Sunday, January 11, 2009


by James Eterno, UFT Chapter Leader, Jamaica High School

According to a press release from the UFT and the Union's weekly Chapter Leader Update, a ruling from State Education Commissioner Richard Mills has given the UFT and parents a major victory on School Leadership Teams. In December of 2007 the DOE had changed Chancellor's Regulation A-655, which covers SLT's, so that principals were given final decision making authority on school Comprehensive Education Plans, thus making parents and teachers only advisory members of the SLT's. Mills' December 31, 2008 ruling said this was improper. The UFT Chapter Leader Update from yesterday said, "The ruling means that your (the Chapter Leader) role on your school's leadership will again be decisive, not just advisory." Principals, however, will retain final authority over school budgets so this is not a complete win.

A parent from Queens, Marie Pollicino, had complained to the State that the 2007 revision of Regulation A-655 that gave the Principal final say on Comprehensive Education Plans violated State Education law. The UFT and other parents joined in the appeal to Mills. According to the UFT press release, the DOE will now have to revise the language of the regulation in consultation with the UFT, the Principals' union (CSA) and a committee representing parents. These groups will need to approve the new regulation also. UFT President Randi Weingarten said, "This is a great victory for parents and educators."

She didn't mention anywhere in her statement nor did the UFT in their press release or Chapter Leader update that it was me who called for the UFT to join the parents in their appeal to the State. I made the proposal in an amendment to a UFT Delegate Assembly resolution on SLT's last January. (ICE sponsored that DA amendment.) The amendment carried unanimously at the DA and in February the UFT joined the appeal.

We thank the UFT for joining with the parents and we hope that the UFT will acknowledge our role in involving the Union in this case.

As we look ahead, we now need the Union to explain to each of our members who sits on a School Leadership Team and each parent on an SLT what our roles really are. Every school needs true shared decision making. Maybe this ruling from Mills will be the first step in moving toward real parent, teacher and student empowerment.


SpedMuse said...

This is a HUGE victory for STUDENTS, the SLT and the communities they serve. Every once in a while, I believe we need to remember we are working to ensure our children are educated, and their needs come first; before power trips, egos and other agendas.

Chaz said...

Good job James. Maybe this is the beginning of the end of Kleinberg destroying the system. It is time for the teachers, parents, and students to band together to revise the Chancellor's regulations to make them fairer to all.

Anonymous said...


so, you're more concerned about getting credit than having parents and UFTers having say in CEP?

sounds selfish to me

just like ICE

I take
C redit for
E verything

Remember, once you present amendment at DA it becomes property of the body.

The entire body passed it, the entire body takes credit.

Pogue said...

"Sometimes you gotta' work the body so the head will fall."

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

(somehow deleted from the last comment)


Anonymous said...

I would like to hear what Ty Johnson, the future ICE UFT President, has to say about this.

Anonymous said...

First, I would like to say that I am thrilled that people have become so receptive to my candidacy. Just like Eliot Spitzer I will try my best to not disappoint you all. I will most likely be successful though.

Mr. Eterno should take all of the credit that he is due. This was a well thought out resolution that will hopefully have a great impact. For the nay sayers who think that we have to take individual accolades, I would just like to say that you are failing to acknowledge that ICE is the pulse of the UFT. We will be the judge, jury, and executioner when I take the helm.

I will comment further later. Now, I must seek guidance from my tarot deck.

Ty Johnson; BBA, MS, MPIA, J.D., D.P.M., Future UFT ICE President, former member of the Doobie Brothers, and personally recognized as a good samaritan by Judge Judy in 1998.

Jim Calantjis said...

As someone who was intimately involved,I wish to personally thank James Eterno for sponsoring the SLT amendment as it led to the UFT joining the Pollicino v. NYCDOE appeal.The UFT involvement gave the status of the appeal a big lift.

The SLT still has responsibility for aligning the budget with the CEP. The Commissioner also stated that SLT's must be consulted for budget input before the principal makes budget decisions.

