Friday, December 31, 2021


Michael Mulgrew's latest email is below. Please read it closely. Mulgrew is on board with a new DOE health screener that threatens legal action against staff, parents, and even students. Are they planning on going after my 7 year old son if he sneezes at school for lying on the health screening or am I going to jail?

The UFT's position is basically to keep schools fully open at all costs and just hope for the best with a few mitigations. If you think I'm misrepresenting the Union's view, besides reading Mulgrew's email, check out this comment on the NYC Teachers and other UFT Members Only Facebook page from Brian Gibbons, an Assistant to President Mulgrew:

Now take a look at this pinned Tweet from Gibbons, since removed, that a teacher sent us:

Scientific experts disagree.

In areas of very high transmission, it might be too early to resume in-person learning, pediatrician Dr. Peter Hotez said.

"I wouldn't do it now," said Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

"You have got a screaming level of transmission in the Northeast, in New York City and Washington, DC. Trying to open schools at this point, it's hard to imagine how things will go well."

Teachers, parents, students, and even many administrators from around the country would probably agree with Dr Hotez and disagree with the DOE-UFT.

Mulgrew's email:

Dear _______,

We are writing with the latest updates in a rapidly changing situation. The final details of the city’s health and safety plans for schools will be worked out over the weekend when the administration formally changes hands; however, we have confirmation of the following new safety measures.
1. Priority testing for DOE employees with 24-hour results
The city has agreed to provide priority PCR testing at city-run testing sites for all 160,000 DOE employees with results in 24 hours. These tests will be available at 11 city hospitals, all Gotham health centers and 10 test-and-trace locations. In addition, there will be one testing site in each borough exclusively for DOE employees. At-home rapid tests will also be made available at these sites for DOE staff who wish to take a test at home.
See the locations
2. At-home test kits distributed to schools
Before schools open on Monday, every school will have received its first batch of FDA-authorized rapid tests. A testing kit will be made available to every staff member, and kits will be distributed to students as needed.

Our independent medical experts have confirmed that Omicron has changed the game completely. Since Omicron’s emergence in late November, doctors have learned a great deal about how this variant differs from its predecessors. Omicron’s shorter incubation and infectious periods have made rapid tests more important. These rapid tests help minimize transmission by immediately detecting whether or not a person is infectious so they can isolate right away.

There will also be expanded in-school PCR testing of both vaccinated and unvaccinated students as well as staff, but the DOE will be utilizing these FDA-authorized at-home rapid test kits to avoid the wait associated with lab testing and the backlog of Situation Room results.

We will provide more details on the use of the testing kits before Monday.
3. KN95 masks for every staff member
The DOE is distributing 1 million KN95 masks to schools for staff to use on a regular basis starting next week. These masks have proven to provide the most protection against this virus. The masks will be replenished regularly.
4. An updated health screener that includes legal attestation
The city has updated its daily health screener to provide a way for students and staff to upload at-home rapid test results. The screener will now serve as a legal attestation, meaning any staff member, parent or student who falsifies information on this screener can now be subject to legal action.
Please tell your chapter leader immediately about any shortages of at-home rapid tests or KN95 masks at your school. Your chapter leader will have access to a safety hotline number to use to report those issues to the union for immediate response.

Other policy changes are still in flux. We are working every day with both administrations, but until the new mayor officially takes office, we won’t have finalized plans. We will be in touch again on Sunday with more details about what to expect.
Michael Mulgrew
Michael Mulgrew
UFT President


Yesterday, a candidate for United for Change, Lydia Howrilka, filed an Article 78 proceeding in NYC Civil Court protesting the reopening of NYC schools without adequate testing, mitigation measures, and allowing for a pivot of instruction to remote for January 3 to January 18, 2022. We have submitted the legal documents- a petition, a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), an affidavit, an Order to Show Cause (OSC), and a Request for Judicial Intervention (RJI)- and we are waiting for a judge to be assigned to our case.

Many folks have been reaching out to us and want to know how you can help support us. We think that a collective letter that we can send to the court with as many signatures as possible would be the best next step for members who want to support.

Important note- No teacher has been disciplined for signing a petition or letter when they are not on contracted time. It is not illegal to sign a letter or petition either. Your signature will only be seen by Lydia, the judge, and the City’s Corporation Counsel.



Newark, NJ is another district going fully remote for January.

Eventually, the pressure will start to build on the new mayor of NYC to move to full remote instruction. 

I still can't understand why the UFT is not loudly leading the charge for safety. The UFT is letting down its members as usual while many within the opposition to Michael Mulgrew's Unity Caucus are fighting by planning actions and filing a lawsuit for remote instruction.

From Chalkbeat:

Newark schools will switch to fully remote learning after the holiday recess ends Jan. 3 and keep students home for at least two weeks as COVID cases continue to climb in the city, officials said Thursday evening.

Superintendent Roger León said the district made the decision after consulting with the city health department about the recent surge in infections. Students were told to prepare for the possibility of remote learning before leaving for winter break and are expected to return to classrooms on Jan. 18.

“This is not the news I want to be sharing with students and their families at this time because we need to continue in-person instruction,” León said in a statement, “but the health and safety of students and staff remains the top priority.”

Newark became the largest school district in New Jersey to announce the shift to a fully remote plan for students, a consequential decision likely to affect attendance, learning loss, and student mental health. It joins several other districts that recently decided to revert to at-home learning, including Paterson, East Orange, and Jersey City.

Thursday, December 30, 2021


UFT Solidarity and United for Change Executive Board candidate Lydia Howrilka is not waiting around to see what the UFT does with the omicron surge now up to close to half a million US cases in one day on Wednesday. Lydia was in Manhattan today filing an Article 78 court case against the City-Department of Education to get remote teaching from January 3, 2022 through January 18, 2022.

Here is the Order to Show Cause she is asking the judge to sign:

We hope to have more soon as this story develops. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2021


When was the last time the UFT polled its members? CTU shows the way on how a union should react to a crisis: Find out where the membership is at and what they are collectively willing to do.

A NYC reaction:

Update: We have the CTU poll results.


Note: We do not endorse the views of the source for this information. AFT's Leo Casey is attacking us because of the source. We were posting union news that was accurate. We cite the NY Post too. It does not mean we con ur with the Post's editorial positions.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021


Michael Mulgrew's latest email is below. Mulgrew states: "But we won't stop pushing until we are confident that this new plan has been implemented fully by Jan. 3." In all likelihood it won't be fully implemented and then what does Mulgrew intend to do? You know the answer.

