I came in when President Mulgrew was talking about inauguration. Might be more people protesting. DC buses filled to women's march. Rally in NYC Saturday. March to Trump Tower.
Michigan and Indiana are labs for what will happen nationally. Total free market in education. Education does not matter. Indiana has vouchers. Public schools left for special ed mostly in those two states.
Parent leader and Board of Ed president from Michigan came to Albany. State went from top 20% to bottom 20%. Rural, suburban and urban all ruined. Cyberschools hurt too. Legislators need to know we are not talking about conspiracy theories. It is reality. DeVos coming to DC. She will more than likely be Education Secretary and she thinks education is just about making money.
DeVos talking about people in schools needing guns because of possible grisly bears is a national joke. DeVos didn't do well at confirmation hearing according to pundits. Talking point is to say something is fake news. Grassroots campaign highlighting public schools.
Positive campaign needed for Albany. Not just NYC. Need people to stand up and fight for their public schools.
Decent starting number for education. Governor now our friend. Asking him to protect public education. He says he will work to keep Millionaires tax. Money tight in Albany. Eva Moskowitz in Albany today pushing for more per pupil funding.
Waiting to see if there is an opening on evaluations to keep moratorium on common core testing going. DeVos funded tuition tax credit to take money from public schools in NY.
New evaluation system
900 chapter leaders showed up at evaluation training. We advocated for a fair system. Looking to phased in student learning measures.
Make sensible changes. Tell principals: my kids learn, you lose.
Not more observations. If we are working as teams, we would want intervisitations. Danielson now a dirty word. Need no new paperwork with intervisitations.
9 schools set to close this year or are consolidating. Does that mean renewal schools are failing? Politically dangerous to say schools are failing, particularly when other schools with same demographics are doing fine. DOE has to tell principals that principal autonomy is not working. One paperwork arbitration is because principal defied central paperwork committee.
Positive Campaign called Public School Proud
We are learning from field. Design something transferable from NYC to rest of country. Celebrate neighborhood public schools. Public wants strong neighborhood public schools. Champion public schools, honor student accomplishments. "Show your love for public schools" is the slogan.
We need to talk about our classrooms, our students, and our school communities. Many ways to tell our story. Things like holding a showcase fair, or holding a school spirit rally, or making videos. Positive messaging.
Sign up on UFT website, figure out what to do and then share story with UFT. Populate UFT website with activities and then spread it nationally. Inspire country.
Mulgrew then showed an anti-DeVos commercial made by a chapter leader. 300,000 hits on video. Need to show friends and colleagues around the country how it is done.
Resolution on public school proud was proposed. It passed unanimously.
Staff Director's Report
Leroy Barr gave a bunch of dates including next DA Feb 8.
Questions on the save room, evaluations and more were asked. Nothing earth shattering in answers.
Mike Schirtzer from MORE made a motion for next month to further support immigrants. He said we need to do more for immigrants. He said we should not call the kids illegals.
Leroy Barr spoke against saying resolution was poorly worded.
The motion received many votes but failed.
I raised a motion to push for 2 observations per year for UFT members for 2017-18 and beyond. ( will put up my talking points in favor later but it kind of speaks for itself.)
Howie Schoor spoke against saying basically the new observation system is great. Fewer ineffective ratings now. My motion was voted down by Delegates. Mulgrew said for the record we pushed for two observations per year.
Special Orders of Business
A resolution opposing vouchers and one in opposition to DeVos both passed unanimously. Finally, a resolution to get a staff loung/cafeteria in every school passed.