Come to the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE-UFT) General Meeting on Saturday, March 25th from 12-3pm. We will be making plans for ongoing organizing to Save Our Union from the anti-union agenda of the Trump administration, to protect immigrants’ rights in our schools, distribute our regular newsletter, and defend public schools and educators under attack from their administrators.
Archives For Upcoming Events
Wednesday, March 22: Delegate Assembly and Panel for Educational Policy
Below find MORE’s Proposed Action Plan for the UFT Delegate Assembly (DA) and Panel for Education Policy (PEP), both of which are happening this Wednesday, March 22. There are two two important issues: Stop the Closing of JHS 145 and Support for the Chapter Leader of Central Park East 1 Elementary School.
At the DA we are gearing up to show support for the JHS 145 community who are faced with having their school closed. MORE/New Action will present a resolution (see below) to be voted on at this Delegate Assembly, calling on public support from the UFT as well as an early adjournment of the DA so that the delegates can attend the PEP. A group of MORE members will leave for the PEP meeting around 5. If you intend to speak at the PEP you need to sign up before 6 – the later you sign up the later you will speak. If you stay for the entire DA, please come to the PEP afterward — wear your MORE T-Shirt!
Additionally, the Chapter Leader (CL) of Central Park East 1 Elementary School (CPE1) is unfairly undergoing a 3020a hearing. Parent leaders may have stickers for UFT members to wear as an additional show of support as some will be showing up outside the DA. Recently almost 100 parents showed up in the hearing room to support Marilyn Martinez.
Please try to attend the PEP at Fashion Industries HS (225 W 24th St, NYC, between 7th and 8th Avenues). JHS 145 in the Bronx is facing a closure vote. The largely immigrant school community has mobilized to oppose the closing. As unionists committed to defending public education, we must join our voices with those of parents, students and teachers in opposition to this proposed closure. Those who are speaking need to get on line at 5:30.
Resolution on JHS 145
Whereas Junior High School 145 is a school serving a low-income, immigrant community in the Bronx with 20% of the students living in homeless shelters or temporary housing; 21% have learning disabilities, 18% have gone extended periods of their lives without any education at all and over 40% English Language Learners, but has only one full-time ELL teacher.
Whereas JHS 145 was designated a renewal school by NYC DOE two and a half years ago, but has yet to receive all the services its students were promised under that program
Whereas JHS 145 has been forced to give up their classrooms, computer labs and other resources to a Success Academy charter school
Whereas Success Academy charter school has already advertised additional seats for the 2017/18 school year in JHS 145
Whereas there has been no stability in school leadership, with three principals in recent years, including one that plead guilty to attempted grand larceny and paid $21,080.83 in restitution and a $5,000 fine.
Be it resolved that UFT take a public stance against the closing of JHS 145 by organizing and mobilizing with the chapter, parents, and community for a march and rally at DOE headquarters to pressure Chancellor Farina into halting the closure
Be it further resolved that the UFT will adjourn the March 22nd Delegate Assembly at 5:30pm and encourage all delegates to attend the Panel For Education Policy in order to voice our opposition to the closing of JHS 145.
Dear School Staff and Allies,
We invite you to participate in our February 28th day of action to protect immigrant students. We are pleased that Chancellor Carmen Farina responded to public support of immigrant New Yorkers by issuing a meaningful statement describing rights and resources for immigrant students on January 30th. We applaud this first step.
At the same time, we continue to ask for more because the time to stand with immigrant New Yorkers is now. We know that aggressive immigration policies will continue to affect our students’ ability to learn, so we are asking the DOE to do its part to advocate for children and families both inside and beyond the classroom doors.
Join us on February 28 as we ask Chancellor Fariña and the NYC Department of Education to:
Train and provide an immigrant liaison in every school.
We ask the Chancellor and DOE to expand on the initial letter by publicizing an explicit, transparent protocol for all of NYC schools that includes no ICE agents granted entry at schools unless they have received permission from the Chancellor.
Fully develop the Department’s recently created web-page to support immigrant students so that schools can connect families with the information and resources they need during this important time.
Collect and distribute teacher-developed tools and curriculum that embrace our values as a multicultural and multilingual community.
And join us in calling on Mayor De Blasio and the NYC District Attorneys to:
Support the New York Dream Act by lobbying the State Senate, Assembly and Governor Cuomo to pass the bill
Direct the NYPD to stop making broken windows arrests and for the five District Attorneys put a moratorium on broken windows prosecutions, as outlined in the #NYCdontprosecute campaign.
Work with the Department of Education to invest in restorative justice positions and practices and restrict the presence and role of law enforcement officers in schools, as outlined in the Counselors Not Cops campaign
New York State Youth Leadership Council
Please come to this special MORE Caucus event on Sunday afternoon, February 28 12-3 pm at P.S. 58, 330 Smith Street, Brooklyn. ATR issues will be among the issues on the agenda. Other agenda issues include Family leave, Opt-out, a Member-driven union.
The MORE Caucus-UFT platform pledges to reintegrate ATRs into the schools, assigning ATRs into schools of their choice in the district. Co-location with charter schools and other new schools has driven the excessing crisis. Perhaps the biggest factor currently impacting principals’ reluctance to hire ATRs, is “Fair Student Funding.” Additionally, “leadership academy” principals want to hire “teaching fellows” that are absent of institutional memory.
The MORE platform pledges to end the UFT involvement in UFT charter schools except as representation of union members.The MORE platform calls for the union to be member-driven. It calls for union positions to be subject to election and recall. And it calls for dues increases to be voted on at the Delegate’s Assembly.
