Friday, January 30, 2015

U.F.T.’s Cuomo defense strategy — Stewart-Cousins defends teachers + More Ed News From Capital Education

A packed ed report from Capital Education. Lots of meat to chew over here -- but we'll let this masticate for a few hours- other than to point out that the report that charters retain special ed kids in greater numbers than public schools has a level of bullshit behind it since charters classify kids with pimples as being special ed.

by Jessica Bakeman, Eliza Shapiro and Conor Skelding

THE U.F.T.’s CUOMO STRATEGY, IN ACTION—Capital’s Eliza Shapiro: “The United Federation of Teachers is taking aim at Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal to extend the charter cap as it hones its strategy to combat the governor's ambitious package of education reforms. The U.F.T. held three ‘emergency’ meetings with its members and parents on Thursday, ran a full-page anti-Cuomo advertisement in the Daily News, and released an extensive report claiming, among other things, that charter schools don't enroll enough high-needs students compared to their district school counterparts.” 

—The U.F.T. issued a series of counter-proposals to the charter reforms during a press conference Thursday. They include freezing the charter cap until the schools enroll more high-need students; pushing the State Legislature to allow district superintendents to require that charters fill empty seats, a process known as "backfilling" that some charters do not implement; and enacting a new admissions criteria for charters to ensure that more high-needs students enroll.

—Mulgrew convened three meetings throughout the day on Thursday to develop strategies for fighting the governor's proposals this legislative session. In morning and evening "emergency" meetings with clergy members and parent leaders, advocates brainstormed citywide rallies, social media campaigns, letter-writing campaigns to elected officials and other protests in the upcoming months to shift public perception about Cuomo's proposals. The union's delegate assembly also held an ‘emergency’ meeting in the afternoon.."

TRACKING EDUCATION: “New York’s per-pupil spending was 82 percent above the national average in 2012 and the highest among the 50 states, a federal report today found.” Gannett’s Joe Spector:; the report:

—Ninety school districts are “fiscally stressed,” according to a report released Thursday by the state comptroller’s office. East Ramapo and Hempstead school districts, communities in Rockland and Nassau counties, respectively, that have grappled with religious and racial discord as well as financial problems, were among the 10 districts in “significant fiscal stress,” according to the scoring system first devised last year by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. Capital’s Jessica Bakeman [PRO]
—Michael Mulgrew, U.F.T. president, is a member of the Democratic National Convention host committee, the Mayor’s Office announced yesterday.

STEWART-COUSINS DEFENDS TEACHERS—Capital’s Jessica Bakeman: “Senate Democratic leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a former teacher, said in a statement Thursday that increasing education aid—not ‘demonizing’ or ‘scapegoating’ teachers—would improve schools. Stewart-Cousins, of Yonkers, didn’t refer directly to Governor Andrew Cuomo, but her comments appear to be in reaction to his recent proposals to develop a teacher evaluation system that would result in more teachers getting low ratings and change the state’s laws regarding tenure and disciplinary proceedings to make it easier to fire teachers.” [PRO]
—“Education reform group StudentsFirstNY slammed Stewart-Cousins and teachers’ unions [later on Thursday]. "There's a reason why the teachers' union has spent $60 million in Albany over the past five years: to get politicians like Andrea Stewart-Cousins to put their interests over the hundreds of thousands of kids victimized by a failing system,’ Tenicka Boyd, director of organizing for the group, said in a statement.” Capital’s Jessica Bakeman [PRO]:
MORE DATA CONFIRMS I.B.O. ATTRITION REPORT—Capital’s Eliza Shapiro: “Students at charter schools, including students with disabilities, are somewhat more likely to stay at their schools than their counterparts in district schools, according to a report released Thursday by the Independent Budget Office. Thursday's report is an updated version of a similar study released last January, which found that charter school students are more likely to stay at their schools than their district school peers, but that charter students with disabilities leave at a significantly higher rate than their district counterparts. With an additional year of data and a broader definition of special-needs students, the new report found that 53 percent of charter school students with disabilities remained in their school four years later, compared to 49 percent of district school students with disabilities.”

—Charter leaders reacted gleefully to the report. "The I.B.O. confirms what I've always known: our student retention rates are better than the city's,” Success Academy C.E.O. Eva Moskowitz said in a statement. “The Chancellor was wrong. This study clearly shows that charter schools educate and retain students of all needs better than district schools, putting to bed myths and falsehoods about charter attrition and creaming,” Families for Excellent Schools executive director Jeremiah Kittredge said in a statement.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I've always said that Shelly Silver has always been someone who always stood up for the children of New York City. And I'm sorry, but that's an important thing. I will always say good things about Sheldon Silver." — Michael Mulgrew


  1. What is the UFT strategy to combat the Cuomo attack on public schools?

  2. Sent this email to
    "There's a reason why the teachers' union has spent $60 million in Albany over the past five years: to get politicians like Andrea Stewart-Cousins to put their interests over the hundreds of thousands of kids victimized by a failing system,’ Tenicka Boyd, director of organizing for the group, said in a statement.” --Hey hypocrite----there's a reason why charter lobbyists are bribing their way through Albany and Washington DC!!! I will extend to you the same challenge I extended to Arne Duncan and John King. Come to my school, earn a highly effective rating during 2 weeks of video recorded lessons with every second of you preparation documented as well---all in a classroom I choose. If you are successful, I will hand over my net pay for the 2 week period. Put up or shut up. I'll even accept an alternate. Send me your most highly effective teacher. Roseanne McCosh - Bronx Public School Teacher


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