Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Jamaica Chapter Thanks Randi

by James Eterno UFT Chapter Leader Jamaica High School

We criticize the UFT leaders when we believe they are wrong but we should also applaud them when they do right by us as they did today. There is no doubt at all that UFT President Randi Weingarten was 100% supportive today with regard to events happening at Jamaica High School.

Jamaica was in the news because of a leaked memo from last spring that directed deans not to call 911. Unfortunately, a girl suffered a stroke after this memo was put out and there was a delay in her receiving help because of the ridiculous directive.

We fought the directive and it was soon thereafter reversed with the help of the UFT.

Now that the issue has hit the news in full force, the UFT leadership has been in our corner at Jamaica. Randi spoke to me twice this afternoon and she also had Chris Policano and Ron Davis from the UFT communication's department talk to me. In addition, they were very encouraging when I was talking to the media.

Even though I ended up on the cutting room floor at CNN, I felt completely supported by the UFT leadership as well as ICE as Jeff Kaufman provided valuable advice too. The statement from the UFT President is printed below.

Statement by United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten:

"What happened at Jamaica High School is a horrible consequence of the pressure many school communities, particularly principals, feel to not report serious incidents in their schools or to minimize their significance in order to avoid schools being labeled as ineffective or persistently dangerous. For a school administrator to forbid calls to 911 shows how far one can stray from common sense and basic decency when the system is set up to discourage the reporting of incidents in schools.

"Accountability systems -- school report cards, for example -- must give credit for complete reporting of incidents, not penalize it. We must reverse the "Catch-22" that now exists, in which schools that step up and report incidents are punished. The system needs real incentives that make it possible for administrators to be open and honest about what is going on so that their schools can get the help and resources they need and parents can make informed decisions regarding their children's well-being."

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Say something nice about Randi and nobody has anything to say. Are people that stunned? Where's the Unity gang on this one to say how terrible ICE is?

Anonymous said...

I hope you are still thanking me when there are 12 mini schools in Jamaica and the entire staff are ATR's.
Thanks boys. I'm the best.
RW

Anonymous said...

Isn't the UFT supposed to prevent this from happening?

Anonymous said...

Want to buy a bridge?

Anonymous said...

Would that be in London or Brooklyn?

Anonymous said...

ICE is terrible for saying something nice about Randi. When are you joining New Action?

Anonymous said...

Hey, anon., 7:50 pm -

ICE didn't make this comment. James did. Unfortunately, people are bound to think he speaks for the group because he and Jeff held seats on the exec. board. But, he doesn't necessarily.

ICE stands for Independent Community of Educators. It was designed for educators who wanted to talk through the most important issues affecting education. The name evolved after a long discussion on how the original members wanted to think of themselves. Thus: independent (individualists), and community (a group with common interests).

Some people are appalled that James thought this was in the best interest of ICE to post this, but then again: this caucus is made up of independently thinking individuals, and the group cares about the individuality of thought. Would that the rest of the union acted in the same manner.

I suspect James has reasons to put this up on the blog, but I'm not sure they have much to do with ICE.

Anonymous said...

My Thank You to Randi:

I understand that the Exec Board voted unanimously to stop the hire of new teachers until all ATRs are placed.

THANK YOU RANDI FOR TRYING TO CORRECT YOUR OWN MISTAKE, AND FINALLY WAKING UP TO THE FACT THAT THE 05 CONTRACT WAS A BIG MISTAKE AND WHILE YOUR VOTE MAY MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER, IT DOES NOTHING FOR THE ATRS.

ed notes online said...

Exactly. The vote of the Exec Bd is for PR purposes only. Think Klein gives a shit? Unity opened the barn door and now they are putting up a sign that says "Door open, someone please close it, we certainly can't."

How about showing results -- like get the city council or state leg or state ed dept to do something.

How? if it is recognized that experience counts in terms of qualified teacher than show how the average experience has dropped drastically and therefore the policies of the DOE have lowered teaching wuality on the whole -- not as MAizie on Edwize says it is the best ever.

Anonymous said...

"too little, too late for atr's..." although the way things are going at the "small learning community" I made the unfortunate mistake in transferring to - and where I am now FORCED to teach out-of-license because THEY ARE NOT OFFERING MY SUBJECT THIS YEAR - (even though it's required for high school diploma) - and the inmates (students) are running the asylum...perhaps being an atr is a blessing in disguise at the moment - and why wouldn't ANY PERSON WITH HALF A BRAIN NOT CALL 911 WHEN A CHILD IS CLEARLY IN MEDICAL TROUBLE SPEAKS MORE TO THE "SAVING MY OWN ASS" MENTALITY OF A MAJORITY OF NYC TEACHERS THAN IT DOES OF AN ASSHOLE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION. clearly WE are as much - maybe MORE -to blame for our INACTION and LACK OF MORAL COMPASS than the usual moron suspects e.g. 99% of most building hack administrators.

Anonymous said...

Is James Eterno the sanist of you guys?

Stay retired norm!

Anonymous said...

I've got an idea don't deal with this issue
http://edwize.org/nclb-its-getting-serious#comments
it's beyond your scope.

Anonymous said...

To annon:

Is it sane to say that ATRs are getting wonderful treatment???

James has every right to thank Randi for her help, but you have no right to put down Norm for telling the truth about the contract.

Woodlass said...

Why is it when you get a comment like Anon's at 12:57 a.m. you know it's a Unity hack?

Lack of substance, inane personalization, red herrings. Just pass over these. They're so irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

If ICE is going to claim it is not a knee jerk opposition, then when the UFT does right, there is no harm in pointing it out.

ed notes online said...

Dear Unity slug:
What Unity needs is just a little more insanity.

Show me where the UFT actually does right and just doesn't talk about it for PR purposes? You were the one who pointed out that rediculous edwize piece as if that is a sign of doing something. Typical Unity mentality.

Your obsession with my retirement speaks of s serious emotional problem.

Anonymous said...

We love Norm.

Mrs. Scott

Anonymous said...

That last comment says it all.