Saturday, February 27, 2021


This is from the NY Post:

A second woman has accused Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment, according to a new report.

Charlotte Bennett, a 25-year-old former aide to Cuomo, told the New York Times that the governor asked her inappropriate personal questions and had said that he was open to relationships with women in their 20s.

More from Newsday:

"He asked me if I believed if age made a difference in relationships and he also asked me in the same conversation if I had ever been with an older man," Bennett told the newspaper, adding the governor asked her if she had sex in any of her recent relationships.

Bennett said she "absolutely" viewed those as clear overtures to a sexual relationship.

The accusation came just days after Lindsey Boylan, a former state deputy secretary for economic development, published an online essay accusing Cuomo of kissing her without her consent and making inappropriate comments. Cuomo denied the allegations.

Add in the nursing home scandal and the resulting bullying of Assemblyman Ron Kim for exposing Cuomo, the result is a weakened governor in need of friends.

I ask again why did the UFT and NYSUT not lean heavily on their wounded governor friend to waive the teacher evaluation law this year instead of just agreeing to one that has observations and Measures of Student Learning in the middle of a pandemic? 

Any judgement made against an employee based on their pedagogical skills in a pandemic is absurd and meaningless.

Friday, February 26, 2021


 From Chalkbeat:

New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza is leaving his post on March 15, a sudden departure in the middle of a public health crisis that has meant a tumultuous, draining year for the city’s roughly 960,000 students and their families.

Meisha Ross Porter, the executive superintendent of the Bronx, will replace Carranza and become the first Black woman to lead the nation’s largest school system, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday.

Porter will take over a fraying school system, with many students having lost out on critical instructional time and facing mounting mental health needs. On top of that, many schools have seen significant enrollment drops, with the overall student population dropping 4% from the previous year, and as a result, many principals might start next year in serious debt.

Families on both sides of the reopening debate — those who wished this year was fully remote and those who want their children back in classrooms five days a week — are frustrated with Carranza and de Blasio, and have blasted them for not having a clearer plan for September.

Porter, a New York City public school graduate, started out as a youth organizer in the Bronx’s Highbridge neighborhood and has worked for the education department for 20 years, serving as a teacher, principal, and superintendent in the Bronx. In 2018, Carranza appointed her to fill the new role of executive superintendent in the Bronx, overseeing the borough’s 361 schools.

“I am ready to hit the ground running and lead New York City schools to a full recovery,” Porter said in a statement.”

UFT reaction::

UFT President Michael Mulgrew on the Resignation of Chancellor Richard Carranza

“Richard Carranza was a real partner in our efforts to open school safely. Too often he had to fight behind the scenes to keep the needs of students, staff and their families ahead of politics. We wish him well. He will be missed.”

“We have successfully partnered with Meisha Ross Porter on projects in the past, including the Bronx Plan and expanding community schools. We look forward to working with her in the future.”

Reader thoughts?


Thursday, February 25, 2021


I saw this response to a question that Mayor Bill de Blasio gave on the Brian Lehrer show back on February 12.

Our friend Reality Based Educator sums up the mayor's thinking quite well:

Is the end of the pandemic near or is the fourth wave coming? The NY Times uncharacteristically played it down the middle this evening. They interviewed 21 scientists. They report that case numbers are going down so states are opening up but they admit that is not the whole story:

Buoyed by the shrinking rates over all, however, governors are lifting restrictions across the United States and are under enormous pressure to reopen completely. Should that occur, B.1.1.7 and the other variants are likely to explode.

“Everybody is tired, and everybody wants things to open up again,” Dr. Tuite said. “Bending to political pressure right now, when things are really headed in the right direction, is going to end up costing us in the long term.”

Looking ahead to late March or April, the majority of scientists interviewed by The Times predicted a fourth wave of infections. But they stressed that it is not an inevitable surge, if government officials and individuals maintain precautions for a few more weeks.

A minority of experts were more sanguine, saying they expected powerful vaccines and an expanding rollout to stop the virus. And a few took the middle road.

“We’re at that crossroads, where it could go well or it could go badly,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The vaccines have proved to be more effective than anyone could have hoped, so far preventing serious illness and death in nearly all recipients. At present, about 1.4 million Americans are vaccinated each day. More than 45 million Americans have received at least one dose.

