Archives For Movement of Rank and File Educators

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.

When: Saturday, March 25th 12pm-3pm
Where: CUNY Graduate Center Room 5414
*ID Required to enter*
Light refreshments will be served.
"MORE general meeting 3.25.17"

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.

DA

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.

PEP

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.

Please consider printing out this two-sided flyer and distributing it to the UFT members in your network. It includes upcoming events to allow your colleagues to plug into the work MORE is doing across the city. It’s time to wake the sleeping giant of the UFT to defend our students, our members, and our schools against Trump, Cuomo, DeVos, “Right to Work”, and whatever else the enemies of public education have in store for us.

"UFT Members: Save Our Union!" "March Events"

Looking through the UFT’s guide to the new NYC teacher evaluation system, I find myself wondering how it’s being read by educators coming from schools that vary widely in terms of educator autonomy, pedagogical philosophy and levels of trust between administration and staff. We are being told that our evaluation system will require our full comprehension and maintenance of: measures of teacher practice observation option selection forms, evaluator forms, consistent update of class lists/rosters, observation options A, B, C, D, the Matrix, and MOSL options (project based learning assessments, student learning inventories, performance based assessments, and progress monitoring assessments), not to mention how this plays out for what people teach (elementary/middle/high school, alternative assessment, English as a New Language, content areas, etc).

It is easily overwhelming. We are still figuring out the last evaluation system and living through the most rapidly changing succession of teacher evaluations in history. The truth is, we are being led by our tails. There are only two things to know:

1)  We should be upset, very upset. These were closed negotiations that, yet again, involved very little, if any, teacher input in the discussion of a system that is purporting to improve student achievement. It should not be considered normal for dues paying members to be handed a deal without having any democratic process for input. Any active teacher working with students could explain the complexities of the work we do, including factors that are not in our control and which cannot be measured and quantified. This lack of teacher voice leads to the continual and misguided reliance on the use of invalid metrics we know as the value added model.

2) Teacher evaluations based on metrics with any high stakes involvement is all about perpetuating a lean production model that narrows our teaching and students’ learning. The corporate education reform agenda initiated its systematic attack on public schools by casting its teachers as the source of the problem. Our union leadership, in an effort to placate this aggressive attack on our profession, used the only strategy it knows: attempting to throw its weight around the proverbial table. Pandering  to the notion of teacher evaluation based on unfounded formulas of value added models, and doing this without acknowledging the casualties of the systemic attack thus far, is unacceptable.

The 240,000 opt outs across New York State triggered a move towards the current moratorium on the use of state standardized tests, not the negotiating of the UFT leadership as they often like to credit themselves with. The reason ENL teachers are still evaluated using the Common Core aligned NYSESLAT and teachers of students who get alternative assessments are evaluated by that is because there has not been a high percentage of opt outs for those tests.

In regard to the MoTP portion of our evaluation, please read James Eterno’s ICE Blog piece on the matter. We now have two more required observations in our agreement for tenured teachers beyond the two required by state law and practiced in most districts. In a climate of high stakes where many, if not most, of New York City’s teachers experience observations as “gotcha” opportunities for administrators to intimidate and demoralize, the increase does not promote space for continual growth in teaching practice.

It does not matter what MOSL option we choose- it becomes distorted when stakes are attached. Using performance based assessments or any tools we use to drive instruction for our students a huge problem! What kind of metric for teacher value will be attached to our authentic forms of assessment? How will they- those designated to make up the arbitrary percentages- determine the scores and how much value will be added?

As we already know, this evaluation deal has nothing to do with improving outcomes for our students but everything to do with creating a system that breaks us and our union to further the privatization agenda. It is political. This is not just a criticism of our leadership’s practices; this is a proposal to engage rank and file members in the process before it is truly too late.

On September 28th, 95.6% of Chicago teachers voted to go on strike. They have been negotiating since 2014 for a just contract on top of non-negotiable items for the public schools and students they serve.

There are some striking similarities to NYC public schools, in the kind of attacks they have faced: disastrous budget cuts that have had effects on the equitable allocation of resources and professionals for mandated services in special education, libraries and other programs, such as arts and physical education. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, under the advisory of Bruce Rauner, a venture capitalist who is leading the way for the charterization of Chicago’s schools, has withheld and cut funding to the public schools.

The Chicago Teachers’ Union want something very simple- the assurance that public school educators and students have what they need in order to have thriving public schools in Chicago. If an agreement cannot be made, teachers could go out on strike as soon as October 11. In 2012, Chicago teachers led the national educational justice movement when they went on a successful strike that gathered the help of communities and parents to fight for the schools that Chicago students deserve.

Now they need support from everywhere across the country!

Here are some of the core issues for CTU:

– No more budget cuts
– Restore the jobs lost (1,000 teachers laid off without recall rights)
– Keep salary steps and lanes

To learn more details, go to the Chicago Teachers Union site

ACTIONS WE CAN TAKE: Continue Reading…

RSVP Today!

Power on the job is the basic building block of strong unionism, however many of us find ourselves in situations where we face oppressive school administrations, weak union chapters, and co-workers who are either fearful or apathetic or both.  As social justice unionists, its up to us to rebuild union power at at the grassroots, but nobody is a born organizer and the UFT provides very little support to its membership when it comes to training us to do the hard work of organizing.

In partnership with Labor Notes, MORE is sponsoring a series of organizer trainings to help us develop our members’ capacity to do organizing in their schools, strengthen our chapters, and build power on the job.  The workshop will include sessions on:

Confronting Apathy
Identifying Organizing Issues
How to have an Organizing Conversation
Mapping Our Workplace
Turning Issues into Campaigns
How to “Turn Up the Heat”

The workshop is interactive and participatory, and participants will be planning campaigns for their schools.  We will make plans to support each other in doing the work of organizing when we go back to our schools, and continue to meet regionally to reach out to more organizers.

Participants are asked to bring a copy of their school organization sheet and an issue that is currently affecting their staff at their school.  Copies of the New Labor Notes book “Secrets of a Successful Organizer” will also be available for purchase, with the proceeds benefiting MORE.

Secrets of a Successful Organizer
Presented by the Movement of Rank-and-File Educators and Labor Notes
October 15th
1:00-3:30

CUNY Graduate Center Room 5414 (bring ID)

Please RSVP on Facebook and share and distribute the flyers below to anyone you think would be interested.

secrets-of-a-succesful-organizer-flyer-color

Saturday, October 29 at 9 AM – 4:30 PM
City-As-School, 16 Clarkson St, New York, New York 10014
TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW!
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!

Schedule:
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: sjcurriculumfair@gmail.com