Tuesday, October 31, 2017

UFT Leadership: Abusive Principals, Observations and Accountability for You, None for Us

 -- let's have UFT members observe the work of every special and district rep 4 times a year and write them up for public consumption.
Unity to we earthlings: Don't hold us accountable for our failure to reign in abusive principals running rampant -- we are working behind the scenes. But it's crucial that teachers be held accountable by these same slugs. So data proves the more observations the better off you are. The UFT leadership are like those baseball Sabermetrics people -- ignore the people and go with the stats.

A debate broke out at the Ex Bd meeting last night over teacher evaluations. And abusive principals. Let's try to tie that knot together because there is a connection, no matter how much the leadership wants to run away from it.

The debate was over the reso presented by MORE/NA calling for two observations like the rest of the state. It was a rich debate with Unity taking the same line as expected -- that MORE observations are better. When it was pointed out that so many principals are biased or abusive and threatening, the response was a so what --- this is bigger than that.

No it isn't --- if you guys can't make sure we have decent principals the house of cards falls. And when we call on your guys to be transparent in what you are doing to control these principals we got the equivalent of "we don't have to share that info." And when we name names of union people who do dumb things or screw people over they Unity leadership locks hands and defends even the worst of them.

One union leader told me -- we don't believe teachers should be left alone -- they need to be observed and counseled and supported. But there are so many principals who are clueless educators -- no matter.

I get it --- the UFT position is that teachers MUST be monitored and held accountable but union officials who shove bad policy or tell ATRs they are lucky to have a job do not have to be held accountable.

I have an idea -- let's have UFT members observe the work of every special and district rep 4 times a year and write them up for public consumption.

I never thought I'd say this but the UFT Ex Bd meetings are the most interesting thing going on in the union. That is due to the partnership between the 2 New Action and 4 MORE reps (the 5th has only shown up for 2 meetings -- that story another time). They hold an open meeting in the back of the lobby an hour before the meetings begin -- they coordinate with the rank and file who have called in for speaking time -- and then coordinate their questions and resolutions with them. That hour, which last night included 3 teachers working under an abusive principal at Tottenville HS in Staten Island, is the most productive and democratic hour you can spend in the UFT - and I include MORE meetings.

Arthur has a fascinating report on last night's Ex Bd meeting which I'm sure he will parse in a follow-up --- and I will do a follow-up on his follow-up in a day or two:

Exec. Board Oct. 30--Observations Now, Observations Forever, the More the Merrier. If You Have a Question for Leadership, Look Up the Answer in Chalkbeat.


Here are the notes Arthur took on the over 3 year reign of terror of principal Joseph Scarmato --- we'll have more on this slug. When we called on UFT accountability they listed all the visits they made to the school but wouldn't share if there were positive outcomes. One UFT official told me -- there are 2 sides to every story-- which is astounding given the current chapter leader has been removed from the school and cannot even hold a union meeting. Translation -- we don't really like the chapter leader.
Penny Tuzio, retired, Tottenville HS—intolerable situation by principal JOSEPH SCARMATO. Have written multiple letters. Principal is vindictive. Used to be desirable school. Many teachers left, bullied persecuted. AP SS took mysterious leave for nervous breakdown. At least 5 lawsuits against him. People hired as personal favors do nothing. AP science out of building three days a week, has fake class as do others. Forces new teachers to email him messages of support. Forbids AP s to be friends with teachers. Most senior AP forbidden to observe without henchman of principal. Gives orders to teachers via email at all times. Abuses students. Parents afraid but can’t complain for vindictive nature. Impossible to fail students because test scores count only 25%. Said he admires Hitler for organization. Everyone scared to death. Made staff cry. I implore you investigate.

John McCabe, Tottenville HS—SS teacher, 19 years, never had to deal with principal so abusive. Wanted to change Tottenville. Has five year plan. Now year 4. Goes after teachers w 15 years or more. Observations done in pairs, w discussion. Discrepancies resolved by principal, even if not in class. Colleague observed, three days later went on Advance, all Effective. Four days later, official copy was completely different, replaced by Developing. Principal asked AP to do it. Teacher well respected. Many of us are outspoken and we are targeted. We are hit with trumped up 3020a charges. Numerous individuals retire or transfer, we think targeted at behest of principal. No HE ratings, even if teachers are. Recently in paper for plagiarism. He has to go, one way or another. How can union help us? Some of us have taken major brunt.

Jessica Peterson, Chapter Leader, Tottenville HS—Reassigned. Quotes Shakespeare about retaliation. Says prior to principal, few grievances were filed. Now, principal steadily declines in reviews. DOE refuses to hold him accountable. He slut shamed females, was in paper. Now targets seasoned vets over 40, mostly women. Has targeted other delegates and CL. I have been targeted and abused. I am wrongfully reassigned Paying for multiple lawyers. Filed PERB complaint. Waiting for right to sue letter.

Our school has been reported multiple times for failure to follow, have complained to various agencies, have not received assistance. My offense is being excellent CL and winning often. Principal was removed from last school and was rewarded. Plagiarism is academic dishonesty, a misdemeanor. Improper LIFs. Many arbitrations and settlements. Paperwork complaints, improper evaluations, many TIPS. Over 60 people have left. Teachers usually don’t leave. School used to be mirthful, now us v them, a war zone. Asks UFT helps get rid of disease.

Monday, October 30, 2017

UFT Elections 2019: Unity Caucus Goes Behind Back of Chapter Leaders

The upshot of this dumb move is that it may very well turn out that Arthur and a few pals will be the only ones to greet the veeps. Because after listening to DOE bullshit all the time, there's nothing teachers want to do more than to stay after school to listen to bullshit from the UFT.
Non-Unity Chapter Leader tee-shirt
I read with disgust on Saturday Arthur Goldstein's post as Unity Caucus (Michael Mulgrew's political party that runs the UFT) has arranged to do a UFT event in a school without first going through the Chapter Leader.... It seems the two UFT High School Vice Presidents have set up a Meet the Vice Presidents afternoon for Francis Lewis High School, where Arthur is Chapter Leader, but they have not asked for his ok. To put it another way, the Unity Vice Presidents have invited themselves into Francis Lewis.....James Eterno, ICE Blog, UFT CHAPTER LEADERS ARE NO LONGER THE UNION IN SCHOOLS

Yesterday, a Unity rep who went behind my back to arrange an event in my school told me he was sorry that I "felt" high school teachers have no representation in NYSUT and AFT. Here's the thing--it's not something I "feel." It's something, period. And when UFT Unity ignores elected chapter leaders to do any damn thing they feel like, it's counterproductive and stupid on multiple levels... Arthur Goldstein, Unity Fiddles While High Schools Unrepresented
The two posts by Arthur and James

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Passing the Lemons: Principal at Urban Assembly School Given New Post

Read this NY Times piece on the story of another bullied student
who tried to commit suicide and how pleas from his grandmother were continually ignored. This is a story about student dying in a school of incompetent, uncaring administrators. And maybe the staff too -- but the fish rots from the head.

