The Council of Supervisors and Administrators has joined the UFT in the third annual closing schools lawsuit. Nice to have the CSA on board with us this year. I fully support the lawsuit and hope the UFT wins. However, in the case of my school (Jamaica High School) going to court just delayed the closing and we never received any support from the Department of Education even after we won in 2010. I doubt the results will be any different this year. These schools will be abandoned by the DOE if the UFT wins in court.
UFT is arguing this year that the turnaround schools are not really closing so DOE is trying to circumvent the contract by saying they are closing them and then forcing teachers and administrators to apply for their jobs again under the contractual Article 18D process in what are essentially the same schools. It is an interesting legal strategy.
Sadly, we have to do more than just sue these people. The 1968 UFT strike is still a very controversial historical event as it split the left wing activists in this city. Put aside the issue of community control for just a second and take the UFT at its word. The reason the UFT gave for the lengthy 1968 strike was that around 20 teachers were being forced to transfer out of a school district against their wills.
Fast forward a little over four decades and we now have thousands of teachers annually who are thrown out of their schools involuntarily because of closures and we have no way to stop it other than to file lawsuits and hope for the best. I am not suggesting that we stop suing the DOE (I am certainly still hoping that last year's case is won so Jamaica can remain open,) or that we go on strike now but I am recommending a more comprehensive strategy as what we are doing is obviously not a success story.