We have a chance to restore SLT's power to develop the budget by lobbying for strengthening State Education Law 2590-r(School Based Budgeting) when it is renewed in June 2009.

James Calantjis
SLT Empowerment Alliance
718 458-4237

Anonymous said...

Good idea.

Unitymustgo! said...

Congrats James, well deserved.

Sorry to go off topic, but I was asked a question today about the start of the coming new school year. Never realized Labor Day is so late this year, Monday the 7th. How will this affect next school year? If I'm correct the start of the school year is contractual, so Kids should start Tuesday the 8th?


ed notes online said...

ICE and Credit
Who cares about "credit?" What lies behind James' post is the utter dereliction of duty of the UFT leadership. Jame is too polite. What James' post points out is that without an active and engaged opposition, Unity will do little to protect anyone. You mean the geniuses who run the union couldn't see this and had to have little ole ice lead the way?

To Unity hack, now that you "own" our resolution put it up on ebay and see what you can get for it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Norman, who cares about credit? It was the right thing to do to give people a greater voice in their schools. Under Klein principals have become despots and really it is nothing in comparison to what I intend to do as the ICE UFT president. Glorious times are in our immediate future!

In regard to ebay and the Unity hack that wants to put our resolution on it, all I will say is this. I once had an ebay account because I used to collect Three Stooges memorabilia and my account was hacked and they used it to buy a piece of toast that supposedly had the image of Jesus on it. I now know that ebay should not be trusted, it is a tool of the devil. Chancellor Klein probably uses ebay.

Ty Johnson; BBA, MS, MPIA, J.D., D.P.M., Future UFT ICE President, inspiration for the Sweat Hogs, and personally recognized as a good samaritan by Judge Judy in 1998.

Anonymous said...

Only Mr. Unity would start a fight over a victory for the UFT and parents. Norm you shouldn't take the bait. This is a win. I'm not exactly popping corks on bubbly but I'm glad we worked together with the leadership on this one. It worked.

James Eterno

Anonymous said...

When the Hudson gets parted, can it be done west to east to provide an alternate route from Jersey?

Do the Tarot cards say it's possible?

some folks are more gullible than others.

Gone Fishin...

Anonymous said...

When the Hudson gets parted, can it be done west to east to provide an alternate route from Jersey?

Do the Tarot cards say it's possible?

some folks are more gullible than others.

Gone Fishin...

Anonymous said...

Unity Must Go- The kids will start on the 8th of September and we will come back on the 3rd for two days of staff torture.

Anonymous said...

Must have been an oversight.
How could she let ICE get away with this?
She may not have noticed that ICE initiated the idea.
Oh well, something good finally sneaked through!

Anonymous said...

Having something good sneak through is not bad for us.

Anonymous said...

We should not have to sneak anything in. ICE is the only voice in the UFT. ICE should storm the gates of 52 Broadway and take control like Tiananmen Square.

This reminds me of a movie which reminded me of the classic blunders. The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line. I am 1/16 Sicilian.

Vote TY Johnson for ICE UFT President! We must keep hope alive, it is time for a change, and 1,000 points of light.

Ty Johnson; BBA, MS, MPIA, J.D., D.P.M., Future UFT ICE President, belovedly know as the 5th Beatle, and personally recognized as a good samaritan by Judge Judy in 1998.

Anonymous said...

Since ICE thinks it's democratic to have an idiot like Ty leave messages, I have a confession to make: He's funny. Guess that makes me an idiot too.

Anonymous said...

Ty Johnson and ICE are not here to amuse you. This is serious. The rubber rooms are funny? Budget cuts are funny? ATRs stealing jobs away from substitute teachers is funny? Let me understand this because maybe it's me. I'm a little too serious maybe. But I'm funny how? I mean funny like I'm a clown? I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How is ICE funny?

