I have no idea what these three stories have in common but they are all current.
UFT Election Vote Count is Today
The UFT election that my friends and family in the schools told me was one big, giant yawn of indifference is over and the votes will be counted today. We already know Mulgrew/Unity will win by a huge margin. We will see how the three opposition groups do. Maybe after this election there will be attempts to pick up the opposition pieces or perhaps it is time to concede for good that the Unity machine is too strong to challenge electorally. Unity might not look out for the working conditions of the average teacher that strongly but they are certainly adept at protecting their own power that they will never yield, certainly not with the current UFT electoral structure.
Open Market Hiring Started Monday
Meanwhile, back in the schools the Open Market Transfer period has officially been opened since Monday. The Open Market should have another name. Some options:
Open Market, Where Experienced Teacher Resumes Go to be Ignored
The We Don't Talk to Anybody We Don't Know Transfer System
Experienced Educators Need Not Apply Transfer System
I acknowledge there are exceptions as some veterans do move through the Open Market but how many knew an assistant principal or principal that pushed for them? This is truly a system where it's not what you know, it's who you know. Does anyone believe this is a fair hiring process? Also, does anyone have any information on schools to avoid?
Cuomo Wants Charter Cap Lifted
A reader who often sends me interesting, if sometimes depressing, links sent me one from the NY Post on Governor Andrew Cuomo advocating for the State Legislature to lift the charter school cap to allow even more publicly financed privately managed-privately accountable charter schools to open in New York. With friends like Andrew Cuomo, public school teachers truly don't need enemies.
I guess we should be thankful that the Governor did not make this part of the budget process. Cuomo could have used the leverage of the April 1 budget deadline to add more charter schools in NYC but now lifting the charter cap will be another negotiating tool in Albany's June "big ugly" part 2 where compromises are reached on what passes and does not in last minute bills at the end of the legislative session. I am not ruling out the Democrats in the Legislature caving on the charter school cap being raised even though we know charter schools take needed resources and space from public schools and overall do no better at educating students. Charters get unusually favorable treatment as their backers have money and donate a great amount to politicians like Cuomo and others.
By contrast, public school supporters protested at Tweed (Department of Education Central Office) on Monday telling the Mayor to stop giving student contact information to charter schools since as parent activist Leonie Haimson put it, "our state law bars the use of student data for marketing purposes." Expecting our mayor to stand up to the charters is expecting too much although de Blasio is better than his predecessor Bloomberg when it comes to charter schools.