Wednesday, November 28, 2018


I sometimes read Ed in the Apple to figure out what Unity Caucus is thinking. The writer, Peter Goodman, is oftentimes a reliable Unity weathervane. The political climate in Albany for 2019 is quite favorable for the teacher unions with the Democrats in Albany having a huge majority in the State Assembly and now a substantial 40-24 Democratic majority in the previously Republican held Senate. Governor Andrew Cuomo is a Democrat, at least in name, too.

I listened to incoming Senate Majority leader Andrea Stuart Cousins on WBAI. She seems to be fairly moderate. Combine that with Cuomo saying he is not seeking the presidency in 2020 so he doesn't have to pretend to be progressive and we are looking at a political landscape that might not be as progressive as people think. The state's budgetary situation isn't that strong either.  Under these circumstances, what can we expect out of Albany in 2019?

Everyone should head on over to Ed in the Apple where Goodman lays out much what of what UFT/NYSUT will be looking to achieve. I think we can be fairly confident after reading Goodman's piece that the UFT and NYSUT are going to push for a moratorium on creating new charter schools but that there will be no reversal on Common Core in 2019.

From Goodman:

The New York Times sees hard times ahead for charter schools with dems in control. The charter school political action committees (PACs) have been strong financial supporters of the republican side of the aisle, as well as of the governor; however, elections have consequences.

Further down:
From Diane Ravitch to Linda Darling-Hammond, from the Fordham Institute to the Shanker Institute, the reliance on standardized testing to drive students to proficiency is waning. Sadly it’s easier for states to massage the rules to satisfy parents and at the same time “game the tests,” an example: unlimited testing time increases scores, of course, with an invalid baseline.

Let’s take a deep breath, charter schools and choice are not an answer, they are a trompe d’oeil; testing viewed as punitive is a failure: are performance-tasks, portfolios, looping teachers/grades viable alternatives?

Let’s put charter schools on the sidelines and encourage the folks in the trenches to create a wide range of strategies.
Look for a moratorium on charter schools which is a big step in the right direction. Other than that, expect the teacher evaluation law to be changed to put new assessments in to replace some state tests but no big evaluation overhaul. Don't say goodbye to the Danielson Framework. Of course we can also expect UFT/NYSUT to go after more state funding. I don't see big changes ahead otherwise. Even with Democratic majorities in both houses in Albany, don't expect to see an overly progressive union education agenda.


Anonymous said...

The problem with most NY teachers, (mostly elementary teachers, sorry) is that they have no concept of "the big picture". The reason why so many of us are suffering is due to the shitty way that the state legislature treats education law. There is no more Race to the Top. Test scores no longer need to be linked to evaluations under federal law but our state law using tests remains in place. However, the worst fact is that we still have the shitty state evaluation law in place. This is why we are rated I, D, E, HE. It is why we have nonsense like Danielson in NYC. The fact is that NYS finally has sane people in the legislature who probably care about teachers. The days of teacher bashing are over. The UFT/NUYSUT needs to do a full court press right now to GUT THE STATE EVALUATION SYSTEM and return it to local control! If that happens we could more than likely get our much missed S/U rating system back. However, as this blog states, the UFT probably does not even give a shit, nor does the NYSUT. The UFT does not care because Mulgrew just got a new contract in place so he can sit on his ass fully knowing that 99% of NYC teachers are not aware of what goes on up in Albany in regard to our evaluation system. NYSUT does not give a shit because they think they are heroes for delinking certain tests to our evaluation even though that is crock of crap due to the fact that we are still rated under a different sets of tests. This is a sad reality and I wish I had an answer on how to get our unions to fight the good fight upstate.

Anonymous said...

Getting rid of test scores in teacher evaluations would be a win, but they really should be fighting for a 25/50 retirement option.

Peter Zucker said...

6:59 From yesterday’s Post

James, you think anything will improve with pensions?

Anonymous said...

We will never ge ta full on 25/50 retirement with tier 6 at 62

Anonymous said...

We could get a 25/50 short term buy out deal. It is a no-brainer. It would get a ton of highly paid teachers off the payroll. Heck, I would take it as I'm only 3 years away from that kind of deal.

Anonymous said...

Retire at 50 when the rest of America works until their 70s. Not going to happen. There is medication, devices and surgical procedures to keep you going much longer. Better take your vitamins and keep a vegan diet. If the kids or Principal are getting you down you should take a course in meditation.

Anonymous said...

Hey anno 8:39. Screw you. We pay into our pensions. We deal with nightmare scenarios by working for the public in our schools. We have no control over our "clients". Cops, firefighters, sanitation, and transportation workers all get to retire after 20 years on the job. Teachers should be able to retire after 25 years. And if you think our working conditions are cake, come spend a day working in a South Bronx Middle school. Our staff has been attacked, spit on, and had many expensive items stolen over the years by students. There is a reason why the new DOE/UFT contract has a "Hazard Pay" in the new contract to keep teachers in wild schools. It is actually called The Bronx Plan for a good reason!. These schools are so hard to staff that come next year the teachers will be paid thousands of dollars more to stay.

Anonymous said...

What will eva moskowitch say now? The days of bloomberg and joel bottle glass klein are OVER ms. moskowitch. Oh what about those test scores you say? Screw you pay me...payback is a bitch and the moskowitch camp knows this.

Hey eva call bloomberg he is running for president and if he makes it oh boy success schools will take over the country. Howver, Trump said that Bloombergs name is little mikey so watch out if there is a presidential battle moskowitch otherwise you can still charge up those test scores.

Anonymous said...

5:13. This is 8:39.

I am exactly the same as you described. I also live in reality. The general public does not want us to have these silly pension at all. They see a group of 10 month employees that work with their little angels.

We don’t get shot at. We don’t run into burning buildings and we don’t remove the stinking garbage or snow. Nobody is letting us out at 50.