Tuesday, February 7, 2017

UFT Leadership Shocked: Will They Make a Stand in Opposing Closing of JHS 145 as Giveway to Eva/Success Academy?

Last week after a presentation at the UFT Ex Bd meeting, the leadership acted shocked, just shocked, at being made aware of the situation. I imagine the connection to Eva's taking over the building might be a factor.

From Arthur Goldstein report on last night's UFT Ex Bd meeting - UFT Executive Board, February 6, 2017
Mike SchirtzerMORE—Last week JHS 145 spoke—Can we have an update?

Rich Mantel (Middle School VP) —going to school to meet with staff and help organize. Will do all we can to support.

Ellie Engler—Story he [JHS 145 teacher Jim Donohue] told [at last week's EB meeting] was compelling. We knew this was kind of a setup. Brought to highest level at DOE, supposed to give us an answer. We have found some shady stuff going on at Success Academy, we are checking, and we are prepared to bring it up at Tweed. We are buying sweatshirts for schools supporting them.
We've been reporting on the JHS 145 situation - see my last report: Is Attempt to Close JHS 145, a Political Giveaway to Eva Moskowitz? (http://ednotesonline.blogspot.com/2017/01/is-attempt-to-close-jhs-145-political.html) where I reported on Jim Donohue's excellent presentation to last week's Ex Bd meeting and included his statement. The MORE DA Newsletter also includes excerpts form Jim's report.

Mike Schirtzer called me last night and added to Arthur's report that the UFT leadership is claiming they are asking to have the closing of JHS 145 taken off the March 22 PEP agenda and are willing to go to City Hall if necessary.

Jim asked the UFT for 4 things:
  • We ask that the UFT publicly demand that the proposal for the closing of JHS 145 be pulled from the March 22 PEP agenda.
  • We ask that the UFT utilize its resources in the form of media, social media, twitter, etc. speak out against this proposal.
  • We ask the UFT to help us move the PEP from Manhattan to the school so that the community can attend, and if that proves impossible, to supply a bus for community members.
  • Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we ask that Mr. Mulgrew come to our school to witness or participate in the student march to the District Office……[rumored to be taking place this Saturday].
We know they only work behind the scenes so don't expect item 2. I think item 3 -- buses - are possible. As for Mulgrew showing up --- I'll believe that when I see it.

If they do get this closing reversed I will praise them to the sky and enjoy watching Eva go crazy. I hear there are behind the scenes talks but can't report on some of the stuff I hear at this time.

Expect a lot of push back from the Success Academy lobby, since they are already advertising that they are expanding their middle school in that building. In fact expect a massive storm of protest. The alt-fact NY Post editorials are ready to stream.

What is interesting is that the UFT is about to endorse de Blasio and if the DOE caves on the closing of JHS 145 I say we hold their feet to the fire.

Now I know that people working with MORE have been involved in the story of JHS 145 for a year or more. Schirtzer invited them to come to last week's EB meeting and that seems to have woken the leadership up.

You know, I had some doubts about the value of MORE winning seats on the Ex Bd but given the action going on there I think there has been a lot of value.

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