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UFT Executive Board April 8. 2019--Tragedy in SI and Adult Ed. Speaks

6 PM—Secretary Howard Schoor calls us to order.

Speaker—Roberta Pikser—Reads a letter from working group of Adult Education. Rosemarie Mills removed as supe—but DOE simply moved her. Oversees Adult Ed. about which she knows nothing. Testing issues still abound. ESL students get math packets, but not instruction in English.

Paperwork increasing. Mills appointees answer to her and harassment continues. Constant observations and U ratings. Newer teacher feel unprotected, afraid to push back. Our licenses and benefits and knowledge in danger. Some places have few tenured teachers, almost no full time day positions. Teachers work 12-13 hour days.

CL falsely accused, brought up on 3020a charges, reassigned. Attack not on her, but on our chapter, likely at behest of Mills. Want union to stop harassment, file grievance for large number of experienced teacher getting bad ratings, not permitted to sub. Asks union to defend jobs and use of adult ed. as part time program. Wants vigorous defense of CL.

Agitating for six years. Things change but remain the same. We need answers.


Staff Director’s Report—LeRoy Barr
—Much activity last two weeks—Functional weekend last week, and Herstory event. CL training last weekend. Friday Academic HS Awards. Middle of election season, please get out the vote, remind people not to let ballots sit. Due April 16, count April 17. Next EB April 29.

President’s Report—Michael Mulgrew—Horrendous tragedy in SI. Two schools involved. Difficult situation. We will do something and say something on violence against women. This is horrendous and senseless. EB should make a statement. Thanks to SI people dealing with very difficult situation.

Albany—Budget done. Two more days right now. APPR bill needs to be signed by Wednesday or Thursday. NJ is closing schools due to budget cuts. Federal tax package has not been good. CT, NY and others trending down in terms of revenue.

Billion dollar increase sounds like a lot, but into next year it doesn’t look good. Pushing bill, you will get electronic communication for patient protection act. We need to be allowed to question bill. Hospitals are billing at ridiculous rates. Hundreds of dollars for band aid, Bill will stop this practice. 2012 law said insurance companies could appeal charges. Hospitals not covered fighting this bill. Our goal is to fix problem right now. Hospital CEOs are doing just fine.

Increase in online consultation reporting, want everyone using it. Need notes. I use it to put my agenda together. Last month we fixed LODI issue because of notes. Make sure that members vote, no matter who you support.


Arthur Goldstein
—It’s testing season again. I’m personally involved with two tests. The first is the NYSESLAT. I’m not sure what this test is designed to measure, but what it does, more and more, is place ELLs way too high. I’ve seen many students who’ve tested out of ESL who are incapable of doing sustained reading, and who simply cannot write comprehensibly in English.

This leads me to the other test I’m involved with, which is the English Regents exam. I have students who cannot write comprehensibly who got grades in the 80s on the English Regents. That’s because the writing part of the test does not really involved writing, but rather copying, pasting, and marginally explaining. As for the reading portion, my students who don’t bother to read and simply search for answers do better than those who waste their time with, you know, reading.

It’s good that we now have options not to include these awful tests in teacher ratings, and that’s a step forward. Still, why are we allowing the state to rate our students with such terrible tests? I’m just a lowly teacher, and I can write tests better than the overpaid geniuses in Albany. I don’t know. I’d be surprised if anyone could write them worse.

David Coleman famously said no one gives a crap what you think or feel and that led to these abysmal exams. Therefore writing, according to New York State, has absolutely nothing to do with writer voice. Reading, according to New York State, is answering twenty multiple choice questions, for which you need not even read a single entire passage. We have a whole lot of students who can pass a test but who can’t write a college statement to save their lives.

NYSUT is all over Facebook on this, and NYSUT EVP Jolene diBrango is making some very sharp observations on Twitter.  A lot of teachers, would like to see t largest local in the country standing for reasonable student evaluations, more teacher autonomy, or preferably both. What can we do to help our brothers and sisters in NYSUT achieve this?

Schoor—Evelyn not here. We’re part of NYSUT. We are over a third of NYSUT. Will ask Evelyn to give report next time.

Mike Schirtzer—Asks for moment of silence for Jeanine Cammarata.

Schoor—Coming later.

Schirtzer—Asked about investigation process. Update on whether students need parental approval.

Schoor—We don’t control that. We send members or lawyers to rep members. We are involved in this process.

Reports from Districts—Sean
  ?—Appreciates comments on Jeanine Cammarata. She was murdered. Husband arrested. Used dogs to ID body. Manner in which they found her, was identified by dental records. Was a good soul, good person, was at PS 18 and 29. Have had support from borough office dealing with this tragedy. Was a vigil, with pastors, all dressed in purple for domestic violence awareness. Asks for moment of silence, also for passed CL Denise Budd.

Rich Mantel
—March 30 6th annual middle school conference, 250 people, Shakespeare theme. 5K Saturday May 11. Most walk don’t run. Free t-shirt. Proceeds to UFT disaster relief fund.

Sterling Roberson
—Saturday had a tech for all event. Introducing parents, students, veterans to tech and careers in tech. Was a fair manned by corporate executives. Different tech orgs, higher ed and others. Served breakfast, lunch and dinner. Many benefits and prizes for those who stayed. Thanks Nick Cruz, para liaison in Bronx. Was a child care center. Thanks Bronx office. Thanks central UFT for 20 page program. Very successful event. 400 plus people. Thanks to all.

Janella Hinds—March 31 second annual Herstory event. Attendees received pampering services from students, manicures, makeups and more. Ellen Procida, Carmen Alvarez, Ray Frankel honored, Members shared stories. Phenomenal time. Thanks all members of committee and everyone who joined.

Mary McCarol
—District 26 March Against the Madness. People rated principals positive or negative. Schools that rarely get involved had selfies with buttons. At end of April will take another look at brackets and post on social media.

Camille Eady—Last Monday, Brooklyn UFT, career day. Thanks Liz Perez, Sterling Roberson. Various workshops.

Eliu Lara
—Bronx HS district event, superintendent, principals, teachers, parents, This year Carranza coming as keynote. Asks for donations to help kids, to donate laptops and supplies.

George Altamari
—Please come to social studies conference this Saturday the 13th. Has CTLE credits if you need them. Great program. Over 20 courses. Hope someone in this room comes. Program starts at 8 AM. Main speaker Mario Celento, Pres. NY AFL-CIO.

Mike Schirtzer—This body in April 17 and DA passed reso on voter registration. DOE taking up initiative. This week is voter registration week. But it was in principal’s weekly. Unless principal nominates someone in charge, nothing will happen. In our school they will register all students. City paying per session. In our school students will say why they registered. We’re giving cupcakes. Wish city partnered with UFT. I will suggest that.

Schoor—Union does many things, depth and breadth unbelievable. Great to hear what everyone does. Thanks members.

Resolution in support of 2019 May Day.

Mary Jo Genice
—Asks for support for 2019 May Day. We are proud to be Americans, but can trace heritage to other countries. Our labor movement stands on back of those who came before us. Dates to 1886 in Chicago.


We are adjourned 6:40.


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