Tuesday, November 20, 2012

RBE: I've Had It. No More Mulgrew: Vote for Change in New York City

Can you imagine Julie Cavanagh, who is running for UFT President on the MORE slate, selling us out? I can't. ----- Accountable Talk echoed by RBE.

Susan Ohanian reported on Reality-Based Educator's and Accountable Talk's call for an end to Unity's reign with this comment:

NOTE: Although this is written by a New York City teacher who belongs to the United Federation of Teachers, the dominant force in the AFT, it rings true for all teachers across the country--urban teachers in particular.

Michael Mulgrew is president of the UFT.

MORE is Movement of Rank and File Educators, the Social Justice Caucus of the UFT. Julie Cavanagh, a special education teacher, is the co-producer/narrator of the acclaimed The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman. The film was produced by the Grassroots Education Movement, another UFT caucus which tries to make the American Federation of Teachers work for teachers and children.

TDRs are Teacher Data Reports, reports that purportedly show how much progress individual teachers helped students make in reading and math over the course of a year.

ATR refers to teachers who have lost their daily teaching positions but are reassigned to substitute for absent teachers or to perform clerical work.

Just think about CORE in Chicago (Caucus of Rank and File Educators). They took over the AFT union there, gained community support,and have shown the mayor (who controls the school system) that teachers have muscle.


Reality-Based Teacher at Perdido Street School

I've had it.

I've had it with the Superstorm Sandy PD Days By Candlelight Michael Mulgrew refused to fight against.

I've had it with the UFT's Race to the Top collaboration that brought us the vaunted new APPR teacher evaluation system (20% state tests/20% city tests/60% Danielson rubric and other assorted nonsense.)

I've had it with the UFT's collaboration with the DOE on the Teacher Data Reports that saw many good teachers smeared in the press.

Sure the UFT "fought" to keep the TDR's from being released to the press, but who agreed to the program in the first place?

And who failed to point out that the TDR's were using a value added methodology with a 52% median margin of error and swings in stability so wide they make Charles Manson seem stable?

I've had it with the ATR agreements the UFT has made with the DOE that sell out my fellow teachers stuck in the ATR pool, sending them to a different school every week in order to destabilize them and make their work lives as difficult as possible.

I've had it with the UFT's promotion of the Danielson evaluation system, the one with the 57 page rubric, as the bestest thing since sliced bread in the way of teacher evaluation.

I've had it with the UFT's refusal to negotiate a contract before Bloomberg's third term, their refusal to get the 4% pattern that all the other unions were granted even as they sat on their hands and made sure Bloomberg got his illegal third term.

I've had it with the UFT's refusal to strategically fight school closures before they happen by pointing out how the DOE sets schools up for failure by cutting financing even as they ratchet up the number of high needs students.

I've had it with the UFT's refusal to fight mayoral control - the system that gives a Little Autocrat sole power over schools, students and teachers.

And those are just the things I can think of off the top of my head.

I know there's whole bunch of other stuff the UFT has done to screw its membership.

I've had it.

It's time for a change.

What next outrage will Michael Mulgrew and his merry UFTsters bring us?

Merit pay?

End of salary steps?

You better you better you bet the UFT will be bringing that home to NYC, just the way Mulgrew's patron Saint Randi of the Collaborative Sisters of Corporate Education Reform has been bringing those to cities all over the nation - from Baltimore to Newark to New Haven to Detroit.

It is time to send the AFT and the UFT leaderships packing.

Let's start with the UFT leadership.

Accountable Talk write the following last night:

Does ANYONE at this point have ANY faith that Unity is going to do anything but sell us out yet again on our next contract? I sure as hell don't.

If you vote for Mulgrew and Unity this March, you have no one to blame but yourself when they sell us out yet again. It's time for a change. I urge everyone to vote for the MORE caucus http://morecaucusnyc.org/.

Can you imagine Julie Cavanagh, who is running for UFT President on the MORE slate, selling us out? I can't.

I sure can imagine Mulgrew doing it--and then sending out his reps to every school to tell us how grateful we should be that we didn't do even worse. The only skill these Unity hacks seem to have is putting lipstick on a pig. They sure as hell can't negotiate.

Get the word out. Vote for MORE. Get rid of Unity.

While you still have a job.

I want to echo AT there.

It's time to rid the UFT of Unity.

I want MORE out of my union.

— Reality-Based Teacher

Norm Scott

Twitter: normscott1

Education Notes

Grassroots Education Movement

Education columnist, The Wave

nycfirst robotics

Sent from my BlackBerry


  1. We don't get rid of salary steps unless we get rid of the Taylor Law...

  2. I am a Chapter Leader and fed up with UNITY caucus. I thought I'd share an e-mail I just sent to my Chapter this morning.

    "I’ve had some wonderful conversations around the building about the job our union leadership is doing for us. One party, UNITY, controls our union. Their entire modus operandi appears to be stay in power and spend your dues. If you are tired of the constant lack of apparent foresight, bad decisions and leadership of our union there is only one party to blame, them. There are alternative parties officially recognized by our union. They are made up of rank and file educators tired of the BS. In the last election they garnered over 4,000 votes! You are not alone if you feel helpless against your own union. I encourage you to learn a little something about the alternative parties and their candidates and to consider casting your vote for them in this February’s UFT elections. Maybe, just maybe some good can come from Sandy and real teachers can take back some control of our own destiny rather than sit back and let UNITY sell us out again and again. Here is some information and a few links to help you get started. I encourage you to read this entire e-mail. "

    I then cut and pasted much of what i have been reading on NYCeducator, Ednotes etc with a little editing. I strongly encourage MORE, ICE & GEM to jump on the anger that's out there towards our union. This is your opportunity now get your message out there.