With the press screaming about ATRs being placed in schools where are the questions as to why this principal is not being brought up on charges of incompetence, if not an accessory to murder? Then again, if the fish rots from the head down, how about Farina who has put in so many awful admins, a way bigger problem than placing ATRs.

At School Where
Student Died, Bullying
Led to a Suicide Attempt


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Norm in The WAVE - School Scope: ATRs to UFT - It is About Dignity, Don't Tell Us We Are Lucky to Have a Job

Published October 27, 2017 www.rockawave.com

School Scope: ATRs to UFT - It is About Dignity, Don't Tell Us We Are Lucky to Have a Job

By Norm Scott

There are an estimated 800-1200 ATRs in a system of 130,000 employees. Some of you who have not been slammed in the face with news reports about ATRs might be wondering what an ATR is. These are dislocated tenured teachers whose schools have been closed or who have been excessed from their schools due to reorganization or loss of pupils. 74 percent earned a Highly Effective, Effective, or Satisfactory rating. The rest are in the third category – tenured teachers who have been brought up on charges (3020a) and were not dismissed, though they may have been fined or suspended. It is the latter category that has garnered major media attention which has focused on these relatively few teachers, many of whom may have been disciplined for fairly minor infractions or been the target of principals’ animosity. Or more onerous, they are the victim of their higher salaries. At time teacher salaries did not count against a school’s budget. But under Bloomberg and Klein the rules were changed to punish school budgets with high salaried teachers, thus incentivizing principals to put a target on the backs of these teachers. The 26% who are viewed as ineffective - which might number 300 teachers – has led to front page articles in the Times and the tabloid press expressing horror that principals might be forced to take them.

At a recent UFT Executive Board meeting, ATRs spoke out supported by the MORE and New Action opposition caucuses who have 7 out of 100 seats on the board. Karen Sklaire, an actress and theater teacher whose principal decided to kill her program, thus making her an ATR, spoke out forcefully about her having to sit in an empty room or doing filing instead of the job she was so good at. She lambasted the UFT officials who told her she was lucky to still have a job. She responded, “It is condescending to say I’m lucky to have a job. I don’t feel lucky. ATR system is failing. Better to not have a job than stay and feel humiliated.” You can read Karen’s entire speech on my blog, https://tinyurl.com/y8ycesmq. And The Chief did a great and fair article with comments from a number of ATRs: https://tinyurl.com/yd4fbhsn.

Ulrich Switch on Constitutional Convention
There was some consternation among UFT members over its endorsement of Erich Ulrich over even his conditional support for the constitutional convention which unions see as a major threat to protections they have received. Some of us contacted Paul Egan, head of UFT political action and he said that was of some concern but then contacted us that Ulrich has switched positions and now was opposed. I still won’t vote for any Republican and even have troubles pulling the switch for Democrats so I am not sure where my vote will go this time. As for the mayoral race, even though de Blasio deserves a lot of the despising he gets, I will probably vote for him because the other two candidates are so disgusting. The more they lose by the better I will feel.

Thousands to March on Saturday For the 5th Anniversary of Superstorm Sandy
#Sandy5 coalition of 125+ NY groups to march in remembrance of lives lost, rise for climate action at the state and local level
On Saturday, October 28 at 11:30 AM, a broad coalition of local, state, national and global organizations will gather and march across the Brooklyn Bridge to commemorate the 5th anniversary of Superstorm Sandy and demand bold powerful action from state and local officials.

With over 125 groups signed-on (including Rockaway Waterfront Alliance and my UFT Caucus, MORE), the #Sandy5 march will start at Cadman Plaza before crossing the bridge and gathering at the Alfred E. Smith Houses on the Lower East Side. Organizers are remembering the lives and livelihoods lost to Superstorm Sandy and demanding bold and swift climate action from New York’s elected officials. Demands include actionable steps for Mayor Bill de Blasio, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Chuck Schumer to address unmet needs from the storm’s devastation, protect communities vulnerable to inevitable future storms, and secure transformative policies to make New York a true climate leader. Gathering at Cadman Plaza, marching across the Brooklyn Bridge, rallying Alfred E. Smith Houses. This is a pretty progressive group, which might explain why we don’t see a lot of Rockaway (other than RWA) presence on the list.

Janus is coming – will every state turn into right to work?
Unions nationwide are facing a mammoth attack on all fronts as a last bulwark. The Supreme Court will rule soon on the Janus case which will lead to union members being able to not have to pay dues which will cripple some unions. The UFT expects to lose 20-30% and is already talking of retrenchment. I’ll be following up as news breaks. Though I will urge people to stay in the UFT I have mixed feelings about giving unequivocal support to an organization that I do not consider democratic or sensitive to its members (see ATR story above).

Norm IS sensitive all the time at ednotesonline.org.
Also read his Memo from the RTC columns in The WAVE.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Memo From the RTC: Rockaway Café – The Heat and the Beat Are Coming November 3

Published in The Wave, October 27, 2017

Memo From the RTC: Rockaway Café – The Heat and the Beat Are Coming November 3
By Norm Scott

Every so often I’ve popped into the rehearsals for the Rockaway Theatre production of the reprise of the John Gilleece directed Rockaway Café – Then and Now - which opens for ten performances on Nov. 3 over three weekends and one Thursday evening performance. I have such a small role that I don’t have to be at a lot of rehearsals but when I do drop by I have seen some spectacular dancing with choreography that pushes the boundaries of the dancers. While, as usual, there will be outstanding singing, this time the talent of the dancers and the work the team of choreographers have done will blow audiences away. There are five – count them – FIVE – choreographers. And we haven’t even seen the band load in yet.

Now I’d like to tell you the song list but I’ve been warned by producer extraordinaire Susan Jasper that I’d have to kill anyone I tell. Susan keeps everyone hopping with her daily emails. Getting 40 or more people to rehearsals at the right day and time 7 days a week is not an easy job and Susan cracks the whip with relish.