A team of researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle tried to calculate the number of vaccinations required per day to avoid a fourth wave. In a model completed before the variants surfaced, the scientists estimated that vaccinating just one million Americans a day would limit the magnitude of the fourth wave.

“But the new variants completely changed that,” said Dr. Joshua T. Schiffer, an infectious disease specialist who led the study. “It’s just very challenging scientifically — the ground is shifting very, very quickly.”

Shouldn't we error on the side of preventing serious illness and more death by shutting down and not accepting de Blasio's unacceptable COVID-19 numbers?

Wednesday, February 24, 2021


 From Pew Research:

The latest from Mulgrew:

Dear __________,

Tomorrow marks the first day back inside your school building for many of you. We understand this transition may be challenging and have been working ahead of your return to ensure your safety. Still, we are counting on you to be the eyes and ears of the building and to alert us immediately if you see any issues upon your return.

We have already reached out to your chapter leaders, and your COVID-19 building response team will be making sure the processes and procedures are in place for safety protocols, personal protective equipment and other COVID-related concerns. The building response team consists of members of your school staff who take on the following roles: BRT leader, special needs coordinator, emergency officer, assembly point coordinator, recorder, school nurse, custodian and school safety agent(s).

In addition to this school-based building response team, the UFT has sent health and safety liaisons to check that the PPE and safety protocols we established in September remain in place at your building.

Middle schools will be observing the more stringent in-school testing regimen that the city agreed to adopt in December when elementary and District 75 schools reopened:

●Mandatory weekly testing: Twenty percent of all in-person students and staff in all open school buildings will be randomly tested on a weekly basis.
●Student consent: No student will be allowed to stay in school for in-person learning without a testing consent form signed by their parent or guardian. Principals have been instructed to conduct a testing consent form review by the end of the workday on Feb. 24.

Answers to many questions on building safety can be found on our Safety FAQ, which is updated regularly to reflect the latest information.

Please alert your chapter leader and call our special safety hotline at 212-331-6317 to report unsafe conditions or protocols that are not working correctly at your school.

Your devotion to your students and your flexibility this school year are unmatched, and you deserve to feel safe in your workplace. Working together, we will make sure our school communities remain safe.


Michael Mulgrew
UFT President

Tuesday, February 23, 2021


For those who wish to go to the video of Biden's campaign pledge, you can find it here.

Question to Biden in December 2019: Will you commit to ending the use of standardized testing in public schools?

Biden Answer: Yes....

It didn't long before Biden broke his word on standardized testing. At least he is reviving the opt-out movement.

Have at it MAGA's. Betsy DeVos was better on testing in the pandemic than the Biden administration. 

Update: NY State Education Department Statement: 



Media Contact:

JP O’Hare or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201





“USDE informed states last night that it will not grant a blanket waiver for state assessments. While we are disappointed by this decision, we are examining all possible options. Further, USDE made the right call in affirming that no child should be made to come to school to take a state assessment. In addition, USDE agreed to uncouple state assessments from accountability measures so no school will be affected by the results of state assessments and the results will solely be used as a measure of student learning. Given these circumstances, the Department will propose a series of regulatory amendments at the March Board of Regents meeting so Regents Exams would not be required to meet graduation requirements and to cancel any Regents Exam that is not required by USDE to be held. We continue to have discussions with USDE regarding this matter to find a path forward that is best for the health and safety of all New York’s children.”

Sunday, February 21, 2021


 This is from USA Today dated February 21, 2021. Please, please take heed.

The headline:

COVID-19 variant found in UK spreads 'like wildfire.' British experts fear what will happen if US won't lock down

LONDON – On Jan. 4, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made yet another somber coronavirus-related address to the nation: A variant first identified in Kent, England, was thought to be 50%-70% more infectious. In little more than a week, hospital admissions had increased by nearly a third. Deaths had risen by 20%. Johnson ordered the country's third full lockdown since the start of the pandemic.

