Friday, November 16, 2012

MORE PRESS RELEASE: UFT RTTT Agreement A Terrible Mistake

For Immediate Release

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Contact: Julie Cavanagh -

UFT RTTT Agreement A Terrible Mistake

The UFT has agreed to sign onto NYC's RTTT application, adding as many as 100 schools to the city’s three-year-old "Innovation Zone" and expanding online learning and instruction among other technology-based techniques.

This agreement is a terrible mistake, selling out teachers and kids. This agreement was made despite the fact that there is no research to show that the millions of dollars currently being spent on online learning in the 250 schools already in NYC's Izone have worked to improve schools, or help students learn. According to Gotham Schools, the UFT leadership’s Mendel said, "the union wanted to facilitate efforts to boost student achievement, even if it’s not clear whether the efforts will ultimately pay off," and, "that we should be experimenting with different things. If they don't work, shut it down. If they do work, then expand them." MORE caucus does not believe in this time of devastating cuts to our schools allocating millions of dollars to experiment on other people's children is what is best for our schools or the students we serve.

According to Julie Cavanagh, MORE caucus UFT presidential candidate, "There is no evidence to support online learning anywhere else in the country. Putting kids on computers does no "personalize" learning; it does the opposite. This RTTT application, which the UFT has agreed to, would allocate funding to support the creation of as many of a dozen new schools built on the basis of online learning; which would ultimately likely help the DOE in closing down existing schools rather than improving them, in the process causing more chaos, disruption and "churn" and excessing more teachers."

This agreement also obligates the UFT to adopt a teacher evaluation system tied to test scores by 2014-2015, which many experts have stated and highly flawed TDRs revealed, is highly volatile, unreliable and unfair.

"Before the UFT negotiates any new teacher evaluation system with the city, they should require that the teacher growth scores already completed by the state, that do not take class size or demographic background of students into account, be revealed to individual teachers and are proven to be valid. MORE caucus is also calling for a democratic membership vote to adopt any potential evaluation system before an agreement is made," said Peter Lamphere, MORE member.

MORE caucus believes the UFT leadership should insist on progress for reducing class size, the top priority of parents and the ONLY way to truly personalize learning or differentiate instruction instead of agreeing to misguided and destructive policies poorly disguised as potentially beneficial experiments on our children. Class sizes have risen five years in a row, with the union leadership doing little or nothing to stop it.
My last post before going back to the cave in Rockaway. Good work by MORE in this response.
In case you didn't notice: Joel Klein agrees w/@rweingarten: We Need a Bar Exam for teachers

How do you spell Vichy?

1 comment:

  1. I love this from your link to the Weingarten/Klein mind meld in favor of a Bar Exam for teachers:


    "I can see the appeal of the proposal for both sides of the education reform debate. For the unions, as Weingarten said, a bar exam would be a great public relations tool for proving that the teachers they represent are qualified to be in the classroom. It would also inevitably limit the supply of teachers, which might make it easier to bargain for higher wages or prevent competition from charter schools."

    How rich! Here's a novel idea for union leaders - SUPPORT YOUR MEMBERS!!! Start by stopping! STOP. Just STOP.

    STOP the assistance you seem to feel compelled to give to Wall Street to create negative strawmen perceptions of teachers that you then carry back to members as problems that only reforms will address... 'problems' you helped our adversaries whip up!

    IF Randi and other quislings in union leadership would just STOP adding fertilizer (bullshite), STOP breathing life into the propaganda aimed at teachers that emanates from Wall Street's bipartisan lackeys, elected officials and media, stop mid-wifing these odious reforms to life (see: Rhee's warm praise for Randi's 'help' in getting her Rheeform dream contract birthed in DC), would we have this need for a "public relations tool" to fight back against the 'negative perception' of teachers, in the first place? WHO is creating the negative impression?

    I watched a Heritage Foundation panel with an Ed Week reporter on Cspan recently, about ed reform post-election. And having been on this beat a good long while, the reporter has concluded that parents overwhelmingly LIKE their kids' teachers and are very reluctant to punish them with hokey evaluations, etc. She said that it is very difficult for the reformers to rally the masses to their side in seeing teachers as The Problem and stoking outcry for punitive reform measures, such as the evaluations. And nobody on the reform friendly panel tried to tell her otherwise. But then, there goes Randi, moving that ball of bs down the field anyway.

    IF Randi (and other sell out union leaders) would STOP agreeing with reformers and helping them enact anti teacher reforms right and left, maybe she could get out of the group think, the bubble of the double speak, and get a clue! If she and her sell out peers could see the light, then the next step would be to resign, after seeing all the damage they've done to those they are supposed to help: educators.

    And, as for preventing competition from charters, again, we can thank Mulgrew (and NYSUT's Iannuzzi) for throwing New York state and city teachers under the bus, for RTTT. As they did on the evaluations. Faithfully following the Weingarten model.

    They signed onto this in an MOU in May of 2010, for RTTT, on a vote of 1 each, never mind taking it to the members.

    Teachers should have been protesting then, ever since then, and should definitely be protesting now.


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