UFT/Unity Machine Facing Cuts? Why Not Just Raise Dues So They Can Continue to Live in Style?
From the ICE blog side panel (top).
The bags of swag at the city teachers union’s regular conferences might be lighter this year, the catered dinners less lavish. The recession has caught up with the union and it’s beginning to cut back.
Hit with the combination of a two-year hiring freeze and typical teacher attrition, the United Federation of Teachers has lost roughly 2,000 members in the last year. With them has gone about $2 million in dues.
So what will happen if, as expected, Republicans win control of the House? We already know part of the answer: Politico reports that they’re gearing up for a repeat performance of the 1990s, with a “wave of committee investigations” — several of them over supposed scandals that we already know are completely phony. We can expect the G.O.P. to play chicken over the federal budget, too; I’d put even odds on a 1995-type government shutdown sometime over the next couple of years.
It will be an ugly scene, and it will be dangerous, too. The 1990s were a time of peace and prosperity; this is a time of neither. In particular, we’re still suffering the after-effects of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, and we can’t afford to have a federal government paralyzed by an opposition with no interest in helping the president govern. But that’s what we’re likely to get.
If I were President Obama, I’d be doing all I could to head off this prospect, offering some major new initiatives on the economic front in particular, if only to shake up the political dynamic. But my guess is that the president will continue to play it safe, all the way into catastrophe.Organizing ability now goes to the right
What: PEP meeting
Where: LaGuardia High School, 65th and Amsterdam, A, B, C D trains to 59th or 1 to 66th.
When: Monday August 30th, 5:30.
The Achievement Gap
Addressed to Bill Turque, Education Writer for The Washington Post:
Hey Bill, back before the US Civil War, standardized tests would have no doubt measured an "achievement gap" between white children and children of color. But no rational person would ever have allowed it to be given such an absurd label. The abolitionists, the Quakers, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe and the rest would have put the blame for the testing disparity where it belonged, on slavery! That vicious system made it a crime for a child of color to even pick up a book and attempt to learn to read.
Oh, the slaveholders certainly would have welcomed a debate over the "achievement gap" while the existence of the institution was ignored. While chattel slavery is a historical relic now, its racist economic underpinnings are very much alive in this nation. Racism still provides greater corporate profits in workplaces across the country every day. Racism generated huge profits for the banks until their sub-prime mortgage schemes went bust. It's doing the same thing today for Kaplan's "sub-prime" Universities and the Washington Post Company.
The new corporate masters of US public education oversee an apartheid-like system where schools are strictly segregated, where teachers of color are steadily driven from the classroom to make room for white "Teach For America" missionaries and where a second-class education for children of color has been institutionalized. Little wonder the modern overseers are so comfortable making their stand on the "achievement gap" while the economy's ingrained racism and the profound and disproportionate effects of severe poverty on children of color are ignored.
Here's a partial list of the new masters and their housekeepers who shed "crocodile tears" over the achievement gap in public exclusively for personal or political gain. It's quite the diverse group but put them all together and their true concern for the children of this country wouldn't fill up a thimble. Hypocrites all!
George W. Bush
Ruby K. Payne
*8am-5pm. DC-37, 125 Barclay St. Manhattan. The meat of the event, the Caucuses, will occur from 1:00-3:15pm. The convention is aimed at creating a Human Rights based People's Board of Education. Transform America will be part of the parents Caucus to help parents create the root and base for the People's Board of Education; "People's Community Councils" at every school. Free to attend.Aug. 27, 2010, 8am
Louisiana lost out to the Race To The Top is that so few school systems statewide were willing to collaborate with the Louisiana Department of Education. Why?
Because they have had an up-close view of what happened in New Orleans when the state took over the system and privatized schools, abolished democratic control of local schools, and replaced veteran teachers with temporary untrained teachers. New Orleans was a beachhead for the anti-democratic forces of privatization, and the market reformers who see democracy as an obstacle to progress tried to impose limits are board authority statewide. They also were more likely to see the research that shows virtually no change in the rate of student performance before and after the takeover. Ultimately, Louisiana lost the Race To The Top because local schools officials learned from experience that trading democracy for technocratic top-down control is a bad deal.