Performances are Nov. 3, 4, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18 at 8PM and Nov. 5, 12, 19 at 2 PM. Tickets are $20, $15 for seniors. Call RTC Hotline: 718-374-6400 or www.rockawaytheatrecompany.org

Thursday, October 26, 2017

On Democratic Centralism and Loyalty Oaths - Unity Caucus and Marxist-Leninist Orgs

Democratic centralism is a method of leadership in which political decisions reached by the party (through its democratically elected bodies) are binding upon all members of the party....
The text of Lenin's What Is to Be Done? from 1902 is popularly seen as the founding text of democratic centralism.... Lenin described Democratic Centralism as consisting of "freedom of discussion, unity of action".... The doctrine of democratic centralism served as one of the sources of the split between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. The Mensheviks supported a looser party discipline within the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1903,
As we reach the 100th anniversary of the earth shaking Russian Revolution, I've been thinking about the impact of democratic centralism on the various organization that operate under its influence - from the Bolsheviks to the current China to the UFT's Unity Caucus to the various Marxist-Leninist organizations, some of which have members in the UFT and in the MORE Caucus.

On the surface DC may make sense as the graphic shows. Unity in action -- maybe Al Shanker's Trotskyist/Shachtmanite views led him to name the caucus. And to establish an ironclad DC blanket.

I was recently criticized by someone on the MORE listserve for raising skepticism about what I saw as attempts to impose elements of democratic centralism within MORE, which many people join because it is supposedly the un-Unity Caucus which does operate under democratic centralism and thus drags the UFT, which Unity controls, along with it.

The objector accused me of
"latent anti-communism which is found in the comments about democratic centralism, the organizing principle of Marxist-Leninist (M-L) parties. I'm a member of a party governed by democratic centralism. Does that mean I don't think for myself? No. Does that mean that I expect anyone in an organization like MORE to operate along democratic centralist principles? No. Democratic centralism just means agreeing internally with a position and political line and agreeing to carry it out. MORE is a politically diverse group. Good for us. But, stop the red-baiting around democratic centralism."
Except when a block of people from one of these organizations that has decided on the policy or framework for the group their people belong to and then execute their vision in what some deem an unprincipled and undemocratic manner. The M-L organization this person criticizing me belongs to is one that caucuses I belonged to as far back as the 70s had some bad experiences with due to unprincipled actions. But more on that some other time other than to say those experiences with these groups has made me very leery.

I'm not so sure that MORE is a politically diverse group anymore -  increasingly I see a narrowing of political diversity where minority views make people uncomfortable and those expressing those views are criticized for their tone, while the content of what they say is ignored. But I'll deal with this aspect another time.

I'm sure that some of these M-L parties internally have rigorous internal debates and once decided upon, everyone goes along. Or they leave. Or they are expelled for disagreeing. But we also know of parties where there are dominant voices at the top -- most often male and most of the rest go along. Don't forget that the Communist Party of China is supposedly a M-L party run on the principles of DC - as were the parties of Castro and Stalin.

I have no problems with people who join parties that operate under DC - unless their actions negatively affect organizations to which I belong. Like the UFT and MORE.

Here is another dictum about DC --- 
there shall be strict Party discipline and the subordination of the minority to the majority;
That all decisions of higher bodies shall be absolutely binding on lower bodies and on all Party members.
This is Unity Caucus in operation. Except there is a hell of a lot of centralism and not a lot of democracy. Do we believe there are serious debates over issues in Unity Caucus? Other than a top-level few people making decisions, the rest are foot soldiers.

The problem is that the mass organization (diverse politically, not bound by DC) - the UFT - controlled by the Unity Caucus party -- is dragged along where the party discipline operates at all levels and minority views are subordinated. In fact, due to Unity control even potential majority views of the members are subordinated. Take Arthur's post yesterday about the AFT - our parent union run by Randi Weingarten - loving that Bill Gates is spending more of his money to control education. Do we think the majority of UFT members agree? Or even Unity Caucus rank and file?

Now let's take the UFT, which where Unity Caucus operates under democratic centralism (nix the democratic) -- which means that once their party - the leadership - decides on an issue everyone in Unity must go along with that decision. But they treat those who are not in Unity and thus not bound to go along - as traitors to the union -- a repression of the minority opinion. And often charge those who disagree as being anti-union when they are in fact anti-Unity -- the idea that Unity melds itself with the UFT itself is fundamentally undemocratic.

At every UFT event - especially the DA -- no one gets up and identifies themselves as Unity Caucus - meaning they are pre-bound before the meeting even took place -- or else they look to verbal or visual clues from the leadership if something unexpected comes up. That is why the new motion period is often viewed as a threat - the potential for 10 minutes of time the leadership cannot totally control. (I used to use this time effectively by disguising which reso I was going to bring up and putting them in a position to have to think on their feet.) One thing we know, when someone calls the question is it almost always Unity cutting off debate.

Mulgrew calls on people to speak and those of us who have been around know full well they are Unity - in fact most people called on are in Unity - they are expected to attend in enough numbers to assure nothing happens out of their control. Some people not attuned to UFT politics in the audience may assume these are just regular folks like them instead of people who are functioning like robots. This to me is not democratic - Unity is a large block -- they should get a speaker clearly identified as representing the caucus -- and them let a diverse set of voices be heard.

Now let's look how democratic centralism can have an impact on a much smaller caucus like MORE which doesn't operate under democratic centralism. Imagine there is a fair sized group of people from a party - like a M-L party --  in a caucus like MORE and there are some hot issues on the table. These people have a perfect right to meet beforehand and discuss where they stand and once decided they all will support the position - no matter what is said in the debate at a MORE meeting -- they are pre-bound to support their position. I mean a Clarence Darrow could be in the room with dazzling arguments -- this block will stay as a block and be loyal to the party position - which to those trying to engage in an honest debate where the power of facts or argument might have an effect can feel mighty frustrated.

The problem arises when they, like Unity, don't identify themselves as sharing a pre-determined position and each speak individually at a meeting instead of an identified block. Some people at the meeting do not understand this is a block. I and others do not consider this undemocratic, though others do. Some believe that if there are organized factions in a mass organization like MORE or the UFT, then the members of those factions should identify themselves. Some consider this red-baiting due to the historic attacks and witch hunts on communists - identification used to be dangerous and can be in the future if Trumpism. If one wants to hide their affiliations, I get it. So this can be tricky ground.