"That means," Johnson said, "the government is once again instructing you to stay at home. You may only leave home for limited reasons permitted in law, such as to shop for essentials, to work if you absolutely cannot work from home, to exercise, to seek medical assistance such as getting a COVID test or to escape domestic abuse."

Monday, amid a dramatic drop in coronavirus infections, Britain's leader will unveil his plan for unwinding one of the world's strictest COVID-19 lockdowns. Only Cuba has tougher restrictions in place, according to an index of government measures compiled by Our World in Data, a research unit attached to Oxford University.

Further down:

Simon Clarke, a professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, said there is an emerging body of evidence suggesting that the B.1.1.7 variant is not only more contagious but also more lethal, a possibility initially raised by British scientists. He said there is anecdotal evidence from hospitals, not confirmed by studies, that the B.1.1.7 variant could harm more younger people. He cautioned it was too early to drawn firm conclusions.

He expressed concern about how the United States would deal with B.1.1.7 if, as expected, it becomes entrenched as the dominant variant by the spring.

"U.S. coronavirus waves have been based on slower-moving variants," Clarke said.

And more:

The USA has seen peaks and declines of COVID-19 cases since the first infections were reported in North America in January 2020, but there are concerns that the B.1.1.7 variation is among a number of different variants that could help precipitate a so-called fourth wave of American coronavirus infections.

'It's like we're trying our best to help the virus': A fourth coronavirus wave is looming if the US fails to contain variants, experts say.

Trevor Bedford, an epidemiologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, said in a Twitter thread Thursday that a steady decline in U.S. coronavirus cases that has brought levels back to where they were in late October could be threatened by the "rapid take-off of B.1.1.7." He said there is evidence that the B.1.1.7 variant "will reach 50% frequency in the U.S. perhaps by late March."

In the USA, there were 1,523 cases of B.1.1.7 reported across 42 states as of Feb. 18, according to CDC data. To put that in perspective, though new coronavirus infections in the USA have been falling broadly for about a month, the daily new case count for February still averages about 95,000, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. In February, U.S. coronavirus deaths have averaged about 2,520 per day.

In Britain, new daily coronavirus case counts have hovered around 12,000 for the past week. Christina Pagel, who leads a team of researchers at University College London who apply mathematics to problems in health care, said the B.1.1.7 variant makes up about 90% of new cases in Britain.

Variants also emerged from Brazil, South Africa and California. Researchers said the United States is almost certainly undercounting cases of the B.1.1.7 variant. The case count has more than quadrupled since Jan. 27.

"It (B.1.1.7) spreads so easily, like wildfire. It's really caught us by surprise," Carl Waldmann, the director of an intensive care unit at a hospital in Reading in southeast England, told German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

As the more contagious variant tore through Britain in January, the government warned that hospitals were on the verge of being overwhelmed. There was a steady stream of pleas from doctors, nurses and other health care workers for the public to abide by Johnson's lockdown.

Johnson is no lefty. Back to the article:

Britain has administered more vaccines per 100 people than any other advanced economy except for Israel, according to Our World in Data. There is little data to show how well the vaccines affect new U.K. infections.

Simon Clarke, a professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, said there is an emerging body of evidence suggesting that the B.1.1.7 variant is not only more contagious but also more lethal, a possibility initially raised by British scientists. He said there is anecdotal evidence from hospitals, not confirmed by studies, that the B.1.1.7 variant could harm more younger people. He cautioned it was too early to drawn firm conclusions.

He expressed concern about how the United States would deal with B.1.1.7 if, as expected, it becomes entrenched as the dominant variant by the spring.

"U.S. coronavirus waves have been based on slower-moving variants," Clarke said.

"If a faster-moving one such as B.1.1.7 starts to take off, then you are going to have yourself a problem if you're not prepared to do a strict, broad-based national lockdown," Clarke said, noting that the United States doesn't seem willing to do this.

Unlike Britain's nationwide orders, not all U.S. states have restrictions on travel for leisure, many states offer exemptions that allow restaurants to stay open and many have resisted calls for entertainment venues, gyms and personal care businesses such as hair salons and tattoo parlors to be closed. It is largely up to local officials to decide whether and how to impose U.S. coronavirus restrictions.