Lance Hill, Ph.D.
Southern Institute for Education and Research
"We had to find a way to change the educational direction of Mayor Bloomberg and [Schools] Chancellor [Joel] Klein," said United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew. "That's what we used Race to the Top for."
Huh? Aren't many of the 'programs' that Race to the Top will fund expanding and extending the educational direction of Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein? Am I missing something?
This statement is similar (in its duplicity) to the one teachers received when we were notified about how the UFT "saved" teachers choice; we should be oh, so thankful, for $110.
Considering I have spent about $800 on my classroom this week in preparation for the school year, I'm not feeling too thankful. And while $700 million in education funding sounds great, I am thinking I am not going to be too thankful for my "teacher report card" tied to student test scores, more emphasis on testing, expansion of the leadership academy, more charter co-locations... on and on. I wonder if, at the very least, teachers will finally get some pencils with that $700 million? For that I would be mildly grateful... throw in some paper and I might not know what to do with myself.By the way, a NYC teacher told me she was out spending almost a thousand dollars of her own money. Apparently two charter school teachers overheard that public school teachers get $110. They expressed outrage at the unfairness of it all.
At the Labor Research Association dinner in March 2008, Randi Weingarten calls Jim Callaghan "one of the best historians in New York" and thanks him for helping write her speech, then introduces him to the crowd.
Teachers the real heroes at BrooklynClick on the link and you get this:
As principal of Brooklyn Technical HS, Lee McCaskill was a schoolyard bully, harassing and intimidating teachers, inventing bogus charges of corporal punishment and insubordination, and driving brilliant teachers out of the school.
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Next to Mulgrew was his press aide, Richard Riley. “Suppose you decide that Riley is lazy or incompetent,” I asked Mulgrew. “Should you be able to fire him?”Are writers different than carpenters? In the world of Mulgrew they are.
“He’s not a teacher,” Mulgrew responded. “And I need to be able to pick my own person for a job like that.” Then he grinned, adding: “I know where you’re going, but you don’t understand. Teachers are just different.”
|A Scary Thought: These People Run the NY State Ed Dept.|
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) took control of the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals Local 5017 (OFNHP), establishing a trusteeship, after the union tried to hold a special membership meeting to consider disaffiliating from AFT by amending its constitution.
To protest, Kathy Geroux, the deposed president, filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor in Seattle.
On Aug. 10 – a year after receiving the complaint – the U.S. Department of Labor determined that the trusteeship violated Title III of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959.
“The trusteeship appears to have been imposed to prevent disaffiliation,” according to the ruling. “It is the Department’s position that it is unlawful to impose a trusteeship for the purpose of preventing.”
Six months earlier, in February, the Department notified AFT of its findings, but decided not to file a lawsuit, according to Mike Shimizu, regional director of public affairs, who said, “The trusteeship was not recognized by us.”
Yet lingering questions remain, particularly for Geroux, a cardiology nurse at Kaiser Sunnyside Hospital, who’s convinced the ruling was purposely withheld until after AFT’s national convention in Seattle last month.
“Had we known,” she said, “it would have been a big victory for us; we would have mustered hundreds of people to show up at that convention. They (AFT) would have been scared to face us. Up until then, they kept up the conversation about the bad things we had done. ”
Geroux considered running again for president, but feared she’d be demonized by AFT. “They (AFT) played this like a fine instrument,” she said. “They didn’t want me back in; that’s why this information was withheld from me.”
If the Department of Labor’s decision had been announced earlier, all the former officers would have walked right back in, said Carol Posluszny, who retired recently from Kaiser as a licensed clinical social worker. “What happened was illegal,” she said.
Bing Wong, a clinical lab scientist at Kaiser, is convinced the Department of Labor took sides by showing its non-partisan leanings.
But in the end, Geroux who was president for 8 ½ years feels victorious – the ruling, she said, proves she did nothing wrong by holding an emergency meeting last July to talk about disaffiliating.
“They wanted us out; it was all built on untruths and was a cover-up,” she believes. “Otherwise we would have created the domino effect and taken other unions with us. Now they’ve taken the union back in time; it will take them a decade to catch up. No way will they ever let the local disaffiliate.”
