Sunday, January 13, 2013

Unity Hack Peter Goodman Compares MORE to Tea Party for Opposing Any Deal on Evaluation

The opposition party in the union will oppose any settlement... reminiscent of the Tea Party ---The union must satisfy the membership and the mayor the public at large – especially the print media and the pro-(de)reform factions, Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) and StudentsFirstNY, the Rhee klaven.... Peter Goodman
We DO NOT need to pander to Rhee, Students First or DFER. Our union's responsibility is to it's members --- MORE Classroom teacher, Pat Dobosz, MORE candidate for UFT Exec Bd, elementary division.
Here’s another Yogi Berra…it’s deja vu all over again. I love Unity apologists who work their spin to such a fever pitch the membership must be grateful for losing basic rights of tenure.  --- Jeff Kaufman, MORE candidate for UFT Executive Bd, At-large
Worse than Bloomberg comparing the UFT to the NRA, was this statement by Peter Goodman, long-time mouthpiece for the Unity Caucus, a guy who will find a way to justify anything the leadership decides on.

Here is the complete paragraph from his Unity shill blog masquerading as a neutral commentator.
The opposition party in the union will oppose any settlement; they want to use the teacher evaluation issue as the key plank in the upcoming union elections. They argue, “Don’t settle, allow the State to cut $250 million, stand up, reverse the law, and consider a strike.” Of course cutting $250 million could lead to layoffs for union members, the extremely popular governor could sponsor, and undoubtedly pass anti-union bills, i.e., eliminating seniority requirements, and perhaps going after existing pension tiers, no matter, appeal to the frustrated and angry in the upcoming election – reminiscent of the Tea Party who would rather see the nation default on its debts and tumble into a depression than to act in a bipartisan fashion.
 James Eterno smacked Goodman in a comment:
So it’s the worst thing in the world for Mayor Bloomberg to say the UFT is like the NRA but it’s just fine to compare those who oppose Mulgrew’s appeasement policies (the Movement of Rank and File Educators MORE) to the tea party when nothing could be further from the truth.
As did Jeff Kaufman:
And now we are Teabaggers because the whole system will cave if we stand up for our rights. Shame on you.
 Oh, don't worry Jeff, he has no shame.

And this point in the Goodman piece indicates one of the roots at what is wrong with Goodman and the UFT/Unity leadership:
The union must satisfy the membership and the mayor the public at large – especially the print media and the pro-(de)reform factions, Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) and StudentsFirstNY, the Rhee klaven.

Note, "especially" satisfy Rhee etc with the membership being an also ran, which in Goodman's list is an also ran.

Pat Dobosz, a MORE member responded:
We DO NOT need to pander to Rhee, Students First or DFER. Our union's responsibility is to it's members, especially the teachers right now who are going to be creamed by this evaluation system as the DOE wants principals to use it; to our students who will suffer under the testing regime that is coming into play with Common Core and Danielson. That $250 million isn't going to see the inside of a classroom, let alone the inside of a school building. And now Goodman is turning on fellow teachers comparing us to the Tea Party. What the h----------- does he care! He's retired, not affected by any of this and has been allowed to be a mouthpiece for the union all year. I would like to hear what our "elected leaders" (Mulgrew, Mendel, Robert Astrowsky, Karen Alford, Melvyn Aaronson etc.) have to say. Why are they allowing this hack to speak for them? Pretty cowardly tactic if you ask me. 

But who am I? Just a teacher.
Then there is this idea from Goodman:
Both sides, the union and the mayor, and his proxies, have to satisfy the requirements of the law.
A law the union helped craft and support -- the UFT is like the guy who kills his parents and pleads for mercy on the grounds he is an orphan.

Hey Peter, how has your support for the 2005 contract worked out? And your support for closing schools, including your role in the closing of my alma mater, Thomas Jefferson HS in East NY. How has the replacement by 4 failing schools, some chaotic, worked out?

