26197818_556054368092832_7706081833357587008_oBackground

The disintegration of public education can be felt in these school based issues:

  • the misuse and over reliance on high stakes standardized testing
  • crippling defunding and loss of valuable programs
  • targeting of veteran educators and top down control over pedagogy.

These conditions have directly impacted our daily lives and our students. Where natural disasters could not take down entire school districts as they did in New Orleans and Puerto Rico, man-made ones are initiated and funded by corporate reformers and elected officials. The most disproportionate impact has been on our schools located in predominantly Black and Brown communities.

 

color-of-closures

We face a harsh reality. New York City is the most segregated school system in the nation. School failure labels and turnaround programs are features of the institutionally racist policies of corporate education reform. Disproportionately, schools in high poverty and Black and Brown communities have faced take over, reallocation of funding to outside consulting agencies and controlled curriculum, while engaging student programming have been cut. Educators and students in these communities feel insurmountable pressures to overcome inequalities they never created in the first place.

We continue to disproportionately suspend and implement harsh disciplinary actions on Black and Brown students. Continue Reading…

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STOP ESTRELLA AND GARG, ABUSING TEACHERS, ABUSING CHILDREN

CPE 1 parents and teachers protest their abusive principal at a Panel for Education Policy meeting.

By Catlin Preston, former Delegate, Central Park East I Elementary School

This article originally appeared in Ethics in Education Network News.

I have told this story of my “disappearance” too many times and yet not often enough in forums that might lead to change. The NYC Department of Education (DOE) disciplinary process for teachers in its current form is deeply unethical, with damaging effects on teachers, students, and schools. Unfortunately, my own experience is by no means unique. Over the last year, several teachers have told me their own similar stories.

On Friday, March 11, 2016, the principal of Central Park East 1, where I had taught for almost nine years, handed me a letter telling me I was reassigned pending the outcome of an investigation and directing me to report to a “reassignment center” on Monday.  I refer to this as my “disappearance”: from one day to the next I was made to disappear from my classroom and school communities, with no explanation to anyone and no process for saying good-bye. There was no consideration of the impact of this sudden change on the children in my care, the families of those children, or the school as a whole.

This principal had been recently appointed to CPE 1, after a period of interim acting status.  She quickly began to make known her disdain for the school, for long-standing practices and pedagogies, and for veteran staff members, as well as for families and children.  Soon after my disappearance, the SaveCPE1 movement was born, as more and more families felt the impact of her egregious treatment. Eleven months later, Marilyn Martinez, United Federation of Teachers (UFT) chapter chair, was “disappeared” also.

After a day in the reassignment center, I was sent to work in a special education office.  I was in the “rubber room,” though at least I was doing useful work and not staring at the walls.  During my first few weeks, I expected that at any moment someone would arrive and tell me that they had cleared everything up: A terrible mistake had been made and I could return to my classroom, my school, my kids.

Continue Reading…

Mindy at the Women's Strike this year where she can always be found holding up the MORE Banner!

Mindy, left, at the Women’s Strike this year where she can always be found: holding up the MORE Banner!

To our own Mindy Rosier:

We  appreciate your work as an unrelenting  union activist and social justice advocate but also as a member of MORE.
Today, the UFT will be recognizing you with a #PublicSchoolProud award – Congratulations and enjoy the celebration at Teacher Union Day!
Keep on Keeping on.

Please take a look at the latest MORE Newsletter – with reportbacks from your High School reps at the UFT Executive Board, advice for new teachers in your schools, and a letter about teacher diversity…

Download, copy and distribute to your schools! If you need copies – please email us at more@morecaucusnyc.org – we have lots!

We are also looking for people to help coordinate distribution in your district – please email if you can help.

Are you a chapter leader? Take a stack to get to other CL’s in your district.

 

 

 

The Movement of Rank and File Educators is proud to welcome fellow educators from Oaxaca, Mexico to New York City.

The Oaxacan teachers union has been at the center of a broad-based movement for educational and social justice in Mexico.  Last year Oaxaca was the center of violent clashes and police repression as teachers mobilized to resist neoliberal education reforms.  They have long been campaigning against privatization, police repression, corruption among the union leadership.  The organization now finds itself at the forefront of mobilizations for earthquake relief.

We will hear a presentation about the struggles of Oaxaca’s teachers, the situation after the recent earthquakes, and the movement for educational justice in Mexico.  We will be raising funds for local earthquake relief.

This is a public event, all are welcome.
Monday, October 23rd 5:30-7:30
CUNY Graduate Center
Room 5414
New York 10016
ID Needed to Enter

Our Guests:

Rene Gonzalez Pizarro is a member of the Oaxaca teachers union and former delegate to the general assembly. He is a researcher at Oaxaca’s center for indigenous languages (CEDELIO) and a co-founder of the artist collective Colectivo Zape. He writes about the struggle for education in Mexico and his street art is featured in several books about the Oaxaca uprising in 2006.

