JIA LEE, UFT CHAPTER LEADER OF THE EARTH SCHOOL WILL REPRESENT CLASSROOM TEACHERS AND SCHOOL BASED EDUCATORS AS CANDIDATE FOR UFT PRESIDENT
For Immediate Release:
The Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE) and New Action, two opposition caucuses of the United Federation of Teachers, have come together to nominate Jia Lee for UFT President in the upcoming officers’ elections. Ms. Lee has opted-out of standardized testing as a teacher and parent. She testified in January 2015 before the U.S. Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Senate hearing on Testing and Accountability, for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), stating, “I decided that I am obligated and accountable to my students and families, and that is why, as a conscientious objector, I will not administer tests that reduce my students to a single metric and will continue to take this position until the role of standardized assessments are put in their proper place.” Her fundamental belief that the over reliance on multiple choice tests betrays the educational promise that our children deserve, is shared by parents and educators throughout the city. The opt-out movement has been credited with influencing New York and national educational shift away from Common Core based high stakes testing to an approach that involves parents and educators in the decision making process.
Jia Lee has been an active UFT Chapter Leader for seven years. She is running for President because, “For too long, our union leadership has been complicit to damaging educational policies, such as test-based teacher evaluations and mayoral control over the city’s schools. This has led to the void in community voice and democratic decision making our public school students deserve.” Ms. Lee raised a resolution at the June 2015 UFT Delegate Assembly for a vote of “No confidence in the newly appointed State Education Commissioner, Mary Ellen Elia” which the leadership spoke against citing Ms. Elia “as a friend to public education.” Recently, the Commissioner affirmed her position to continue pushing accountability measures. Ms. Lee and MORE/New Action will continue to fight for our members to have a voice in our union and educational policies that impact the children we teach everyday.
MORE is a rank and file led caucus of the UFT, that represents thousands of teachers, guidance counselors, paraprofessionals, secretaries, and school based support staff. In the 2013 UFT elections, MORE won over 40% of the High School votes and more than 5,000 votes from the 20,000 active members that cast ballots. MORE has announced it will run as a joint slate with the long established New Action Caucus of the UFT. Their combined votes in 2013 would have won them 7 seats on the UFT Executive Board.
MORE has established itself as the leading voice for active educators by holding union meetings in local communities, supporting parent’s right to opt-out of standardized testing, organizing conferences for parents, students and educators, defending UFT members, providing free workshops on contractual enforcement, and fighting for the schools all our children deserve. New Action is the the oldest opposition caucus in the UFT and their members currently serve on the union’s executive board.