Sunday, February 14, 2016

NY Post Features Jia Lee: Anti-Common Core activists seek control of teachers union

Hope all the Muscota, 187, CSS and D6 teachers are voting for MORE!!.... Parent/Activist Tory Frye on Facebook
An interesting piece in today's NY Post linking the MORE campaign against Unity to the parent activism movement. Having parents on our side is a positive thing. And if they talk to their children's teachers about voting for MORE, all the better, though I don't expect that would translate into all that many votes this time. While they may not do so openly because they have to deal with Mulgrew, most parents and groups active in the opt-out movement support Jia and MORE. Some are even teachers who vote (Teacher is Motivated by Jia Lee Candidacy).

Anti-Common Core activists seek control of teachers union

As the Cuomo administration tiptoes back from its testing mandates for Grades 3 to 8, opt-out activists are trying to wrest control of the United Federation of Teachers and the state Board of Regents to push their anti-Common Core agenda to the limit.

Teacher Jia Lee, of Brooklyn, seeks to unseat powerful UFT President Michael Mulgrew in spring elections. “There’s a huge disconnect between leadership and membership,” Lee said. “We have a teacher evaluation system based on flawed metrics that force us to rank and sort our students. It’s totally counter to what brought us to the profession.”

The opt-out movement is a revolt against the Common Core — a set of learning benchmarks that New York adopted in 2010 to claim $696 million in federal education funds — and the matching standardized tests that kids as young as 8 must take every year.

Parents complained the new standards were rigid and age-inappropriate, and teachers hated that their annual evaluations would be based on student test scores. Up to 240,000 students statewide boycotted the tests in 2015, pushing Gov. Cuomo to announce a set of reforms in December.

The union spent $1.4 million on an ad campaign claiming Cuomo and the UFT have seen the light on testing. “The Common Core rollout was a disaster,” a narrator intones. “And now, Gov. Cuomo’s task force is doing what’s right.”

Activists say the ads just show how deeply the union and Albany fear backlash from parents and teachers.

“There are a lot of angry parents, teachers, and superintendents out there who don’t see the changes that the governor claims are happening,” said Lisa Rudley of New York State Allies for Public Education . High-stakes tests are still scheduled, with only minor tweaks to length and content, she said. Fifteen opt-out activists will interview this week for seats on the Board of Regents.


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