Note that Goodman singularizes "the opposition" and is talking about MORE, and not talking about New Action, the Unity house opposition which will take a "sort of" position on the evaluation deal but not strong enough to get Unity angry at it enough to throw them off the Executive Board. New Action will present itself in the election as the "responsible" opposition that will act in a bipartisan fashion. How as the decade old deal with Unity worked out for New Action in terms of gaining support? Their percentage of the vote has dropped from the mid twenties and the ability to win the high school exec bd seats on their own to 10% at most and a reliance on Unity support to win any exec bd seats.

James Eterno, MORE candidate for UFT Exec Bd, High School Division, left a comment:
  1. So it’s the worst thing in the world for Mayor Bloomberg to say the UFT is like the NRA but it’s just fine to compare those who oppose Mulgrew’s appeasement policies (the Movement of Rank and File Educators MORE) to the tea party when nothing could be further from the truth.
    Is your Unity Caucus so afraid to stand up to a lame duck mayor and a governor who has designs on the White House? You are fully aware the $250 million increase in state aid we would lose if there is no evaluation agreement is not like defaulting on the national debt and would not cause great difficulty in the school system. While the money is nothing to sneeze at, it could easily be absorbed and the UFT could expose much more than $250 million of waste within the system.
    Your post ignores some of what the new evaluation system mandates. We already know the new law requires more observations for veteran teachers than the current system. More importantly, the burden of proof in incompetence 3020A hearings is shifting from the Board of Education to the teacher. That will effectively end tenure as we know it.
    The concessionary unionism that your Unity Caucus practices is the real problem. It brought us the 2005 disaster of a contract that created the Absent Teacher Reserve pool along with other horrible givebacks. Unity Caucus created the huge mess with closing schools when they agreed to eliminate preferred placement for members when a school is closed back in that agreement. People from Unity ran around selling that pile of junk as a great victory.
    Then, in 2010 your caucus inexplicably backed the change in the law to allow our ratings to be based in part on value added, otherwise known as junk science, to get your hands on some race to the top pennies. Some states didn’t want the race to the top money which is a drop in the education budget bucket. Now you are running around telling us not to worry again because this evaluation system is basically unworkable.
    Some poor teacher, maybe me, will get fired and have to go to court and you say we need not worry because “If the expert community, including the organization that designed the NYS system, has no confidence that VAM scores should VAM be used to dismiss teachers? I wonder how an arbitrator or a court would rule.” I would rather not find out and use what the experts say to try to change the law now particularly since it appears we are giving in on evaluations without getting a contract. The law ties the two together (although it doesn’t mandate it); the union in Yonkers just used the evaluation deadline to secure a contract.
    Your piece then states, “When the economy improves, new job opportunities are created, will candidates line up to teach? I doubt it.” Isn’t the job of a union to improve our salary and working conditions? We’re not here to accept concessions, knowing they won’t work, and maybe fix things later. Is that your strategy?
    Didn’t UFT/NYSUT candidates do quite well in the recent election? Why can’t we take a stand? Are you afraid of Andrew Cuomo? Most people feel he has presidential aspirations. Isn’t he a Democrat? Taking on unions, particularly teacher unions, may play well in a Republican primary but not a Democratic primary.
    I don’t advocate a strike at this point because we are totally unprepared but Chicago proved in 2012 that fighting back is better than just giving in. We need a different kind of union that fiercely defends our rights and the rights of students not to be test taking machines.
    Where have you gone Charlie Cogen, Roger Parente and David Seldon? 

    And Jeff Kaufman, edlawfaqs
    Here’s another Yogi Berra…it’s deja vu all over again. I love Unity apologists who work their spin to such a fever pitch the membership must be grateful for losing basic rights of tenure. “The freedom to transfer to any school” didn’t the freedom to apply to any school and get rejected over lower paid entry teachers. “ATRs keep their pay” didn’t say how they would be harassed and forced to migrate throughout districts giving up their rights to be teachers. And now we are Teabaggers because the whole system will cave if we stand up for our rights. Shame on you.
Here is another response in a comment left by MORE member Sean Ahern, candidate for Exec Bd on Goodman's blog.
I see no simple or painless way out of the endless concessionary bargaining strategy that has been followed by the Unity caucus leadership for the past 40 years but this is the issue at hand and ridiculing the messengers of this fundamental fact is a disservice to teacher unionism and the communities we serve.