Dear _______,

Last week we told the city to fix its safety system for schools that was undeniably broken before the break. Mayor de Blasio and Mayor-elect Adams held a press conference today announcing their new slogan for our schools — stay open, stay safe. That’s a great thing to say, but if we want to stay open and safe, the city has to do the work to make that happen.

Governor Hochul has provided New York City public schools with two million at-home rapid tests, and today Bill de Blasio and Eric Adams announced new elements of a safety plan designed to meet the challenges of this new phase of the pandemic. But we won't stop pushing until we are confident that this new plan has been implemented fully by Jan. 3.

De Blasio and Adams announced three changes that, if implemented correctly, will be a promising improvement to our school system’s safety program:

The staff of the Situation Room will double in size, making it bigger than ever before and able to handle the current surge.

The city will double in-school PCR testing in every school every week. These tests will now include both vaccinated and unvaccinated students as well as staff. The city will make another push to get parents to consent for their child to be tested regardless of vaccination status.

Close contacts and classmates of positive cases will now have immediate access to two at-home rapid tests that they can take to monitor themselves for the days after exposure.

City officials also told us that every school staff member will get a testing kit containing two tests, and more testing kits will be available for them as needed.

Thanks to all of us working together to tell the city we will not accept unsafe schools, our city and state leaders have started to address the myriad issues that we identified. We, as educators, are always prepared to do our jobs. The real issue is whether the city can do its job — ensuring that ample testing is available in every school and an improved Situation Room is actually in place by next week.

We are moving closer to a safe reopening of schools. But we are not there yet. We will continue to work through this week to advocate for you and our school communities and will update you on all the details of the new safety program before Jan. 3.

Stay safe.


Michael Mulgrew

UFT President


 This is from silive:

New York City launched a new anti-coronavirus (COVID-19) program that officials said will help schools stay safe, so that they can stay open.

When schools resume on Monday, Department of Education (DOE) facilities will see double the PCR testing, and a new effort utilizing take-home tests that Mayor Bill de Blasio said would help keep the city’s students safe.

“This is how we’re going to look at schools from this point on — keep them safe and keep them open,” de Blasio said. “We have a lot of evidence now that’s told us this is the approach that’s going to work for the future."

Whenever there’s a positive case in a classroom, each child will take home two at-home test kits over the course of seven days. Those who test negative and are asymptomatic can go back to school causing less disruption to their education, de Blasio said.

An increased state and federal supply of take-home test kits allowed the city to launch the new program, the outgoing mayor said.

Compared to what was previously available, two times the PCR tests will be available each week in every school throughout the city for vaccinated and unvaccinated students along with staff, who de Blasio said have a 96% vaccination rate.

There will be no tests before schools reopen, because the mayor said he wants to ensure a smooth transition back to operation.

Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor-elect Eric Adams, who will be in office when the new programs are put inplace, joined de Blasio to support the announcement.

“We spent $11 trillion fighting COVID. It is time for us to realize that this is a resilient city and a resilient country,” Adams said. “We must reopen our city and we can do that.”

Teachers are already reacting.

From twitter:

The UFT statement:

On Dec. 28, 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio (along with Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor-elect Eric Adams) announced changes to COVID safety protocols in schools that will take effect in January 2022.

In response, UFT President Michael Mulgrew issued the following statement: 

Teachers are prepared to do their jobs starting Jan. 3rd. The real issue is whether the city can do its job — ensuring that new testing initiatives are available in every school and an improved Situation Room is actually in place by next week.

We want to thank Governor Hochul for listening to our request, and for providing city schools with 2 million instant tests so that anyone with close contact with a positive case will be able to know immediately if they are infectious and must quarantine.

We’re also glad that after weeks of lobbying both the current and the incoming administrations, the Situation Room is being rebuilt, after basically coming apart in the last several weeks, and that the system will increase its ability to provide PCR tests to more adults and children every week.

We are moving closer to a safe re-opening of school next week. But we are not there yet.

Monday, December 27, 2021


This came our way this evening. Please take the UFT Solidarity survey on COVID testing.

Testing in NYC Public Schools- A Survey by UFT Solidarity (with the support of folks in the UFC Coalition)

Per an email sent out by UFT President Mulgrew on December 2, "the city will now allow the testing of school staff on a voluntary basis. Beginning on Monday, Dec. 6, school staff can request to be tested on their school’s scheduled test day. 

"According to the new policy:

1. Student testing must be completed before any adults can be tested.

2. Test providers must maintain their schedule and may not extend their time at the school to accommodate staff who want to be tested.

3. Test providers may test up to 10% of staff.

4. All COVID-19 testing of DOE staff is voluntary, but staff must give consent via the DOE’s daily health screening form. It may take up to five days for the DOE to process your consent so please submit it as soon as possible."

We have been hearing troubling reports from schools. Some staff have not been informed of what days testing is scheduled to arrive at school. In other schools, we are hearing of staff members being turned away. 

What is happening in your school? 

Remember, we keep each other safe. 

This information will only be shared with a small group of people so including your name and email is optional.

Start the survey.


From Republican President Donald J Trump:

From Democratic President Joseph R Biden:

We have bipartisan passing the buck, or rather, bipartisan failure.

Saturday, December 25, 2021


Yesterday, my kids and I were continuing our last-second Christmas shopping tradition. We bought a whole load of gifts from Target online and did their curbside pickup in Westbury. It was all good.

We then headed for home in Queens in our 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid and the car literally went dead on the Meadowbrook Parkway. It looks like it was a fuel pump problem that the car was recalled for that we never had a problem with before the recall. We brought it in and Toyota replaced the fuel pump two weeks ago and now this. It's kind of scary when the car dies at 55 MPH on the highway and then displays a dashboard message to visit the dealerhip. No kidding.

We managed to get to the shoulder safely and the car restarted once so we were able to get off the highway and onto the middle of Old Country Road where the engine went bye-bye for good. 

I called the local Nassau police. A car came within ten minutes and the officer helped my kids get safely to the sidewalk to wait and then he worked with me to push the car off the road and into a parking lot. He then offered to drive us home but by that time my wife was on the way to rescue us. Thanks to the Nassau Police for the professional service.

As for the American Automobile Association, they must be short-staffed for December 24 as they took three hours to come for a tow so our kids got their dream Christmas Eve dinner: Mcdonalds. 

Toyota will be hearing from us next week for sure for botching up the recalled fuel pump repair that left me stuck on Christmas Eve but for now I am happy to be home enjoying Christmas with family.


