Monday, October 7, 2013

Newark TU Rejects RTTT as Randi/Del Grosso Contract Burns and Relationship With Cami Anderson Frays

Mr. Christie and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten hailed the contract as a model for cooperation that teachers union locals across the country should emulate.... WSJ
 
Why MORE in NYC? Newark Union Pres under pressure from an insurgent NEW Caucus rejects Race to the Top. Lisa Fleisher has a great piece today in the WSJ:
The rhetoric was starkly different from what was on display last November, when the contract was signed. Mr. Christie and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten hailed the contract as a model for cooperation that teachers union locals across the country should emulate. The contract was a risky proposition for Mr. Del Grosso, who had been more open to trying out merit pay and other types of changes than many teachers union leaders in New Jersey and surrounding areas. He won re-election by a slim margin.
Why come out to the MORE Day of Action at the UFT Delegate Assembly this Weds at 4PM? I'm not saying it will happen this time but the day we have hundreds of people pushing Mulgrew with a serious threat like in Newark the UFT will continue pushing its Vichy-like policies. See what happens when an insurgent social justice union movement gets strong enough to challenge the status quo leadership?

Even while still in power, Del Grosso, who won by only 9 votes while NEW Caucus captured a majority of the Exec Bd seats, pulled the plug on Newark's application for Race to the Top. Remember how Randi and Chris Christie helped shove this crappy contract down the throats of Newark teachers, many of whom are in revolt over the contract? [Just search ed notes for loads of articles on this sell-out - look in Nov 12 archives. I think I added Newark to the Randi Sellout Tour pic.]
teachers union President Joe Del Grosso said the application was full of "stupid things that are just wasteful spending," such as a proposal to use earbuds to give teachers live feedback during classes.
YES. RTTT does nothing for kids or teachers or schools other than feed into an ed deform program that degrades the profession and the union. Yet Vichy unions like the UFT never point this stuff out. Earbuds indeed. But poor Joe couldn't --or wouldn't -- point out the real crap oozing out of every pore of RTTT.
The new contract, approved 62% to 38% in November 2012, ushered in a new structure that pegged some pay to teachers' evaluations. For example, low-rated teachers aren't eligible for annual raises based on their years of service. Some teachers are eligible for bonuses if they receive high ratings.
I wish I could share more, but Ed Notes has a great contact with an experienced teacher in Newark who sends me regular reports on the outrages going on there. When I can I will share --- but the management under the misdirection of Cami Anderson, who was despised here in NYC, makes Joel Klein look competent. One thing Anderson, following in the steps of her mentor, is good at is misdirection and lying -- the real agenda is to destroy the union and privatize as much of the school system as possible. That she has been mentioned as a possible Chancellor here (these people hop around like bed bugs) is a scary thought -- one reason to make sure Joe Lhota doesn't win.
imageMr. Del Grosso on Thursday reiterated his support for the contract but said he disagreed with this grant application. "I put myself out there because I believe that this was a good contract, and I still believe it," he said. "If I see something I think is not correct I'm not going to hide or anything."
Joe Del Grosso still has one foot in Vichydom. We've seen this Randi sell-out act in Washington DC, Detroit, Hartford, and even elements here in NYC. And Joe just doesn't want to break the apron ties to the fact that the Randi-led AFT/UFT will not turn on their masters.

See below the break for the rest of Lisa's (one of the better ed reporters) article - and a photo of Cami Anderson.



The Newark Teachers Union on Thursday declined to sign off on a $30 million federal grant application, an indication of how fractured labor relations have become in New Jersey's largest school district a year after Gov. Chris Christie and union leaders celebrated a new labor contract.

District officials had been optimistic the union would approve an application for a grant from the Obama administration's "Race to the Top" program that was similar to one the union endorsed last year. Newark Public Schools, which are under state control, proposed using the funding to pay for laptops, teacher-improvement resources and support for students who are struggling emotionally.


The Obama administration's Race to the Top program has been the centerpiece of its efforts to spur change in schools. By dangling pots of money, the administration has been able to shape policy in statehouses across the country since the program was announced in 2009. Last year, the U.S. Department of Education opened the programs to individual districts and asked superintendents to propose ways to improve the way students are individually taught.

On Thursday, the deadline for the application, Mr. Del Grosso compared the union's decision not to sign off on the application to Mr. Christie's move three years ago to cancel funding for a Hudson River tunnel project out of concern for the eventual cost to the state.

"Gov. Christie is a great leader and has shown that he's capable of making decisions sometimes that may look unpopular but end up being right," Mr. Del Grosso said. "He said sometimes taking federal money is not always the right thing to do. This is a case of that."

Mr. Christie's office didn't respond to a request for comment.
In a letter to the Obama administration, Newark schools Superintendent Cami Anderson asked the department to use the union's approval from the prior year for the new application and sent a detailed list of attempts to call or meet with the union.
The relationship between Ms. Anderson, whose contract was recently renewed by the state, and the teachers union has been showing signs of strain throughout the year. The union has complained about the timing of bonus payments for teachers and a lack of communication.

The rift was evident on Thursday as Mr. Del Grosso disputed the district's assertion that he canceled meetings with Ms. Anderson about the grant application.

"He's lying," Newark schools spokesman Matthew Frankel said, later adding: "What's the motive? Is the motive the fact that he's getting heat from folks as it relates to the fact that Newark is becoming an accountable city?"

Ms. Anderson said she was surprised by the union's refusal to sign the application. In order for districts to be eligible for the federal grant, their teachers union needs to sign off.
"I can't tell you how shocked I am that we're here," she said. "Newark can be a very fractured community and [last year's application] had darn near 100% alignment from all kinds of stakeholder groups."



The contract also provided more than $30 million in back pay and other bonuses for teachers, paid for from the foundation started by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.


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