The reality is that over time and with experience, the actions of people aligned with democratic centralism orgs begin to be viewed as manipulative and that causes tensions and even splits. So many M-L groups have split time and again -- due to a minority feeling oppressed to the point they leave their org and form another group. Thus DC in its essence is viewed by some as a basic cause of splitting the left into sectarian parties and tendencies.

While people have hoped over the years, Unity has never split -- though there were some splitoffs during the support for the Vietnam War. Unity rank and file get enough perks out of being in Unity to keep them on board the mother ship.

On the other hand, the mass organizations that these D-C orgs embed themselves in can suffer splits. I was in a caucus in the 70s that was split by people coming from one of these D-C orgs and that experience left me very suspicious.

The UFT is a mass organization under the control of a tightly run DC Unity Caucus. The one party system of control, facing Janus and a loss of membership and dues - which will reduce the perks Unity can offer its members - may cause internal tensions in Unity and also internal tensions in the UFT - note some of the proposals to get the high school teachers - who have voted anti-Unity for almost 30 years.

So in the next few years we may see some upheavals in the UFT and in the various caucuses. As I am increasingly more an observer and chronicler of events it may be a show worth watching.

Here are some articles I did on democratic centralism a few years ago dug up by Mike Schirtzer.

Unity, Cadre, Democratic Centralism/Loyalty Oaths, UFT, Mass Organizations and Democracy

Ed Notes reprint: July 24, 2015

How Unity Caucus Uses the District Reps to Control the Membership and Narrow the Growth of the Opposition

July 24, 2015

Is Unity a Democratic Organization: Unity Caucus and Democratic Centralism 


July 25, 2015

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Hudson Yards Success charter parents to Eva Moskowitz: The school "broke our children’s spirit and erased their self confidence in less than 3 weeks"

Leonie Haimson has the full letter on her blog: https://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/2017/10/hudson-yards-success-charter-parents-to.html

Ben Chapman of the Daily News reported yesterday that a group of parents whose children attend a new Hudson Yards middle school in the Success Academy charter network is protesting the rigid and abusive disciplinary methods of the network.  The school opened this year and enrolls about 200 students in grades 5 and 6, to be expanded to 480 students through eighth grade in future years.

The school is sited in a high-rise building on the far West Side of Manhattan.  The space also houses a Success charter elementary school and the Success Academy Education Institute, established to train teachers from throughout the country in the Success techniques.  The two schools in the building are supposed to serve as "lab schools" for the Institute. The commercial space in the mixed use tower was acquired for $68 million by Success in December 2016. 

The full letter from Hudson Yard parents to Eva Moskowitz, the Success CEO, is reprinted below, and describes how the principal and faculty at the school "broke our children’s spirit and erased their self confidence in less than 3 weeks." Many of the specific practices outlined below have been reported by parents at other Success charter schools.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Chief Actually Talks to ATRs

Here is the kind of reporting that has been missing from the mainstream press.


Most Proved Their Competence in Past

Preparing for Return to Classrooms, ATR Teachers Lament Unfair Stigma

“It’s the Scarlet Letter of teaching,” Karen Sklaire, a theater Teacher, said of being placed in the Absent Teacher Reserve pool.
In November, the Department of Education will move 400 Teachers from the Absent Teacher Reserve into schools. The one-year provisional placements will be based on vacancies that existed on Oct. 16, and will be made permanent if the Teachers earn an Effective rating or higher from their supervisors.

My (Brief) Life Studying Artificial Intelligence

Tech’s biggest companies are placing huge bets on artificial intelligence, banking on things ranging from face-scanning smartphones and conversational coffee-table gadgets to computerized health care and autonomous vehicles. As they chase this future, they are doling out salaries that are startling even in an industry that has never been shy about lavishing a fortune on its top talent. Typical A.I. specialists, including both Ph.D.s fresh out of school and people with less education and just a few years of experience, can be paid from $300,000 to $500,000 a year or more in salary and company stock... NY Times, October 23, 2017

Tech Giants Are
Paying Huge Salaries
for Scarce A.I. Talent


This article caught my eye because in the late 80s I was studying A.I. at Brooklyn College and attended two A.I. national conferences where I rubbed elbows with people who are probably millionaire superstars in the field today.

In 1983 I became fascinated when I was given two Apple IIe computers for my 6th grade classroom. Ira Goldfine, my friend and former activist in the UFT took an adult ed course on the Apple at Brooklyn College and that experience led us into the Masters degree program at the College, which involved taking 15 preliminary credits and then the 30 credits for the MA, which we completed in 1987. We met up with Jim Scoma, another NYC teacher and became a trio for years working with each other on projects.

That included a study sabbatical (85-86 and a follow-up year without pay for the 86-87 school year.) When I returned to my school I became the computer specialist and worked to set up a computer program starting from ground zero. This accounts for my absence from union activities for almost a decade.

There were two fundamental tracks at Brooklyn College computer science --- one was business oriented and the other was theoretical, which included some fascinating courses in A.I. which included natural language processing (how your phone calls have a robot talking to you), expert systems, and a few other courses. I heard a lot about machine learning which is so hot now but there wasn't a course.

The most fascinating course I took was neural networks, taught by a teacher in the psychology department - which focused on a new paradigm of computer and biological science of with the idea of mimicking the human brain. Most computers ran with one central processing unity (CPU) which did all the work. The brain runs on billions of processors, each doing a little bit of the work. My instant understanding was that neural networks of a lot of small processors was an answer for the future -- the computers at that time were far from powerful enough. 

Robotics was just taking off with Japan leading the way. The College didn't offer a robotics course but when I got back to my school and developing my computer program in my elementary school, I discovered LEGO robotics and began to buy materials that would work with the Apple IIe computers -- you had to open them up and wire the controllers in. That was the beginning of my relationship to with the education community who were doing programming with the students. (I had 2-6th graders and had them doing the LOGO computer language -- that little turtle on the screen for those who remember.) I continueD that relationship when I retired in 2002 - and then was hired by Region 4 to help establish robotics programs in the schools over the next few years. And signed on as a volunteer with FIRST robotics which continues today.

In the 90s the A.I. field sort of crashed -- maybe the lack of small powerful computers was an issue. But a lot of research went on.

After I got my MA I was accepted into the Phd program and took 2 more courses before realizing it was too long a haul for a guy in his 40s and teaching full time. The last course I took was pattern recognition - the roots of artificial vision - which fascinated me until I realized I just didn't have the math background. The professor even offered my an opportunity to work with his team on artificial vision but I felt too inept in both the math and programming aspect.