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Can Our Schools Run on Duncan? David Moberg In These Times 2010-08-23 http://susanohanian.org/show_nclb_atrocities.php?id=4029 This article gives a good rundown on how Secretary of Education Arne Duncan pushes Chicago's ineffective reforms on America's children.
Wishful Testing New York Magazine 2010-08-20 http://susanohanian.org/show_nclb_atrocities.php?id=4031 New York Magazine takes a look at Mayor Bloomberg's school reform.
The Lines of Influence in Education Reform Dora Taylor Seatle Education 2010 2010-08-23 http://susanohanian.org/show_atrocities.php?id=9450 A Seattle parent connects some dots on Gates money.
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Taking Note of John Merrow and Grant Wiggins Joe Bower For the love of learning blog 2010-08-22 http://susanohanian.org/outrage_fetch.php?id=737
MORE if you have time
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Carvers Bay enlists ninth grade: Freshmen all put in JROTC By Gina Vasselli The SunNews.com 2010-08-23 http://susanohanian.org/show_atrocities.php?id=9449 The entire freshman class at Carvers Bay High School has been automatically enrolled in the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps, a military-sponsored program that trains high school students in military discipline and concepts. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ To the editor Don Perl Washington Post 2010-08-24 http://susanohanian.org/show_letter.php?id=1252 Don Perl rebuts Podesta's dangerous rhetoric. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Personal to the Los Angeles Teachers Union Sam Smith Undernews 2010-08-23 http://susanohanian.org/outrage_fetch.php?id=738 \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Uniting 4 Kids Uniting 4 Kids Facebook 0000-00-00 http://susanohanian.org/show_yahoo.php?id=575 Take a look at Uniting 4 Kids. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ What some teachers don't want you to learn John Diaz San Francisco Chronicle 2010-08-22 http://susanohanian.org/show_nclb_atrocities.php?id=4030 The editorial page editor of the San Francisco Chronicle gives an enthusiastic thumbs up to the Los Angeles Times. He invites reader comments.
From Seattle to Boston, from Florida to Chicago, from LA to NY, educational policy is undergoing a sea change. It is supported by the President and the States, it is accountability, core standards, free market driven: testing, ratings/remuneration by student achievement, value-added, charter schools, etc. Diane Ravitch and other scholars strongly oppose, however, the electeds are supportive across the nation. If the Republicans sweep to victory these policies wouldn’t change, the fed dollars would stop flowing. Teacher unions can either vigorous oppose and isolate themselves, they are powerless to change these policies, or, attempt to cooperate and modify policies. It is easy to blame Weingarten or Mulgrew, the same policies exist in every state and every major city.I really gag every time I read this, but here is my reasoned response, something I am not known for.
Check out the just-published piece in NY Magazine called Wishful Testing, featuring the comments of Steve Koss, blogger here, and which analyzes the state test score bubble,
’s law, the over-hyped Campbell , and connects the dots. Harlem Village Academy
Between this, the recent Robert Kolker piece on the national craze of scapegoating teachers, and features by Jeff Coplon on Eva Moskowitz’ chain of charters and school overcrowding, the magazine has shown itself to be most valuable in dissecting the Bloomberg/Klein mirage.
Especially as compared to the New Yorker and the New York Times Magazine, whose reporting on the subject has been execrable.
And here's the beauty part: Randi Weingarten, who once led the city's United Federation of Teachers - and now heads the national American Federation of Teachers - is siding with Duncan. She told the paper that parents have a right to know how well their children's teachers are rated on appropriate employee evaluations. Now, she's not for the newspaper releasing that information to the general public, but she does want it to get into the hands of principals, and moms and dads.
Where does her successor at the UFT stand? A Mulgrew press aide issued this statement:
"The recent debacle around state test scores in New York makes it obvious that relying on test scores to make high-stakes decisions about students or teachers is a bad idea. Parents and teachers expect much more of their children's education than standardized tests."
Asked to be more responsive as to whether Mulgrew agrees or disagrees with Weingarten's position on transparency, the spokesman responded: "Our statement is our statement."
And obstinacy is New York's problem.