I know a number of fairly recent LaGuardia grads from my theater work and they have been telling me this stuff for years and have not been happy but had no mechanism to organize around.The LaGuardia HS alum could be a powerful force but the UFT was the only agency with the money and outreach to do it. They didn't.... LGHS Principal Lisa Mars is an apparatchik - she has that in common with most people in Unity Caucus.See Daily News coverage here: https://www.nydailynews.com/
The UFT is too big a player to absolve itself
The timidity of the UFT/Unity Caucus leadership is infuriating. The UFT was pretty silent when Bloomberg destroyed most of the vocational ed programs and closed down school after school. Entire shops were tossed out in the street.
The UFT leadership seemed to philosophically agree with the DOE that voc-ed was somehow racist - that academics and college were the way to go.
LaGuardia is one of the few trade schools left where skills trumped academics. That doesn't make it an easy school to manage - many of the students are flamboyant and "active." So Lisa Mars was sent in by Farina to tighten it up and raise the academic standing at the expense of the talent. This is right in line with the policies of the past 2 decades.
There are people in the UFT taking background credit for the no confidence votes at LaGuardia and Forest Hills HS - two schools with Unity Caucus chapter leaders. And one thing we know about Unity CLs - they won't make a serious move against a principal without top-level UFT approval.
This was a comment on the ICEUFT blog (LA GUARDIA HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS PROTEST; TEACHERS VOTE NO CONFIDENCE IN PRINCIPAL) that defended the actions of the UFT:
The UNION members in the school are the ones who were pursuing the No-confidence. The UFT have been involved the entire time, but they do not control the administrators, that would be the DOE. The DOE has know about this principal for years, and they do/did nothing, including ignoring high up UFT people complaining about what is going on. The anti-union trolls should not post about this, LaGuardia is a UNION school.I responded to the Unity apologist:
What a crock. This is not new. Ed Notes has been reporting on the LaGuardia story for years so this is an old story.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016: Stop La Guardia HS for Arts Principal Lisa Mars From Changing Culture of SchoolSo what exactly has the UFT done since August 2016 - almost 3 years?
Wednesday, January 11, 2017- Update: Lisa Mars, LaGuardia's Failing Principal Gets Tenure!
A follow-up response
...Hey Ed Notes,The commentor should have been feeding the UFT leadership instead of me.
I’m not Unity. But I’m a member of the UFT.
I’m one of several people who have been feeding you information about LaGuardia (for years).
We continue to fight, but it is difficult when the DOE does not care or listen. The UFT does not control the hiring and firing practices, that’s the DOE job.
We have been working with newer teachers, they know the truth (and the contract) -why do you think the no-confidence vote was 119 -15?
Let’s see what happens now that our school has spent the weekend on the news, in most newspapers, and all over the internet.
How about some positive thoughts for LaGuardia?
I have been in contentious debates over the years with people who make these kinds of arguments. And I am sending positive thoughts for LaGuardia but am not letting the UFT off the hook.
My problem is that the UFT has a PR machine that is massive. They could have been hammering away for years but didn't. That is the persistent question about so many schools. You can't pat the UFT on the back for doing stuff behind the scenes while principals weed out people they don't want and the UFT sits on its hands.I remember teachers at LaG complaining about the Unity CL who pushed the 2014 contract down their throats then lost the election (UFT Contract: Roseanne McCosh Responds to Unity Caucus Criticism) for CL that year but seems to be back. Unity CLs are so beholden to the leadership that they can neglect to take firm actions in the interests of the membership. I remember the Unity CL of Forest Hills HS castigating people for going to the blogs and the newspapers.
I know a number of LaG grads from my theater work and they have been telling me this stuff for years. The LaG alum could be a powerful force but the UFT was the only agency with the money and outreach to do it. They didn't.
In the FHHS situation, the NY Teacher published an article by Arthur Goldstein supporting the teachers. That was a bit of progress. Why aren't regular NY Teacher reporters doing hard-hitting more official pieces on these schools, making it more official that the leadership was not hiding?
Here are the stories, petitions, etc.
Students Protest LaGuardia's Illegal Admission Policies!
LaGuardia High shared an update on Bring Fame Back to the "Fame" School! Check it out and leave a comment: