Calling All Educators! Gather Signatures on the Petition to Increase Teacher Diversity This Week!

November 16, 2014 — 2 Comments

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Did you know that although more than 67.5% of our NYC students are Black and Latino/a, only 37% of teachers share their background? Did you know that since 2002 that number (based on new hires) has fallen by over half (57.4%), while the number of white teachers hired in the city has increased by 23%?

It’s true. BUT, our educational leaders have a clear path towards remedying this problem, and we’re helping the Teacher Diversity Committee of NYC push for those changes with the Petition to Increase Teacher Diversity in New York City.  The clock is ticking though- you have just 10 more days to get involved, and we need everyone!

On Tuesday, November 25, we will go to the PEP (Panel for Educational Policy) meeting to support the Teacher Diversity Committee as they present the Petition to Increase Teacher Diversity in New York City!

Now, join us in the push to get as many signatures as possible before then. If you’ve been gathering  signatures since August from your co-workers and community members, thank you! It’s time to finish up and turn in your petitions.

We’ve already gathered several hundred signatures, but if we want Chancellor Fariña and the PEP to prioritize this important work, we still need your help! If you haven’t already begun, sign on, and share the petition online.  Then print a hard copy and collect signatures around your school/community so that you can have conversations about this important work.

Finally, bring hard copies of the petition to the UFT Delegate Assembly on Tuesday, November 18th, and join us in formally asking our union to sign on in support of a more diverse teaching corps. If you can’t make it to the meeting, mail your completed petitions ASAP to: Teacher Diversity Committee of NYC, c/o Ahern, P.O. Box 1025, New York, NY 10002.

To read the petition in it’s entirety, download a hard copy here, or read our August blog post.

If you’re sharing the petition online here are some sample Tweets or messages that you can use:

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2 responses to Calling All Educators! Gather Signatures on the Petition to Increase Teacher Diversity This Week!

  1. 

                       Now, I know why Unity Caucus wins every election. Stop with this ultra-liberal nonsense. Good teachers come in all groups. In considering a pedagogue, we don’t take someone’s religion or race under consideration. Don’t you realize that you are performing reverse bigotry in your actions? Concentrate on lack of school discipline, large class sizes, and Leadership Academy Principals who never taught but are rating teachers. ED G

    On Sun, Nov 16, 2014 at 11:35 AM, Movement of Rank and File Educators wrote:

    morecaucusnyc posted: ”

    Did you know that although more than 67.5% of our NYC students are Black and Latino/a, only 37% of teachers share their background? Did you know that since 2002 that number (based on new hires) has fallen by over half (57.4%), while the number of whit”

  2. 

    In response to Mr Ed: The race of a teacher should not matter in the USA or in NYC schools, yet it does because the USA remains a white supremacist society by any measure, President Obama excepted (and we see what a hue and cry that one exception has raised in the Republican Party).

    In response to those too rattled by all this race talk or too fearful in this political climate to sign any petition at all critical of the racial status quo, do the teacherly thing and pose it as an assignment. (It might help you to do what we urge our students to do. Think critically. Use data):

    “Please review the hiring data for NYC teachers over the past decade and write a 5 paragraph essay in response to the following prompt: Do you discern any pattern in the hiring of teachers in NYC? Please summarize your findings and weigh their effects and their significance if any, to you as a student. Please support your argument with data and specific examples based on your own experiences. For extra credit you may also identify questions for further inquiry.”

    The defacto “white” over Black hiring and firing practices of the Bloomberg administration remain in place and it will take a grassroots movement to overturn them. The Teacher Diversity Petition is the most concerted effort to date to place this matter before the membership and public at large and I applaud the MORE caucus for endorsing it.

    Will the UFT as a whole be part of this effort and challenge the naysayers in our own ranks? Can the UFT refuse to “take race into consideration” in the face of a 57% decline in the number of Black teachers hired between 2002 and 2012?

    We may be thankful for at least one teacher union that has the courage of their convictions. The Chicago Teachers Union has filed a class action suit (http://www.substancenews.net/articles.php?page=5295&section=Article) based on a decline in the percentage of Black teachers in Chicago from 40% in 2000 to 28% in 2011. They went on strike to try to stop Rahm Emmanuel from closing schools in the Black community but were forced to concede under the threat of injunctions.

    Should UFT members remain silent in the face of a defacto affirmative action for “whites” hiring policy? Should we wait for a similar demographic collapse in the NYC teaching staff as has befallen Chicago before we raise our voices?

    What effect does such silence have on union solidarity in the nation’s largest union local? Yes the UFT passed a resolution in 2011, but when do they plan to tell anyone out of the Delegate Assembly about it?

    The corporate reformers, the mass media and the leadership of both political parties seek nothing less than the eradication of teacher unionism and public education as a human right. What chance does a UFT membership have to resist this if some of our own members blithely insist that “race” doesn’t matter and maintain a willful indifference to the white supremacism in hiring and firing over the previous decade?

    By definition a teacher true to the noble profession strives to be a student advocate. Can we, with any credibility, urge our students to apply themselves to their studies, to work hard so that they may improve their lives, while we remain silent as the teaching profession, a historic stepping stone into the middle class, is increasingly turned into a “white” job preserve?

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