Monday, July 18, 2011

Riveting Video: Jeff Kaufman Blows the Lid off Tenure Denial Scandal at Aspirations HS and UFT Bureaucrats' Attempt to Deflect Their Do-Nothing Policies by Blaming Kaufman

UFT Foils While Tenure Burns: A Case Study in DOE and UFT Perfidy

On July 12,  I interviewed Jeff Kaufman, one of the most knowledgeable union people I know. Whenever someone with a union problem contacts me I often send them to Jeff or James Eterno rather than the UFT. To say Jeff has a contentious relationship with the UFT/Unity Caucus leadership would be a gross underestimation. They despise him even more than they do me after his 3-year stint on the UFT Exec Board representing the Independent Community of Educators (ICE) where he regularly took apart the phony Randi Weingarten agenda.

In this riveting video Jeff takes us step by step through the process of how all 8 teachers at his school who were up for tenure had their time extended and now face the prospect of having to wait for a 5th year. The lies and perfidy of just resigned principal Matt Malloy (who often referred to these Teach for America young women as "Matt's Harem") and Superintendent Amy Horowitz who did zero supervision of Malloy while he did no observations and pushed almost all the administration burdens of running a new school onto these young and inexperienced teachers.

And then there are the UFT bureaucrats - VPHS Leo Casey and District Rep Charley Turner (one of the all time sleazeballs who even outranks Washington Sanchez in that category)  who instead of providing assistance to the teachers, attempted to use this as a way to undermine Jeff with his colleagues -a long-time tactic of Unity Caucus with people who oppose their policies.

Direct Vimeo link:

The video is mostly focused on the actions of the principal but it is a microcosm of not only what went on in so many schools but of the helpless reaction to this crisis by the UFT leadership. Jeff wrote a companion piece on the ICE blog July 16 focusing on the UFT and the tenure story.

UFT Fiddles While Large Numbers of Probationers Are Denied Tenure

Here is an excerpt but go read it all:
A note on tenure…

We have explained before, in this blog, what tenure is and what it isn't. Briefly stated the law defines tenure as that period of time, usually 3 years, where a teacher has performed satisfactorily. Tenure fundamentally changes the employment rights of a teacher from being an "at-will" employee while under probation and fired for any or no reason at all to one that is entitled to a due process hearing where the DOE must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the teacher should be fired before an arbitrator.

Education Law 3012 provides, in relevant part: "At the expiration of the probationary term…, the superintendent of schools shall make a written report to the board of education …recommending for appointment on tenure those persons who have been found competent, efficient and satisfactory, consistent with any applicable rules of the board of regents adopted pursuant to section three thousand twelve-b of this article. ...Each person who is not to be recommended for appointment on tenure, shall be so notified by the superintendent of schools in writing not later than sixty days immediately preceding the expiration of his probationary period."

The statute provides that tenure decisions must be made solely on a teacher's competence, efficiency and satisfactory service. The part of the statute which refers to State Regulations only refers to the new, 4 part, evaluation system, effective September 2011 which make no mention of probation or tenure at all.

So why is the UFT so conspicuously absent in the face of such a radical change in working conditions for so many teachers? Perhaps, their lawyers believe that since tenure is not a subject of bargaining there is legally little they can do. While, admittedly, legal avenues are limited although there are actions that can be brought if the Union knew or cared about its members.

Now, we must wait for a FOIL request to be filled (they can take months or even years) and teachers who have provided competent, efficient and satisfactory service must serve additional probation time or be terminated.


Kaufman on E4E

I put up a separate excerpt of the video the other day where Jeff focused on the E4E people in his school and the contradiction between their support for that organization and what happened to them. In that short video Jeff points out how E4E is anti-union:  ICE's Jeff Kaufman Dissects Educators 4 Excellence and Judges Them "Antiunion" -


Anonymous said...

I strongly agree that Charley Turner is a huge sleazeball.

Marjorie Stamberg said...

Thank you Jeff, for your courage and dedication as the Chapter Leader i supporting new teachers, despite the insidious role of Casey and Turner, who used the opportunity to turn on you because of their own refusal to stand up for the teachers.

I have heard that mantra from the UFT Unity leadership repeatedly over the tenure issue: "What can't do anything because it's not contractual..." What a cop-out.a

It is very telling that the portfolios never left the school, indication of the slew of lies and deception around the tenure issue. I've also heard the "two years" personal experience from the superintendent as the unwritten watch-word from the DOE. So the teachers who think it will take 5 years are probably right.

And you summed it up well--how the effect of denial of tenure hurts kids, because it will drive dedicated teachers out of the schools--as it is intended. They want a temp labor force at the lowest salary and not sticking around long enough to learn their rights or become solid union members.

