Archives For MORE caucus

For most of the past five years, the city of New York’s workforce has been losing ground.
Starting in 2009, Mayor Bloomberg refused to negotiate new contracts for all city workers, effectively establishing a wage freeze while the cost of living in NYC continues to rise. Just over a year ago, city workers brought this city back from Super-storm Sandy.
We keep this city running every day.
We’re working harder and harder for less and less.
Not all New Yorkers have had to make such sacrifices. Since the massive financial crisis in 2008, and subsequent multi-trillion dollar federal bailout, WallStreet has made billions in profits – $24 billion in 2012 alone. Likewise, New York’s real-estate industry continues toboom, greased with hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks. If we simply made the 1% pay their fair share, we would be able to fund city worker’s contract demands and restore Bloomberg-era funding cuts to much needed city services.
We Demand:
  •  Mayor DeBlasio negotiate full retroactive raises for all city workers and grant raises in line with the increased cost of living in New York City.
  •  The Municipal Labor Committee, the coalition of unions representing municipal workers, take a unified position and make these demands to Mayor DeBlasio during negotiation

Please take action now by:

1. Sign and share the online petition here 

2. Print the paper petition out and gather signatures at your workplace here

3. Like our FaceBook page and spread the word to your friends 

To NYC Municipal Labor Committee,

As you begin contract negotiations with the new de Blasio administration, the undersigned implore you to mobilize the full power of a united NYC public sector work force to put forward a powerful message.  After years of effective pay cuts, we expect and deserve not just a new contract, but one with retroactive wage increases and no givebacks.

NYC municipal workers have been working under worse conditions and for less pay than at any time since the recession of the 1970s.

Still, each and every day, we keep the city running. The deadly Superstorm Sandy showed the world, once again, the heroism of our nurses, firefighters, sanitation, transit, and other city workers, who saved the stranded and worked tirelessly to get the city back on its feet.

Why, then, are we losing ground?  Mayor Bloomberg has refused to negotiate new contracts for municipal employees.  With the cost of living on the rise, the net effect has been an across the board wage cut.  We are among the nearly half of New Yorkers — 49 percent — who are paying rents that federal benchmarks consider unaffordable.  Basic necessities increase as well.

Not all New Yorkers have had to make such sacrifices.  Since the massive financial crisis in 2008, and subsequent multi-trillion dollar federal bailout, Wall Street has made billions in profits – $24 billion in 2012 alone.  Likewise, New York’s real estate industry continues to boom, greased with hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks.

To put it plainly, public sector and working-class New Yorkers have been subsidizing the billion dollar profits of Wall Street and the real estate industry with their tax money.

We are the teachers who put in extra hours helping kids learn. We are the health care and social workers taking care of the most vulnerable New Yorkers.  We keep the garbage off the streets, we take people to work and to school, and we respond to every emergency.  We earn what we receive, unlike the billionaires who treat our city budget like their personal ATM.

The city CAN afford retroactive pay for city workers and not cut back on other services. The city has run budget surpluses of over a billion dollars for over half of the last 8 years, even after factoring in the estimated $3 billion in tax breaks businesses receive every year.  Small increases to taxes on high-end real estate, financial transactions, and other taxes on New York’s 1% could turn the pending municipal crisis around.

The fate of New York City’s municipal workers is of critical importance for all New Yorkers.  Underpaid and unemployed workers need subsidies to survive.  As our standard of living decreases, it strains the economy, hurts our families, and makes it harder to do our jobs.  If we fight for a just contract, and stand in solidarity with other important campaigns, like the low-wage workers who are fighting for a $15 minimum wage, then a rising tide can raise all boats.

New York City today is a tale of two cities.  If mayor-elect de Blasio genuinely wants to tackle income inequality, we urge him to start at the bargaining table with city workers.

Fairness, and good economic sense, demand full retroactive pay raises and full cost of living adjustments for all New York City municipal workers.  