Other countries in Europe that have not imposed lockdowns as strict as Britain's have struggled to keep rising cases of the B.1.1.7 variant in check.

"If you want to get B.1.1.7 under control, lockdowns just have to be that much tougher," said Kit Yates, a professor of mathematical biology at the University of Bath, England.

Yates said he believes that when schools in Britain reopen, coronavirus cases are likely to rise again despite new evidence that the B.1.1.7 variant's transmissibility may not be as high as originally thought. It may be closer to 30% to 40%, he said, more contagious than that of the more commonly found variants in the USA.

[Christina] Pagel, [a] University College London researcher, said Britain's latest lockdown has reduced new cases of coronavirus by about 60%. "That's the good news," she said. "The bad news is that we can't control this thing with half-measures."

She said that if the United States can't or won't order a national lockdown similar to Britain's to deal with the B.1.1.7 variant, its best hope may be to "vaccinate its way out.

Pagel cautioned that if the variant first detected in Britain is allowed to circulate too freely in the USA, it could lead to an even more aggressive variation that could evade vaccines or better target younger people.

She said that cases of an older variant could fall rapidly enough that it might look like everything was OK even while a new variant spread.

"Effectively, you have two epidemics going on at the same time where one is shrinking, and one is growing," she said. "That's exactly what happened in the U.K. and seems likely for the U.S."

Watch our federal, state,  and local officials, both Democrat and Republican, as well as union leaders, f**k this up again so more people will needlessly die. Now is the time to prepare to be ready to lock down, not open up everything as if the pandemic is over. I hope to God I am wrong and that the scientists who are saying we could be reaching herd immunity in the US by April are right, not the UK experts.

Saturday, February 20, 2021


Chalkbeat may be surprised with poll results showing parental support for how schools are handling in-person as opposed to remote education during the pandemic, but I am not at all shocked that parents are generally content with the type of learning their children are getting. As a remote parent of two, I am mostly satisfied with the remote instruction my two kids are receiving and I know they are as safe as possible.

The poll Chalkbeat cites shows 15% of parents want more in-person instruction, 10% want less in-person instruction, and a whopping 75% are getting what they want right now. 

The poll digs a bit deeper:

Thursday, February 18, 2021


UFT pushback succeeded here but I am sure that won't matter to some of our always anti-union commenters.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021


Like just about everyone, this State Education Department memo left me rather astonished.

For those interested in the UFT reaction:

I gather the UFT means court action when they say fight. I think I can say with confidence they don't mean job action.


Is it just me or is the timing of the  email below from Michael Mulgrew just a little strange in the middle of a pandemic? I never recall getting an email from President Mulgrew, President Weingarten, or President Feldman about keeping my beneficiaries updated in case "tragedy strikes unexpectedly." It is important to have current beneficiary information on file but why send this reminder out now? Why is it coming from the UFT President instead of from someone at the UFT Welfare Fund? This looks like  very poor timing to me.

What is especially puzzling is this email was sent to active members. I did not get an equivalent one as a retiree. 

Saturday, February 13, 2021


Andrew Cuomo is in political trouble, maybe real difficulty, for the first time in his years as governor because of the nursing home death coverup.

 From the NY Post:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aide privately apologized to Democratic lawmakers for withholding the state’s nursing home death toll from COVID-19 — telling them “we froze” out of fear that the true numbers would “be used against us” by federal prosecutors, The Post has learned.

The stunning admission of a coverup was made by secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa during a video conference call with state Democratic leaders in which she said the Cuomo administration had rebuffed a legislative request for the tally in August because “right around the same time, [then-President Donald Trump] turns this into a giant political football,” according to an audio recording of the two-hour-plus meeting.

“He starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes,” DeRosa said. “He starts going after [New Jersey Gov. Phil] Murphy, starts going after [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom, starts going after [Michigan Gov.] Gretchen Whitmer.”

In addition to attacking Cuomo’s fellow Democratic governors, DeRosa said, Trump “directs the Department of Justice to do an investigation into us.”

“And basically, we froze,” she told the lawmakers on the call.

