Archives For ELECTIONS

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Stop School Closings Everywhere

On Monday, March 11th the Panel for Educational Policy  (PEP) will meet at Brooklyn Technical High School at 6 PM to vote on the closure of all 26 schools. They will also vote to replace and collocate many of the schools with charters schools. Join us at 5:00pm for a rally to oppose the senseless closing of our public schools and to support our students, parents, and educators. It is important that there is a very strong showing of support for the schools.

Check out MORE at Sheepshead Bay High School’s hearing

The Movement of Rank and File Educators of the UFT stands in solidarity with the impacted school communities and seeks to offer support in any way that we can.  The best way to fight a school closure is to organize the community, and speak out for your school. School closings can be the fate of any public school, all of us are potential ATRs. The time to take action is now!

The Mayor is ready to unilaterally close more of our schools, now is the time to ask questions and call for the immediate halt to this failed policy. Schools are places for education of course, but for our communities they are so much more. Schools have long served as the center of communities, parents gathered for many years at PA/PTA meetings, students participate in sports programs where friends and family watch from the stands, after-school programs give students the chance to expand learning outside of the classrooms, and the school yard has the been the pace where lifetime friendships have developed. We cannot allow the mayor and his rubber-stamp Panel for Education Policy committee continue to close our schools and ruin our communities.

What baffles us is how our government from the President down to Mayor has continuously told us that our banks and Wall Street firms are “Too Big to Fail”, yet they tell those same communities that your schools are too big to succeed. Why are our financial institutions bailed out with trillions of taxpayer money, but our schools are allowed to close? The economists don’t have any problem explaining to the world that allowing these gigantic institutions to fail would cause systematic destruction of our economy because all aspects are connected. Shouldn’t our government use that same philosophy for our schools, if we allow the school to be closed, aren’t we allowing the entire system to fail? Closing schools results in displaced students, teachers without classes to teach,  and communities without a center.

The city can start by keeping our schools open and then ensuring they have the same conditions as all schools have in every neighborhood. One New York City school should not have better textbooks, better labs, greater advanced technology and more after school programs than another. It’s time to equal the playing field and have all our students provided the same resources to succeed. Our government must reinvest in our public schools as they have reinvested in private banks.

We also have to deal with the socio-economic issues that our children are facing. Our students contend with academic challenges based on circumstances that they face in their daily life. MORE calls for full wrap around services  for schools that have been targeted for closing. Our bilingual students need increased individual attention and we need additional services for students with a variety of special needs. There needs to be an immediate increase in the number of guidance counselors, nurses, psychologists and social workers at our schools. The city has a large pool of excessed teachers and guidance counselors, its time to place these highly qualified professionals where they are needed most, in our most needy schools. The increase in staff will result in more services and lower class sizes for our children. The city should immediately increase funding to these schools so they can offer more robust after-school programs and weekend tutoring. Full utilization of federal and state child nutrition programs that offer healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinners are necessary for our students. This will allow our students and schools to succeed.

The Mayor, chancellor, and their rubber-stamp Panel for Education Policy, show complete disregard and disdain for the students, teachers and communities affected by this policy, inflicting unconscionable harm on them and ignoring the democratic process. School reform should involve all the stakeholders; school faculty, parents, community members, and students.

Many of the school closing decisions are based on the faulty and volatile testing data in the school progress reports, which ignore some of the most important things that happen in schools; electives, clubs, connections between teachers and students that meet students’ social and emotional needs. Charter schools are replacing schools slated to phase out.  Charters choose students by lottery. They serve far fewer ELLs and children with special needs, and counsel out students they believe won’t perform. Despite this, 80% of charter students perform the same or worse than students in public schools.

As Diane Ravitch has stated:
“It is easy to close schools, disperse the students and claim victory. But no school is improved and no student is helped by closing schools. Choice policies enable schools to avoid the students who are likely to lower the school’s test scores. These kids tend to get bounced from one “bad” school to another until they drop out. In Chicago, where many schools have been closed, most students were reassigned to other low-performing schools and gained nothing from the change.
What’s more, no nation with high-performing schools is pursuing the same policies as our government. None has a program to privatize large numbers of schools, and none relies on tests of basic skills to close schools and judge teachers”

Get Out The VOTE!

February 19, 2013 — 1 Comment

get out the vote

We need your help to get out the vote. Too many of our UFT sisters and brothers do not vote in our union election, we’re going to change that. The only way to keep our union democratic is for all our voices to be heard. MORE has created a bunch of ideas for you to share with your colleagues about a MORE positive vision for new union leadership.

1.  Put MORE Election fliers in the mailboxes of your
coworkers.  Choose 3 people to follow up with later in the week.  Ask
them what they thought of the flier, MORE’s ideas, the union in
general.

2.  Choose a school close by and deliver MORE election fliers. Get in touch with us and we’ll arrange to meet with ones we have already printed [email protected]
During the election season, any UFT member can enter any public school
during your non-school hours to pass out election information.  Ask to
put the fliers in teachers’ mailboxes.  Make sure to take this document with you which states as per the DOE chancellor that any UFT member may freely distribute union election material

3.  Happy Hour!!! We all know those teacher spots. . . you walk in on
a Friday afternoon at about 4:00 and it’s just packed with teachers
happy about the weekend.  Grab a friend and some fliers and drop on
by! Let us know at [email protected] we’ll publicize it for you on our facebook, twitter, upcoming events tab on our site and mailing lists

4.  Like MORE’s  Facebook page and send it out to other
teacher friends.  Put a VOTE MORE post on your page and encourage
friends to do the same.  Everyone’s got at least a handful of teachers
in their 500+ Facebook friend list!