Sincerely,

Movement of Rank and File Educators- The Social Justice Caucus of The United Federation of Teachers

[MORE's statement on the UFT leadership's change of position on testing is followed by James Eterno's full report on the Delegate Assembly]

Yesterday the Unity and New Action caucuses put forth a resolution that was passed at the Delegate Assembly calling for a moratorium on high stakes decisions for the state tests this year. While we applaud the effort to stop teachers from having their evaluations tied to flawed exams as well as a curriculum and evaluation system that has been poorly implemented and largely unsupported, we have serious reservations about the resolution as it stands.

The resolution accepts Common Core Standards and the structure of the teacher evaluation system, including the use of Danielson. These current policies are harmful to our students and our teachers.

Further, the resolution offers no plan in terms of member-driven input and action to fight the destructive policies we face nor regarding the effort to stop these policies’ high stakes impact.

MORE stands firmly in calling for a moratorium on the current teacher evaluation system until an alternative that is rooted in research and what teachers, parents, and students know results in effective teaching and learning is thoroughly negotiated, vetted, and voted on by our members. Positive alternatives exist.  We need our union to stand firm in demanding a system that benefits students and supports teachers.
Continue Reading…

Support of Union Leaders is Sought in Call for Moratorium on New NYS ‘Test-Prep’ Teacher Evaluation Scheme

MORE and Change the Stakes Team Up for “Win Back Wednesday” Rally at UFT Delegate Assembly, UFT Headquarters, Oct. 9

 For Immediate Release

NEW YORK — On October 9th at 4:00 p.m, activists from all over the city will gather at UFT headquarters to protest the emphasis on high-stakes testing that education advocates denounce for harming students, educators, and public schools. This action will be led by two grassroots organizations: the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE), known as ‘the social justice caucus’ of the UFT, and Change the Stakes, a group of parents who oppose reducing education to the pursuit of higher standardized test scores.

According to organizers, the rally is being called “Win Back Wednesday” because public education must be “won back” from the profit-driven entities behind high-stakes testing and school privatization schemes and returned to actual stakeholders: parents, students, and educators. Wednesday is the monthly UFT Delegate Assembly, when representatives elected by rank and file educators from every school in the city traditionally meet to vote on key decisions.

Organizers are hopeful that union leadership will change course, breaking alliances formed in recent years with self-described education “reformers,” whose agenda typically focuses on increased high-stakes testing and privatization of public schools. To highlight growing opposition to these policies, UFT members throughout NYC will wear anti-high-stakes testing stickers and buttons in their own schools on October 9th, and then gather for a united rally at UFT headquarters downtown after school.

“Our children’s education should never be thought of as ‘common’ or ‘standardized,’” said Mike Schirtzer, UFT delegate and MORE member, referring to the new Common Core State Standards and teacher evaluation system. “Recent educational policies have put a dangerous emphasis on high-stakes testing. The results? A narrowed curriculum. A climate of fear and competition in our classrooms. Students learning to bubble in the right answer, not how to think critically.”

“All too often, our leadership has been complicit in this assault on educational quality and equality,” Schirtzer said. “As the nation’s largest, most powerful union local, the UFT can and should lead the charge for real innovation in schools. Rank and file teachers and public school parents want leadership to say loudly and unambiguously what we all know to be true: the testing regime has run amok. We have chosen the UFT headquarters for the rally because we believe they can be a leading voice for real reform.”

Rally organizers will call on union leadership to demand a “real path to better public schools,” including reduced class sizes; a renewed focus on the arts, music, civics, and physical education; and funding for afterschool programs and wrap-around programs.

Jia Lee, NYC public school teacher and parent worries that, “Standardized testing only gives my son’s teacher this information: if he answered an item correctly or incorrectly. In my son’s school, mistakes are viewed as opportunities for learning; it’s never punitive as in these new high stakes tests. He doesn’t need the burden of thinking that his incorrect answers will cost his teacher her job.”

“While millions of dollars are being wasted on implementing these new ‘reform’ policies,” Schirtzer added, “our children lack the services they deserve and our educators enter their fifth year without a contract. The UFT leadership must use its power to say ‘enough is enough’! We are calling on them to join us in telling the public, politicians, and those that say they care about education that our children, teachers, and public schools are more than a test score!