The truth dawned on me around 1990 that I was not a very good programmer -- there are books on the art of programming and I didn't have a knack for that art.

Now you can't go a day without reading about A.I., the miracle of neural networks, and robots taking all the jobs.

I realized this morning after reading the Times article that even someone at my level could have worked in the field and managed pretty well -- and probably learned to be a better programmer, especially working in collaboration with others.

But going back to teaching after my 2 year break at the 20th year is not something I regret. I spent the rest of my time in the system teaching students and teachers how to use computers.

I spent another decade in my school before being hired by the district as a computer specialist for my last 4 years in the system where I worked more with teachers than students. Like after school classes where we told teachers about a new concept -- email - and actually helped them set up their first email accounts.

Here are a few more articles on A.I.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Will the UFT Hold Together Post Janus?

James Eterno:
Since our October 5 post came out on what it would take to fix the UFT internally or for the high school division to oust the UFT and start a new union, we have received some inquiries and several commitments to help with fragmenting the high schools into a separate bargaining unit but not enough to make anyone at the UFT sweat... ICE blog, Spring Creek Drivers Look to Bolt ATU To Create Own Union
James reports on the move by bus drivers in one shop to leave the Transit Workers union:
 Bus drivers who work out of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Spring Creek Depot in Brooklyn are one step closer to breaking away from Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 and forming their own union after winning the right to vote to do so when the Public Employment Relations Board last month ordered a decertification election that is expected to be held in November. Read more
 James brings this story up in the context of talk around moving to disaffiliate the high school teachers from the UFT. Between 6 and 7000 signatures would be needed. The opposition in the last election received around 2300 votes. Would it be possible to picky back on these votes to get enough signatures? And then a vote would be held in the high schools if PERB approved.

Now given Janus and the decisions people will have to make whether to stay in the union or leave, this adds an interesting wrinkle.

I have not supported a move to disaffiliate up to now but the very process of having people going around schools gathering signatures might shake the UFT/Unity tree where they might consider the kinds of concessions that would give the high school teachers who have voted for the opposition in almost every election a true voice, especially in the VP position which used to be elected by high school teachers until 1994 when Unity changed it to at-large so that even the 60,000 retirees get to vote for the HS VP.

I don't automatically go along with the moves in MORE to support a "Stay in the Union" campaign unless we see some concessions -- including taking a hard look at the salaries of our UFT, NYSUT and AFT officials. More on those salaries in future posts.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Emily James, Parental Leave in Daily News, Contacts 80,000 Supporters, Day of Action Planned for International Woman's Day

Emily James and Susan Hibdon

Emily James
New York, NY
OCT 22, 2017 — Please read and share with all your co-workers. We made this happen together!

Over 80,000 of you signed our petition to calling on on UFT President Mulgrew to fight for this.

Pres. Mulgrew had been in contact with city officials, but this needs to happen now!

Everyday that goes by is another parent having to use their days, and not getting paid after they run out.

We are planning a DAY OF ACTION for March 8th, which is international women's day. It is a really great chance to get a large group of people together to support paid family leave for UFT members.

If you have ideas or would just like to join in, please contact us at Fight4NYCDOEPaidLeave@gmail.com.

The more help we have, the better our chances for an actual change.

You guys are amazing.
Emily James and her 80,000 supporters have been a revelation. When she appeared the UFT executive board meeting a few weeks ago with her colleague Susan Hibdon, which was reported in the mainstream press at Politico  - as we reported here - What Emily James Said to Mulgrew at the UFT Ex Bd on Parental Care -  she got a response from Mulgrew who seems to be trying to jump on the bandwagon. MORE also wanted to jump on the Emily bandwagon and add the 3000 signatures they gathered last year -- every little bit helps. Emily has proven she is doing fine as is that even though she is not a long-term activist - she has been featured in the press at Chalkbeat, NY1's Lindsay Christ (a former teacher and one of the best ed reporters in the city) also interviewed her (sorry I don't have all links.)

James Eterno has a comprehensive piece on the

Her original petition is here -
Emily and family (photo by Norm Scott)

Her op ed appeared in the Sunday Daily News. (Reprinted below the break.) 
Emily has send an email to the petition signers asking for those who want to do more than sign the petition to get in touch at this email: Fight4NYCDOEPaidLeave@gmail.com

 Daily News op ed:

Debate Monday Oct 23: Is a NY State Constitutional Convention a Good Idea?

FB link

· Hosted by The Indypendent
John Tarleton invited you

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Let's Not Make George Bush a Hero -- Left Meets Right in Steve Bannon Comments

Bannon also launched a blistering attack on a former President George W. Bush — who this week delivered a rebuke of President Donald Trump — casting him as a tool of those globalists.
“President Bush embarrassed himself,’’ Bannon said, referring to him as “a piece of work.” “It is clear he didn’t understanding anything he was talking about...he had no idea whether he was coming or going — just like when he was president of the United States.’’
“There has not been a more destructive presidency than George Bush’s,’’ he said to applause.
I laughed my ass off when I heard this from Bannon. I was seething yesterday at the press was fawning over Bush's comments. Give us a break. This guy was one of the keys leading to Trump.

I never thought I would be referencing Bannon but when he often touches on some important truths worth noting - things the left has been addressing for quite some time. At some points Bannon echoes the left. Now we know it is all rhetoric as he has promoted a different version of the billionaire elite - witness the Trump cabinet.

Bannon rips Bush, Silicon Valley 'lords of technology'

In a defiant speech to California Republicans, the Breitbart chief cast the state as a linchpin in the fight to halt the globalist agenda.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Issuing a defiant call to arms to grassroots Republicans, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon railed Friday against dangerous “global elites” and the Silicon Valley “lords of technology” whom he said are robbing U.S. citizens of jobs, wealth and opportunity.
“They want all the benefits of a free society...all the benefits of this rules-based international order,’’ including lucrative trade deals and capital markets, he said, while “we the citizens of the United States...underwrite the whole thing.”

Friday, October 20, 2017

Abolish ATR Status? Unity Caucus Bellweather Peter Goodman

Abolish the ATR System, It Was Bad Policy in 2005 and Poor Policy Now. Teachers Belong in Classrooms.... Peter Goodman

Holy mother of crap --- Is a Unity stalwart now saying what Unity pushed through is bad policy?

