Thursday, May 29, 2008

Where is Leo Casey and Edwize on Test Boycott? UPDATED

Fred Klonsky at PreaPrez wants to know how the UFT has responded in supporting the teacher in the student testing boycott case? He writes:
One of their leaders, Leo Casey, seems to have no problem finding time to writing on EdWize, the UFT blog, long, very long theoretical critiques of G. William Domhoff’s analysis of the power elite. This is something I’m sure his rank-and-file members have been salivating to read. Yet not a word about Doug Avella and the students of I.S. 318.

We're sure the UFT is doing what it always does in cases like these: provide a rep and inform the teacher of his rights, which as a probationary teacher are few. They will claim they are negotiating behind the scenes and therefore must remain quiet.

Students need support too


Coming soon: Waterboarding as a staple of DOE investigations

What about the public aspect of the situation? That a teacher discusses an issue with his classes, the kids take some action, and the teacher is immediately blamed and sent to the rubber room. Remember. The kids have supposedly taken 22 standardized tests this year and this was one of those practice types that ARIS, which is not working effectively, is supposed to deal with.

It seems the UFT should use its pulpit to shout about this case loud and clear. They may very well argue that publicity would hurt the teacher. I disagree. His best chances would seem to come from embarassing the DOE to the extreme over the use of Gestapo tactics against the kids and teacher.

“We’ve had a whole bunch of these diagnostic tests all year,” Tatiana Nelson, 13, one of the protest leaders, said Tuesday outside the school. “They don’t even count toward our grades. The school system’s just treating us like test dummies for the companies that make the exams.”

Sounds like no harm, no foul.

Sources tell us the children were threatened with No GRADUATION or PROM if they didn't comply and rat the teacher out and Avella's program is being covered by a substitute. Is it a good thing for the kids to lose a popular teacher at this point in the year? And what of the bigger lesson of threats and intimidation? Where's the outrage at the violation of these children by the system? Anyone out there in the regressive reform movement who are so concerned about achievment gaps in the abstract?


Where's the NY press which is always talking about how much money is being wasted by the rubber room? Do you get a clue why teachers need tenure? If Avella had tenure he would be in a much stronger position. In fact, when Joel Klein and the regressive ed reformers try to make the case for the elimination of tenure, respond with these two words: Doug Avella.


NYC Educator said...

Here's the comment I left PREA Prez:

Well, someone has to write long, very long, theoretical critiques of G. William Domhoff’s analysis of the power elite, and we should be grateful it isn’t us.

As for standing up for UFT members, well, Mr. Casey has stood up many times. He and his party stood up for extra days, extra hours, extra classes (that aren’t classes), merit pay (that isn’t merit pay), and an end to grieving letters in file. They brought an end to seniority transfers and an ATR brigade that’s been an absolute boon in PR for Mr. Bloomberg and his “reformers.” They’ve supported mayoral control and a reorganization that gave blatant financial disincentives for principals to hire teachers caught in the purgatory that is ATR. They’ve earned the admiration of Rod “The NEA is a terrorist organization” Paige, and proudly trumpet it in their literature.

And one more thing, I’m a working UFT member who Mr. Casey ostensibly represents, as unelected VP for Academic High Schools. While he won’t condescend to actually talk to me, he publicly and personally libeled me (in between those long, very long, theoretical critiques of G. William Domhoff’s analysis of the power elite).

Chaz said...

I object to your complaints about the wonderful Leo Casey, the spin mister of the UFT. True, Leo Casey's posts are usually irrelevant and unreadable. Yes, he is more interested in Darfur than the classroom teacher. However, he really cares. Why else would Randi appoint him as VP of the high schools? Look what he has done since being in that position? Leo has showed his expertise by watching high school after high school being dismantled, while the remainder becomes more overcrowded. Good job Leo, nobody could have done a better job.

I also object to those who claimed Leo lied to us about the 2005 contract. nyc educator, Leo was fooled by those evil people at Tweed. He would not of lied to us about the "probable cause" section and the "open market transfer system".

I believe you critics need to apoligize to Leo Casey, he is doing the best he screw us all.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Leo.

and all the dead Leo's.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget, Leo is always a lyin'...I mean lion. Sorry.

NYC Educator said...


I've seen the light. Thanks for setting me straight.

Anonymous said...

Regarding action that takes place on behalf of victimized UFT members: often it takes place behind the scenes of center-stage but without the glare of publicity because that way it may make the chances of a good outcome more promising and often is what the aggrieved member wants.

ed notes online said...

That is what the aggrieved wants because the UFT tells them to be quiet - they are fighting behind the scenes. The UFT never engages in a public campaign and tries to build support of fellow teachers and parents around a case where something outrageous had happened.

I told them to do this for Kathy Blythe who was arrested after 22 years of unblemished teaching after a parent was pushed by a pincipal to call the cops over the most trivial of incidents. And I pointed out that Kathy had run for CL a few months earlier and lost by only 1 vote. This was so clearly politiical. And the cops released her that afternoon saying it was all bullshit.

I immediately brought Kathy to an Exec Bd meeting and askd the UFT to at least go get a statement from the cop. They said it was up to the teacher - who was not sitting helpless (and still is) in the RR.
Their reaction to this case was beyond outrageous. Other than providing the minimal, they wash their hands.

I made it a public fight and The Chief did a story on it. If the UFT had done what i asked, they would have found the teachers and parents in the community would have come out for Kathy and the public pressure would haev helped her, not hurt. And more importantly,protect the other teachers at the school. (Another teacher with impecable rep was sent to the RR under trumped up charges recently.)

And they of course rejected ICE's Jeff Kaufman's suggestion they hire paralegals to some investigation for the teacher.

This has been a theme of Ed Notes for a decade. We bought up resolutions in the late 90's to especially protect chapter leaders adn Unity outright turned them down. We called for demos in front of schools and using UFT resources to go out into the community to gather parent and teacher support for the teacher. I believe this is a way to protect a teacher in certain political cases.

Note that recently the UFT announced they were finally going to do something from the ed notes 10 year old reso and holda demo for the CL and del sent to the rubber room. A one time deal and just for show.