Archives For September 2016

Did you know that NYS still owes our public schools $3.9 billion?

A decade later, schools across New York state have still not received the money they are owed. All schools are suffering, with Black, Latino and low-income districts facing the worst inequities.

Why are we walking?

Mindy Rosier, a long time special education teacher, MORE member, and current steering member will be part of an eight-day walk for educational justice starting October 2nd, from Tweed Courthouse to the State Capitol, to demand that Governor Cuomo and the Legislature fulfill their obligation to the children of New York.

After ten years of broken promises on school funding, Mindy will be joining the Alliance for Quality Education & Public Policy & Education Fund as well as collaborating with partners throughout New York State to organize Ed Walk for CFE. Education advocates, parents, activists, and educators, will be walking for 8 days from NYC to Albany to demand that the Governor and State legislature meet its obligation to our children. The final trial in the landmark Campaign for Fiscal Equity case was October 2006. Ten years later our students are still owed $3.9 billion in Foundation Aid. We are walking all the way to Albany to draw attention to the failure of the Governor and Legislature, and to demand full and fair funding for our public schools.

Check out these two videos Mindy Rosier made explaining why she is walking:

 Visit the #EdWalk website for additional information and route.

They are walking all the way to Albany to demand full and fair funding for our public schools. Will you help make this walk a success?

Join Mindy and the rest of the walkers at the kickoff on Oct 2nd:

See how much your school/district is owed. 


As reported by MORE/NA HS Ex bd member Arthur Goldstein

 Apologies to names I missed. I spoke, and included are the notes from which I spoke.

I arrived at 6:06, missed speaker.

Approval of minutes for last meeting—Howie Schoor uses his new gavel.

Adcom minutes approved

President’s report—Secretary starts to explain Mulgrew not here, but Mulgrew objects, clear evidence secretary was mistaken. Mulgrew asks we keep it short for debates. AFT will be giving us instructions on how to support FL, Nevada, and PA. Says we all know what is at stake.

ATR negotiating session did not go well—no agreement. As of Friday 5794 new teacher hires. Asks we support them.

Paperwork being resolved, Manhattan school no longer needs to write goals for conferences.

FSF—we were ruled out of order—had hoped this admin would change it—even Rhee stopped using it. Believes there are political issues preventing its being revoked.

UFT ad—says there are great reviews. Mentions op-ed he wrote against Eva Moskowitz, who wants to double charter cap while half of her classrooms are empty due to discharges. Expects bad press. Says we will win. Plays ad.

Says they always say public ed. is failing, it isn’t. Graduation rate excellent. Community learning schools, with high need numbers, level 1, 2 down, 3, 4 up. We empower members to help kids.

Mulgrew exits.

Staff Director Report

Leroy Barr—Parent conferences, various dates. Wants to push teacher union day 11/6. Making Strides 10/16. We are largest group who raises most money for last few years. Next meeting 10/16 DA 10/19.

Much debate about who had hit with some song, debate continues all night.


Mike Schirtzer MORE
—speaks of issue with budget. School underfunded. Experienced staff. High average teacher salary. Principal has been transparent, DR helpful. Problem is no title one and experienced staff. No per session, no per diem. Lost administrator. Have one principal, one AP, 3 counselors. Will work with SLT and parents. Question—I know we’re doing a lot.We have 33 oversized classes because we’re underfunded. What else can we do as a union?

Secretary—we can bring it up with DOE at next consultation. Asks Jonathan

Ashraya Gupta MORE
—what data do we have about how many oversized classes there are? Why isn’t it published in NY Teacher anymore? In Detroit a parent took photos of overcrowding. Went viral on net. Teachers can’t do that. How do we highlight this.

Ellen P. Grievance dept
. We will post them. Slightly up from last year. Queens HS have most because of space

Arthur Goldstein MORE—By a very conservative estimate, my school is at 200% capacity. Our problem with reducing class size has to do with lack of space, despite 8 trailers and having halved rooms and created additional space via conversion of closets and bookrooms. When de Blasio demolishes our trailers, it will be a disaster for our school community. I suspect we won’t be alone in that. In fact, our neighbors in Forest Hills are having even worse problems.

