Archives For April 2016
Hear from three of the candidates running on the MORE/NAC slate (Movement of Rank & File Educators/New Action Coalition) in the upcoming UFT elections. Jia Lee (President), Camille Eterno (Secretary) and Jonathan Halabi (High School Executive Board) will explain why our membership needs new leaders in our union. Mulgrew’s Unity Caucus has controlled the UFT for over 50 years, and it’s time for a change. The UFT must stop collaborating with politicians and start building strong school chapters as well as unity with school communities and students, and effectively fight the forces that are working to privatize public education. Issues include: High Stakes Testing, the charterization of public schools, lack of union democracy, weakening of tenure and teachers rights, demoralization of the teaching profession, importance of Social Justice Unionism, and so much MORE!
Ballots will be mailed on May 5th to member’s homes.
Building Bridges over WBAI Radio, 99.5FM
with Mimi Rosenberg & Ken Nash
Mon., April 25, 7 – 8 pm EST
streaming @ http://www.wbai.org/playernew.html
smartphone streaming @ http://stream.wbai.org/
to listen, or download archived shows
Who Should Run The UFT
by Arthur Goldstein Chapter Leader of Francis Lewis High School
If you’re happy with how things have been going, you can vote for Michael Mulgrew and his gang of 800 loyalty oath signers. You can let them know you love being under a microscope. You can tell them you love being judged by a rubric, and it makes no difference to you whether or not supervisors even understand it. You can tell them it’s swell that you can’t address supervisory fabrication in observations until and unless you receive an ineffective rating.
You can tell them you’re pleased they failed not once, but twice to oppose autocratic billionaire Michael Bloomberg as he bought Gracie mansion. You can pat them on the back for supporting his mayoral control not only at its inception, but also after it was proven to be an abject disaster. You can thank them for not only supporting charter schools, but also for creating and even co-locating them.
You can let UFT Unity and Michael Mulgrew know that you have no problem with their sitting on their hands as Joel Klein established a Leadership Academy and trained a small army of administrators to paint targets on the backs of working teachers. You can tell them you approve of being judged by test scores of students you may or may not even teach. You can let them know that you think it’s a great idea to be judged on what Diane Ravitch and the American Statistical Assiciation regard as junk science.
You can pat UFT Unity on the back for having handed you a contract that ushered in second tier seniority for ATR teachers, the most vulnerable among us. You can tell them you’re pleased to wait until 2020 for the raise that NYPD, FDNY and most city workers got in 2009. You can say, “Thank you sir, may I have another?” as they make teachers on leave wait at least two years to get the small portion of retro pay we received a few months ago.
In fact, you can thank them for their failure to actively support or promote opt-out. You can listen to Mulgrew take credit for the cosmetic changes Cuomo proposed, the ones that were actually inspired by opt-out activists like those in this video, Jia Lee, Lauren Cohen, and Kristin Taylor. You can pretend that Cuomo is afraid of Mulgrew instead of the vibrant grassroots opt-out movement that has tabloids all over the state in a frenzy.
On the other hand, you may wish to support the future, and you may wish to repudiate the reforminess that has infected and degraded not only our profession, but also the education of our children. That’s what I’m going to do, and I’m going to do so by voting for not only Jia Lee for UFT President, but also the entire coalition of MORE/ New Action. I’m tired of being told that black is white, that hot is cold, that day is night.
If you are too, you will join me in demanding fundamental change in our union. MORE/ New Action has a slate of hundreds of activists who will stand up for what we know to be right. That’s why I’m proud to be running with them. Vote for them, vote for me, and vote for a long-needed new direction in our union, the United Federation of Teachers.
The members of the Movement and Rank and File Educators (MORE-UFT) stand in solidarity with and support the students, parents and fellow educators who are taking a stand against the tools being used to destroy public education.
By standing together against the interests of corporate driven education reforms, whose sole purpose is for profit, we are creating a vision for the kinds of schools our students deserve. The opt out movement is speaking loud and clear against the systematic ranking and sorting of our students, teachers and schools.
By denying the data, communities are standing up for educators to be able to teach to the whole child, to respect and attend to the rich diversity of student interests and ways of learning and to teach in culturally relevant and developmentally appropriate ways.
We are grateful to the principled actions of so many who are organizing and working to protect the professional autonomy of educators so that our students can thrive.
“To educate as the practice of freedom is a way of teaching that anyone can learn. That learning process comes easiest to those of us who teach who also believe that there is an aspect of our vocation that is sacred; who believe that our work is not merely to share information but to share in the intellectual and spiritual growth of our students. To teach in a manner that respects and cares for the souls of our students is essential if we are to provide the necessary conditions where learning can most deeply and intimately begin” (Bell Hooks 1994)
We are keenly aware of how our teaching conditions are inextricably linked to our students’ learning conditions. We will continue to work alongside our school communities to fight for the schools our children deserve.
On May 5th ballots for UFT officers will be sent to your house. MORE has supported educators who speak out against testing, refuse to administer these tests, and those that opt-out their own children. We have opposed Common Core from the moment it was forced upon teachers without our consent. UFT President Michael Mulgrew and his Unity caucus have not offered any support to educators and parents opting out of testing, refused to endorse resolutions calling for an end to high stakes testing, and have been staunch defenders of Common Core.
Our Presidential candidate Jia Lee, Chapter Leader of The Earth School was quoted in this article in the NY Post