More on this from the Guardian:

It emerged earlier this week that New York’s nursing home coronavirus death toll was far higher than Cuomo’s administration had initially admitted. New figures were released following a court order in response to a freedom of information request by the Empire Center for Public Policy showed a significant rise from about 9,000 to close to 15,000 once the previously omitted deaths of nursing home residents who died in hospitals were factored in.

“Who cares [if they] died in the hospital, died in a nursing home? They died,” Cuomo said at a news conference in January after New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, released a damning report stating nursing home deaths were 50% higher than his administration had claimed.

DeRosa’s admission added fuel to growing calls for Cuomo’s resignation, impeachment or removal from office, and on Friday the New York congressman Tom Reed said he would pursue legal action against the governor’s aide.

For those interested in viewing the report Attorney General Letitia James put out in late January, here it is. This is from the press release:

Among those findings were that a larger number of nursing home residents died from COVID-19 than the New York State Department of Health’s (DOH) published nursing home data reflected and may have been undercounted by as much as 50 percent. The investigations also revealed that nursing homes’ lack of compliance with infection control protocols put residents at increased risk of harm, and facilities that had lower pre-pandemic staffing ratings had higher COVID-19 fatality rates. Based on these findings and subsequent investigation, Attorney General James is conducting ongoing investigations into more than 20 nursing homes whose reported conduct during the first wave of the pandemic presented particular concern.

“As the pandemic and our investigations continue, it is imperative that we understand why the residents of nursing homes in New York unnecessarily suffered at such an alarming rate,” said Attorney General James. “While we cannot bring back the individuals we lost to this crisis, this report seeks to offer transparency that the public deserves and to spur increased action to protect our most vulnerable residents. Nursing homes residents and workers deserve to live and work in safe environments, and I will continue to work hard to safeguard this basic right during this precarious time.”

This blog has been critical of the anti-teacher Cuomo for years, including during the height of the first wave of the pandemic when Cuomo was at the height of his popularity.  Having watched the UFT up close for years, we can say with a bit of confidence that we can usually spot BS when we see it and Cuomo is as phony as they come. NY's per capita COVID-19 death rate is the second-highest in the country. Cuomo may no longer be able to talk his way out of it. (Please no comments that we are a Democratic-controlled state. Plenty of Republican states, some with low population density, are at the top of the per capita COVID-19 death list.)

Now that Democrats and Republicans are calling for Cuomo's resignation, impeachment, or taking emergency powers away from him, it is the right time to demand that Cuomo waive the teacher evaluation law again for this year while he still can. No Danielson, no MOSL, no evaluation at all under these pandemic teaching conditions!

Randi Weingarten, Andy Pallotta, and Michael Mulgrew have buddied up to Cuomo for years. It's time to call in a favor. Demand no teacher evaluation. Blog readers can help by spreading the word. 

Friday, February 12, 2021


 The UFT is doing good work here. Please donate to We Feed NYC.

Thursday, February 11, 2021


UFT President Michael Mulgrew is finalizing a deal for remote Danielson observations. It is a hopeful sign that 40% of Delegates and Chapter Leaders voted to put UFT Solidarity's Quinn Zannoni's resolution opposing remote Danielson on the next DA agenda. That's only 11% away from a majority.

Find out how your school's Delegate(s) and Chapter Leader voted at the DA. If they sided with the UFT leadership (Michael Mulgrew's Unity Caucus) in favor of remote Danielson, then you should put up candidates to replace them in Chapter elections this spring.

Chapter elections are fair as ballot boxes can be witnessed as can vote counts. 

For those who want a preview of remote Danielson, this is part of the remote Danielson guide. I not so boldly predict it will be weaponized against teachers by certain administrators.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021


 Two meetings in a row I'm in early.

President's Report

Michael Mulgrew opened the meeting by welcoming Delegates to February DA, We're over halfway through the school year. Hope all are safe. Try to shorten report. Start with a moment of silence for Karen Lewis, the CTU leader who passed away.