5. Tell all your friends to follow our MORE blog, anytime the site is updated with a new article or event they will be notified via email. Go to morecaucusnyc.org click FOLLOW on the left side of page

6. Do you tweet- follow us on Twitter, tweet at us, we’ll retweet you. Share with us your favorite hashtags- we like #RealLeadership #RealReform #MOREUFT

7.  Invite a MORE member to come talk with your staff about the
elections, our union, and MORE. contact [email protected]

8. Organize a breakfast, lunch, or after-school  meeting with a few co-workers that you know
are interested in union or social justice issues.  Discuss our platform, our mission, and some of the articles we publish on our site . Form a book club-we suggest; education and union scholar  Lois Weiner and of course the great pro-public school advocate Diane Ravitch

9.  Come to one of MORE’s upcoming general meetings and forums. Bring a
fellow educator. Check HERE for upcoming events

10.  Get ready to phone bank!  MORE has a large list of members and
contacts that we want to call and remind to vote in the election.
Group phone banks are scheduled for the first week of April after
break.  You can also make calls on your own.  If you’re willing to
help out, please contact [email protected]

11. Volunteer to help out, much of the work can be done from the comfort of your own home with just your computer. We need volunteers to help with our weekly email updates, write articles for our blog, update our social media with relevant articles, links, and upcoming events and proof-readers/editors are always welcome. Contact [email protected]

Educators are facing unprecedented attacks on our profession and our schools. 

We have worked over three years now without a contract and with no transparency in the negotiation process.

Approximately half of our colleagues leave the schools after five years. In New York City, our anti-union mayor trumpets the denial of tenure to 55% probationary teachers. Abusive principals use tools like the Danielson Rubric to harass teachers. Educators struggle every day under the burden of data binders and prep for high stakes tests that are used against students and teachers, turning a joyful vocation into drudgery.

Our union’s leadership has failed to organize a serious defense of our working conditions.  The Movement of Rank and File Educators stands ready to provide new leadership to mobilize and involve our membership in a fight to make teaching a job worth having again.

MORE Fight-Back for Improved Working Conditions

Tenure – Mobilize our chapters in defense of untenured teachers. Negotiate to restore the right to grieve letters in our files. Improve due process and whistleblower protections.

Evaluations – Reject any new evaluation system based on junk-science “Value Added Models,” high-stakes testing, or arbitrary, cookie-cutter rubrics that demean the art of teaching.

Job Security – Restore seniority transfer rights, preferred placement transfers, and SBO transfers.  Place all ATRs in open jobs before making any further new hires.

Paperwork – Create rank and file committees in our schools to rigorously enforce article 8-I in our contract that should prevent the DOE from asking teachers to write entirely new curricula, complete excessive paperwork, and engage in mindless data-gathering.

Class Size Reductions – Create smaller class sizes for more effective teaching to engage our students.

LESS Top-Down Bureaucracy

A Member-Driven Union – Member input and approval in important decisions like the evaluations deal.

Union Democracy – Delegate Assemblies and Chapter Leader meetings should be working bodies that decide on actions to help defend schools under attack; fighting closures, forced co-locations, and abusive administrators.

Chapter Organizing – District organizers should be elected, not appointed and should organize schools that lack a UFT presence.  They should also mobilize and support existing union chapters against attacks at the school level.

Accountability – Union leaders’ pay should not be more than that of rank-and-file teachers.  End the second pension for union bureaucrats.


MORE (Movement of Rank and File Educators) is the Social Justice Caucus of the UFT- New York City’s Teachers union. We are a positive alternative to the current union leadership.
http://morecaucusnyc.org /  

To join our MORE-Discussion GoogleGroup list email [email protected]

Follow us on Twitter @MOREcaucusNYC
facebook.com/MOREcaucusNYC

MORE Special Events

February 13, 2013 — Leave a comment

union membershipGet out your calendars; MORE has organized many exciting events 

 

Thursday, March 21st @ 5PM

 

La Nacional Tapas Bar

 

(reservation made for back of bar)

 

(239 West 14th Street between 7th & 8th Ave)

 

If you would like to plan a happy hour event or help MORE during our campaign for UFT office or to receive weekly updates please email [email protected]

votemorelogoOur first campaign leaflets are here! Please print and distribute at your school

Check out our new menu tab UFT Elections ’13

Meeting Postponed!

February 8, 2013 — 1 Comment

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New Date and Location

Saturday, February 16th – 12-3pm

New Location – 224 West 29th Street, 14 floor

Please come Saturday to help get the Movement of Rank and File Educators on the UFT election ballot, and sign up to distribute our campaign literature.

And don’t forget…

A PUBLIC FORUM ON NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

“Dignity and Democracy in Education: Blowing the Whistle on the Culture of Fear and Corruption in NYC Public Schools”

Saturday, February 23rd

3:00 to 5:00pm

Pizza will be served afterwards to all those who stay to help with petition signing and MORE’s election effort

CUNY Graduate Center

365 5th Avenue @ 34th st

Room 5414

 

 

moreunion

The UFT elections are here- MORE needs your support to ensure union democracy. Help us petition for MORE to be on the UFT ballot and get out the vote! Come meet our top candidates for UFT office, learn how to petition in your school, and plan our campaign. We will have petitions on site for you to sign and petitions for you to bring back to your schools. There will also be campaign literature to distribute at your school and schools nearby. At the meeting we will plan city-wide distribution of  our literature- volunteers are needed.

 

If you are definitely coming to this meeting and you are running on our slate-tell us us via email [email protected] we will pre-arrange a packet for you

 

If you are not running with us but can help with petition and literature distribution please send us your full name, last 4 digits of your SS #, and school name/borough to [email protected]  we will pre-arrange a packet for you to pick at the meetingPlease see our platform at: http://morecaucusnyc.org/the-more-platform

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