Saturday, September 17, 2016

Education Notes Publishes Again - Addressing Fair Student Funding, Abusive Principals and MORE

  • “Fair” Student Funding Unfair to Students AND Teachers
  • The Hit Job: Farina’s Crew Found the Right Bitch for the Job
  • Unity-UFT Leaflet Attacking MORE on Opt-Out Could Have Been written by Cuomo, King, Gates. Slammed by Parent Group
  • MORE captures almost 1/3 active teacher vote and majority of high school votes but has NO AFT/NYSUT delegates 
 Ed Notes Returns to Publishing

 Last week, for the first time in a decade, I put together and distributed an edition of Education Notes for the September 14 UFT Chapter Leader meeting. The pdf is available - download if you feel it worth sharing.

I know, I know -- so many of the people at these meetings are in Unity and basically talking to most of them is like spitting in the ocean. I don't even bother giving it to many of them - why waste copies?

I published an edition for almost every Delegate Assembly from 1997-2004. I was a chapter leader and was frustrated at the fact that getting the floor at the DA was totally dependent on getting called on - so Ed Notes was my proactive response -- I would hand out my point of view in advance of the meeting to try to influence the debate. In the early years Ed Notes was geared to trying to use logic to appeal to Unity and the UFT leadership. This was the point where Randi Weingarten replaced Sandy Feldman - and she and her minions reached out to me, telling me Randi was ushering in a new day for the UFT, promising reforms. I was critical but not on the attack. The state of the opposition consisted of 3 caucuses and I found none of them satisfactory all of of them narrow in their vision. I raised issues that none of them had any interest in - mayoral control, testing, abusive principals, protection of chapter leaders. Ed Notes was critical not only of Unity but also the other opposition groups. At one point it seemed everyone at the DA was reading Ed Notes. I began to meet like-minded people.

I guess it was when it became clear that Randi was making changes that made the UFT less democratic while also aiding and abetting ed deform that made it clear that Unity would never change -- that holding and consolidating power was the mantra, with the blatant briber offered to New Action, the leading opposition, being a final straw in 2003-4. Old and new Ed Notes supporters felt it was time for an opposition caucus that tackled issues in depth, thus leading to the birth of ICE (Independent Community of Educators), followed by the spin-off GEM (Grassroots Education Movement), not an opposition caucus but a joint effort of teachers and parents, and finally the realization in 2011-12 that an attempt must be made to bring together the various stands of activists in the UFT into one organization - MORE. I moved Ed Notes to a blog in 2006 and devoted time to the various groups I worked with. While I had some influence I was also no longer using UFT meetings to put out  my own point of view using my style of writing -- group leaflets and newsletters often get neutered in the group process. So I decided that this year I will occasionally bring Ed Notes back to union meeting when I feel I have something to say that goes beyond the blog.


  1. YEAH! I for one intend to print and distribute to my entire school. If it's not said enough thank you Norm for everything you do.

  2. Mulgree is ineffective and unsatisfactory. He does nothing but collaborate with the DOE as though he works for them instead of UFT members

  3. Mr Mulgrew is either spineless or bought off by the UFT because he certainly is not doing anything to protect the rights of his members. Paperwork is the members' biggest problem? Puh-lease. Anyone who has the sword of Damocles hanging over their because of a vindictive, megalomaniac with a school clearance agenda knows that paperwork is not their biggest problem. The fact that these expletive deleteds want your job and we have no support from our union leadership should have is all working toward his removal. Unity is working for their members feeding at the trough. Not the rank and file. Wake Up!


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