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Showing posts from May, 2017

Contrary

That's what leadership calls us. Contrary implies simple-mindedness, as though you're a two-year-old who just says "no" to everything. Unity contends, during campaigns, that we oppose whatever they bring up, just for the sake of doing so. We disagree with everything, just because, they say. I've observed UFT elections pretty closely and that's one of their big arguments.

We in MORE are now aligned with New Action, and I couldn't be happier about that. Back when New Action was opposing us, they portrayed themselves as a more reasonable opposition. In fact, I agreed with many of their positions. The only major stumbling block, for me, was their endorsement of the UFT Unity President. I have, in fact, had differences with some things UFT Presidents supported, like mayoral control, the ATR, charter schools, co-locations, school closings, junk science ratings, Common Core, and failure to oppose Bloomberg or Cuomo, just to name a few.

But let'…

May 22 Executive Board Takeaway--Chutzpah on Parade

There were both good and bad moments last Monday. My favorite was when CPE teachers presented Howard Schoor with their t-shirt. I asked him to wear it and indeed he did. He spent the rest of the evening with a green CPE 1 shirt over his shirt and tie. This was an indisputable victory, and of course it merited celebration.

Another bright spot was Janella Hinds, who told us she was meeting with DOE to bring back Regents grading to high schools. Visiting other schools has been disastrous for lots of my members, and our administration, among others, has tried scheduling midterms exams and even classes during January Regents week, with miserable results. It's ridiculous that the Board of Regents doesn't trust us to grade our students, something we do all the time. It's even more ridiculous that the city doesn't trust us to grade students in our buildings, and spends millions that could be used to reduce class sizes to pay us for what used to be part of our jo…

UFT Executive Board May 22--Good News at CPE 1 y Problemas en Puerto Rico

Howard Schoor, Secretary calls Anika and Cindi from CPE 1, they thank us for our support. Principal asked to step down. Two teachers returned to classroom as of tomorrow. Giving CPE t-shirts for people in dais.

Schoor—CPE 1 great success for UFT, for our work, very proud. Day Marilyn went back he was there, parents were celebrating, great response from kids. Jackie Bennett was there today. Howard wears CPE t-shirt.

Speakers—


Aixa Rodriguez—on resolution for support for Puerto Rican teachers. Asks that all unions be named and FMPR be included. President coming in June, would be great gesture of solidarity to include them. Super important to create sense of unity with all parents, kids and teachers. Situation worsening daily. Would mean a lot if we stand with them regardless.

Schoor—says we’re with you.

Fran Meyers
—Adult ed.—says union members unite to fight abusive administrators—says adult ed. principals and APs have been abusing powers to give U ratings. Says they are impo…

Exec. Board Takeaway May 8

Last night was unusual in many ways. Not so unusual, in what's becoming a trend, we had speakers from various schools. The first was the High School of Applied Communication, which appears to have yet another Principal from Hell. Now the thing about Principals from Hell is they are not always universally despised. Sometimes they garner favor via the issue of perks. I suppose, to some extent, this is human nature. But when staff is under vicious attack for no good reason it's particularly egregious.

For example, a new teacher from CPE 1 stood up and defended Principal Monica Garg, who likely hired him. I've known principals I've liked when my chapter leader did not. When I was at John Adams my first principal was named Lou Acerra. He made himself accessible to me, unlike most principals when I was not chapter leader. I would go in, speak to him, and he would either help me or throw me out of his office. I kind of liked knowing where I stood. Now he was ve…

UFT Executive Board May 8, 2017

Secretary Howard Schoor welcomes us. We have three schools who wish to present. Will expand time to allow members to speak.

 HS of Applied Communication.

Frank Greco, ELA, introduces other teachers, Title one school, IA Principal Michael Weinstein, three student sit-ins, one walk out, PTA meetings canceled monthly, teacher received LIF for publicizing SLT meeting, two teachers have Art. 23 harassment complaints, two special ed. complaints, retaliation, Teacher student programs changed three times, one class has had 7 teachers, IEP classes 50% special ed., constant harassment of students without parental consent, peoples followed and watched—

Programmer had to redo entire program in retaliation, 40 observations for speaker.

Asks for visit from Mulgrew, asks leadership to speak for membership, asks for public pressure, review of all internal memos and observations, facilitation of PTA meeting at neutral locale, article in NY Teacher.