Ty Johnson and ICE are here to usher in a glorious new age. Serious reforms need to be made.

My first action when I become ICE UFT President will be to immediately remove Chancellor Klein. I have already thought of a plan on how to accomplish this (it is sound and fool proof);

Step 1. We will find a school willing to accept him as "Teacher for the day".

Step 2. We will bribe the Principal to excess him, thus making him an ATR.

Step 3. He will then have to face the hordes of substitute teachers that he has taken jobs from.

Step 4. When he complains that he is being mistreated, his service as a probationary teacher will be stopped.

Step 5. Bye bye Klein, he can go to the suburbs and become their problem.

This is just an example of the thinking outside of the box strategies that I will use as ICE UFT President. All of your support is greatly appreciated. We have to do this together!

Ty Johnson; BBA, MS, MPIA, J.D., D.P.M., Future ICE UFT President, Future ICE AFT President, and personally recognized as a good samaritan by Judge Judy in 1998.

Anonymous said...

Please don't use the word steal.
We ATR's did not steal any jobs away from subs. We were forced out of our beloved schools and lost close friends that were like family to us. Then we were forced to go all over the city. If anything was stolen it was our schools by younger teachers! The new Principals want younger teachers with their careers in front of them so they can boss them around. Instead of a old teacher with there careers behind them who will say no that's not right I will grieve it. I don't blame the new teachers, they have to do what they can to make it and keep their jobs beacaue the Uft can't protect teachers the way they use too in the old days . Now everybody pass no matter what.( then when they go to college they can't pass the cuny reading writing and math test. Hell they can't even fill out a job application . But don't worry the gradution rate is up and Klein and Bloomberg look good.)Oh and also there are no more incidents everything is covered up. Students hitting teachers students hitting other students. And if you complain they take the word of the student, who has a rap sheet a mile long over the teacher's word and send you to the rubber room, so there better be no incidents. Also at Tilden High School, most of the teachers who had worked there for many years where forced out before the school closed. Before you were allowed to stay at the school until it phase out completely in four years. Then you had to move. He we were kicked out ahead of time. Just so we would get frustrated and quit. Giving Klein and Bloomberg what they want. But we also have a family to feed and so we could not quit. So the DOE gave us the jobs of sub, in hope that we would. By the way most Atrs from Tilden were replaced by other ATR's from other scohools. Like fellow ice blogger Kay Floraine. Why I am ,an ATR from Tilden moved to a school far away and a school that is hard to staff, because teachers don't want to teach there at especially veteran teachers don't to teach there and Kay Floraine takes my job who is an atr from another school? We both do the same thing. She is a dean at my old school and I am a dean at this undesirable school. Now I don't blame Kay Floraine for this. I Don't say she stole my job. She had no choice as do I because of that stupid 2005 contrack we signed and because Randi used our coop money for other things instead of fighting Bloomberg over controle of the schools. Now that Klien got want he wanted. He can move experience teachers to undesrirable schools. So I don't blame my fellow teacher Kay Floranine for stealing my job, she had no choice. I blame Charle Turner who knows about this and does nothing. He still looking into it. We even called Charle Turner up and told him that they are change our failing grades to passing grades (without telling us) so that they can graduate more students. You know what Charle said? Oh that not a uft matter. Can you believe this. What about all that bull-crap credit recovery programs they have? Students are getting credit without putting in the state mandated hours! At Tilden they cut P.M. School two weeks earily because they ran out of money. They were suppose end P.M. school at January 20, 2009 and instead they ended December 20,2008. Now where did these students make up the state mandated hours? Where was Joe Cook the Tilden chaper leader to put an end to all this. Where I'll tell you where he was up the pricipals ass. That's where. And Randi is up the Mayor's ass. Mr. Ty Johnson you want to get ride of Klien? Here a better plan and you can even take credit for it. Stop Bloomberg from taking controle of the schools in June 2009. Let the public know about about all these inflated grades and graduation rates. Show them the lies and how our tax dollars are being wasted with by phasing out big schools and staring up these new min schools who hire new teachers while expericence teachers sit there without a job. And then you use the coop money too keep controle of the school out of the mayors hands and campaign aganist mayor Bloombergs 3rd term. Hell who does he think he is Randi that he want to stay in office for life! Maybe that why Randi is keeping quite during all of this. Then you put a law into the Uft Constitution that put term limits on Uft President. And also you can only hold one office at a time not two like AFT. Hell that like Clinton saying I going to keep both jobs and still be senator of New York. But before you can do this Ty Johnson you have to win against the Unity. So that means you have to start Campaigning Now! Nobody knows who you are! May of our members don't vote in Uft elections. They don't even know about ice and what ice stands for. If you guys ran a good Campaign and let everybody know about ice Randi would not stand a chance. But when do you guys start campaigning. A week or two before the election. Randi already sent out letters to ever teacher in the city to vote for her. Beleive me not enough peopel know that ice is out there! So before you can use my ideas or even yours, Start doing something right now to get the word out that ice is out there and this is what we stand for. At the same time let the Public know how Bloomberg and Klien are lying about the graduation rate and incident reports and how they waste taxes payers money!
Blue Devil.

