Tuesday, August 09, 2016


Reality Based Educator is blogging on politics these days but his comment on our last post on Mayor Bill de Blasio's
poll numbers deserves its own posting.

 reality-based educator said...
Until we get an indication of where SDNY is going w/ the investigations into de Blasio and cohorts, I'm not yet ready to say he's finished politically.

Indictments of those close to him will be a huge problem and would probably spur a fairly strong challenger(s) to take him on. An indictment of de Blasio himself and he's finished, of course. I suspect we'll get something along the lines of the first thing there, but how that plays out for the mayor and potential challengers, hard to say exactly.

For some reason, Q didn't poll either Jeffries or Diaz Jr as potential opponents to BdB. I'm not sure why. Rumor has it Jeffries may stay in Congress, especially if Dems come close to take back House (or, long shot, actually take back the House.) Diaz Jr appears like he wants to run, and rumor has it Cuomo wants him to run too, but the Diaz Family corruption history makes him a less than savory challenger against de Blasio, especially if the issue is going to be corruption/ethics. I remain unconvinced Diaz Jr. is a strong candidate against de Blasio (though he would undoubtedly have the backing of the charter people - Eva's already on board w/ some donations.)

Stringer is said to want it badly too but is waiting to see how investigations play out. Not sure why Quinn was polled - she's working for Cuomo now, so it's possible he's pushing her behind the scenes to run again. That would make some sense politically, since she would be beholden to Cuomo for her comeback while not having the same corruption/ethical baggage Diaz Jr has. 

My sense is, de Blaiso will be lucky to survive the fallout from the SDNY investigations into his administration and his donors. If he goes, Stringer is probably our best bet, though I'm not a huge fan and I trust him about as much as I trust a rattlesnake.

That said, I'm so over de Blasio and Farina that I am nearing the point where I want to see Preet indict him and cart him off to jail to join Shelly and Skelos. Perhaps then he can understand a little of the shit he's put teachers through via his Farina appointment. Her quota for ineffective and developing ratings (unwritten, but happening in many districts) is absurd, counterproductive and probably illegal. Nonetheless it's what's happening, have seen it where I am, have heard it from teachers in other districts, and I hold de Blasio personally responsible for the damage this is doing to careers, livelihoods and reputations. Too bad the UFT is so busy sitting on de Blasio's lap that they're unable/unwilling to fight the attacks on teachers coming from the BdB/Farina DOE.

Alas, as you note, James - de Blasio remains the lesser of the evils if it means having Quinn, Diaz Jr., Jeffries or some other charter shill replace him. 

ICEBLOG comment:
As one time AFT President David Seldon said long ago, the UFT functions more like an insurance company (prescription drugs, optical and dental benefits) than a trade union. The situation is getting worse not better. The Union basically does not work as a union. There needs to be some accountability somewhere for this.


Anonymous said...

The public may soon find out just how incompetent deBlasio is. The papers are covering it. He uses the schools as a vehicle to get votes as opposed to educating our children. Unless he engages in some midstream changes, his career as a politician is over.

Bronx ATR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harris L said...

I understand why some teachers are concerned about the City's new discipline policy but I find it fascinating that the UFT has decided to go strong and hard in opposition to stopping suspensions for students in K-2.

First, parents might support the new policy if it was adequately funded and the DOE provided sufficient support and training to teachers and administrators.

Second, the policy is intended to protect students from seriously abusive disciplinary actions and arbitrary suspensions.

So, our union comes out full throttle against a policy which might benefit students and be supported by parents and makes it look like teachers are working actively against the interest of students and parents but won't lift a finger to act affirmatively on behalf of its own members or to demand from the City the support that teachers need to implement any of La Farina's diktats.

Anonymous said...

Don't want to sound like an old codger here, but I remember when I got hired by the BOE (Now DOE) back in the mid 1990's the UFT actually fought for teachers. I remember those days as great times where there was no micromanaging by principals, almost everyone got tenure by estoppel, we were only observed once or twice a year, and for the most part, we were left alone to do teach in peace. Man, I miss those days. Anybody else agree or want to share their stories about "the good old days"?

Anonymous said...

I taught in one particular school for 6 years without a formal observation. Don't ask me how this is possible, but I never inquired, I just enjoyed the ride.
Back in the day, teachers were not micromanaged as to HOW to teach, just cover the curriculum, and use your professional judgement as to what approach is used. After all, teaching is an art, and I'm sure no one ever micromanaged Picasso.

James Eterno said...

I agree with the last two comments. I worked in those days too and was quite content until running into my first principal from hell.

Michael fiorillo said...

I, too, started teaching in the mid/late 90's, and it was, in comparison to now, a Golden Age.

That said, it was an aberration, too, an interim period between the lingering austerity (money started coming back into the system) of the 70's/80's, and before the onset of the so-called reform that is making teacher's' and students' lives so miserable.

It's somewhat akin to the situation of those Baby Boomers who grew up in the New Deal/Great Society era: ithe prosperity and relative equality (emphasis on "relative") seemed like the norm, but was in fact a historical aberration, sad to say.