Let me add that we do simply not need additional seats in Queens. We need additional seats in the schools most requested by students. We need, actually an extension on our building.

I’m really tired of hearing about Students First, Families for Excellent Schools, Educators for Excellence and all the nonsensical reformy groups supported by Gates and hedge-funders. I’d like to see the United Federation of Teachers at the forefront of really making things better for all students.

How can we help to create seats for students and schools that most need them?

Ellie Enger staff director, will set up a meeting. Will meet with space allocation to brainstorm. Says they are open to our ideas. Will set up next month.

Kuljit S. Ahluwalia—New Action—Asks about ATRs. Many feel discriminated against for age. We would like a report broken down by age, experience, license. Perhaps data would help. We would like to know UFT position.

—We will get you info that we have. We don’t ask ages. ATRs are safe due to contract. Subject to same layoff provisions. Board wanted to limit ATRs. We did not give them that. We do not plan to give that up and ATRs have nothing to be nervous about. Says numbers are down but not exact.

Report from district—George Altomare—reports on Italian American committee. Would like everyone to celebrate Italian American culture month in October. 40th year of celebration. Speaks of BRAVE, anti-bullying, Peter Yarrow doing concert for it.

Secretary celebrates George as founder.

Karen Allford Elementary VP speaks of learning retreat. Says they helped build communication between admin and teachers. UFT community schools make teachers the base. Says there is always UFT teacher center, model teachers, and job-impeded PD. Says we bring programs to school, not cookie cutter models, that there are food pantries or reps from food banks to take care of primary necessities like these and dental, vision.

Paul Egan
—Mentions debate, hopes for movement. Will phone bank in October. Says race is tightening. Ohio, PA, FL are important. Asks for members to make calls. We cannot have Donald Trump as President.

Special Order of Business
—election appeal report

Secretary shows letter with 7 complaints, considered and rejected by Exec. Board. Are 8 additional complaints from Solidarity Caucus. Opens for debate.

Ellen Dreesen.—says some things are questionable. Were reps from every caucus at every step. We made decisions equitable to every caucus. Questioning of AAA surprising. They make money by being fair. Don’t work only for UFT. Union pays a lot of money to ensure fairness, proper handling. Doesn’t know what was untoward. These questions must be addressed and understood. We use them because they are fair.

Secretary asks for move to accept challenge and reject report. Many yeas. Few nays.

Motion carried.

We are adjourned.



Reported by Arthur Goldstein

MORE/New Action UFT Executive Board member

 My apologies to those whose names I did not get or misspelled. I will correct them if anyone can provide me info. DR–district representative. CL–chapter leader

Howie Schoor, UFT Secretary, welcomes us. Videotaping and audiotaping not permitted, he says. Hopes for good discussion about issues.

Open Mike–

Norm Scott—Speaks of abuse on part of principals. There is a pattern, a blueprint, by DOE legal and/ or Leadership Academy. UFT unprepared to respond. Norm advises people, anticipates complaints, says they are exacerbated by fair student funding. Asks union pay more attention, perhaps devote TV time to what FSF has done to schools.

Central Park East place 10 of 40 teachers under investigation months after new principal arrived. Other school had 90% turnover. Is this discussed at DR meetings? Do they support membership or urge votes for Hillary? Says there is pattern of supes telling principals to wipe out staffs, go after chapter leaders and get their own. Is declaration of war. We need to stand up, use NY Teacher, publicity and commercials.

Georgia Allignu—WC Bryant High School—on CL elections. Found themselves with no CL in beginning of year as CL was victim, targeted, transferred. Was going to present case for renomination but as they are now planned she says thank you. Says this serves democracy.

Rema Margi—former  CL from the Bronx, teaches at PS15k now, was abused by principal in district 7, left school after 14 years. Was part of community, had to leave parents and children. Had a good career, but new principal came and diminished everything. CL, elected previous year, resigned. Was attacked, all administrators observed, multiple times on several days. Frank Hernandez principal. 3 people resigned year before she did, two early retirement, and then 5 people transferred to other DOE schools. Got D rating despite having no previous issues.