Anonymous said...

Aimee Horowitz appears to have had many terrible and crazy principals under her 'supervision'. Unclear whether she's lifted finger.

Anonymous said...

a finger

Anonymous said...

What exactly do superintendents do nowadays in terms of supervising their principals? NADA!

Moriah Untamed said...

The strategy of videotaping Jeff's statement is very effective. As you watch, you realize that he is giving testimony that, if conserved, will be around long after everyone watching it is gone.

We teachers must preserve the record of what is happening to us under Bloomberg.

Anonymous said...

Leo Casey is the Marshall Petain of the UFT.
He and Weingarten and Mulgrew were always whining about how to get rid of "bad" teachers- based on what the principals told them!
Casey proclaims himself to be a leftist, which is the biggest scam since Weingarten claimed to be a teacher so she could collect a DOE pension-a bigger rip-off than Weingarten scamming $165,000 from the members by claiming she rarely took a day off in 24 years- beating Lou Gherig's record and Cal Ripken's too.
and who approved her heist? CFO Hickey (PBA man)and Mulgrew! Hickey, the Inspector Clouseau of UFT finances, once signed a software contract with a company- paid them $35,000 up front- and the company disappeared. Nice going Dave.
Everyone else on staff has to prove they were entitled to the sick and vacation dough. The ruse was that Communications Dept. staffers-led by Weingarten sycophant Susan Amlung- were told to fax something to her beach house in Amgannsett whenever she was holed up there so she could claim she was working.
In fact, when of SHanker's paramours walked out with two years back sick and vacation time, WEingarten went crazy!
she even refused to allow Deirdre McFadyen- her iron hand at the NY Teacher, to work from home after she had a baby,
Casey was Weingarten's beard at Clara Barton, helping her with everything she needed to do for the DOE. When the Village Voice obtained her pension records, she accused me- in writing- of helping the reporter-one of the top investigators in New York- She said he obtained them "illegally" so I told her to call the District Attorney if she could prove it. She was in a major meltdown. And this was at the same time she claimed Klein was investigating her "private" life-before she came out of the closet- and she said she had to call Condon to stop it! She told me; teacher; Michael Mendel; a NYSUT lawter and a rubber room teacher that she felt conflicted going after Condon because he had helped her out--any old excuse will do to abandon teachers.

Really? is that why she invited Klein to her birthday bash and to the Spring Conferences?
I had many discussions with Weingarten and Mulgrew about "bad" teachers; both of them and Casey always said the rubber rooms detainees were all crazy or "guilty of something."
yes- the same Weingarten who says she is big believer in due process.
CAsey did nothing to help the beleagured teachers at BRooklyn Tech- he didnt want me to do the McCaskill story because he said "he is not as bad as the techers say."
uh -huh.
FYI: one of the teachers Weingarten told me should retire because of her age and who Rona Freiser and chapter leader ERin Fleming said was a lousy teacher, just won a huge settlement from the DOE after Weingarten tried to ruin her life by publishing a letter to the editor of the NY Teacher-for the first time in union history -denouncing the teacher. I have Weingarten's emails.
THe only problem was that not only was it libelous, but I sent emails to Weingarten and my editor Larry Miraldi saying we couldnt print it because WE DIDN'T KNOW WHO SIGNED IT!
most of the signatures were illegible. EVERY SMALL town newspaper in America does its due dilgence in making sure a letter is legit.
Adam Ross, another UFT nepotism hire, (Jeff Zahler) signed off on it! He must have skipped that day in law school. Freiser and Fleming were in bed with Carolyn Gutwein the principal of Flushing HS and they were hounding this teacher because she was too old. She had 43 years of Satisfactory ratings!
This UFT corruption is only the tip of the iceberg- you will be hearing more about it in August.

-Jim Callaghan -who Randi called the "conscience of the union" in front of 30 administrative law judges (who I helped organize) and a top UFT official who has promised to testify to the truth.......cant wait to hear Weingarten lie under oath.

serpico said...

There is only one word to describe the illegality that callaghan described_puke....weingarten and mold-grow have always silenced their critics with huge cash payoffs in return for confidentiality agreements...that is how they saved frieser's ass byby hiring the person who was investigating her...sounds like callaghan kept good notes and kept incriminating emails....nice to see they couldn't bribe or bludgeon him into silence....I hope he wins in court even though teachers will have to pay.....where are the decent uft founders like and Levine, Mel aronoson and George altomare to stop this outrageous behavior...will they testify for callaghan?

Anonymous said...

I worked for two principals who were under her supervision and she provided no apparent supervision for either. She is useless