from City Councilwoman Letitia James’ office.  I started off saying that having these public hearings at this time of the summer cannot be “public” hearings, as the public did not show up.  Also the place of the hearing is NOT even in District 13! (Ms James rep also spoke to these issues).  The DOE rep said that it was the state’s regulations that forced them to be held now and that the D13 CEC offices were under construction (new school being placed there).

I spoke to fact that the two charter school proposals sounded great and the people working to bring them to District 13 seemed genuinely  interested in helping the students in District 13.  The problem is that many of the public schools in District 13 are in great need of resources, not competition from other schools.   If these schools are approved to share a neighborhood public school, it will only HURT the many students already in that school.  Those students will have to share the gym, lunchroom, library, etc. Also taking students to fill up the charter schools means that the neighborhood school lose the funding.  Then that school has less money for arts, music, and partnerships with community groups.  The money to set-up these charter schools should be used to give our public schools more resources.  I told them that they should be confronting/pushing the DOE to allow groups of people to start regular public schools, not charter schools.

I also spoke about the fact that when you control for ELL, special education (especially those that need more services), free lunch (not just reduced lunch), and the students that are pushed out, charter schools do NO better than our public schools. Why not put the resources and your ideas to work in our District 13 schools?

I also asked (during the question period) about how they were both going to fund a longer school day and about the fact that most charter schools only keep teachers for a few years.  There was a discussion about this also.

Unity Preparatory Charter School of Brooklyn, is being started mostly by former teachers (some from Brandeis HS).  Many live in Ft Greene (District 13).  They are young and want to make a difference.  They wanted to talk afterwards and we discussed the issue of charter schools being used to privatize ALL education here in the US.  I told them by participating in this charter school they have to know that they are basically part of the problem.  I said you have to see the BIG picture, not just wanting to start a great school for students and teachers.  They didn’t want to look at that, and then I said…..people wanted to have blinders on about global warming…….and now many cannot deny that it is happening.  You must see the implications of your current actions.

Letitia James’ rep said that I had said most of what she wanted to say, then she also discussed some of the issues.   Everyone thanked me for coming!!…..A rep from the NYC Charter School Center came up after and asked why NO UFT reps EVER come to these meetings!  As I was walking away I realized it was because they can’t talk against charters as they SUPPORT them!

I think it is time for the UFT to have a different position on charter schools.  They could  say that they have run their own charter schools.  From that experience they have learned that there is NO silver bullet to improve student learning.  It takes resources to help struggling students like smaller class sizes, programs for parents, social supports for students and families, in school intervention programs, and high quality after school and summer programs, to name just a few.  The UFT could call for a stop to all new charters and instead for the resources to be used for our struggling public schools.  No one is blaming the current charter school teachers who mostly want to help students, it is just that the charter school experiment has NOT worked.

Join MORE!

 

And please take a moment to check out our website at morecaucusnyc.org.

 

Spread the word–help build MORE!

Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/MOREcaucusNYC

Follow us on Twitter: @morecaucusnyc

Check out MORE’s website: MOREcaucusNYC.org

 

Email us at: more@morecaucusnyc.org

 

We want to hear from you! Check out MORE’s online discussion forum to get the latest news and goings on, and to join in the conversation.

 

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