Be safe everyone as we are setting COVID case records in NY. Hospitalizations and deaths are lagging indicators so don't tell me how they are still relatively low. I hope and pray they stay low.

Merry Christmas to all!

Update: Toyota took the car in on Monday and it was a minor fix. I am going to give it a good ride today to test it.

Thursday, December 23, 2021


 As UFters head into vacation, I saw this tonight on Facebook and thought it was appropriate. It is from Sara Nelson, the President of the Association of Flight Attendants, CWA

In NYC public schools, we can add UFT management to our employer telling us we are lucky to have a job.

To the commenter who called me a dreamer, Sara's vision for the future of labor is what I dream about and have been working for since I became an activist in 1994 and continue doing. Here is a little of Sara's bio:

The New York Times called her "America's most powerful flight attendant" for her role in helping to end the 35-day Government Shutdown and InStyle Magazine placed her on their Top 50 Badass Women list.

2022 is the year where enough UFters are going to come together to start turning Sara's vision into reality for NYC teachers and other UFT members. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2021


 I saw this on Twitter tonight.

Good news: This is a later tweet:


Today's NY1 appearance and email from Michael Mulgrew show for sure that nothing has changed with the UFT President since March of 2020. He is still willing to send his members and the children of NYC into what he knows are COVID-19 infested buildings. 

From his latest email:

For more than a month, we have been warning the outgoing administration not to let the COVID-19 testing system and the situation room response fall into disarray during the transition at City Hall. Our warnings were not heeded, and the current surge proves the administration’s systems are not just in disarray, they are completely broken.

Then why do you not recommend that your members and the kids stay out of buildings you know are unsafe where they can easily catch COVID?

He is telling you that it is unsafe in the schools, that the testing system and situation room are completely broken but two paragraphs later he says if it isn't fixed by January 3, we will have a fight. On NY1, he even says COVID is "rampant in our school system."

What about tomorrow?

It is basically everyone for themselves according to Mulgrew.

My advice: Stay the hell home Thursday if you don't feel it is safe. Fail the health screening and go get a Covid Test if you can find one and be out on the DOE's dime. 

Educators of NYC asked this yesterday:

Today we learned the answer.

Below is a picture of Mulgrew speaking from the comfort of his living room this morning on NY 1 saying we can wait until January to do anything even though Omicron is spreading now. Compare the Mulgrew background to the photo of Aviation High School Chapter Leader-United for Change High School Executive Board candidate Ibeth Mejia who is working at her school.

The entire NY 1 segment:

The full Mulgrew email:

Dear _____,

We should be celebrating the start of winter break. Instead, the city has once again put us in an extremely difficult position. Educators are doing their job in New York City public schools. The city, however, is failing.

President Biden said on Dec. 21 that schools must remain open. Mayor de Blasio sits at his press conferences and pretends everything is okay. The city and the federal government cannot keep saying they are giving us everything we need to keep schools open, because they have not.

For more than a month, we have been warning the outgoing administration not to let the COVID-19 testing system and the situation room response fall into disarray during the transition at City Hall. Our warnings were not heeded, and the current surge proves the administration’s systems are not just in disarray, they are completely broken.

Our school buildings should not open in January if we don’t have a plan in place to keep each school community safe. We always do our jobs; it’s time to make sure elected officials do theirs.

We need an effective infrastructure to monitor and manage COVID-19 in our schools, and we need it now. We must rely not only on what has worked in the past, but on what our doctors and medical experts are telling us will work for this brand new moment in time.

Today I made it clear: If we don’t see an acceptable safety program for our entire school system up and running by January, we should not open.

I wanted my holiday message to be a heartfelt thank you for all the work you continue to do, not a message about how the city must do better. But here we are. You continue to be the ones who step up for our children, even in these unprecedented times, even when there are no answers to be found. You are a bright spot in their lives. For that, I can’t thank you enough. You are truly the city’s heroes.


Michael Mulgrew

UFT President

Tuesday, December 21, 2021


My wife and I usually receive nightly emails from the schools our children attend from the Situation Room notifying us about COVID-19 infections in their respective school buildings. We received daily emails over the last week and regularly all year when there were infections. Today: Nothing. There were 7 cases reported yesterday. Those seven cases from yesterday didn't just disappear. Clearly, the system of testing and reporting COVID has fallen apart. The UFT reaction: Send an inadequate email update listing what are probably inaccurate numbers.

If the UFT is basically out to lunch, we have to protect ourselves and our families.

On Sunday, we put out the DOE Personnel Memorandum 1 which covers excused absence without loss of CAR days. 

This is what we said:

There are record numbers of daily COVID-19 infections in NYC. I think everyone needs to know the procedures on COVID for employees. Personnel Memorandum 1 came out in September. We have copied it in full below. Please read it and follow the guidelines closely.

Here is a link to CDC's Covid-19 symptoms. It could be as simple as a headache or runny nose. Be safe everyone.

In Philadelphia, the staff at a unionized charter school has taken it into their own hands after a student died of COVID-19. They staged a sickout.

From in Pennsylvania:

Last week, a Pennsylvania high schooler died after contracting COVID-19 in early December. Alayna Thach was a 17-year-old senior at Olney Charter High School in Philadelphia. She loved to sing, dreamed of being a life coach, and was a big fan of the K-Pop group BTS, her obituary said. Alayna was an honor roll student who was touring colleges shortly before she died and was scheduled to get her COVID-19 vaccine in January, McClatchy News reported. She’s survived by her parents and her two siblings.

And on Dec. 20, her death compelled at least 40 teachers at Olney Charter to call out sick in protest against the school’s COVID-19 protocol, which they say didn’t do enough to protect Alayna or other students and staff, Fox 29 reported. The school denied it wasn’t enforcing COVID-19 safety protocols strongly enough, saying in a statement to McClatchy News that “Olney has a very strong set of safety protocols in place, and we are dismayed by the teachers’ attempt to manipulate public opinion in the wake of the tragic death of an Olney student.”

But the mass “sick out” happened after staff and students had already pleaded with the school’s administration to hold classes for the rest of the semester online, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Sarah Kenney, a 10th grade African American History teacher at Olney Charter and vice president of the local chapter of the Alliance of Charter School Employees, said lunchtime was particularly troublesome at the school. Without social distancing or assigned seating in the cafeteria, contract tracing proved difficult, she told The Inquirer in a Dec. 17 story. “There isn’t really a good protocol for how it all works,” Kenney told The Inquirer. “We think it’s safest to be virtual until they can come up with a plan for increased safety, just to ensure that something like this never happens again at our school.”