  3. Can you imagine Julie Cavanagh, who is running for UFT President on the MORE slate, selling us out? I can't. -----

    Yes. Of course she would sell us out. The sell-outs would be fewer perhaps. Come on Norm.

    If MORE were ever to lead the UFT, they would in fact do a better job than Unity in certain areas.

    But ultimately the UFT is a part of a much larger capitalist machine/apparatus that is tied to the Democratic (Now the old Republican) Party.

    And we have the Taylor Law.

    I am voting for MORE. But will not swallow the Kool Aid.

  4. I assume you also feel Karen Lewis and CORE has sold out. The usual left "why bother unless there's a revolution" crap. And we need a labor party, yada, yada, yada, when there are a hundred left splinter groups arguing over the head of a pin. You would denounce a left labor party because it wasn't your left labor party.

    I'm a capitalist but we don't live in a capitalist society.

  5. Dear respective bloggers. MORE (where members of former opposition caucuses ICE and TJC and current members of GEM have all joined forces) is fighting back, we are having meetings, held CTU solidarity actions, are preparing to run in the spring UFT elections, and are building our network of activists and allainaces. This recent sell out is just another example of how the current leadership does not have the best interests of our teachers or the well being of our students at heart. It is another example of backroom deals without any democratic process for rank and file UFTers. The ground swell anger of bloggers and tweeters must direct their energies to helping us organize. We can not hold rallies or meeting without all of you. We cannot have a change of leadership in order to save the UFT and make real educator led reform without all the great people writing on the web. We need all your help, it can be donating as little as $20 to our cause or even helping by joining our media team to publish MORE blogs and press releases. the time is now, the elections are coming soon, we all believe that The UFT can be a force for good, we can be even more powerful than Chicago's CTU becuase we're over 80'000 strong, but MORE cant do it with just a few dedicated members. it would be great if you all could help us get our names and literature out there, but you input and energy would be even more welcome, and to be brutally honest its going to be necessary- the voice of dissent will not survive without more people joining us.
    Find us at facebook.com/morecaucusnyc

    1. MORE should leave this comment on all the blogs.

    2. I'm spreading info on MORE to all the teachers in my school. (I'm going to publish/distribute flyers about the MORE platform near the election.) I am going to pay for this with my own money. Spread the word!!!

  6. Norm,

    You got me wrong. I should not have put the word, "capitalist" in there because it can be a trigger point as evidenced by what you said. I don't subscribe to the labor party yada yada yada crowd either. In fact, I think it is a whole lot more reasonable for citizens to demand the following:

    1. SIngle-payer healthcare
    2. Jobs program to help rebuild our infrastructure
    3. Reinstitute Glass Steagall (with the understanding that if that were actually done, the fallout and crisis from Wall Street would be tremendous and therefore would necessitate some type of initiative or governmental support to offset the fallout. In other words, many people say put Glass Steagall back without understanding that if that were done overnight, the shit would hit the fan because the books are cooked.
    4. Tax Tariffs on goods coming into our country, especially the "transnational" American companies that have shipped jobs overseas.
    5. Raising taxes on the super-rich
    6. Rebuilding our manufacturing base
    7. Getting private money out of our elections.

    Michael Moore just published a letter similar to this...

    But here was my point: Julie and MORE will be accused of selling out from time to time by the rank and file.

    Could MORE do what CORE did while we have the Taylor Law?

    And no I don't think CORE sold out. They did a tremendous job. But their endorsement of Obama and a degenerate Democratic Party
    shows how difficult it is to avoid moments of hypocrisy and being viewed as sell outs.

    Come to think of it- the term, "sell-out," is a somewhat subjective term. There is always a way of defending decisions that utilize
    a defense of pragmatism and judiciousness. I took your statement quite literally. Yes I can see any labor leader today (good or bad)
    selling out in some way. Whatever.

    I am a big fan of Julie and the work that MORE has undertaken.

    No, you are not a capitalist (unless you fall into the 1% or so). Tier IV was great but not that great...lol
    And yes you do live in a capitalist society. It is currently severely deregulated
    and is oligarchical in that big business has highjacked our political system.
    But it is certainly capitalist. I think any of the International Socialist Organization members
    who have played an important role in shaping CORE and MORE would agree with me. No?

    You are the still the man Norm!!!

  7. I should say I am not a socialist so what am I?
    And talk about Julie selling out is irrelevant --- MORE is not building an organization based on a dominant leader. Julie, a new mom, reluctantly accepted the role because everyone who has worked with her has seen her ability to articulate issues as well as anyone, plus her willingness to work as hard as anyone and her ability to inspire and lead. To her credit she does live in the real world and understands when compromise is necessary to keep moving forward -- that might be termed a sell out by some on the left. the same people who call Lewis a sellout.
    I agree with your platform but I have become focused on the short-term next steps rather than the long-term. To me winning the union leadership is far away while building a funtioning organization that can challenge them is more real. That is a bigger struggle right now -- a democratic org that would not allow a Julie to sell out even if she could.
    Lewis was brought back by the CORE people when they thought she drifted so democracy is crucial and if I ever get the feeling that MORE is not functioning that way I am out.

  8. I agree.

    Like I said: You are the man Norm!!!

    Enjoy the holiday. My wife and I continue to keep you and all others, in our hearts and prayers (including our own family members whose houses were destroyed in Breezy Point and Far Rock.)


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