Archives For February 2014
Support the Opt-Out Movement & Learn How to Organize Your Chapter
THURSDAY 2/27: ORGANIZING WORKSHOP
A LABOR NOTES TROUBLEMAKERS SCHOOL
Come to a workshop on organizing your members to create a more active, involved union chapter. Discuss organizing challenges with other chapter leaders and strategize creative solutions to build teacher and para power in your school!
What challenges are you facing in your school? - Take our Chapter Leader Survey
Thursday, February 27, 5:00pm
TWU Local 100 Offices
195 Montague St., 3rd Fl., Rm C, Brooklyn
FRIDAY 2/28: MEET WITH PARENTS WHO ARE SAYING NO!
Sponsored by Change the Stakes
(Please Share Widely with your friends, PTAs, SLTs, Parent Lists, teachers)
As children and teachers enter the spring “testing season,” parents must decide if we will continue to allow our children to support high-stakes testing. There are many ways to resist the tests and demand social justice for all public school students.
• Help educate your school community, organize, mobilize and possibly opt out.
• Even if you feel like a lone voice, you are not alone!
• It is time for parents to protect their children and resist by saying NO!
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28
5:30 to 7:30pm
CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Ave, Rm 5409
[corner of 5th Ave & 34th St; entrance on 5th]
Bring photo ID to enter
Special Education Teacher/UFT Delegate
PS 58, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
MORE is the bellwether, the authentic voice of working educators in NYC.
This is Our Moment!
We are on the right side of history, several steps ahead, waiting for politicians and union leadership to catch up.
Current events bear this out; after the excesses of corporate reform reached their apex in 12 years of Bloomberg, the pendulum has begun, slowly, to return to center. Parents, students, and teachers are mobilizing en mass, and Movement of Rank and File Educators is at the forefront of the resistance. It used to be a lonely place, but it has started to become crowded lately. Positions long held by MORE, like strenuous opposition to high stakes testing and the use of VAM growth scores to evaluate teachers, were until very recently considered by the power structure to be extreme. Now, they are core tenets of UNITY* doctrine, and have the potential to be heard with a more sympathetic ear under DeBlasio and Fariña.
In April, the New York State Teachers Union (NYSUT-the state association of teachers unions that the UFT is part of) will be having elections. Since UFT/Unity has a great deal of power in NYSUT, MORE was asked by statewide activists in the Port Jefferson Teachers Association to get involved.
We are excited to announce that we will be running for the 6 At Large positions on the Board of Directors that represents the NYC schools’ district (UFT) at the state union level. Our candidates are Julie Cavanagh, Lauren Cohen, Michael Schirtzer, James Eterno, Francesco Portelos, and Jia Lee.
We will be campaigning for our statewide union to take a stronger stand against test-based teacher evaluations, for more union democracy, and for building an active rank-and-file membership that works in solidarity for improved working and learning conditions.
As teacher and union activists working inside the framework of a deeply undemocratic union and against the formidable resources available to the implacable “corporate school reform” movement it is inevitable that we momentarily lose heart, even hear a cynical “voice” from inside ourselves about protecting public schools and the welfare of students we care about so much. Then something happens, something wonderful. We find again that we have remarkable allies and that over time, perhaps more time than any of us would like to think, we will prevail in the work we do to teach our students well, preserve professional autonomy within our classrooms and join forces with parents and students to give voice to concerns that resonate in the communities that support our schools.
One of those moments occurred at Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School on W. 102nd St. on February 1 at a forum, “More Than a Score: Talking Back to Testing,” sponsored jointly by MORE, Teachers Unite, Change the Stakes and the NYC Student Union. More than 150 parents, teachers, administrators and students came together to demonstrate what we all “know” but sometimes doubt. We found that there really is in New York City a coalition of informed, energetic and motivated activists who can work together to take advantage of the cracks now opening up in the political and social environment to push through a “people’s school reform” movement that will restore sanity, balance and intelligence to the day-to-day operation of the schools where we work and where our students learn.
By James Eterno
Teacher/Chapter leader: Jamaica High School
Our monthly report from the UFT Delegate Assembly