Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Is Randi Calling for Gubernatorial Control Next? When will she ever Learn?

The following is an excerpt of an article entitled "See Spitzer having a Bigger School Say" from The Chief Leader December 22, 2006…

Randi is on a panel with one of the State Regents and a CFE director.

Ms. Tisch {the regent} said that in light of Mr. Spitzer committing significant additional money to the schools, ''There is the possibility of giving [him] an awful lot of say in educational policy in the state."

Ms. Weingarten concurred, saying, 'If the Governor is going to take this kind of responsibility, there has to be some power [vested in his office] to affect that policy."

Her belief she told the audience in the New School's Theresa lang Community and Student Center, reflected political reality rather than a conclusion that mayoral control had been a positive step in the city school system. The UFT plans to set up its own task force to evaluate the impact of creating the Department of Education as a city agency, Ms. Weingarten said, explaining that some of her members vehemently oppose mayoral control because "they do not get to exercise the latitude that good Teachers should get to exercise."

'Relentless Test Prep'

In the past, Ms. Weingarten was sharply critical of Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein's school curricula, arguing that he had stripped teachers of the discretion that was both vital to creative instruction and a prerogative to which senior staff was entitled. In an interview after the forum, she said she had come to believe that the strictures under the Federal No Child Left Behind Law, rather than mayoral control, were primarily responsible for the onerous changes in the city system that included "relentless focus on test prep, re-designing schools."

Didn't Chicago have a corporate style Mayoral takeover of the schools with an emphasis on testing and redesigning schools before No Child Left Behind was passed?

  • ICE said that there might be a deal brewing on renewing mayoral control and now Randi is blaming No Child Left Behind instead of BloomKlein?
  • Do we need another politician (the Governor) taking more control over the public schools?

ICE thinks teachers, not politicians, need to be empowered and that is one of the big reasons why we need new UFT leadership.


Anonymous said...

You guys are playing your watchdog role.This is why we need an opposition. People who aren't on the payroll who are questioning what is going on.

A Strong, Proud ICE member said...

Posted by a Strong, Proud ICE member

Shhhhh. Don’t tell any teachers in New York about this---

Excuse me most honorable critics at UTP:

With great temerity I post here some information about the fact that 50% of the secondary school teachers went out on strike in France on December 18 over having to work longer hours and as a protest against the planned obligation for teachers to teach subjects which are not their specialty (a French teacher being obliged to teach history, for example) and the plan to make teachers teach in schools in different towns.

But why would you be intersted in freak’n France?

Oh, I know. Recent posts will strike a cord in good old Vichy –
I surrender!

Let us know when you are teaching half your day in Hoboken.

Anonymous said...

yeah, maybe a sports blog would be better!

Anonymous said...

From Class Size Matters

Last week, we were in Washington DC to talk about Mayoral control at the invitation of Parent Watch; I went with two Class Size Matters members, Eugenia Simmons-Taylor of District 4 and Monica Ayuso of District 28.

We had a great time, although the visit was too short. We were invited along with parents from Chicago from PURE (Parents United for Responsible Education), who have been suffering under Mayoral control for almost ten years. It’s amazing the similarities between our experiences and theirs. More privatization, more charter schools, less parent input, more policies put into place that are good political sound bites but that hurt rather than help kids.

The DC parents really appreciated our sharing our views; also in attendance were several reporters and staff members from their City Council, who will have to approve the changeover to Mayoral control if and when it happens in DC. My presentation, called “Mayoral Control: Are we better off now?” is posted here:

Thanks so much to all of you who sent me your comments; I gave copies of them to the DC parents, officials and reporters who were present. This document, called “Buyer Beware,” includes the remarks of Rob Caloras, CDEC President from District 26, Queens, Tim Johnson, President of CPAC, Kathleen Bullock-McCoy, CCHS rep from the Bronx, JoAnne Scichilone from the Special Education Parent Panel, Dorothy Giglio, long time parent leader and CPAC rep from District 22 in Brooklyn, as well as many other extremely insightful parents. It’s posted here:

Anonymous said...