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No-Contract-only-001

By Kit Wainer

Teacher/Chapter Leader Leon M. Goldstein High School

2007 TJC/ICE UFT Presidential Candidate

The UFT leadership’s strategy for winning us a fair contract crashed and burned on September 10. Although we have been working under an expired contract since October 2009 UFT President Michael Mulgrew has refused to lead us in the kind of movement that could have pressured the Bloomberg administration to negotiate in good faith. Instead, the president and the ruling Unity caucus banked everything on the 2013 mayor’s race. They calculated that by backing a winning candidate they could get us a friendly mayor from whom they could expect a fair contract. No union or community mobilization would be necessary. It was a naive strategy from the beginning. But when Democratic primary voters rejected Bill Thompson, the UFT’s choice, they also foiled the entire UFT strategy.

Mulgrew’s strategy

From his presentation to the September 12 Chapter Leaders meeting, one never would have guessed that Mulgrew’s electoral strategy had failed. There was no reflection on the strategic choice UFT leaders made in early 2013. Nor was there consideration of the implications of Thompson’s defeat for UFT strategy in the future.

Yet throughout the spring of 2013 the Mulgrew/Unity leadership imbued the Democratic primary with historic importance. Insisting that it would be impossible to negotiate with City Hall until Bloomberg left office, Mulgrew gradually built dramatic tension over whether to participate in the mayoral race and whom to endorse. UFT Political Action Director Paul Egan gave scientific-sounding presentations to the Delegate Assembly outlining the metrics the union would use to evaluate the race, judge the viability of each candidate, and determine the UFT’s potential impact. After deciding to enter the race the union hosted candidate forums in each borough office, fueling speculation about whom the UFT would ultimately pick. The drama culminated in the Thompson endorsement at the June Delegate Assembly. June’s dull-crescendo was well orchestrated, if somewhat insulting. The delegates were allowed to democratically vote on the endorsement. Yet the choice of Thompson had already been leaked to the press before the delegates arrived. There were already Thompson yard signs printed with the UFT’s name on it. And Thompson himself was in attendance at the Delegate Assembly before the vote had been taken.

The undertone of all of Mulgrew’s and Egan’s presentations last spring was that then-front-runner Christine Quinn would continue Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s agenda, but if the UFT could swing the primary to a different candidate, that candidate would owe us something after the election. The assessment proved to be wrong in every respect: Quinn’s front-runner status was short-lived for reasons that had nothing to do with the UFT, the UFT’s candidate lost by a substantial margin, and there is simply no evidence that the UFT had any meaningful impact on the race.

What went wrong?

The Mulgrew/Unity strategy was flawed from the beginning. UFT leaders fundamentally misunderstood where our union’s strength lies and gambled the union’s energies and resources in a game that is rigged against us.

Underlying the UFT’s approach to the 2013 elections is the assumption that the union’s strength comes from its treasury, its phone banks, its staff, and its political connections. The UFT is, after all, a substantial institution with a large full-time staff, millions of dollars in monthly dues income, and hundreds of millions worth of New York real estate assets. But no labor organization will ever have the financial or bureaucratic resources to compete with hedge fund billionaires, corporate networks, or political machines that are more than a century old and have a significant stake in influencing the next mayor. Those elite forces can outspend, out advertise, and out phone-bank any union. No wonder the UFT has not picked a winning mayoral candidate since 1989.

What’s a union to do?

October 2013 will mark our fourth year working under an expired contract. Yet the UFT has not yet begun to organize union members for the kind of fight that would be necessary to win us a good deal. Nor has it begun to build grass roots community movements against school closings, test-driven curricula, and school privatization that could change the political climate in the city. Instead of staking our futures on the union’s ability to influence the mayor’s race, the UFT should have followed the example of the Chicago Teachers Union. In fact, it is not too late for our union to do so now.

In 2012 the Chicago Teachers Union launched a series of escalating mobilizations — pickets, rallies, marches — culminating in a strike last September. At the same time they built alliances with parent and community organizations against corporate “education reform” and against the destruction of neighborhood schools. The CTU exposed the racist nature of the broad attacks on public education by pointing out that schools in low-income, non-white neighborhoods were among the first to be closed. The UFT should follow the Chicago example and begin a city-wide fightback involving union members and parent and community activists.