Link sent to me by Bruce Markens -- basically the only non-Unity District rep for a decade -- the reason they ended district rep elections -- with this comment by Bruce:
Peter Goodman often "anticipates" what Unity winds up doing. If so, you should anticipate a Unity resolution arguing for abolishing ATR status.  Of course, whether such a resolution is actually implemented is a real question. The Unity folks mainly want a PR response to the very problem they created and are embarrassed by Karen Sklaire's exposing their indifference and contempt toward  ATRs  BTW, Karen's statement was brilliant..... Bruce Markens
Goodman talks about the orderly old system which was overturned by BloomKlein and Randi.
Teachers have been excessed from schools for decades, schools lost enrollment and the junior teacher was bumped and placed in another school in the district; it was an orderly procedure without favoritism or politics. In the late eighties the former Board of Education began closing schools, the Board and the Union negotiated a process; half the teachers in the replacement schools would be excess teachers from the closing school; although they did had to exhibit qualifications through an interview conducted by a Board-Union committee; once again, an orderly process.

On ATRs and APPR - Ed Notes Handout - Oct 2017

I handed this out at the DA. If you want a pdf email me at normsco@gmail.com. People should read Karen Sklaire's speech.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Rich Gibson on Ken Burns' Vietnam

I generally likes the Burns' series but here is another view even if Gibson posted this before seeing the series. But he gives the long perspective and ties a bunch of loose knots together.
I still maintain that Burns couldn't have gotten the funding for this film and it is very valuable to revisit this at this time even if not a perfect film.

The Vietnam Wars

Burns Vietnam

Boomers Teach the Grandbabies
More Lies Ahead About the Wars on Vietnam
by Rich Gibson
Go to his link to see all the photos and refs.

 I am archiving it below.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

ATRs to UFT - It is About Dignity, Don't Tell Us We Are Lucky to Have a Job

It is condescending to say I’m lucky to have a job.  I don’t feel lucky. ATR system is failing. Better to not have a job than stay and feel humiliated.
Please tell me.. where is MY protection that takes a HUGE chunk of my paycheck and tells me to sit back and obey.
Lucky not to get fired? At least if someone tried to fire me- I’d have grounds to find a lawyer and contest. You have stripped me of any rights. And now all I can do is hope that I will find something and feel like somebody before I lose myself.
I sat there all summer reading articles in papers not ONCE hearing any of MY story. The story of a 14 year award winning teacher that no one wanted. Where are those articles? 

I am a member of 2 unions- Actors Equity and the UFT. I believe in public schools and I did not ask for this. You my union has turned a blind eye on these ATRS most of whom are not there because they are a problem. Where is the article that talks about people like me?

 ---- Karen Sklaire speech to UFT Ex Bd, October 16, 2017
Karen Sklaire delivered one of the most powerful and emotional speeches to the UFT Ex Bd I've ever heard. You could hear a pin drop. And Mulgrew was even there to hear it. Kudos to Howie Schoor for being so tolerant of allowing people like Karen, who was not on his sign-up list, to have their say. Howie has done a great job of moderating what could be difficult meetings and fostering a cordial relationship between the leadership and the opposition.

Yes, where are you Kate Taylor of the NY Times with your biased reporting that turns a talented teacher like Karen into mud and makes her even more unemployable as the NY Times aids and abets what amounts to abuse?

And where is the UFT in countering that narrative?

How dare the UFT say, as they did last night, they can never change the public's minds about ATRs when they don't even try? Yes they were asked last night to counter the crap coming from reporters such as Kate Taylor and the Times editorial board.

If the UFT put Karen's speech up as a commercial she would change minds. When I heard them say that I practically leaped out of my seat when they put up pablum for commercials. I wish I had a video recorder yesterday.

[As I write this I am watching another UFT commercial about how public school proud they are -- where's their public school pride in allowing this to happen to Karen and so  many others?]

The bi-monthly MORE/New Action pre-Ex Bd meetings may be the most exciting things happening in the union for activists. Last night was no different as ATRs, led by active MORE members who are ATRs, showed up to make their case and get some answers from the UFT. (I have a lot more to say about our outstanding group of elected reps in coming days as I report on some of the rancor within MORE over their role.)

MORE and New Action High School Exec Bd reps have been doing a wonderful job since elected last year. The EB meets every 2 weeks, mostly on Mondays and we hold a pre-meeting downstairs in the back of the lobby. People who are speaking during the open mic period are invited to join the meeting and coordinate with them. For many of us, this has been among the most exciting work MORE has done.

Now I know Karen Sklaire's story because our MORE colleagues Alexandra Alves and Karen Arneson are chapter leader and delegate in her school. Alexandra and another colleague came to the EB to support Karen last night. I know that the old principal wanted to get rid of her theater program. And have followed her story through Alexandra and Karen Arneson, some of the best people I've met in MORE. I went with them to see Karen's one woman show at The Fringe a few years ago.

Arthur Goldstein reported at NYC Educator on Karen's statement:
Karen Sklaire—ATR—15 year teacher of theater—excessed.  No theater positions available. Say UFT said there was no union representation for ATRs. Second excess in 15 years. First time alone in a room for three years. Left and came back when recruited. Won RFK award in teaching, excessed two years later. Had opportunity to sub for six months—rejected by DOE. Have been assistant in 1st grade, making copies. Told by DOE can’t be placed. Told by union lucky to have job. Am pro union, has been nothing but a heartbreak. I just want to say it’s heartbreaking and I’m ready to leave. Condescending to say I’m lucky to have a job.  I don’t feel lucky. ATR system is failing. Better to not have a job than stay and feel humiliated. Schools won’t see me because I’m ATR with 15 years. Only people fighting for me are DOE theater program people.
He also reported on other great statements (sorry I don't have a transcript of these remarks as I do of Karen's).
Gina Trent—English teacher for 17 years, mostly as ATR. Grateful UFT preserved salary and benefits. However, you should fight for more quality of life issues. Most of my colleagues envy ATR position. Disturbing. Many young people leave with health issues and stress. We need to try to get principals accountable where all teachers have no trust. We need to place pressure. We need to defend ATRs and senior teachers. Research suggests we are the most effective. 
And MORE associates:
Aixa Rodriguez—ESL teacher and ATR, rated HE—No vacancies for ESL in Bronx HS—CR Part 154 makes courses double counted so there are no vacancies. Asks that stereotyping FSF, be challenged by UFT. Leads to rampant ageism.