The AFT, to nobody's surprise, is not standing with the teachers and denying they organized a sickout.

Condolences to the family of Alayna Thatch. I hope and pray that this situation does not happen anywhere else, but especially in NYC. Stay out if you don't think a building is safe or if you have symptoms. Don't wait for the UFT or DOE to save you. They have shown over and over they don't care about UFTers or students. 

In other news today, January NYS Regents Exams were canceled by the State Education Department. 

Monday, December 20, 2021


This came our way late last night. We are printing it with the permission of Adam Bergstein, the Chapter Leader of Forest Hills High School.

To: M Porter, Chancellor NYC DoE & M Mulgrew, UFT President

From Adam C Bergstein, Q440 Chapter Chair

Date: Sunday, December 19th 2021

Re: Covid Mismanagement

Attn: M Porter & M Mulgrew,

I have but one question to ask. Does the DoE and/or UFT actually have a plan in place to deal with all of the Covid outbreaks happening throughout the NYC school system? Is the prevailing ideological philosophy for all NYC schools to channel their inner-ostrich and basically wait until 3 PM, December 23rd? And if so, what then will be the plan come mid-January, when Covid has another spike and numbers are exponentially greater?  Should we prepare now for the spin, and just expect an apathetic, doppelgänger of a response? And what will the administrative guidance be in three to five weeks, invariably to sit back and wait until the February recess arrives? I would like to say I’m awestruck or dumbfounded by the ineptitude, but having spent two decades working for this bureaucracy, sadly I am just inured to the distribution of the bovine fecal accumulation. 

And how does the UFT endorse and support and back these half-baked policies of the DoE? Is accountability vestigial? It’s almost like those in charge of the UFT and the DoE simply couldn’t be bothered because Covid, whilst rampant in the schools, does not directly impact any of you. How many of you work in sparsely populated offices, with ideal ventilation. When was the last time any of you spent seven hours in an over-crowded school-building (196% capacity) for five days in a row, since September? I’m no psychic, just a huge fan of the redundantly rhetorical.

And this quasi-scientific theory that schools are still the safest places to be, care to peruse any security footage of a Q440 hallway during passing? This DUOFET propaganda is just another manifestation of an autocratic Big Lie to dupe the rubes! Empirically, sending thousands of human beings into a poorly ventilated petri dish is reprehensible. The fact that you’re all completely aware of that and instead game the system to make it look like everything is safe, is malfeasance extraordinaire. Please do not feign umbrage with my accusation. I’m in a school with 4,000 humans and only 1.5% of all people are being tested weekly, that includes only 30 staff in total! Care to debate my intentional and deliberate syllogism? What is the situation with the Situation Room? How do you have a central reporting system that does not allow anything to be reported? Please See Criminal Negligence.  

The fact is that the Department of Education and the UFT could work in concert to remove all staff and students, in order to give this virus some time to run its current course. However, you choose not to out of political allegiance and a saccharine sense of propriety, that’s mendaciously feckless. Unless something changes, the actions of DUOFET are all but assuring and guaranteeing that children and adults will unnecessarily contract and spread an opportunistic and ever-mutable virus. And please, please, don’t send some Deputy Superintendent or Deputy Chancellor or Safety liaison to pram the halls in an attempt to project concern, it’s demeaning and reeks of a dysfunctionally bloated bureaucracy. 

Please be safe and always maintain a safe social distance from others. We cannot, where I work, so we'll fake it for now. 


Adam C Bergstein 

Sunday, December 19, 2021


This statement was released tonight. You can contact United for Change at 

I am more than a little biased but I especially like the choice of my wife Camille Eterno for UFT President. She is very well qualified as an 18 year Chapter Leader and Delegate. Camille will not back down to any mayor, chancellor, or other school administrator. She will listen to the members of the UFT.


There are record numbers of daily COVID-19 infections in NYC. I think everyone needs to know the procedures on COVID for employees. Personnel Memorandum 1 came out in September. We have copied it in full below. Please read it and follow the guidelines closely.

Here is a link to CDC's Covid-19 symptoms. It could be as simple as a headache or runny nose. Be safe everyone.

Friday, December 17, 2021


Michael Mulgrew is already looking to the next admimistration but there are four more school days with the current administration. Will next week be safe? New York State reported its largest positive COVID day of the entire pandemic.

From NBC 4:

And in New York City, where testing lines have wrapped around blocks and people report wait times well over an hour, 10,286 positive cases were reported Friday. That total is up 20% from the previous day, and 100% from two days earlier. It's also the highest reported testing day for the city since the beginning of the pandemic, and the first time the city saw more than 10,000 cases in a single day.

Further down:

The city's rolling daily case average is up almost 57% over the rolling averages for the previous four weeks and COVID hospitalizations are up nearly 31%. Delta is the variant believed to be fueling the spike in more severe cases, while omicron is thought to be behind the surge in infections. Both are called "variants of concern."

Some are talking sickout in the schools. Much of Broadway is shutting down again because of positive cases. I think we need to hear more from Mulgrew than what we are calling for in January. Please be careful everyone.

Today's email:

Dear ________,

I’m writing to you today about a concern we all share as most important: our safety and the safety of our school communities.

The recent surge in COVID cases in New York City is coming at a challenging time when one administration is winding down and a new one is coming in. The Situation Room is struggling to keep up with the growing number of reports of positive cases in schools that it needs to respond to. We have been pushing for more staff in both the Situation Room and the test and trace units, and the city has agreed to increase staffing by the new year.

Given the contagiousness of the Omicron variant and the surge in positive cases, we need the next administration to reset and restore focus immediately.

Here is what we are pushing the next administration to do:

Increase in-school testing: We believe the current situation calls for an increase in in-school testing of both staff and students, regardless of vaccination status, so we can better detect the virus in our schools before it has a chance to spread. We need access to at-home tests for both staff and students. We also are pressing the DOE to work to increase the opt-in rate for student testing.

Respond faster to reports of positive cases: There needs to be a rapid response to positive cases so all isolation and quarantine protocols can be put in place quickly. Again, the Situation Room must be fully staffed to be able to handle the increased need for school investigations. Delayed notifications of positive cases in schools put our school communities at risk. Here is how the process is currently designed to work >>

Create a clear standard for what triggers a school to go fully remote: Currently, the DOE has set out specific thresholds that trigger a schoolwide investigation, but the decision to close a school building is left to the discretion of the Situation Room. Given how quickly the Omicron variant spreads, we need clear standards and protocols.