 Middle schools, DOE had to have testing in place. Plan with SED says 20% testing per week per building. We didn't take DOE's word for it but city has money from second cares act from federal government. We want them to have testing teams going ahead of time. They have more than enough capacity to test. They are in compliance with state plan. We are working on vaccination program. We are on the phone trying to find more vaccines. All are scrambling looking for more vaccines. City has agreed that the five sites for NYC employees will have a specific number of slots every day dedicated to in-person DOE employees. Elementary, middle school and D75 in-person will get those slots. Middle school people didn't think they needed so much time but we have over two weeks. One day for staff to come in and check everything. We will make sure there is a two week PPE supply. PPE, cleaning protocols are the front line with ventilation are what keeps us safe. Testing gives us warning if there is COVID-19 in the building. Folks going back on 24th have to make sure things are in place. Must make sure that is working. We are working with people from around the country. They need testing capacity. They are fighting for basic things we already have. Contact us if there are issues. Constant monitoring. We then push. We are watching each other's backs.

CDC guidelines on opening schools pushed back to Friday. Will have much like NYC guidelines but they don't have the testing ability. We have COVID building Response Teams. They need to have authority to get things done.

President Biden priority is to open schools safely. He is also saying politics can't get in the way as people are struggling. We need to move and do something dramatic. $170 billion for education in next federal bill. Alot to do this year and next year. Schools can't just handle all the challenges. Chicago is opening. We worked with Jesse Sharkey. Kids getting COVID-19 now. If things start to change, we are monitoring it. 


Worried about supplanting funds. State takes a dollar away for every dollar that comes from the lottery. Governor planning to supplant half of the money. We will get back to some sort of new normal. Academic regression and learning loss are the two big crisis we know are coming at us. We are seeing it in remote and in-person settings. It can't be the usual let the schools handle it. We need funding and support. 

 No finalized APPR (evaluation). Only the governor can waive it. Governor has no appetite to waive it. Budget and early retirement incentive are all people are talking about in Albany. Teaching remotely is not about how many are logged on or who has their camera on. Teaching a class with 6 children with all socially distant. We don't want to hear that someone is not doing group work. We have redefined the engaging of students. Certain superintendents and principals judging engagement by how many are on line. Basic framework document sent to the state. We need to change part of it. Nobody is working in the conditions with which they were hired. DR's superintendents, principasls-chapter leaders need to be trained together. Appeal process will go from school to central and it doesn't need to wait until final rating. Let us know if ther are problems. No such thing as retroactive observations. No crazy crap about how many kids were on and who had cameras on.

SED has sent a waivier to federal government to waive standardized tests for this year. Need the waiver not to lose Title I funds.


We had first mayoral forum. No buzz about mayor's race because there is so much. More city council endorsements today. No endorsement for mayor, comptroller or public advocate or 4 borough presidents yet. More people volunteering to get involved. We look at the plans and viability. Candidates need to have the money. 


Keep going. If I'm out there and don't have an appointment yet, I put my name out there. Federal government going up 20% and supply chain is starting to grow. Vaccination program can get us to herd immunity to get us out of this. I don't want to be in this situation for 2-3 years. We did 400 last week at Thomas Jefferson HS. We will move to where there are needs and a large number of people live in an area. Great day on Monday. Members have a second shot. We got therapists in group A. We are ahead of schedule at the start of February. Send UFT results of test results not coming back fast enough. 252 schools down to 51 not getting results back fast enough. We need the information. Only three schools testing same people every week. Keep the pressure on. We do everything in our power to keep everyone safe. We Feed NYC is going. Food scarcity is really bad. Goal to raise $250,000 to distribute food. Needs in every borough. Food lines everywhere. Anthony Harmon and his team raising money. It will all go for food. We are blessed but it is an inate responsiblity. If there's a need, we help. Working on this on Saturday. Tomorrow and then Lunar New Year. Passed half way mark of the school year. You guys have performed like heroes if schools are open or closed with the crazy mayor. Stupid frustration not needed. People in schools watching each other whether in-person or remote. It's a pandemic. Things aren't fair. We care for children and their families. We will stay true to our principles. Have a wonderful break. A long way to go.

Staff Director's Report:

Leroy Barr gave dates for some upcoming UFT events including We Feed NY this Saturday. Next mayoral Town Hall will be Feb 23. Happy Lunar New Year, and Happy Valentines Day.