We also need to democratize our union. At no point last spring did members ever have a forum in which they could discuss strategy, or even provide input on whom the UFT should endorse or whether a mayoral endorsement was the best tool to win a good contract. Ironically, the undemocratic nature of UFT decision-making probably hampered the leadership’s ability to influence the Democratic primary. Few union members seemed to know or care whom their leaders had endorsed. So far there is no evidence to suggest that the UFT endorsement even influenced how union members voted. We need a leadership that can win back the confidence of a membership that is becoming increasingly discouraged and tuning the union out.

On September 18 the UFT Delegate Assembly voted to endorse Democratic nominee Bill DeBlasio. Once again Mulgrew had already held a media event with the DeBlasio before the DA had a chance to vote. No delegate was allowed to speak against the motion to endorse the Democratic candidate and DeBlasio arrived just as the vote was being taken.

Regardless of what happens in the general election the union should start now to mobilize us and our communities against the horrors of the new evaluation system, school closings and privatization, and test-driven curricula. If we do that we have a chance to turn this union around, pressure the next mayor, and  win a decent a contract. But simply waiting for a new mayor is not viable strategy. Nor is any course of action that relies exclusively on union staff, dues income, and political connections. The UFT now has 170,000 members. We need to remember that word: “members.”

These views may or may not represent the official position of the MORE caucus

MORE Teaching

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

Facebook link here

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.

RSVP online HERE to reserve your place at the table! (http://morebrunch.eventbrite.com)

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!

MORE pin

August 14, 2013 — Leave a comment
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The Social Justice Caucus of the UFT

The Movement of Rank and File Educators will be participating in the Summer Streets event in Manhattan on Saturday 8/3. Join us as we bike together from Downtown to Central Park on city streets only open to bikes, runners, and pedestrians. It’s a vehicle free summer bike ride.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/summerstreets/html/route/route.shtml

Bring your friends and family for this great summer social event!

Wear you MORE shirt or anything red.

We will begin to gather at DOE Headquarters in NYC at -Tweed  (52 Chambers St., near City Hall) at 10:30 A.M.

The ride starts at 11:00 A.M. We’ll ride to Central Park on car-free streets, then back to Chambers St.

MORE will host a family happy hour at a restaurant near Tweed/Chambers St. (stay tuned for MORE info)

RSVP and share our Facebook Event too

MORE kindly reminds you to follow all traffic rules and wear a helmet.

See you there!

Hope you are all enjoying summer, MORE is staying active -here are all the great upcoming events we have on the way:
 

Wen 7/31 MORE’S SUMMER RETREAT

An opportunity to assess our work and plan for the future.
12noon – 5pm
CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue (34th st) NYC Room 5414
Must show ID at the door
*Beverages will be provided and we will order in pizza
 
PROPOSED AGENDA:
1. How is MORE doing so far?
2. What’s our vision for the short-term and long-term future?
3. What should we prioritize this fall?
4. What structures do we need to accomplish our goals?
 
Sat. 8/3 MORE Bikes NYC
Join us as we bike together from Downtown to Central Park on city streets only open to bikes, runners, and pedestrians.
Bring your friends and family for this great summer social event!
We will begin to gather at DOE-Tweed (52 Chambers St., near City Hall) at 10:30 A.M.
The ride starts at 11:00 A.M. We’ll ride to Central Park on car-free streets, then back to Chambers St.
MORE will host a family happy hour at a restaurant near Tweed/Chambers St. (stay tuned for MORE info)
 
Upcoming Summer Series events at Local 138
Video of our 1st summer series on high stakes testing and a preview of this one can be found at here

Check out our summer series facebook event page and a full description of every summer series here

 
Thurs. 8/8 How Do We Fight For a New Contract:Strategies for gaining a new contract that benefits our educators, students, and parents. 
 
Thurs. 8/22 The First Days of School-How to Build an Active Chapter: Organizing and mobilizing your school to fight back against abusive administrators and profit driven reform.

This new school year will be the first time that teachers in NYC will be evaluated using the evaluation system imposed by State Education Commissioner John King. Under the new system every teacher will receive a score ranging from 0 to 100 and this number will determine if the teacher is deemed Highly Effective, Effective, Developing or Ineffective.