SLT Empowerment Alliance said...

School Governance in NYC II
From Control to Contempt by Jacob Morris

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" – Lord Acton
"Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it” - William Pitt

Personally I do not like the word Power. In my view, Power is an Illusion and Responsibility is a much healthier concept for us to keep foremost in our mind as something we value. All too many people have become careless in their interchangeable use of the words Power, Control, and Authority. Actually, the terms Control and Authority are much more precisely understood and utilized in general discourse for this analysis.

What is Control? Is it like an on/off switch, or can it work on a sliding scale? Then there’s the question of what is it you are controlling, a machine or something that is alive? And lastly, what are the limits? When do we cross the line towards disrespect and/or contempt for whatever it is, man or machine that we have control over, or responsibility for? Let there be no doubt, it is just as possible to disrespect a machine, (and have it breakdown on you) as it is to disrespect Human Beings and also whatever Panel, Team, Entity, the function of which those human beings happen to be participating in.

Ultimately, if someone holds (like the Mayor or the Chancellor for example), the absolute authority over someone to dismiss them at will, that translates into an example of arbitrary and capricious Absolute Power. This is not a healthy situation, either for its Possessor or the Human Beings serving in such a state of discretionary limbo. If you appointed them to this position, to advise on educational and issues policies, because you believe in their qualities of Knowledge and Intelligence, then what are you afraid of? What it may be is that you do not believe in discussion or the integrity of the people you appoint, and when Push comes to Shove, what you are really saying is that you want them to be Robots.

In a Transportation System, like a poorly made car, people when they stop believing in its quality and utility, stop buying it or riding in it (Sound familiar, GM & Chrysler?). In a School Governance System, when people stop believing in its credibility, they stop participating in it, they hold it in ridicule and they call it a rubber stamp.

Given the critical societal importance in which we hold the quality of decision-making regarding the education of our children, to give such arbitrary and capricious absolute power over the individuals serving on such an ostensibly valuable Educational Policy Panel will inevitably lead to the holders of that power viewing those Individuals, the Panel and the functions of that Panel in Contempt.

What do we want? The answer is “Fixed Terms”, and the ability to place items on to the Agenda. Even if the Mayor has a majority of appointments, as long as the members have fixed terms, they need be able to maintain some reasonable level of personal Intelligence and Integrity in regards to the discussion of various Educational Policy Issues that come before them in their roles as members of the Panel.

Also, in approaching this from the perspective of quality team functioning, provision for independent and competitive Professional Development must be delineated clearly by Legislative Authority as a resource for the Panel to render quality decisions on the quality of our Children’s Schooling and to increase the credibility in which the Panel’s deliberations are viewed by our Community.