At new school, was effective continuously. Year after she left, over 25 members left. Last year, 15 left. One who resigned midyear last year developed panic attacks. Principal had called police accusing him of drug possession. Para wrongfully terminated, overturned. Principal looks good on paper.

Dermot Myrie—Asks how DRs are accountable. Too many teacher abused while DRs collude. Teachers brought up on bogus charges. Can this body show data with # of grievances, charges, discontinuances based on race and age? In my school there is no CL.

Minutes reviewed. Accepted

President’s Report—Mulgrew has not arrived 6:15

Staff Director Leroy Barr thanks us for supporting LIU teachers in resolution. They are back at work with 8 month extended contract. Welcomes us. Speaks of breast cancer awareness month, Making Strides walk.

Secretary mentions how breast cancer walk activates many members who had not previously shown up.


Jonathan Halabi, New Action—Body passed res calling for return of unit costing. This was how people were assigned. Now principals have to take experience into account. Bad for school, teachers, students. Said we would work on ending it. What were discussions with DOE and what are we doing about it?

Secretary defers to Mulgrew, who has not yet arrived. Says it may be managerial prerogative

Ashraya Gupta, MORE—At CL meeting we asked about paid family leave, but members don’t know what’s going on.

Secretary says we are still negotiating with city. 30K managerial employees not represented by union had two holidays and .5% of salary taken from them. We will not accept that. We are negotiating. Nothing comes for free from city.

Kuljit S. Ahluwalia New Action—Came from phase out school, Many of my colleagues are ATRS, considered pariahs. What are we going to do for them? Will they get jobs, or just keep moving on?

Secretary—DOE not phasing out schools anymore. Seeing fewer ATRs. Treatment in schools will vary. Depends on principal

Amy Arundell—No exact numbers yet, but generally number is lower than it has been in many years. People being picked up daily. There is no increase.

Secretary advises that ATRs get in touch with Amy.

6:25 Mulgrew arrives.

President’s report—School year off to decent start. Thanks victim support people. Had great communications with NYPD. Says ATR numbers lower than ever since he became President. We don’t know exactly, and also have no evaluation agreement. Negotiations are private but we want authentic learning measures and not standardized tests.

CFE push—small cities filed lawsuit and lost today. Problem for us, though CFE already adjudicated. We want full funding, not dribs and drabs. We need this money now and cannot wait for their appeal.

Mulgrew speaks of Single Shepard Program. Says it will help people with additional guidance counselors who will track students’ entire academic careers. Counselors assigned to kids, not schools.

NYC grad rate now about 70% first time ever.

Secretary says Halabi’s question will not be addressed by President until next week.

6:33 Mulgrew leaves.

Rep thanks Michael Mulgrew for supporting her district. Asks for support 10/16.

Mindy C.—CL Speech Improvement—Had 250 Speech teachers trained all day.
Camille Edy D16—First D16 kickoff. Over 500 teachers.

Paul Egan—Legislative Report—Last Tuesday, Primary Day, by and large positive. Good night in Queens and Brooklyn. Were 4 people targeted. Spent 2 million against us. We spent 250K, but did better job. Latrice won 6 to 1. Pam Harris 5 to 1. Bronx won 4 to 1. Big money did not fare well.

In Manhattan, we worked hard for Robert Jackson but were not successful. Micah Lasher of Students First was not elected. Few hundred votes was difference. Elections decided not so much by those who vote, but by those who don’t. Only 20% showed in that district, and that is relatively high turnout. When people don’t turn out it’s important. Says we need to get Hillary elected as Trump would be bad for unions, working people, Supreme Court.

NY should be OK. We need to look at PA, Ohio, and FL. Too many union members don’t vote. If we’re going to be successful we must put in people who help us. Urges us to get people to vote.

Secretary speaks of COPE money.


In support of streamlining CTE programs

Sterling Roberson—CTE skills and academic based programs preparing students for career and industry. Challenge is in applications. NYSED makes process an impediment. 3-5 years for approval. Calls for NYSED to streamline and simplify process. Asks we support resolution.

No opposition. Debate closed.Passes unanimously.

