Friday, January 15, 2010

Does the UFT REALLY Oppose the Concept of School Closings?

There's lots of sturm and drang about the UFT reaction to the massive closing of schools and what appears to be a much stronger response from Mulgrew than we saw from Weingarten, who when Lafayette HS closing was announced said it should be closed.

People have short memories.

When Tilden, which was announced at the same time, showed signs of fighting back (partly because of the actions of John Lawhead, a strong ICE person at the school - and if you want to connect the dots, the presence of an activist from ICE at these schools is a factor in the fightback) Weingarten raced in to put out the fire.

The UFT has been forced into responding by the outrage coming from the schools - mostly high schools who still vote in the upcoming UFT election (ballots go out in March).

And never forget that one of the prime goals of Unity and New Action is to keep those 6 high school Ex Bd seats out of the hands of ICE-TJC, a fabulous list of candidates, by the way: Francis Lewis HS CL and noted commentator Arthur Goldstein, Tilden CL John Lawhead and the famed commentator from Newcomers HS, Michael Fiorillo from ICE. And Goldstein HS CL Kit Wainer, Bronx High CL Peter Lamphere and FDR longtime activist Marian Swedlow from TJC.

You have to tie in the Weingarten recent sellout speech to the fact that the UFT/AFT (they are one and the same and controlled by Unity and if you need a treatise on this just ask). They adhere to the basic ed deform agenda and closing schools is part of that agenda.

Now they are calling for some kind of rally at the PEP on Jan. 26, while ignoring the protest at Bloomberg's on Jan. 21.

Marjorie Stamberg picked this up:

In case you haven't seen the official union leaflet for the January 26th rally, here it is. Note that it does NOT call to stop school closings, only to "protest the closings." What's in a word?

Plenty. They're not fighting to stop the closings; only to protest them after the fact. I've heard this line from Unity caucus people several times, that they want the DOE to know next time they try it, that they'll pay a high price for the closings.

There's no next time. This is crunch time. There should be a fight about this at the D.A., and a new leaflet issued.

Other key issues for the D.A. -- Randi's speech in Washington, calling to link teacher tenure to test scores, calling for more teacher observations and more teacher firings. I was going to title my posting "Randi's gone over to the dark side," as if she was ever somewhere else.

David Bellel picked up on our concept of just putting schools on trains and moving trucks. I also asked him for a graphic showing Mulgrew's face on Bush after flying in and declaring "mission accomplished" if a few school closings are reversed. And I bet they would make a whole lot of back room deals with BloomKlein to be able to make that statement, maybe even before the election ballots go out.

NOTE: Be sure to see the side panel posting from ICE's Ellen Fox calling for volunteers to show up on Jan. 29 at Bergtraum HS to help ICE sign a batch of petitions to help get on the ballot.

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