Share school COVID reports with school staff: School staff need more transparency about what’s happening in their workplace. Right now, when a COVID case has been confirmed in a school, parents receive a daily email from the Situation Room that indicates the number of positive cases and the number of partial and full classroom closures in the school. School staff should have access to those same email reports.

Encourage student vaccination: The science is clear: The more students who are vaccinated, the safer our schools will be.

If your school has an outbreak that you suspect is not being addressed properly by the Situation Room, your chapter leader should alert your district rep immediately. We have a rapid response protocol set up so the information will go straight to the Situation Room, and we will follow up so appropriate action is taken.

We encourage every one of you to get the booster shot as soon as possible. Medical experts agree that the booster is your most effective defense against the new variant.

Thank you for your work during this tumultuous time. Let’s all focus on getting safely to next Thursday at 3 p.m. I will be working throughout the break to keep the pressure on the city to put in place everything we need to keep our schools safe when we return.


Michael Mulgrew

UFT President

Wednesday, December 15, 2021


Michael Mulgrew is incapable of properly chairing a Delegate Assembly. He actually acknowledged at the December DA that last month he would have given himself an ineffective on the Danielson rubric for classroom management.

In November, he didn't know how to react when opposition members challenged him. His Unity caucus couldn't believe that they lost two votes and almost lost a third. 

How did Mulgrew make sure he didn't have to deal with opposition speaking against his policies again at this month's DA? He filibustered. 

His President's Report was a lecture that went on for close to an hour and a half of an hour 3/4 meeting. He talked down at the group instead of neutrally chairing the meeting. The DA even had a lengthy presentation from a someone from Mulgew's Unity Caucus on how privatized Medicare Advantage Plus  is so wonderful but isn't privatized Medicare which is exactly what it is. Even with this, Mulgrew was the speaker for around 80% of the meeting. 

The other part of the DA included Leroy Barr's Staff Director's Report and the aforementioned Mulgrewcare presentation so Mulgrew and a few underlings took up 95% of the meeting. The remainder of the time was taken up by softball questions lobbed at Mulgrew and two uncontroversial motions were easily added to the agenda without any debate.

A Delegate transcribed the meeting and looked at the analytics. That is where we got that information that the vast majority of the time was Mulgrew just talking. Our minutes reflect that too. We had a deliberative body that did absolutely no debating. 

Mulgrew may have moved up to developing for classroom management, but he gets an ineffective this month for member engagement. There was almost none.

The only way to change this is to work with the United for Change opposition and vote Mulgrew out in the spring. You will have to vote through the regular mail because Mulgrew won't allow electronic voting.  He wants a low vote turnout in my view. Unity voter suppresion, just like the Republican party, increases their chances of winning.

Note that this piece was updated based on updated analytics of who spoke for how long.


 President's Report: 

President Michael Mulgrew began the meeting by wishing everyone a happy holiday. Says we have a lot of things going on. Transition, federal, state, healthcare.


Incoming city administration says it's broke but they're not. Money comes through the state. Hoping to get the social safety net package through. Working with both US Senators and House members. Housing is an issue. Many homeless students. 


Things are quite interesting. Governor's race changed dramatically last week. Meeting with Governor and her staff. Mulgrew and NYSUT President Andy Pallotta. We are in a recruitment and retention crisis that is upstate and coming to NYC. Many causes such as pandemic and vaccine mandate. Teaching shortage across the USA but now it is in NYC. State challenge is where to put all the money. Money must be spent wisely in things that are sustainable. More by January DA. We will have heard Governor's State of the State speech by then. State in the middle of redistricting process that happens every ten years. State Senate hasn't been in Democratic control for a redistricting in a long time. They redistrict federal and state districts. Primary in June. Can't set up voting sites until they know districts and precincts. This will be important as we move forward.

Class Size

We keep moving. City Council met yesterday. We are meeting with the incoming Council. Bill at state level. Many parents here. We are in a good place with that. Mayoral control sunsets June 2022. We've all had it. Facts and evidence matter. We all agree mayoral control needs to go away. It does not mean we are going back to school boards. We have to get educated to go to Albany to push that. Mayoral control gets done outside of the budget. That is part of our Albany strategy. We don't know how we will be lobbying. People want to sponsor in new Council. They are arguing over who will be the Speaker. 

New Comptroller cannot tell us what to do with our money. Trustees should be able to handle that.


Increase in COVID is following same pattern as last year but not as high a level. Pattern up and down a little but with Christmas and New Year, we are concerned. Test and trace and situation room are becoming shaky. They changed directors. Conversations with incoming and outgoing administrations. Test and trace need to go into schools and test. Last year it was happening after a few weeks. This year it is not working. Having much better conversations with the outgoing administration. 3-k and pre-k no access to vaccine nor testing. Want pre-k and 3-k teachers tested. 

Chancellor to be

David Banks has been in our school system for a long time. We have a working relationship. He wants schools to be public schools but he is making comments that were sounding like they are from nine years ago. Dan Weisberg hired from past. As a chapter leader, had 3 different principals. Job as chapter leader was to try to make it work to improve the school. Approach this the same way. With two principals, it worked but with another it didn't. We approach new administrations that way. At PS 143 at a celebration when chancellor to be said he wants Saturday school, longer day and summer school. Teachers said we all do it that way. He can do it but he can't mandate it. We have those things but they can't be mandated. Parents said they love their teachers but challenges are beyond what we've seen before. It's going to take a couple of years but we have to get through the pandemic. We fight for each other. We fight for our profession. If anyone threatens those, we fight. If new mayor and chancellor want to work with us, we will work with them. Screens for middle schools and high schools: Mulgrew position is some are appropriate. Other screens if they are used to deny opportunities should have never been in place. That is the DOE's job. Other part of the transition, we know the new deputy chancellor. Kaz Holloway is coming back. He put out an RFP that would have put 20% health premiums on all NYC workers. We took him to court and we won. We hope not to have those fights but we have to be prepared. We are getting through this year. We have to be ready to say that we are not having any of this. 

The judge in the Medicare Advantage made his decision. We are happy with the decision. Retiree health plan while it was going through, many were talking. Every benefit in old plan had to be in the new plan. We got involved and we wanted it in writing. We went through every part to put it in writing. There are all sorts of agendas around this. We knew that retiree health benefits would be a problem with the new administration. We got heavily involved but because so much misinformation was out there it ended in court. We said this could not be implemented properly because the timelines are too squished. We put together a plan that does everything we want that preserves and enhances benefits. A week and a half ago we did not support the plan and we were ready to write to the judge. We wanted to make sure no retiree would have extra costs. City said that in one voice. The judge said the plan is scheduled to begin on April 1. He set up a series of benchmarks that the city has to meet. The judge put in the decision that each retiree can't be harmed. We had to figure out how to get the retiree health plan out of harm's way of the next administration. We had to be smarter. Medicare has gone up 13%. The person who tried to destroy the program from the previous administration is back and we want to make sure we preserve what people have worked for.  Mulgrew himself will be in that plan when retired.

