The fact that the UFT has allowed the chapter itself to flounder is not an insignificant factor -- like a UFT official sitting there quietly whole Rosemary Mills berated a UFT member at a meeting. I suspect, based on my instincts of how some of the UFT hacks have operated in the past, that if you are not viewed as a Unity Caucus loyalist you are under suspicion. I am told there is no chapter leader at this crucial time and people have been forced to do things ad hoc. The UFT's Patti Crispino is supposed to be on the case. If you knew Patti like I knew Patti --- don't expect much.
Note this comment from Fran Myers: Mills knows what’s going on in chapter more than we do. We need info on discontinuance and percentages to strategize. Demand transparency.
Peter Romani read the following statement at the first UFT EB Meeting of the year:
To the Executive Committee of the UFT,
The steering committee of the Adult Education Chapter has formed the Adult Ed Action Committee. Our chapter has been under attack by Superintendent Rose Marie Mills of the Office of Adult and Continuing Education for close to 5 years.
Having consolidated her power through her close colleagues at the highest levels of DOE, she has been empowered and enabled to supervise a decades old program with 150 full-time adult education teachers and hundreds of per session K-12 teachers with absolute impunity. Noteworthy that our numbers have been shrinking every year, not by accident.
As a result, she has successfully overwhelmed every successive chapter leader with hostility, intimidation, and by running them ragged all over the 5 boroughs in this city-wide program which serves 35,000 adult students. The disciplinary hearings have increased exponentially and the paperwork redundancy and petty policies are designed in part to render any chapter leader ineffective and exhausted. We have lost yet another chapter leader this summer, retiring from the position after one year and from DOE in disgust and frustration. You may be aware that this past June we saw 20 – 30 annual “U”ratings, along with several discontinuances of vulnerable teachers. Out of 150 or so full-time teachers, this is an alarming percentage of U ratings. The observation process under Mills has become nothing more than a tool to meet quotas of harassment, hostility, early retirements, and terminations.
The Adult Education Action Committee has been formed out of a desperate attempt to continue advocating for this once proud program and the chapter members, as Ms. Mills now breaks or bends every rule, policy, or protections she arrogantly believes she can get away with. We feel let down by our union and betrayed by Chancellor Farina, Deputy Chancellor Dorita Gibson, and Senior Superintendent Laura Feijoo.
We are concerned that there will continue to be a vacuum in the chapter leadership and that Superintendent Mills will surely try to discreetly install a candidate of her choosing, knowing that there are few if any left in the chapter who would willingly run for this position. We strongly urge our UFT leadership not only to intervene meaningfully on our behalf, but to implement the following common sense remedies:
• Reconfigure and expand the chapter leader position to allow for multiple chapter leaders, perhaps one per borough citywide, in order to meet the inordinate time demands and duties of this chapter.
• Provide for a mechanism whereby the Adult Ed Action Committee can schedule meeting space on a regular basis at UFT headquarters for chapter-related business.
• Assign a separate District Representative dedicated solely to this superintendency and the needs of the Office of Adult & Continuing Education exclusively.
We understand that the political winds of public education are not blowing in our favor, but no one should have to suffer for so long in this manner at the hands of a superintendent with unchecked power, zero accountability, and the arrogant abuse of power that naturally follows from the blind, entrenched, backing of the Department of Education.
--- Peter Romani