Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fiorillo Takes Weingarten to Task

Michael punches holes in Randi's praise THANKING THE MAYOR for bringing “stability, accountability and cohesion” to the school system. Below is side one of the ICE leaflet handed out at the Delegate Assembly on June 24. The other side consisted of the Kaufman/Eterno blog posts on the pension give away in exchange for the 2 Labor Days (see below for links).

As a Chapter Leader and member of the union’s School Governance Task Force, who proposed an alternative governance system and voted against the final report, I must nevertheless comment on President Weingarten’s contemptuous disregard for the committee’s work and the votes in favor of it.

The Task Force, which met and worked diligently for almost a year-and-a half to fashion a report, came into existence because of the law’s sunset provision and widespread teacher dissatisfaction with mayoral control. It NEVER considered a citywide governance structure whereby the mayor would continue to have a majority of votes on the citywide board. In her op-ed piece in the May 21st issue of the New York Post, apparently written in an effort to impress Rupert Murdoch and other enemies of teachers and public education, Weingarten effectively spat in the faces of the members of the committee that worked on the report, the union’s Executive Board and the Delegate Assembly, which approved it, and the membership, which had some meager hopes of seeing their work lives improved by it.

President Weingarten often speaks of how the Delegate Assembly is the highest policy-making body in the union; I guess it is, except when it isn’t.

Incredibly, President Weingarten, in her defense of the indefensible, has been going around speaking and even THANKING THE MAYOR for bringing “stability, accountability and cohesion” to the school system. This not only rubs salt in the wounds, but adds Orwellian phrasing to the discussion:

- What about the serial reorganizations?
- What about the epidemic of school closings,certain to increase under a continued mayoral dictatorship?
- What about the loss of seniority rights, the ever-expanding pool of ATRs and rubber room victims who are seeing there professional lives destroyed?
- What about communities that are being pitted against each other by having charter schools placed in public school buildings and receiving preferential treatment and funding?

- What about the “failing” and closed schools, each of which is a black mark against the competence of this regime? It seems only teachers are accountable for that.
- What about the school bus fiasco? The no-bid contracts? The brazen law-breaking over Special Ed? The game playing over test scores? This regime has acted in total disregard for the rights of children, teachers and parents. And President Weingarten has acted unilaterally to insure its continuation.

- Remember Balanced Literacy? Intimidation and micromanagement over blackboards? Revolving Deputy Chancellors for Instruction? The only cohesion has been in their unrelenting attacks on the working conditions and professionalism of teachers.

By unilaterally turning her back in the wishes of the membership and the activist parents who placed their hope and faith in the UFT’s ability to do something about mayoral dictatorship, Randi Weingarten has insured the continuance of school overcrowding, testing mania, privatization, attacks on tenure and seniority, and the viability of public education in New York City and nationally.

President Weingarten, by enabling Bloomberg and the other oligarchs who seek to profit from the destruction of the public schools, you may have insured another two-year contract and better treatment for yourself in the editorial pages and in corporate boardrooms, but you have in the immediate and long term undermined the Union, its members, students, parents and public schools. That is your legacy as president of the UFT.

Michael Fiorillo
Chapter Leader

Related from the ICE blog



What Else Did She Give Away?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ms. Weingarten is only interested in her political career. She has moved on from City & State politics (incidentally, doing a wonderful job recently in Albany - getting control back from the schools by any means possible!).

Her sights, are squarely in a national position.