Removing abusive administrators

Mike Schirtzer MORE—Speakers told stories of abuse. Abusive administrators are big problem. Bloomberg years remain as 2-year teachers became principals. They really do have blueprints on how to make people miserable, run them out of schools. In fact, schools have budget issues. Ours does because of veteran staff. This causes bad admin to run people out.

We must do something as a union. Teachers, counselors, social workers ought not to feel threatened and harassed. We are a union of 200K and we must take action using any means available to us. Admin with two unfavorable ratings from staff should be removed. If this happens to teachers, why shouldn’t it happen to them?

We need a check and balance, and we need to be the check and balance.

Leroy Barr
—Rises to table. We have been engaged with trying to get APs either checked or removed. We had a program principals in need of improvement. Some items here are the same as we’ve pushed. We know they are there, we are engaged in those fights every day, we have no problem bringing entire weight of union against them.

Can’t be scatter gun. Depends on nuances of individual schools. Agree with essence. We want to make sure we are creating a great environment and ensure it for our kids. Want’s to raise title of District Rep tonight. You will never know all the work they do to save the jobs of our members. They do the work every day and you don’t know what they do. Some are behind closed doors. Some members want to leave. There is a variety of answers. We need to talk about how we solve and create good environment for both teachers and students. Asks we table this tonight.

Secretary—Invites voice of support

Marcus McArthur
MORE—I walked into a building 6 years ago, my first job, and CLs classroom had been defiled, garbage everywhere. Principal was responsible. Still in power, in that school. Was a lot of fighting and conflict. Was traumatic.

While union has tried, it has been a catastrophe for those who had to work under these conditions. For me, as new teacher, I was completely at mercy of that principal. Didn’t get a classroom, placed with another teacher to retaliate against that teacher. Was a big threat to me remaining as African American male, as special ed. teacher. Without support of staff, I’d have left system like half of special ed. teachers.

Asks reconsideration of resolution. We must take all action in our power. Cannot tolerate such abuse.

Vote on tabling resolution.

Resolution is tabled as Unity appears to vote Yea in unison. MORE-New Action votes Nay.

Secretary says supervisors are represented by union, that there is a yin and a yang.

Meeting adjourned.


Mike Schirtzer raised the resolution on behalf of MORE/New Action.

Leroy Barr spoke against it on behalf of Unity Caucus.

Voted  to table by Executive Board. All Unity members voted to table. All MORE/NA voted against tabling resolution.

Notes (minutes) from meeting to follow tomorrow.

Resolution to Use School Survey to Identify and Remove Abusive Administrators

Whereas, UFT members in many chapters are working in fear because of abusive administrators; and


Whereas, too many UFT members are being given unfair adverse ratings by autocratic supervisors; and


Whereas, many administrators have very little experience in the classroom and are provided with a blue-print by superintendents and Department of Education lawyers to remove veteran and new teachers; and


Whereas, our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions so when a UFT member is being unfairly treated it has a direct negative impact on students’ learning environment; and


Whereas teachers have a limited opportunity to anonymously express their concerns about principals through the New York City School Survey Report, including whether “I feel respected by the principal at this school” and “I trust the principal/school leader at his/her word” and “The principal at this school is an effective manager”;


Resolved, that the UFT will publish the name of any school administrator in email updates, social media, the print and online versions of the New York Teacher and a press release the names of any administrator who receive less than a 50% favorable rating on the NYC School Survey Report from UFT members or when there is a chapter vote of no confidence in that administrator; and be it further

Resolved, that the UFT will use any means available to pressure the Department of Education to remove from a school any administrator who receives two years of unfavorable ratings from their staff.

Saturday, October 29 at 9 AM – 4:30 PM
City-As-School, 16 Clarkson St, New York, New York 10014
JOIN US for the NYC Social Justice Curriculum Fair on October 29th hosted by the Movement and Rank File Educators. We are eager to bring together educators from across the city to share curriculum, come up with new ideas for our students, and have an inspiring day of dialogue. We want to look beyond packaged curriculum and test-centric lessons and create spaces that respect our students’ identities and build community.