One of the most shocking parts of the new system is that teachers who are measured ineffective on the test-based component of the evaluation must be labeled ineffective overall, no matter what they receive from their principal based on the observation of their teaching (see the King decision, p. 37 and p. 38).

The test-based component, 40% of teachers evaluations, outweighs the observation component, which is 60%.

Here’s how this fuzzy math works out:

Continue Reading…

UFT Rank and File Says King’s Evaluation Plan Bad for Teachers, Students

While Michael Mulgrew launches a campaign to convince the membership that the new teacher evaluation system is designed to help teachers improve and give them a professional voice, Bloomberg is proclaiming victory. The truth of the matter is, this evaluation system is bad for educators and the children they serve: the system requires a tremendous amount of additional work with no compensation, time or otherwise. It will create an even greater climate of fear and effectively ends tenure as we know it; putting all educators who partner with parents to advocate for the best policies for children at risk. This system places too much value on testing and is flawed in its high stakes premise. Educators are best positioned to evaluate and assess our students and teachers, not imposed tests, not junk science, not pre-packaged rubrics.    Julie Cavanagh, Elementary School Teacher & Chapter Leader P.S. 15 Brooklyn

The day has finally come. State Education Commissioner John King has imposed a new teacher evaluation deal on New York City.  UFT president Michael Mulgrew’s attempts to claim a victory in the face of defeat are hardly convincing. In his letter to the membership Mulgrew says “Here is the bottom line: The new teacher evaluation system is designed to support, not punish, teachers and to help them develop throughout their careers. That is what we will be fighting for as this plan is implemented.” Given the enormous amount of money the DOE has spent trying to fire our colleagues over the last few years, it’s credulous to suggest that this system will be about “supporting” teachers. The media has honed in on the point that Mulgrew wants to avoid: tenure has been seriously weakened, and it will be easier to fire teachers who are seen as “ineffective” based on flawed standardized tests.

We knew already from State Education Law 3012-c, which was supported by the UFT leadership as part of Race to the Top, that two years of ineffective ratings means a teacher is presumed to be incompetent. In the new termination process for tenured teachers, the burden of proof will shift to the teacher, unlike the current system where the burden of proof is on the Department of Education to prove incompetence.[1]

King’s release states: “Teachers rated ineffective on student performance based on objective assessments must be rated ineffective overall. Teachers who are developing or ineffective will get assistance and support to improve performance. Teachers who remain ineffective can be removed from classrooms.” In other words, there will be more testing for our students and tests will be the ultimate determinant of a teacher’s effectiveness.  According to the outline of the plan, “Each school will have a committee comprised of an equal number of teachers and administrators who will determine, along with the principal, which assessments each school will use,” however the plan states that principals may reject this committee’s recommendations and apply their own default measures. In many schools, this is exactly what will happen.

Only 13 percent of all ineffective ratings each year can be challenged on grounds of harassment or other matters not related to job performance. Is the UFT comfortable trusting that the other 87% of ratings of “ineffective” will be based solely on teacher performance? Given the new principals Tweed is pumping out of the Principal’s Academy and their “fire your way to success” mentality, our union leadership has left us in an extremely dangerous situation.

The union leadership is pleased that the rating system will be using “the complete Danielson rubric, with all 22 points.” The potential for abuse of this complex and multifaceted rubric is enormous.

“This system will lead to educators teaching to a rubric,” says Mike Schirtzer, UFT Delegate at Leon M. Goldstein High School in Brooklyn.  “Pedagogy is a craft which no two teachers do the same, yet can still be equally effective.  This new scheme will limit teachers creativity in the classroom and our ability to differentiate styles in order to reach a diverse set of learners. Our greatest concern is the amount of time this will take from teachers to properly prepare for their classes, due to all of the assessments and/or SLO’s that need to be created, the committees need to be formed and countless hours of professional development dedicated to Common Core and Danielson, two directives that have no scientific evidence of increasing learning.”

