Wednesday, January 18, 2017


President's Report
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.

State budget
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.

Question period
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.

More later.


Anonymous said...

Never a word about student behavior...

Anonymous said...

Our union and its members are in big trouble with Trumps Ed secretary. Feel sorry for the members with less than 10yrs. On a different topic just loved the Tucker Carlson interview with Jehmu Greene. Must see tv!

Anonymous said...

"Mulgrew says for the record that they pushed for 2 observations". So does that mean the DOE wanted 4 observations? Does that mean the CSA wanted to do 4 observations? This is the biggest sell out of all time. How hard did the UFT "push" for 2 observations? If this is the case, I want to know exactly what the DOE was "pushing" for. Did the DOE want 7 observations and there was then a compromise at 4 observations? Mulgrew owes it to to the rank and file who provide him with a huge paycheck what exactly is going on with this evaluation nightmare.

Anonymous said...

Why did the UFT have to push for 2 observations? NYS law says that 2 observations are all that are required. There are really only 3 possibilities as to how NYC ended up with 4 observations: 1) The DOE wanted 4 or more observations. 2) The UFT wanted 4 observations from the get go. 3) The DOE wanted 4 or more observations and the UFT agreed to it without a fight. It seems very, very, fishy to me as to how NYC ended up with more observations than practically every other school district in New York State. Why did this happen? I want answers from the UFT!

Anonymous said...

Amy already said 4 is better. The uft will tell us nothing, just like, for the contract, what was the city's initial offer? 10 years of 0, and we got them up to 10 percent over 7 years. Its all a fraud.

Anonymous said...

So, a resolution was raised to try and get us 2 evaluations but it was voted down by the delegates? This simple fact proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Unity folks are in the back pocket of Mulgrew. How can these delegates in good faith back a system where we have more than the legally required 2 observations? Want to know how? I will tell you: These delegates vote the way Mulgrew tells them even though they want 4 observations because Mulgrew promises them cushy jobs at the UFT in the near future. Dealing with 4 observations is a small price to pay if these delegates can get out of the classroom and into an office at the UFT where they will never have to worry about observations again.

Anonymous said...

4 observations are not better and every single teacher in NYC knows this. Me says that the DOE wanted 4 observations and the UFT agreed without so much as a whimper.

Francesco Portelos said...

Sounds like we need a freedom of information request.

Anonymous said...

The UFT agreeing to 4 observations is just one more nail in it's coffin. Hello new Supreme Court case, goodbye UFT. Wonder how Mulgrew will feel once he has to go through 4 observations in his woodshop class.

Anonymous said...

This is a perfect situation for a FOIL.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why everyone is gets so excited about observations. Seems so childish. I couldn't care less if were 4 or 44. But of course, I know what I am doing in the classroom and I don't have a hostile admin out to get me. Maybe that is the real root of all this hysteria.

Anonymous said...

I think NYS law says that you may not request Freedom Of Information on municipal contract negotiations. (Anybody want to chime in on if this is FOILable?) However, Teachers would love to see if Mulgrew was lying about saying that he pushed for 2 observations if in reality he did not.

Anonymous said...

You can't FOIL the UFT! You can only be foiled by it!

Anonymous said...

that is the funniest thing i have read all day.
too bad its sad but tru

Anonymous said...

Public school proud is already scaring Trump. He may take to Twitter tonight to attack us.

Anonymous said...

The problem is not the number of observations; it is the Danielson rubric & the randomness. The rubric is ridiculous and this is what needs to change. The observations are not going away. The evaluation system is not going away. They are not going back to the S/U system but the rubric should be a point of negotiation -
#1 --OBVIOUSLY, teachers who teach AP classes should not be evaluated on the same rubric as teachers who teach ELL & IEP students - HEY UFT -- this is a winnable point! Everyone in their right mind understands this, why can't you! Oh yeah, because you don't teach, nor are you evaluate! I forgot. Silly, me. Well, that is until Fredricks #2.