August Leppelmeier—NYT maligned character of ATRs. Very unfair. Most ATRs excessed for downsizing. Somehow city isn’t placing ESL teachers. Those charged have been cleared. If not, they’d be fired. UFT needs to stand by concept that people are exonerated. Expects union to fight in press with ads, speak publicly, use social media. Has been going on since June. We expect more.

Karen was kind enough to send me her written version of the speech, though I wish you saw Karen, who is trained to be in front of a crowd, in person. Too bad the UFT doesn't allow taping - if they put Karen's speech on line it would have an impact.

 Karen Sklaire's speech (which she said were talking notes).
Good Evening

My name is Karen Sklaire. I am entering my 15th year as a theater teacher for the DOE. I am the 2015 recipient of The Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Honor as a teacher and actor creating the first world wide theater lesson that has been translated in over 22 languages. 

As a theater teacher I have created curriculum for K-5 theater teachers, was one of the original teachers who rolled out the Blueprint for the Arts, I created the first Robert F Kennedy human rights theater camp merging human rights education and theater as a way of teaching empathy in the classroom. The camp gave scholarships to underserved communities. I have merged with Broadway Theaters to bring students to their first Broadway production and directed many shows. My curriculum is significant in ESL, ELL and ENL communities as a way of teaching children to understand the language through their body and learn how to enunciate. I am currently on the DOE facilitator team for theater where I’ll be leading a workshop at the city wide Professional Development this coming November on using empathy in Playwriting. 

I have been a highly effective teacher up until the last year. where my principal did not visit my classroom till March and gave me effectives across the board because she was told to not give out highly effectives. I am now an ATR. This is my second time. 

In 2007 I was excessed within the first month of school and made to sit alone in a room only to sub very rarely at the school I was at at the time. I was forced to take the first job which was a high school in The Bronx that moved the principal to strategically punish me until I quit. 

I came back a year later after being sought after because of my reputation as an excellent hard working teacher. My principal did not inform me of being excessed till the week before school ended. All really qualifiable positions had been filled already and budgets were in place. I spent the summer applying to as many jobs as I could but only ONE called me in as they needed a music teacher and could I do that. Which I cannot. 

I was told the word ATR was like the scarlet letter of teaching. Either my salary was too high or they didn’t trust me because of my status. 

I sat there all summer reading articles in papers not ONCE hearing any of MY story. The story of a 14 year award winning teacher that no one wanted. Where are those articles? 

I have been kicked around this year in the most demeaning way. A principal told me that the DOE is trying to get me to leave which is why they said NO to any long term sub positions that would have had me actually WORK for my salary instead of being an assistant for a 24 year old first grade teacher. I remember sitting in a closet filing her papers in her portfolios crying and wondering why I was being punished. 

The Union person I spoke to said that I consider myself lucky that I still have a job. I wondered if that person would say to a person who was in an abusive relationshop- your lucky your not alone. 

It was not their fault- that is what they are told to say. And I have heard it over and over. I even have an award winning show about it. Every opportunity I had to possibly get placed the DOE stood in my way. The union said that's the rules. I have experienced a nervous breakdown and have still showed up to my demeaning position. I had the heads of arts and special programs and a current part time gig I have scream at the DOE saying they got the wrong person lost in the system. There IS NO job for me on this October 16 except a possible 3 day a week gig in Inwood. I’m currently subbing in a performing arts school in the Bronx. My commute for both is about one hour and 40 minutes. I am exhausted and I have too much talent and a huge resume and no one to hire me. I can't imagine enduring this for a whole year so it’s up to me to move my home so I can probably take a lesser paying gig to keep my sanity. 

I am a member of 2 unions- Actors Equity and the UFT. I believe in public schools and I did not ask for this. You my union has turned a blind eye on these ATRS most of whom are not there because they are a problem. Where is the article that talks about people like me? How much emotional abuse must I endure before I break?
Please tell me.. where is MY protection that takes a HUGE chunk of my paycheck and tells me to sit back and obey.
Lucky not to get fired? At least if someone tried to fire me- I’d have grounds to find a lawyer and contest. You have stripped me of any rights. And now all I can do is hope that I will find something and feel like somebody before I lose myself.
Her website is Karen Sklaire 
Karen will be doing a benefit for Puerto Rico in November www.rippleofhopeshow.com

Monday, October 16, 2017

Luis Reyes on UFT: I believe in social change, redemption and renewal

UFT/Unity Caucus leadership lauded as a social justice org.

I posted the NY Times article on the American role in undermining democracy in Chile in the early 70s on various listserves (US Role in Chile Horror: And They Worry About Russian Meddling?)
and mentioned the role our union leaders played there. Luis Reyes, long-time social justice activist here in the city and beyond made the following comment. I am posting this as a message to people and caucuses like MORE that think they can outflank the union leadership on SJ issues. A group of us in MORE have been contending that if we want to challenge the UFT leadership, it has to be on issues where they have not supported the members, not on how social justicey they are.

Norm and all:

I believe in social change, redemption and renewal. On Saturday, I was honored by the UFT at their ELLevating Conference with the Luis O. Reyes ELL Advocacy Award in the UFT auditorium filled with more than 1,000 teachers and teacher leaders. The honor goes to many who made this moment possible.

In the 1970s, Albert Shanker (R.I.P.), wrote in his NY Times column  that bilingual education was "...unamerican and separatist."

 In 1984, I reached out to  Sandra Feldman (R.I.P.), to start a dialogue with the UFT leadership. Latino and other bilingual leaders met with leaders of the UFT; and, together we started a movement that resulted in the UFT changing its position on bilingual education and supporting state LEP Aid. Today Evelyn DeJesus, a Puerto Rican bilingual educator from the Lower East Side is the Vice President for Education and Carmen Alvarez continues to be the V.P. for Special Education. 

Today, Michael Mulgrew, the President of the UFT, and Randi Weingarten, the President of the AFT, have been leaders in the the AFL-CIO union coalition sending relief union volunteers, emergency supplies, and donations to the Hurricane Maria Relief efforts in Puerto Rico. The UFT sent 30 school nurses and others there this past week. We are rebuilding Puerto Rico, reconstructing professional relationships, and preparing to receive children, families, and, yes, teachers from Puerto Rico and the Caribbean to New York City and New York State. 

Yes, I am eternally grateful and appreciative of social change, redemption and renewal.


Luis O. Reyes

Sunday, October 15, 2017

US Role in Chile Horror: And They Worry About Russian Meddling?