Joe Usatch comes up to explain new health plan. Jeff Sorkin is sick. He stresses the importance of premium-free healthcare. It is unheard of. He gave a healthcare presentation. Medicare Advantage Plus is free. It is a PPO. Drug benefit costs $125 a month. Welfare fund sends $65 a month to offset that. 

Prior authorizations, copayments and privatization are criticisms.

Prior authorizations are in in-service plan. It is a slight hurdle.

Copayments were slated to go into effect before the pandemic on Jan1, 2021 but MLC fought and delayed this. This was not because of the new plan.

Privatization: Emblem Health providing benefits for decades. We want to continue for them to proide healthcare for in-service and retirees.


$1470 out of pocket maximum

Less for drugs.

Worldwide travel coverage

Silver sneakers

24 hour nurse line

Members can stay in plan they currently have but there will be an ancillary charge. Retirees could lose that anxiety and could go in and out. Opt out and opt in will go through June 30. Welfare fund benefits not changing. 

Mulgrew returns

No cap on out-of-pocket expenses currently. Savings don't go back to city. It goes into the Healthcare Stablization Fund. Hundreds of millions of dollars a year. 


Crazy season but we need a clear, transparent process. We need a process NLRB certifies. We are the union with the biggest target on its back. Please try to think through things. Election Committee has formed and voted. Some have gotten requests for contact information. We get challenges to elections. We do them correctly. Have to change the process early. Some want electronic voting. Whatever we do, we make fight internally. Don't burn the house down. We will abide by Election Committee decisions.

Healthcare committee: Things different for people 25 years old and 55 years old. We are the buyer. CEO gets $8 million and that doesn't make Mulgrrw happy.

Negotiating Committee 

General demands but multiple bargaining units make different demands. Goal is to say we have largest negotiating committee ever. Proportional representation on committee. Decisions made by Committee. Some bargaining units are small. Divisional (school safety supervisors, administrative law judges) 23 functional chapters. Want representation from all of them. Most effective bargaining done with people who do the work at the table. Multiple training sessions. Do not negotiate in public. It's gotta be confidential. Big training and training for individual bargaining units. We set the pattern the last two rounds. Mulgrew does not believe we will be setting a pattern this time. Assuming another union will set the pattern. Precedent on pattern bargaining in NYC and NYS. Survey the entire membership. 

Someone asked that there are members on call, can we get power-point information to them? Debra Penny says to go to retiree healthcare page. Mulgrew asks for a power-point to go out to entire membership.

Spring break arbitration

It is ugly. We worked 7 days we were supposed to be on vacation. CAR day is not equivalent to a day that we worked. City is doing their routine. Can't go into the details. We want the full value of the 7 days we worked. City made us work during our vacation, it was not the Governor. Governor said he would remove funding from districts that didn't stay open. Governor didn't issue an executive order. City owes us the full value for 7 days we worked. 

Digital classroom

Guidance is out. We know what a closed classroom is and a partially closed classroom.  

Chapter Leader Stipends being sent. People do job because they are passionate, not for stipends. Contract up for NYU nurses and they are no longer heroes to the hospital like they said during height of pandemic but now they are a bottom-line cost. that's how $8 million bonus are paid to CEO.

December feels like April now. Chill during the break.

Staff Directors Report

Toy drive on. Petitions for UFT electionwill be out January 19. People need to update contact information. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.

Mulgrew comes back and says PayPal for toy drive.

Mulgrew introduces electronic voting for in-person DA. For yes press A- C press no and no need to clear it. He asks a question to test system.

Question Period

Question: Memo came out from DA: Do they have to update with new variant?

Mulgrew Answer: 2,400 affected by closure. We have closed a school every week. Test and Trace and situation room not where they should be. We bring it up constantly with transition team. Testing is early warning system. 2,400 sounds like a lot but it has to be put in context. Vaccines work but even with a breakthrough, probably  won't get ill unless immunocompromised. We are used to being in a pandemic but this is not a way to live.

Question: Last meeting very chaotic, members asking what happened in call? What can we do to have an orderly discussion to give every voice a chance?

Answer: During debate, will hold people to time and will say what we are voting on twice. On the Danielson rubric, Mulgrew got ineffective in last DA. We owe it to delegation to do it orderly. A large number of delegates contacted him. Sorry for last month.

Question: Payroll coding: School doesn't have coding for partial classroom closure or reimbursements for getting vaccines. How can I find out about that?

Answer: We now have the codes. We brought this to DOE. We will send codes out to the delegation.

Question: When do you anticipate contract negotiations to take place? Is negotiating committee paid?

Answer: We do voluntary negotiations but negotiation committee address this. Another union is in arbitration for last round but could extend two years. The city has money. They are claiming poverty. We have to be ready.

Question: Question of Privilege: In the event a Delegate makes a personal insult, will it be stricken from the record?

Answer: Hoping that issue doesn't happen. There is a process where we could look to strike someone from participating but I think we are better than that. Mulgrew has been in unions where that took place where people were fighting with each other.

Question: Substitutes: Do we have available substitutes because people are being pulled daily for coverages?

Answer: DOE says there are 11,000 substitutes. Subs are getting an extra $50 bucks a day. Paras never processed in the past. UFT got paras hired. DOE HR needs to recruit. Why don't we have a teach NY program with CUNY? We are talking with transition team. Bloomberg contracted this out. They went to the midwest. They went to the Caribbean and Austria. They didn't understand that teachers could curse  at them. DOE says there are 11,000 subs. There are not.

Motion Period

 For this month on member engagement in contract fight-survey and more such as informational campaign.

659 vote yes, 123 no online (I could not hear live votes) but it had well over 2/3 yes votes so it was added to the agenda.

For this month:

Motion says that the UFT must push for regular COVID testing for staff in NYC pre k centers and sites.

762 yes and 58 no online. It carries.

Time ran out before more could be done. 

Wishes all a Happy Holiday. 


Tuesday, December 14, 2021


 Arthur Goldstein has a very interesting report from last night's UFT Executive Board meeting up at NYC Educator.