Afsaneh Moradian is a former UFT member, educator, writer, and is finishing her Phd in Education. Her dissertation is on the Oaxaca teachers union’s opposition to neoliberal education reform.

"MOREUFT Oaxaca Teachers"Oaxaca Teacher Flyer Final Draft

Check out our speakers and workshops for the October 13th and 14th – please register here to attend – Print and distribute the flyer to your colleagues and share this link widely.

​FRIDAY,   7pm-10pm – Oct.13th  Project REACH Youth – 39 Eldridge Street, 4th Fl, NYC

Hear from labor activist speakers and enjoy socializing, refreshments

  • Khalid Al Alim – Community organizer with UTLA* on the “Schools Los Angeles Students Deserve”
  • Troy Walcott – IBEW Local 3* Shop steward – On strike at Spectrum (Time Warner) since March
  • Marcus McArthur – Teacher at City-As-School, UFT Executive Board, High School Representative
SATURDAY, Oct.14th 9am-5pm P.S. 58 The Carroll School – 330 Smith St, Bklyn
Plenary Speakers:
  • Bob Peterson – Retired 5th grade teacher, past president, Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association*, editor, Rethinking Schools*,
  • Catlin Preston – Teacher, former Delegate, Central Park East I school, rubber room inmate for 11 months now fully exonerated of all charges, 
  • Kaliris Salas-Ramirez – Parent leader of successful movement to remove abusive Principal Monica Garg from Central Park East I
*organizations for identification purposes only
Breakfast and Lunch Available. Childcare available – RSVP to more@morecaucusnyc.org by 10/7

Participate in workshops & discussions on how to challenge the inaction of the UFT leadership while we develop a union that will fight for teacher rights and for the schools our students deserve.

Workshops Include

Secrets of a Successful Organizer: Organize your School and Strategies for Chapter & Delegate elections – Jia Lee, Chapter Leader at the Earth School
Teacher Diversity in New York City – Sean Ahern, Delegate at East Island Academy
Defending Immigrant Students – Will Russell, Teacher at Liberty High School For Newcomers, TeachDream
Fighting for the rights of ATR members – August Leppelmeier, ATR member

Social Justice Curriculum in your classroom – Adam Sanchez, Harvest Collegiate HS

 

Continue Reading…

Copy of Marcusheadshot.jpgBy: Marcus B. McArthur

High School Representative on the UFT Executive Board and MORE member

On Monday, September 11, 2017, the UFT convened its first Executive Board meeting for the 2017-2018 school year. The message was clear. The close of 2017 will be a pivotal chapter in defining the future of our union and public education in New York City. Three critical issues confront us over the next four months.

  1. The NY State Constitutional Convention referendum on November 7th in which we must organize to VOTE NO! If there is a Constitutional Convention, kiss our collective bargaining rights and pensions goodbye.
  2. The Mayoral and City Council elections which are crucial to securing a new and fair contract with paid family leave.
  3. The Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court case that poses an existential threat to the strength of our union and its ability to protect NYC public schools from a Wall Street takeover. We have a decision to make.

Unite and fight or divide and die.

In his remarks to the board, President Mulgrew stated that his travels across the country this year made clear to him the extent of the damage inflicted on public education in America. He claimed that outside of New York City, with all of our struggles and challenges, it was difficult to identify other major districts thriving. Enemies of public education have succeeded in undermining the public system to open the floodgates for private profiteering. Mulgrew argued that the sole entity standing between Wall Street and the NYC public school system was the UFT.

The testimony of several veteran Adult Education teachers experiencing harassment and termination underscored the enduring threats. The picture painted was familiar to members who have experienced or witnessed abuse in the DOE: an inexperienced supervisor attacks veteran teachers in attempt to push them out through the usual tactics of failure by design, intimidation, and utilizing observations as a weapon.

As for the UFT, from my vantage point, we must reconcile the successes of our past formulas with the possibilities of a new direction for the challenges we face today. The fights waged by our UFT forebearers and the American labor movement claimed us a seat at the table of the pay-for-play politics of the American system. They secured labor rights, economic, and political gains that are the envy of much of the working class. As a union representing over 200,000 members, we are politically and financially formidable.

While we should maintain the influence that has historically served us, the UFT and the working people of our city and country, would be well served by our union committing resources and our bully pulpit to building the burgeoning left movement. At the end of the day, the dominant ideological forces of our time seek a world free of unions so the ownership class can pay workers pennies, a privatized education system ripe for pilfer and discrimination, and a decimated political opposition to implement policies that would not survive authentic democracy.

2017 is the year for NY teachers to unite in mass social movement to sustain hard won rights for workers, expand possibilities for economic and social justice for all New Yorkers, and build a winning left movement.

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