There is a cable from the Central Intelligence Agency to its officers in Santiago after a failed operation in October 1970 to prevent Allende from assuming office, which he did that November. The C.I.A. provided weapons for the plan, which resulted in the killing of the commander in chief of the army, Gen. René Schneider, and the agency later sent money to help some of the plotters flee the country. “The station has done an excellent job of guiding Chileans to a point today where a military solution is at least an option for them,” the cable says, commending the officers, even though their plot was foiled.

There is no more outrageous story to read today than this one, especially for those who continue to harp on Russian interference, which if it happened pales in comparison what the CIA, etc did and continues to do all over the world interfering everywhere. Another story pops up every day. Read this one in Chile -- which by the way had our own union leader Al Shanker involved using the CIA influenced AFLD to try to undermine leftist teacher unions in Chile.

The American Federation of Teachers and the CIA by George N. Schmidt


Also see:

Documenting U.S. Role in Democracy’s Fall and Dictator’s Rise in Chile


SANTIAGO, Chile — An old rotary phone rings insistently.
Visitors at a new exhibition at the Museum of Memory and Human Rights here in Santiago who pick up the receiver hear two men complain bitterly about the liberal news media “bleating” over the military coup that had toppled Salvador Allende, the Socialist president of Chile, five days earlier.
“Our hand doesn’t show on this one, though,” one says.
“We didn’t do it,” the other responds. “I mean, we helped them.”
The conversation took place on a Sunday morning in September 1973 between former President Richard M. Nixon and his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger. The two men were discussing football — and the violent overthrow of a democratically elected government 5,000 miles away with their assistance.
For the exhibition, two Spanish-speaking actors re-enacted the taped phone call based on a declassified transcript.
The chance to listen in on the call is part of “Secrets of State: The Declassified History of the Chilean Dictatorship,” an exhibition that offers visitors an immersive experience of Washington’s intervention in Chile and its 17-year relationship with the military dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.
Continue reading the main story
A dimly lit underground gallery guides visitors through a maze of documents — presidential briefings, intelligence reports, cables and memos — that describe secret operations and intelligence gathering carried out in Chile by the United States from the Nixon years through the Reagan presidency.


“There is an arc of history that is very dramatic when you put these documents together,” said Peter Kornbluh, the exhibition’s curator who is a senior analyst at the National Security Archive in Washington and director of its Chile Documentation Project. “They have provided revelations and made headlines, they have been used as evidence in human rights prosecutions, and now they are contributing to the verdict of history.”
On view are documents revealing secret exchanges about how to prevent Chile’s Congress from ratifying the Allende victory in 1970, plans for covert operations to destabilize his government and reports about a Chilean military officer informing the United States government of the coming coup and requesting assistance.
There is a cable from the Central Intelligence Agency to its officers in Santiago after a failed operation in October 1970 to prevent Allende from assuming office, which he did that November. The C.I.A. provided weapons for the plan, which resulted in the killing of the commander in chief of the army, Gen. René Schneider, and the agency later sent money to help some of the plotters flee the country.
“The station has done an excellent job of guiding Chileans to a point today where a military solution is at least an option for them,” the cable says, commending the officers, even though their plot was foiled.
The exhibition includes only a small sample of the 23,000 documents on Chile that the Clinton administration declassified between 1999 and 2000 in response to international requests for evidence on Pinochet’s crimes. The former Chilean dictator was arrested in London in October 1998 and awaited extradition to Spain to face trial on charges of human rights abuses during his rule.
As several other European countries also sought Pinochet’s extradition based on the principle of universal jurisdiction, Mr. Kornbluh, the curator, led a campaign to persuade the White House to release classified records that could serve in an eventual trial against the general.
Documents on Chile from 1968 to 1991 from seven United States government agencies, some of them heavily redacted, were released as part of the State Department’s Chile Declassification Project. Most were declassified months after Pinochet was sent home from London for humanitarian reasons, but just in time to contribute to new judicial investigations in Chile.
The documents have been used as evidence in several human rights inquiries involving American victims, including the 1973 killings in Chile of Frank Teruggi and Charles Horman; the 1976 car bomb assassination of Orlando Letelier, a foreign minister and defense minister in the Allende administration, and his American colleague, Ronni Karpen Moffitt, in Washington; the 1985 disappearance in Chile of Boris Weisfeiler, an American professor; and the killing of Rodrigo Rojas, a Chilean-born United States citizen who was burned alive by soldiers in Chile in 1986.

Copies of the front pages of dozens of newspapers during the Pinochet era, on view in the exhibition.CreditTomas Munita for The New York Times 

They have also shed light on Operation Condor, a network of South American intelligence services in the 1970s and ’80s that shared information, traded prisoners and orchestrated assassinations abroad. The head of DINA, Chile’s clandestine intelligence agency, Gen. Manuel Contreras, was the mastermind behind Condor, and hosted an inaugural meeting in November 1975 in Santiago.
In the exhibition, the seats at a rectangular table bear the names of the intelligence chiefs of Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile who attended Operation Condor’s first meeting. A layer of earth covers the table, and brushes are provided for visitors to reveal what is beneath: the names of Condor victims, many of whom vanished without a trace.
Nearby, copies of the front pages of dozens of newspapers from the Pinochet era hang from a panel simulating a kiosk. They were all published by the conservative media empire El Mercurio, which received at least $2 million from the C.I.A.
The records in the exhibition also profile Pinochet, trace intelligence gathering on brutal state-sponsored repression and detail how the Reagan government abandoned Pinochet to his fate in 1988, fearing a further radicalization of the opposition.
“These documents have helped us rewrite Chile’s contemporary history,” said Francisco Estévez, director of the museum. “This exhibit is a victory in the fight against negationism, the efforts to deny and relativize what happened during our dictatorship.”
The Memory and Human Rights Museum opened in 2010 during the first term of President Michelle Bachelet and offers a chronological reconstruction of the 17-year Pinochet government through artifacts, recordings, letters, videos, photographs, artwork and other material. About 150,000 people visit the museum annually, a third of them groups of students, Mr. Estévez said.
The National Security Archive donated a selection of 3,000 declassified documents to the museum several years ago, while the State Department provided the Chilean government with copies of the entire collection. Chileans, however, have rarely seen them.
“To see on a piece of paper, for example, the president of the United States ordering the C.I.A. to preemptively overthrow a democratically elected president in Chile is stunning,” Mr. Kornbluh said. “The importance of having these documents in the museum is for the new generations of Chileans to actually see them.”