If you are interested in tabling or sharing curriculum, please let us know on the registration page!

The day will include:
-Curriculum presentations and shares from elementary to high school and adult education in a range of subject areas from social studies to math.
-Spaces for dialogue around what it means to be an educator who teaches through a social justice lens.
-Tabling of resources and materials from organizations such as Rethinking Schools, Morningside Center for Social Responsibility and more!

9-9:45 Registration and Interactive Gallery Walk
9:45-10:30 Welcome & Table Visits
10:30-12:30 Curriculum Presentations and Shares in Rooms

12:30-1:30 Lunch (Option to purchase lunch by Woke Foods:
Vegan & Vegetarian Dominican, Caribbean, Latinx foods for $12)

1:30-3:30 Open Space- Join a grade level or content area group to discuss ideas for curriculum.
3:30-4:30 Closing Plenary: Teaching for Social Change: Challenging School Segregation and Fighting for Culturally-Relevant Curriculum in NYC with Sarah Camiscoli of IntegrateNYC4Me and others!

We suggest a donation of $5-20 for registration. Your contribution goes directly towards the space rental and other overhead costs. THANK YOU!

See you there!

Questions? Get in touch! Email:

The overarching theme at 52 Broadway on Wednesday was paperwork. There’s a lot of paperwork, too much paperwork, paperwork is the scourge of civilization, and the number one concern of UFT members is paperwork. Principals are evil, among other reasons, because they don’t hand teachers paperwork filled with curriculum, scope and sequence. Mulgrew goes off on tangents, makes in jokes with his BFFs, but every road leads back to paperwork.

I’m sure there are abuses of paperwork. I’m sure there are abuses in making teachers write curriculum. I’ve seen them, and I’ve moved to correct them. Now, though, there is a form for that. I certainly hope it’s more effective and less restrictive than the APPR complaint form.

In my job, I get complaints all the time, from all sorts of people. In my building, at least, paperwork is not a particularly pressing concern. Members are more concerned with ratings. Why did this AP walk in and see things that didn’t happen? How come when a dozen kids raise their hands, on video, my supervisor sees only two? Why does he always observe me last period on Friday before vacation in my worst class? Can Mulgrew really get rid of crazy supervisors? That would be something good for everyone, even remaining supervisors who aren’t crazy.

Mulgrew shared some interesting news. We’re going to replace the test-based junk science in the APPR system (the one Mulgrew himself had a hand in writing and creating) with authentic measures, or it’s no deal. What will they be? Who knows? Portfolios perhaps. You may recall them rearing their heads maybe twenty years ago. You needed a portfolio for every student. It needed to be in the classroom at all times. If you didn’t have one it was the end of the world. Until the next year, when portfolios were out, passe, utterly without value.

And with the new matrix, the portfolios, or whatever the hell there is, will count for half your rating. This, evidently, will reduce the principal’s input to 50, rather than 60 percent (or perhaps less, with the magical outside observers who know nothing about you, your school, what you do, or who you teach). Of course Mulgrew vehemently denies that the matrix makes the junk science/ authentic ratings or whatever they may end up being 50 percent. But with only two axes, it’s hard for mathematically-challenged individuals such as myself to fathom why they don’t count for half. On the other hand, if they actually do not count for half, won’t the principal still have the lion’s share of control in evaluation?

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Mulgrew lets us know we are crazy for being CLs, and refers to school opening as “smooth.” Says budget is not so bad, and principals are lying if they say it is.
Primaries—poor turnout, but hedge funders always back candidates. This time they had a new group with a new name, with the same people funding it. Attacked UFT backed members—we were outspent 6 to 1 but won every race. Hedge funders accused union backed candidates of hating kids.

Says it’s important that parents know we are there for them. Speaks of three groups, Republicans, Dems, and so-called independent Dems who largely support Republicans.

Presidential race—UFT chooses candidates based on what’s best for union and professions. Says sometimes it’s simple. Trump has come out with educational platform, vouchers, charters, eliminate tenure, privatize public ed. Suggests no matter how low race gets it can get lower. Asks us to understand importance of it in term of work we do. Suggests Trump wants to abolish public education.

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