The UFT under the leadership of the Unity Caucus has amassed considerable assets and supports a large staff under the prohibitions of the Taylor Law but the current membership, the majority of whom will never make it to top pay or retirement, have lost considerable ground and stand to loose more. Compare the median teacher salary adjusted for inflation between 1974 and 2013. Compare the number of years on the job of the average teacher now with that of 40 years ago. There are facts that will not disappear however inconvenient they may be to supporters of concessionary bargaining. The conversation within the UFT should be about raising awareness of the challenges we face and unifying the membership around credible lines of defense of both learning and working conditions. Instead we are facing the prospect of a bum rush, a stampede engineered by our own leadership. This is the space in which the opposition dares to pose an alternative.

Bloomberg was granted dictatorial control over the school system (with Randi Weingarten’s approval) and he ran it for years when the city’s revenue stream was robust before the crash. What are the facts?

School closings and charter co locations over the expressed will of the PA, SLT, CEC, UFT C/L, City Council members in the affected districts which are disproportionately Black, Latino and working class. The UFT can put its considerable resources to work in building a city wide, if not nationwide resistance to the corporate education reformers but instead our leaders once again appear ready to cave in.
Look for Unity and New Action election literature following Goodman's line of attack.


Unitymustgo! said...

What if we all unite around this issue? By all I refer to MORE, ICE, Bloggers, fed up rank and file and even their friends and family. Lets inundate the UFT with phone calls demanding full disclosure and a right to vote. Lets gather any and every UFT phone numbers and e-mails we can gather and publish them collectively on every blog and website willing to participate with a plea to call and e-mail the UFT non-stop. Lets start Monday morning and not stop until they are forced to respond. Our collective message should ask for full disclosure on any evaluation system, a right for a vote of rank and file, and a statement that we don’t want the DA voting on this for us. This is precisely what the UFT does to politicians in Albany. Lets give them a taste of their own medicine. Maybe, just maybe there is time to stop the sell out.

Anonymous said...

Unity hack scum bag Goodman is a hold over from the Shanker/Feldman days. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Goodman is a major reason why retiree's should not be allowed to vote in the UFT elections. This shill has been raking it in for decades and still has an office and secretary at the UFT, yet no official position. His main function is to refute and justify all of the crap that the leadership hands out to the delegates and now online. But he does have a really nice wig.

Chaz said...

I also left a comment on Peter Goodman's blog telling him he was wrong to compare MORE to the tea party. He should be ashamed of himself.

NYC Educator said...

I wonder what Goodman will have to say to apparent fellow Tea Partiers like Diane Ravitch, Leonie Haimson, Carol Burris, and everyone else who prefers research to voodoo.

Tom Forbes said...

I am approaching being a visiting teacher, or commonly known as an ATR, in almost 50 schools in the last year and a half. I am sorry to report that unfortunately teachers are not paying attention. Everyone I speak with is unaware of the critical time in which we are living and is barely following the issue of teacher evaluations. Most chapters are not functioning and some have had trouble finding someone to be chapter leader. 250 schools are already using the unapproved system under the name of a "project". When I speak about tying 40% of our evaluations to student test scores and 13% getting an appeal for a U rating, it is obvious teachers just do not see the implications for guaranteeing a certain percentage will be fired using junk science. I do think that the Unity caucus is ripe to be beat if the membership had a clue what was happening. Goodman is playing hard on this ignorance.

Unitymustgo! said...

I am willing to share the personal cell# and office number of my District rep, but I will only do it anonymously. If MORE or anyone jumps on my idea I will happily e-mail it to you and you can release it. Sorry, but I fear for my job.