The Executive Board voted approximately 99-1 against electronic voting for the upcoming UFT election. Here is what Arthur wrote in his report (with my notes on who is Unity and who is not in parenthesis). The debate is on allowing electronic voting in addition to mail-in balloting for the upcoming UFT election:

Michael Shulman--(Election Committee member; Head of New Action, not on Executive Board)Thanks LeRoy Barr for invitation. Thanks Carl Cambria for chairing. Wants to discuss balloting. Favors voting electronically due to low voter turnout. That is key. Not a caucus issue. Big issue is getting membership to participate. Important to be proud of union democracy. We are not moving with the times. About 25% of our membership vote. That is unacceptable. There have been proposals to GOTV, but we are lagging. 

Since pandemic, our union uses secure electronic voting for DA, for CL, for SBOs. Not a radical new proposal. Other public sector unions doing this. We have capability, not as sole source. We could use both. If someone votes both, we could distinguish which came first and that would take precedence. 

I come from older generation. I believe many younger teachers use electronic voting. Snail mail alien to them. 

Akeel Williams(Unity Caucus member)--As far as us moving toward electronic voting, no real proof that it will guarantee more turnout. Maybe we could do this for next election cycle. Wouldn't be vetted and ready for Spring. 

(Another Unity member)--During pandemic used electronic voting for chapters. No evidence it increased participation. 

Mike Schirtzer (Independent)--Agrees with Shulman. PSC (Professional Staff Congress-CUNY union) has option of online voting. We are in a battle to enfranchise folks who lost right to vote. Eric Adams is looking to union bust. Need to show we are strongest and best union. DA and Town Hall numbers are staggering. We trust AAA to get it right. Teachers under 30 don't know where mailboxes are. Need to open options. 

Pat Crispino (Unity)--Respectfully disagrees. Today got email from DOE email, though everyone knows not to do this. We will be repping our members who use DOE apparatus when teaching. Opposes change.

Rashad Brown(Unity)--Opposes recommended change. Electronic voting has had issues. Many don't get emails or text. Not there yet. 

Servia Silva (Unity)--Opposes change. Had lower participation for SBOs and CL elections. Paper had much more. Calendar was voted on.

Mike Sill(Unity)--We don't know what's coming with new admin, or pandemic. Moment of instability not good to make change. Election season already begun. If we face hostile admin, we don't want voting called into question. Not time to experiment. 

Tom Murphy (Unity)--Sympathetic to anything that will increase turnout. Retirees had larger turnout because of controversial issue. To get vote out, we should campaign. 

The Executive Board then voted with only Schirtzer dissenting to have exclusive mail-in balloting. Mike and Mike were too polite to make the argument that Unity, just like the Republican Party, is very much for suppressing the vote. They know that they would be taking a very big chance if there was voting in the schools or electronic voting as more people might vote to throw Unity out.

Mike Schirtzer pointed out to me later that the 99% to 1% vote illustrates how the UFT Executive Board does not represent the membership. Seriously, if you asked 100 UFT members if there should be electronic voting, I very much doubt 99 of them would say no unless they were 99 Unity Caucus members. 

We need to vote to oust Mulgrew and his entire caucus.  After spending four months negotiating within United for Change, I can guarantee you that there will be robust debate if we were elected to run the UFT.

In other Executive Board news, the arbitration for Spring Break 2020 pay is underway.

Once again we turn to Arthur's report:

Spring break--Arbitration going on. Five unions involved. We are first. Others will follow. Cannot go into details, but we have made clear we must receive the value of our work. Arbitrator concerned about money. Car day not equivalent. Two for one upon retirement. We need value of 7 days work, which we did. Expecting to know something by next week.

Finally, today I want to define the word privatization for President Michael Mulgrew:

Privatization-the transfer of a business, industry, or service from public to private ownership and control.

This is from

Original Medicare:

Original Medicare is coverage managed by the federal government.

Now for Medicare Advantage:

Medicare Advantage is Medicare-approved plan from a private company that offers an alternative to Original Medicare for your health and drug coverage. 

Mulgrew from his report last night, via Arthur, on the new Medicare (dis)Advantage plan Mulgrew is touting for city retirees that a judge has delayed the start date:

People say we're privatizing health care. Ridiculous.

What does Mulgrew call it when Medicare-eligible retirees are switched to an Advantage plan administered by  Blue Cross and Emblem Health (private entities) rather than staying in government-administered Medicare for 80% of their coverage?

Many city retirees are choosing to stay in government-administered Medicare that will now cost them almost $400 a month for a wife and husband to avoid going through bureaucratic gatekeepers Medicare Advantage Plus (Mulgrewcare) requires to get medically necessary procedures approved. The cost for the current original Medicare plan is $0 after reimbursements. Keep up the hands off our healthcare fight folks.

Sunday, December 12, 2021


Bronx ATR is an internet friend and ATR Adventure blogger. We barely met in-person once at a dissident ATR  meeting but we stay in touch on the internet. 

This morning he sent me an insiders account of Eagle Academy run by incoming Chancellor David Banks. Bronx ATR did a stint there in his Absent Teacher Reserve rounds. He survived it and is now happily retired teaching English a few days a week to immigrants from Central America.

Hi James, 

I’m trying to stay off the blogs, but I wanted to let you know my personal experience with Eagle Academy in the Bronx. 

First of all, it’s a completely segregated school. It’s segregated first by race and secondly by gender. The school building off Tremont Avenue is incredibly beautiful and modern. The cherry on the cake is its basketball and gym facilities.  Most of it was funded from private donors that Banks has the privilege to be friends with and actively engages for money. 

Sports is used as a carrot and a stick with the kids. The kids all wear uniforms and are very covert with their misdeeds. (It reminded me of my Catholic school days in All Hallows Institute on 164th St. I believe Banks has based his schools on All Hallows, although I have never heard him admit it.) 

If you’re an ATR or a sub there, you are going to suffer greatly. It was by far the worst school I was placed at during my 5 1/2 years in the pool. If you were a brand new teacher-  you were going to suffer. They actively recruit only black teachers from private schools like Boston Latin. The poor devil I knew from there - a great guy and teacher, sold his house in late August and came to work there and was completely misled. (He told me the principal came up to Boston with some of Banks’ bureaucracy and watched his classes and brought him down to Eagle, and kept them there for a couple of days to watch the classes and see how the school was run, and basically cherry picked the classes and the kids he would interact with. He ended up leaving in mid December.) 