In addition to the onerous micromanagement of the Danielson rubric, observations will be more frequent and at least one will be an unannounced observation. This is problematic, as without pre- and post-observation conferences, administrators will likely be unaware what scaffolding the teacher has done beforehand, and are likely to penalize teachers because they don’t have this information.  Mulgrew says this is not a “gotcha” system, but in practice it most certainly will be.

The new system also includes a pilot of student surveys. This encourages grade-inflation and a lack of discipline in the classroom. Research shows that student surveys don’t work in high-stakes settings. The use of such surveys poisons the relationships between teachers and students, who now in addition to their test scores bear even more responsibility for the future of their teachers’ careers.

Crucially, this agreement will not include a sunset provision, unlike districts in other parts of the state. The sunset provision was a key sticking point in negotiations, as the UFT was hoping it would be able to renegotiate the terms of this plan under a new and presumably friendlier mayor. The current deal is in place for the next four years at least, and can only be re-negotiated in collective bargaining within the framework of State Education Law 3012-c.

The mayor and his henchmen have been gloating effusively. The mayor’s statement said “Commissioner King has sided with our children on nearly every major point of disagreement we had with the UFT’s leadership, while also rejecting the UFT’s long-held demand for a sunset provision.” Dennis Walcott said he was extremely pleased with the commissioner’s announcement today and we look forward to implementing it.” Bloomberg advisor Howard Wolfson bragged on Twitter that the UFT was “shut out on nearly all their demands.”  No matter how the UFT leadership tries to spin it, this is a major defeat for teachers and students.

What Now?

The dropoff in voter turnout in the recent UFT election was already a sign of a disengaged and passive membership.  The new evaluation system and the way it was imposed are likely to further demoralize the rank-and-file and increase their cynicism toward the union.  The UFT surrendered our collective bargaining rights by turning over the key issue in the next contract to the State Education Department, calling for a biased state official to impose evaluations on us.

MORE campaigned for a membership vote on this evaluation system, and presented a petition with over 1,000 signatures to the December Delegate Assembly.  Unity opposed submitting this to the membership since they knew it would be deeply unpopular.  The fact that this has instead been imposed by the State Education Department means Mulgrew and the Unity leadership will have an alibi for what will now certainly be a deeply concessionary contract.  We must expose the leadership’s circumvention of membership in this process, and their contempt for the voices of their rank-and-file.

June 12 will be the day that city workers come together to demand fair contracts.  In light of the new evaluation system, one wonders what’s left to negotiate.  The key concessions, the biggest change to our working conditions in at least a generation, are already in place.  It will be crucial for UFT members to attend and discuss the magnitude of this sell-out, and the undemocratic way in which it was imposed on us.  Our next contract will inevitably include the new evaluation system.  It will also be the first time in this process that the membership has been consulted at all.  A campaign to vote no on this contract would send a signal to the leadership that the membership rejects this plan.

Everybody agrees that the key to this will be implementation.  Teachers must build active chapters that can be vigilant in calling out abuse of the new system.   A coordinated grievance campaign around particular issues of implementation can help us make the most of the 15 extra arbitration days to deal with systemic abuses.  MORE will be campaigning in the fall to organize and train chapter leaders, delegates and school activists to be effective in defending their colleagues and organizing strong chapters.

Teachers also need to unite with students and parents to call for an end to the high stakes testing regime that is central to this new evaluation system.  Students will now not only be taking high stakes state tests or PARCC assessments, but also regular “performance assessments” designed to assess teacher effectiveness.  Campaigns like the MAP test boycott in Seattle show the power of a community uniting to fight the standardized testing regime.

What this whole sad story tells us is that we can’t rely on our union leaders to deliver on our behalf.  They have conceded everything, and may now even prove unable to win us retroactive pay for the years we’ve spent without a contract.  It’s only by rebuilding the union from the bottom up, school by school, classroom by classroom, that we will begin to stand up to the corporate assault on our schools.  MORE is dedicated to a different kind of union, one where democracy and accountability replace backroom deals, where the members make the decisions that matter in their professional lives.  Join us!


[1] If a DOE-appointed validator disagrees with the principal’s rating, the DOE keep burden of proof.  However, validators are likely to be retired principals, in the PEP+ system, which is currently used to help fire teachers.