Two important years relating to Dred Scott's case are 1847 and 1857. Ironically, at least 150 years later in 2007 another dreadful decision is about to be made. The Missouri State Board of Education is poised to decide to replace the current elected Board of Education with an unelected three-member transitional team picked by the governor, the city's mayor, and aldermanic president. Such a decision will take autonomy out of the hands of local voters and elected officials. Just as Scott lost his freedom and York failed to gain his, so the St. Louis Public School district stands to lose its freedom.

Anonymous said...

As for the original post, why don't you quote the enitre article in which Randi demands small class sizes and teacher respect? It is because you pick and choose your quotes just like my AP.

Anonymous said...

Randi demands small-class size and teacher respect. Meanwhile, she enables mayoral control, fails to make class size a contractual demand, places us on perpetual hall patrol, and applauds school closings which will dump hundreds of UFT members in the ATR.

Inaction speaks louder than words.

Anonymous said...

NYC Educator has it right.

Also, Norm often tells us to watch what Randi does and not what she says. He is also correct however, because Randi/Unity talk out of so many sides of their mouths sometimes, people can often figure out where Unity is heading by digging deep inside of articles and that is why this piece is so interesting.

If you want to read the whole article, then buy the Chief Leader or wait for it to be posted on line.

Anonymous said...

And what about the future of the "culprits" of the cheating scandal at JOHN F. KENNEDY HIGH SCHOOL
What about Wagner High School- What about the small school at Stevenson High School-

Surely, it is easy to cast blame on our members- and send them to the "reassignment centers"-

The Open Door Policy of Cheating- Do it until you are caught- and when you are caught cast immediate blame on the teachers (only)

Enough is enough....

Maria Colon
former Chapter Leader of JFK H.S

Anonymous said...

"Randi demands small class size and teacher respect" and then extends a contract that does neither. Give me a break. If you can make a statement like that, Randi is you AP.

Anonymous said...

Either Norm needs hearing aides or reading glasses. Class size comes with a price. I don't want to give part of my salary to pay for smaller classes. It's that simple.

Anonymous said...

Don't want to give up part of your salary to reduce class size? Here's an idea. Raise class size and get a higher salary. Amounts to the same thing. Bet Klein will give a nice raise if they can dump 40 in your class and get rid of a few more teachers. And if the UFT always took your position, there would be no class size limits in the contract.

I have another idea for you. Why give up salary to buy supplies for schools? Imagine if they got rid of the rugs -- look how much more you can make. And toilet paper? Get 50 cents more a week and BYOR (Bring Your Own Roll.)

Anonymous said...

You shouldn't have to. It's preposterous to assume that teachers are responsible to pay for class size. They certainly don't do so in other parts of the area, where they're paid more than we are.

It was Randi, of course, who deliberately worded it as such in the petitions, so that she could justify taking no action whatsoever, which is precisely what she did.

It's that simple.

Anonymous said...

Thursday, December 28, 2006
What's 1/3 Plus 1/4?

UFT President Randi Weingarten doesn't know. This may explain why she's so keen on contracts that fail to meet inflation, like the last two she accepted with little or no negotiation.

I'm no math whiz, but I was helping my fifth-grader convert fractions to common denominators and decimals two weeks ago. I've got a handle on that whole 3 times 4 thing.

As Rhoda Morgenstern said, "I don't like to brag, but I'm a high school graduate."

Thanks to Retired Teacher.

From NYC Educator

Anonymous said...

Brilliant comment on negotiations. Obviously you were there and were able to make all of the assessments on what occurred. Ask James Eterno and Jeff Kaufman what occurred. Never mind they won't talk about it because they are too embarrassed the that the good contract was passed before there eyes and did nothing in contributing to it.