Christine Daly, social worker, Weinstein thir…

UFT Executive Board Takeaway April 24

It was remarkable to once again see CPE 1 out in force trying to save their school. Can you imagine what the school system would look like if we were all 50% as activist as they are? People told stories of outrageous abuse and irresponsibility. This is not simply a neighborhood school, but rather one in which the community has a tremendous stake. It's nothing short of disgraceful that Tweed holds that concept in such low esteem and demands they just sit down and shut up while they steamroll the entire concept of a community-driven democratic school.

Activism is not expected of the NYC school community, or even the UFT. It seems like a hot potato that no one knows exactly how to handle. At the request of CPE 1 teachers, we asked to take the resolution full of real problems and real solutions off the table. That request was unanimously denied by the loyalty oath signers, who outnumber us 95-7. It's hard for me to understand why we can't simply say an abusive …

UFT Executive Board April 24th, 2017 CPE 1 in the House

 Secretary Howard Schoor starts meeting.

Guest speakers--

Chris Mott
—NYC teacher 17 years, parent of CPE 1 students, CPE formerly a jewel in crisis. Garg has harassed master teachers. Turned school that celebrated parents to one that made them enemies. Daughter afraid to go. Principal lies, hurts students, avoids responsibility. Has seen many admin styles, no adult has poisoned environment like she has. Few parents support her. Making things worse every day. Had previous problems but will not be fixed with this principal.

Supe committed to support Garg. Needs UFT to stand today and get new leader. Will you stand with us?

Yvonne Smith—Feels like she speaks at great risk, because there will be retaliation and has been against others. Taught at CPE more than 30 years. 32 year UFT member. We are under attack. Came there after ten years of day care to enter community of teachers who regularly came together. I am African American, resent racial divide principal has created. Divide …

UFT Executive Board March 27th, 2017

Note--Most of the Executive Board was in Albany for Lobby Day. Meeting lasted 26 minutes.

Howard Schoor welcomes us, points out many members are in Albany or on way back.

Minutes—approved.

President’s Report—Mulgrew not here.

Staff Director’s Report—LeRoy Barr—Education forum successful. In Rye, CL training Part 3. Next Monday Exec. Board again. Today is Lobby Day, most members are there. Over 800 members there for second go round. Spring recess April 10-18. When we return, we have DA.

Questions

Arthur GoldsteinMORE—-CEC voted to keep JHS 145 open, while PEP voted to close it. What are our next steps to support our brothers and sisters in JHS 145?

Schoor—Lawyers will check. Not sure it is illegal, but we prevented 19 schools from being closed. We will not allow them to violate law. Will keep you updated.

Jonathan HalabiNew Action—When people are brought up on charges sometimes they can return to teach, but are placed in ATR pool. How can we stop this?

Schoor—Big issue for UFT. One …

UFT Executive Board March 20, 2017--CPE1 in House, JHS 145 Reso Watered Down

Secretary Howard Schoor tells us there will be five speakers tonight.

From Central Park East 1—James Schoff—Thanks teachers and parents. Says new principal came to school, was less democracy and teacher voice. Progressive school, practices do not match standard curriculum, principal was disruptive. Tenured teachers pushed back and were under investigation for various charges. Some unsubstantiated, others ongoing. Whenever she is challenged there is investigation. Supe refused to engage, but met some with parents. Only 3 tenured teachers left in school. 5 teachers left last year. 2 currently under investigation. As far as he knows, charges unfounded. New untenured teachers afraid to speak. If teachers can still teach we want them returned to our school. Without them our school will fail. They are talented and to make them ATR would be a crime.

Bonnie Massey—parent, UFT social worker, son went to CPE 1 because it was democratic and progressive, staff was empowered. Since ne…

Executive Board Takeaway.

UFT Secretary Howard Schoor appears to be an avid reader of this blog. He seemed anxious to influence my notes on two occasions Monday night. I'd previously criticized his apparent ridicule of the question period, so he wanted to make sure I noticed it was more popular. I certainly noticed Monday, for the first time, that Unity members asked questions. Evidently, after a mere seven months of looking absolutely ridiculous, Unity Caucus has concluded it doesn't reflect particularly well on them when we question many things and they question nothing.

Therefore, Unity Caucus planted some questions, just like they do at the DA. I'll never forget going to the DA when the 2014 Contract came up. The very first question was something like, "Gee Mike, what happens if this contract doesn't pass?" That allowed Mulgrew to launch into his carefully prepared appeals to fear, that we would go to the back of the line of 151 unions and that retro wasn't a G…