Monday, December 14, 2015

NYCDOE Gag Order - Political Repression at the DOE - District Supt. Claims Teachers Who Discuss Opt Out Violate Law: Must See Michael Elliot Video

Is MORE UFT Presidential candidate Jia Lee violating state, city and DOE laws by talking opt out? Come and get her.
Michael Elliot made this brilliant 3 minute extract of the District 15 Town Hall Testing event we attended on December 9 with panelists Carol Burris, Kathy Cashin, Jennifer Jennings, Dist. 15 Supt Anita Skopp and a principal and Assistant principal - see my pre-report here.

Skop claimed it was against the law for teachers to share political views with parents or students, equating opt out with political views  - with former NY State principal of the year Carol Burris who has been talking opt out for years, sitting a few seats away.
One of our ace opt-out parents Janine Sopp pointed this out from the audience - how come Carol does it? Another parent called out  to say how can Skop equate a discussion with parents on the quality and impact of tests and pointing out they did have the option to opt out with endorsing political candidates, pointing out that was as much an educational issue as talking about homework. See Skop's lame response in Michael's video. (I have video of the entire event and will get off my ass and post unedited versions of each panel member -- Carol Burris is just dynamite and Cashin was pretty good too -- and made sure to give Change the Stakes' Fred Smith some recognition.)

Cashin did point out that Skop was part of a chain of command linked to Farina and de Blasio - so though the buck stops there, let's not let Skop off the hook with the "I was only following orders excuse" excuse which so many people under Joel Klein claim now.

And what will the UFT tell you about these outrageous claims to muzzle teachers?

Arthur Goldstein has a few words for them at NYC Educator:

You Can Fool Some of the People Some of the Time, but You Can't Fool Opt-Out NY

Even as UFT leadership breaks out the champagne over NY State's largely meaningless Common Core recommendations, Governor Cuomo ought to keep worrying. Because the fact is UFT leadership has played virtually no part in opt-out. They've delayed and prevented meaningful resolutions, and backed up reformy claims that aid would be withheld if not enough kids took tests that Cuomo himself called meaningless, except for rating teachers.
Arthur closes with the reason MORE chose the leading teacher voice for opt-out, Jia Lee, for its presidential candidate to run against Mulgrew.
We need to take a stand with the opt-out movement, a true grassroots movement fueled by truth, passion and a desire to do what's right for our children. If Michael Mulgrew and his loyalty-oath signing sycophants are unwilling or unable to do the right thing, they should move over and endorse opt-out activist Jia Lee for UFT President
If you are a teacher without a union to protect you, get on your knees and thank an opt out parent for defending you.

Also see Alan Singer:
The parent and teacher campaign to have children opt-out of high-stakes Common Core aligned testing is remarkably successful.


  1. Here's where we need retired UFT members to support the parents' in their opt-out movement. The mayor, chancellor and Supts might go after in-service UFT members and threaten them, but they can't stop or do anything to the retirees.

    I say instead of the retirees being in locked-step with the UFT leadership's silence and their lack of support to parents regarding the opt-out movement, let's get on broad with the parents and make the movement stronger. As a retired teacher, there's no sycophancy here because I strongly believe in protecting the children against the abusive testing mania. OPTOUTMOVEMENTMATTERS!

  2. Great video!
    Who benefits if NYC parents don't opt out? --anyway, this brings me to another point. I'm not sure that the courts will side with Fredrichs. Right now the "union" is keeping a cap on any dissension. Remember, this is the year of Trump and Opt Out. I don't think the conservative court really wants any more grassroots movements.


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