It was by and large the worst school I was ever placed in. It was a hellish experience. (The school I was in previously wanted to hire me but simply didn’t have the budget. I tried to get hold of Mike Sill but he did nothing to help.) The boys would be constantly dry humping each other and simulating sex. If you turned your back for a moment books were flying through the room. The Deans and those who are trying to keep order could only do so while they were in the room. I was warned by security agents not to go to that school when I was placed there in November of 2017, as they had many officers involved in major problems there. 

I should also mention the support staff there was incredibly dedicated. Many of the aides there acted as deans and really did the best they could. The secretaries there were great and were the de facto counselors for some of the teachers and students. When a deeply segregated school tries to maintain the outward appearance of conformity and control everything becomes covert and much more nasty than in an open environment, imho.

I don’t believe in segregation in any form. Just because it’s paid for by private funds doesn’t make it OK. NYC is going to see a lot of ‘private’ schools coming in to New York City because of Bloomberg‘s money and Banks’s and Adams leadership. 

The one good thing I will say though is that they suspended kids there but only for serious issues. I saw a kid rip the water fountain out of the wall and throw it and he was actually expelled. So one good thing I think he will see is a return to a suspension policy. 

Cheers, have a great Christmas and New Year’s.

I just spoke to another ATR who spent time at Eagle in the Bronx. He confirms Bronx ATR's account. He corroborated that the school was all about appearances but the kids were totally out of control. 

Anyone expecting an Adams-Banks change to the DOE culture of "making it look good" is likely to be disappointed.

Saturday, December 11, 2021


I've been very busy the last few days spending a great deal of time working on the United for Change coalition that is coming together to challenge Michael Mulgrew's Unity Caucus in the next UFT election that will take place in the spring. If all goes well with the intense ongoing negotiations, we should be able to announce candidates very soon. 

The UFT will need to be organized and mobilized quickly now that Mayor-Elect Eric Adams has chosen David Banks as his Chancellor.

This is from Chalkbeat's article on Thursday's press conference introducing Banks:

The incoming chancellor has also begun to assemble his cabinet. He has tapped Dan Weisberg — who runs an organization focused on teacher quality and handled labor issues under Mayor Michael Bloomberg — to be his top deputy. That move is likely to raise eyebrows with the city’s teachers union, which has previously clashed with Weisberg.

Michael Mulgrew, head of the teachers union, did not attend Thursday’s press conference but put out a supportive statement about Banks’ appointment. (The principals union chief attended the event in person.)

Mulgrew was actually right when he stated last spring that an Eric Adams mayoralty will bring back the worst of the Michael Bloomberg years on education. The UFT President warned us about Andrew Yang and Eric Adams before the primary at the Delegate  Assembly in May.

Yang and Adams working with people who are proven enemies of public education who want to get back into City Hall. 

Mulgrew subsequently lost plenty of UFT credibility when the Union turned around and endorsed Adams after Adams won the Democratic primary in June. Backing someone just because he is likely to win who opposes our core values does not make Mulgrew a pragmatic leader. It makes us look like a flip-flopping joke. 

The ed deformers are back and it is no coincidence that Bloomberg is going to spend 3/4 of a billion dollars for new charter schools now. There's no sugarcoating it. de Blasio never strayed too far from the Bloomberg style of running the schools but it did improve in some ways. Adams will likely reshuffle the bureaucracy yet again but don't expect to see the money end up in the classrooms. It usually doesn't. Expect stupid deforms.

Blogger Gary Rubenstein has it right on what we are up against. Gary's blog post is called, The Tip of the Weisberg. 

Weisberg has led the TNTP that was founded by anti-union Michelle Rhee.  Gary makes some important points:

In 2009 they got into funding ‘research’ and their first publication was called ‘The Widget Effect’ which argued the benefits of merit pay for teachers based on standardized test scores. This publication is still often quoted despite very shoddy statistical practices. Dan Weisberg was the lead author of ‘The Widget Effect.’ More recently they put out something called “The Opportunity Myth” about how most teachers have low expectations because they do activities that don’t completely adhere to the researcher’s interpretation of the Common Core Standards.

Fifteen years ago there were plenty of Michelle Rhee type reformers in leadership positions in school districts around the country. As that brand of reform failed to deliver results, those reformers took positions in think tanks where they could make a lot more money but where they would not have such direct power over school systems.

Back in the Bloomberg/Klein days, people like Weisberg would celebrate judicial rulings where parents would fight to not have their children’s schools shut down. Charter schools, in the wake of ‘Waiting For Superman’, were supposedly proving that all you needed to turn around a school was to staff them with non-unionized teachers. Teacher bashing was all the rage, they even had their own Walton funded movie flop ‘Won’t Back Down.’

What about today, Gary?

But things are different now. Reformers are not as brazen as they once were. The charter bubble has burst a bit, though Bloomberg has $750 million that says he can revive it. But it will be hard. With the failures of projects like The Achievement District in Tennessee, it will a tougher sell to say that we need to replicate their accomplishments. Back in the day, there would be so much talk of charters that were beating the odds with 100% graduation rates or 100% college acceptance rates. Those stories were debunked so often that even The74 hardly runs stories like that anymore. Does anyone know whatever happened to KIPP? The only charter chain that can even claim to get good test scores is Success Academy, and even reformers hardly like to talk about them since they boot (or discourage from enrolling) so many kids who might bring down their precious test scores.

So where does a teacher basher fit into the current system? As a New York City teacher with two kids in the system, I’m a bit scared to find out.

Gary goes on to show some anti-union Tweets from Weisberg.

Now look closely at a sample of what Banks told NBC 4 on Thursday:

“Teachers very often may say ‘I don’t want to work on Saturday, I don’t want to work all year long.’ But if we continue to do things the way we’ve been doing them? We’ll continue to get the same results,” said Banks.

He also added that if the teachers don’t want to work the additional hours on Saturdays or over the summer, he’ll bring in community groups to fill the void. All is part of his plan to break the mold when it comes to education.

Union busting right from the start.

The UFT is a potentially powerful Union but under Mulgrew we are so unorganized and weak that I can't see us ready to wage a battle under Mulgrew's concessionary style leadership against Adams. Don't forget mayoral control of NYC schools is up for renewal in June in Albany. We need new leadership and an organized membership. 

We should be organizing and mobilizing our members and allies to take away the mayor's power over public schools which sunsets in Albany next June and has to be renewed by the State Legislature and Governor to continue. Are we going to start hearing again how busting teacher unions is the civil rights issue of our time? We could very easily end up steamrolled by Adams who on education looks to be planning a fourth Bloomberg term.