Saturday September 21st 12:00-3:00pm will be at our first general meeting of the school year. All are welcome!
224 West 29th St 14th Fl. Btwn 7th and 8th ave – Midtown NYC
We will discuss how the new evaluation system and continued emphasis on high stakes testing is affecting educators, students, and parents.
Join us in organizing against “advance” and the testing culture that has harmed our schools. We”ll plan for our day of action on 10/9 and future events in support of our demand for a moratorium of the new evaluation scheme.
Our new newsletter will be available in bulk to distribute at your school and pick-up/drop-off our petition for a moratorium.
Join us for Brunch with MORE (The Movement of Rank and File Educators)
Come enjoy home-made treats, meet wonderful educator activists, learn about our movement, and support our work to improve teaching and learning conditions!
Bring you colleagues, friends, and family!
Saturday October 5, 11:30am-1:30pm
@ The Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew’s Parish Hall
520 Clinton Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Suggested Door Donation: $20 Youth 10-20: $10 Children Under 10: Free
*Brunch cocktails, gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options will be available.
More about MORE:
MORE, the social justice caucus of the UFT, is building a movement, and we need your support. This fall, we’re focused on petitioning for a moratorium to end the hastily created, inaccurate NYC teacher evaluation plan, based on faulty data from high-stakes standardized tests that we believe undermine the quality of our childrens’ education. To read our mission statement, and the need for a democracy within the teacher’s union, click here.
To join our movement, sign up Here!
Archives For September 2013
By James Eterno
Teacher/Chapter Leader- Jamaica High School
ICE/TJC 2010 UFT Presidential Candidate
READING THE TEA LEAVES AT CHAPTER LEADER MEETING: Sayanara Bill Thompson?; Don’t Expect Much Improvement on the Evaluation System with a New Mayor
1. The UFT will abandon Bill Thompson’s mayor campaign in a hurry soon to achieve Democratic party unity and hope for the best opportunity to elect a Democrat as the mayor.
2. Mulgrew wants to tweak the new teacher evaluation system but we are stuck with it and the UFT will continue to promote it. However, judging by the reaction from the Chapter Leaders, it seems like the rank and file aren’t buying.
From listening to Mulgrew’s remarks, at first it looked like the UFT would be sticking with Thompson. He said that Thompson only missed the runoff by around 700 votes. (That number was disputed by some people around where I sat.) However, then Mulgrew stated that after twenty years of Republican mayors and the damage they have done to the school system, it is imperative that we elect a Democrat in November as our top priority. (Translation: We don’t need a three week runoff where two Democrats bloody each other and Republican Lhota could possibly sneak in.) Mulgrew even stated that we don’t want a split Democratic party. He then told us there might soon be a special Delegate Assembly on an updated endorsement. (Translation: We will be supporting deBlasio hopefully.)
Mulgrew was not humbled by the results (Thompson lost by around 14%) at all and took a victory lap by noting that Comptroller candidate Scott Stringer, who beat Elliot Spitzer in the Primary on Tuesday, specifically thanked the teachers for getting him in. Mulgrew then reported on how UFT candidates won 42 out of 47 races on Tuesday and a couple of others are still too close to call.
During the question period, the Chapter Leader from Dewey High School questioned the Thompson endorsement and Mulgrew responded that it was done democratically and the Chapter Leader must not like democracy. (I am just reporting folks; please don’t gag when UFT Presidents stand up for democracy.)
Mulgrew also reported that the outgoing mayor would be trying to collocate and even close as many schools as possible before he leaves office at the end of the year. He also noted that we would be going to the Panel for Educational Policy to urge them to have teachers, not test scores, be the final judge on which students get promoted.
UPDATE-I came home from Brooklyn to eastern Queens, where I live, around 7:30 pm last night. My wife and I ate, played some games with our four year old daughter (the fun part of the day) before helping to get her to bed. I was exhausted so I went to sleep without checking the news and woke up before 5:00 am to write this piece. I didn’t know that Thompson was fighting on. Is the UFT really considering holding out on this?
By Dan Lupkin
Special Education Teacher & UFT Delegate
P.S. 58, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
Parents and teachers are often set against each other by politicians engaging in demagoguery and cynical “divide and conquer” tactics, but the truth is that our interests and passions are far more similar than they are different. What it boils down to is that teachers (many of whom have kids in the public schools) and parents are working towards exactly the same goal: facilitating the growth of the children of New York into brilliant, confident, kind, self-actualized human beings ready to succeed in the world on their own terms.
Politicians, particularly those pushing a particular brand of privatizing, testing-obsessed, anti-union “education reform”, have provided ample proof in word and deed that their goals are different from ours. They have not given birth to or nurtured these students*, nor do they understand the blood, sweat, and tears that a teacher invests in a student over a course of a year or more. This crop of “education reformers” are not educators, they are business people, and their expertise is in the management of data points on a graph. As such, a student (or a teacher) is not viewed as an individual, but as a scaled test result, a growth score. The schools are seen as spoils to be disassembled and distributed at bargain basement prices to allies and campaign contributors.
In my experience, parents and teachers across New York City agree on many of the vital education issues facing us today, though we don’t always realize it. On issue after issue, politicians like New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York State Education Commissioner John King (and their local equivalents in most large cities) impose policies that fail and degrade the children of this country. Not surprisingly, these dangerous policies are decried passionately by the stakeholders who know our students as individuals, as learners. These issues are the ideal soil in which to sow parent/teacher solidarity, to work together to protect the students. Among the most pressing of these concerns are politicians pretending class size doesn’t matter, massive waves of school closings, and high-stakes testing. These are natural opportunities for collaboration between parents and teachers, instances in which the politicians are just wrong. Continue Reading…
A very helpful video that explains the new evaluation system and provides suggestions for how educators should prepare themselves. A “must watch” for every UFT member!