Staten Island-718-605-1400

UFT Officers
Michael Mulgrew, President,
Michael Mendel, Secretary,
Mel Aaronson, Treasurer,
Robert Astrowsky, Assistant Secretary,
Mona Romain, Assistant Treasurer,
UFT Vice Presidents
Carmen Alvarez,
Karen Alford,
Catalina Fortino,
Janella Hinds,
Richard Farkas,
Sterling Roberson,
UFT Press Office
All inquiries from press organizations should be directed to Richard Riley.
phone: 212-598-9220

Anonymous said...

This comment is unintelligible. What do you mean, "approaching being a visiting teacher?" The rest isn't much clearer.

Anonymous said...

Giving out the cell phone number of your DR so people can call and annoy him/her with protest calls is pretty disgusting and reveals how childish you are. DR's answer chapter leaders' phone calls at all hours to help solve problems and offer support. 99% of those calls have nothing to do with major policy issues. They are about sick members, OSI investigations, chapter leader trainin, etc. So what possible use would it be to harass the people whose main job is to support chapter leaders and members? It amounts to a prank, or a kind of vandalism. I'd say you have revealed yourself, and the image is pretty pathetic.

ed notes online said...

Makes sense to me. As an ATR he is approaching the point of being a mere visiting teacher from school to school and in no way a functioning teacher. Like a drop-in. And the rest makes sense too. He is pointing out that teachers in all these school seem unaware of what is going on. The UFT does very little to fully inform and arm people with facts other than the facts they want them to hear.

ed notes online said...

Oh my, revealing the numbers of the borough offices. How tragic. Did you eat your Unity oats today?

mike said...
Excuse typo

ed notes online said...

Go to sleep Mike. Only us retirees have a right to be up so late on a school day.

Anonymous said...

You're such a facile liar, Norm. He says that he'll be happy to provide the PERSONAL CELL PHONE number of his DR if you ask for it. That is a different matter entirely than publishing the boro office phone numbers, and you know it. But, since you have elected to launch an ad hominem attack upon me rather than address the issue, let me ask you directly -- do you think it is a wise policy for a chapter leader to publish the cell phone number of his DR so angry members can flood his cell phone with complaints about union policy?

And since I have eaten a great quantity of oats today, and I am feeling them, allow me to respond to your insulting comment with one of my own. When, pray tell, are you going to update your photo to accurately display your current level of antediluvian decrepitude? Your current picture was snapped at the airport in Aruba, wasn't it, on your return trip from your first post-retirement vacation back in 1987? You certainly haven't displayed that level of robust manliness anytime in this millenium.

ed notes online said...

Feeling the heat are you now? Worried about that 6 figure salary and double pension? Well, you know there are some people that actually attach their name and photo and others who are just gutless. And yes, let a DR take the same kind of heat your policies have put teachers under. Given what we are hearing from DRs about how they are only interested in dictating union policy and not interested in hearing what chapter leaders have to say, if they can't take the heat and those 6 figure salaries and double pensions, there is always a classroom or at the very least a weekly rotating ATR position for them and just maybe an ineffective rating. How about rating DRs based on performance? 20% based on success in winning grievances.

Anonymous said...

A DR is already in the classroom one period every day, subject to lesson planning, observations, U ratings, OSI investigations and all the rest of it. When was the last time you saw the inside of a classroom, you bronzed Adonis? Oh, we settled that. 1987.

ed notes online said...

Except for certain DRs who when audited about whether they actually covered their class led to giving someone a 55G a year job at the UFT for silence.
And what a tough gig that must be. When one DR was bothered by her principal, snap, the UFT got her an instant transfer. Chapter leaders under the gun (unless with special Unity badges) get screwed.
Actually, 1997 but what's a decade between friends?

ed notes online said...

And that pic is my Wave press pass photo from 5 or 7 years ago -- retirement is good. You should take your double pension and try it. But how can you live on less than -- what is it now, 175G or 200G a year? I hope those charter chains don't keep growing so fast you all lose that hold on the gravy twain.