The Absent Teacher Reserve: An Injury to One is an Injury to All
By: Jia Lee
MORE Presidential Candidate
Imagine you’re standing alongside a rapid flowing river. You see someone being carried along mercilessly. You jump in, holding onto a rope and pull this person out. As soon as you emerge, you see another, so you jump in again. Each time you emerge, you turn to see more people. Perhaps, others join in solidarity. We become so enrapt in trying to save people, we never venture to find the root source of the problem.
The Current Situation
According to a recent Chalkbeat article, City Data Shows Number in Absent Teacher Reserve Remains Steady*, there are currently 1,083 teachers in the ATR pool, down from 1,102 in January 2015. The city reports 500 new teachers hired full time in 2014 and 2015, and since January of 2014, 450 teachers have exited the system. The article does not specify who was hired full time and who left the system. There is no breakdown. We know new teachers are being hired into the system while hearing horror stories by our mid-career colleagues in the ATR. The numbers don’t adequately tell the stories and experiences of the teachers who have been displaced, made certain through negotiations by union leadership.
Further, there is no mention of the unfair and arbitrary treatment of teachers in rotation or those placed into provisional placements. In a system that is under one of the most top down and oppressive conditions ever, being in the ATR has seeped negative connotations and stigma. Internalized oppression has manifested into traumatic disorders and affected the quality of life of so many of our colleagues. It’s unconscionable. Yet, our union leadership fails to understand that an injury to one is an injury to all.
Despite the provisions in the newest contract that is supposed to make it easier for members in the ATR pool to go on interviews, there is an unspoken and subversive feeling that something is not right. Has anyone outside of the ATR asked how teachers in this situation are evaluated? Most, so entrenched in their own survival, don’t realize that those in the ATR are under an observation and evaluation system that is not written anywhere in our contract. Ask anyone who is in this situation at your school.
The framing of the stories continue to be controlled by the same folks who have spent untold billions to privatize public education. We have yet to read or hear about schools as places where people form relationships to foster nurturing places for teaching and learning- that once dismantled, the human nature of that work is destroyed. Teachers are not interchangeable widgets. At the core of of a school is the community of people within it. Forcing teachers to go from school to school, as if they are interchangeable, ignores and worse, does not care to support the teachers, hence the students in the school. We must understand that all UFT members are subject to arbitrary school closures based on invalid metrics, so we must stand in solidarity with teachers who are placed in our schools and welcome them.
In the Chalkbeat article, there’s an acknowledgement that the number of teachers in the ATR have remained steady due to the stall in school closures that were so aggressive before DeBlasio took office. Even with the stall, there was an agreement made before the change of mayoral and chancellorship power. Only one side remains constant, and that is the Unity leadership who helped to create the ATR. It is frustrating beyond comprehension as to why, given the precarious conditions of moving and having to adapt from school to school, our union leadership shot down a resolution by a very well known teacher in the ATR, to have, in the least, its own chapter with elected representation. One would think that the union leadership has something to gain from preventing such empowerment. As a chapter leader of seven years who’s attended nearly every delegate assembly, I started to take note of all the times our current president proudly stated that they helped us avoid layoffs. However, what the leadership does not seem to remind folks of is how they conceded to school closures and the displacement of teachers, an egregious act that would put them in the same boat as ed deformers.
Returning to the analogy I started with, through collaborative research and work with others within and beyond MORE, we have made our way to the source of the attack on our profession, students and schools. Many already know that the UFT is the single largest teachers union local. We stand in the way of a greater objective by the corporate elite who are vying for control. Years ago, our leadership cowered to the false rhetoric being put out by the Koch brothers and Broads that the source of an “achievement gap” was the teachers. So, despite the mountains of evidence that standardized tests could not be used to evaluate schools and teachers, our leadership welcomed it. They welcomed mayoral control, the Common Core with its high stakes tests, Danielson rubrics, charters (the UFT started 2) and scripted curriculum, while doing nothing to combat the managerial and lean production model used by administrators coming out of the leadership academy.
The state then used a norm-referenced bell curve designed to ensure a bottom percentage of schools that could then be labeled as failing. Many of those schools were targeted for charter co-locations. As schools closed, teachers, students and entire communities were displaced. This played right into the false narrative by ed deformers. The leadership of our union fails to acknowledge that their strategies of “having a seat at the table” are dangerous and damaging. What they helped to create is a breakdown in membership-wide solidarity. Our first defense is us; it has not been and will not be the leadership.
The MORE caucus, is not, in and of itself, a top-down structure. We have bylaws that ensure term limits and democratic decision making. If you have ever attended a MORE general meeting, you know that we painstakingly work to make ensure that anyone who wants to speak on an issue, raise proposals and have an opinion that differs from others is heard. We work to have distributive leadership within our structure, creating, in practice, the kind of union we want to see.
Our MORE 2016 Platform** states:
- MORE seeks to dismantle the notion of an absent teacher reserve and provide for all teachers to find a school community that is the right fit.
- MORE believes in a strong ATR chapter with elected representatives
This Thursday, January 8th, there will be a Public Hearing on Success Academy in District 1 at P.S.20 Anna Silver School, located a 166 Essex Street in lower Manhattan.
We need to let our voices be heard!
Join us in telling Success Academy CEOs and decision-makers that It is not acceptable for our public schools to be invaded by an entity that…
-does not educate “all” as they claim
-steals resources, and
-misinforms the media and the general public.
If space is not found within a school, we, as tax payers. should not have to fund their rent and we certainly should not have to fund their renovations.
This needs to stop, and we need you to be part of it!
Here’s what you can do…
Please RSVP on this invite and sign up for public comment at 5:30 on Thursday night at the hearing.
Print out and hand out our pamphlet on The Truth About Charters.
Also, take a moment to sign and share this petition on there being no need for Success Academy in D1.
MORE will see you there!
See our fliers here- please print and distribute