Time to kick out the insanity and replace it with humanity... Jia LeeThere was joy in Mudville - in the real reform anti-ed deform community and throughout the opposition to Unity Caucus at the announcement from MORE that Jia Lee would oppose Michael Mulgrew for the office of UFT President in the upcoming UFT elections this winter.
Kit Wainer in his introduction to Jia called her a fusion of hard-core bread and butter and social justice and her links to many parent groups around the city who support her as a leader of the opt-out movement. For the first time in a UFT election we may see parents playing a role by going into their childrens' schools and encouraging teachers to vote MORE.
Jia is not only well-known in the city and the state (she ran for a NYSUT position) but also nationally through her work with other progressive caucuses and unions.
Accolades came in from around the city, state and nation. Our pals at Port Jefferson Station posted the announcement: thepjsta.org/2015/10/26/more-announces-jia-lee-will-oppose-michael-mulgrew-in-2016-uft-election … with this photo of Jia. Our pals in the Chicago Teachers Union and CORE expressed their support on Facebook and twitter.
In her speech at the MORE conference Jia talked about the insanity of that crazed principal who threw out all the teacher desks.
Jia knows all about crazed administrators, having worked in a school under a Leadership Academy slug and even took on the job of chapter leader despite seeing previous CLs chopped or sent to the rubber room (a founder of ICE was the previous CL who was rubber-roomed). Jia had to spend so much time trying to defend her colleagues from being assaulted there was a danger of having her teaching affected. She finally escaped to a progressive school where she could practice her profession. [NOTE: Look for the a follow-up video of Lauren Cohen, Jia's former colleague at the same school, who goes through chapter and verse of the impact of this principal on her health and her life.]
Jia also talks about her current student who appeared on the PBS Success Academy story and whose records were exposed by Eva [NYC Public School Parents: Cease and Desist letter sent today to Eva Moskowitz of Success Charters].
The student and his mom attended the MORE conference.
In this 17 minute video, Jia shows her humor, intelligence, commitment to the teaching profession and to her students and parents. While many of us assumed that Jia would be the MORE candidate for the past 6 months. MORE did not rush the timetable and went through a democratic nominating and ratifying process, which is how MORE would run the UFT if elected. After all, we don't want to be a Unity clone of personality cults driven from the top.
Let's get rid of those bath salts that make people crazy.