  Question Period

Question from CL on teachers getting hig on passing percentage. Teachers can get tortured for passing percentage not being high enough. 

Mulgrew Answer: Big part of consultation with the chancellor. Two deputy chancellors said this isn't going on and is against policy. They don't support it. If you are being told about passing percentages, let us know. We now have a ventilation standard. If you feel comfortable, we need the information. This is a big opportunity. Please let us know. This drives me crazy.

Question: Early retirement incentive?

Answer: We made a big solid case on ERI in Albany and it is starting to move. Other unions in other counties around the state want to be in. Developing language to get this in. Weare lined up this year but we don't have it yet.  We're moving this and not getting the usual no way answer. It is a responsible thing to do at this point. 

 Question: Middle school buildings opening, what about high schools?

Answer: No discussions with DOE on high schools. Three more high schools opened up as vaccination sites. Even at federal level, it is k-8. Had to have testing capacity for middle schools. Massive amount of testing going on. We are the testing capital of the world on COVID-19 testing. B group right now was about 8.2 million statewide. That grew to 16.4. With restuarant people in there, B group is now 30 million people who are eligible for vaccination. 130,000 vaccines. Large buildings in communities are schools. C group is everyone else. 70% of parents still don't want their kids in school. We don't know what it will be like in September. No conversations about high schools. (Note If 30 million are eligible and the population of NYS is 19+million, where did all these other people come from?)

Question: Administration is all on accomodation. Sub AP does observations with AP on phone?

Answer: Have to account for someone working in a cafeteria or children who are remote and have broadband issues. We don't want kids or adults hurt during this pandemic. DOE understands this and will have joint training on what is and isn't supposed to be happening with evaluations. One system for 80 years and we have had five different evaluation systems in the last 11 years. We have new appeal process for this year that goes from school to central committee. I hear trepidation. A guy walking around with someone on video call is very strange. 

Question: Window for kids coming in from full remote to in-school learning?

Answer: No such thing as a local opt in period. We know how many kids are scheduled to be in school for testing. Let district rep know. More and more kids on live rosters who aren't coming.

Question: Does situation room tell principals about positive students?

Answer: They notify the principal of positive test result. They share classroom. Staff gets general communication. HIPPA regs are followed. More than one, contact tracing and school is closed. 50,000 tests are happening each day. Some schools aren't told until late they won't be opening the next day because of a backlog. Call us. Standard communication process from principal to staff and principal to parent. Sometimes it gets complicated. 

Question: Paperwork including IEPS. What can be done about excessive paperwork?

Answer: We will put that to the DOE. will put it on consultation to the chancellor. 

Follow-up: Working remote until 2:00 am each day. I'm doing everything on my time. D75 students are different that gen ed population. Many D75 kids can't open the computer. Need more info for D75.   Teaching daily five periods per day. Not teaching every minute. Can't do a breakout in a 6 to1 to 1 students. 

Answer: We will try to find some way to ease that. 

Question: 1 to 1Paras not on accommodation have fully remote classes. Do they have to come into building?

Answer: Yes

Question: Changing school closing criteria talk?

Answer: No way. No virus spread in schools because we don't know if cases are linked. We will fight if mayor tries to change this. 

Question: High school teachers told to come in to proctor SAT?

Answer: More students would come in  than other tests. If entire Brooklyn Tech junior class comes in, that could be 1,500 kids. PPE still needs to be in place. Social distancing too. Try to work through process with DOE.

Motion Period:

Some things we already have resolutions and positions on. By trying to tie our hands, we can't do that. Can't negotiate time for money in negotiations.

Quinn Zannoni from Solidarity: Motion for next month's agenda on evaluations. Based on an emergency APPR waived. Only tech people like Gates would benefit. It doesn't make sense to have an evaluation now with year already over halfway through. We don't know what is effective. No research on these tech evaluations. Reject evaluation system that has a remote judgment to it.

Speaking against is VEEP Mary Vaccaro. APPR is state law. It must be negotiated between DOE and UFT. Best interest to set a shared framework. First time we have been in remote but this is called for no evaluation for teachers who are remote. 3C engagement will be redefined to show what good practice looks like. Please oppose this resolution.

40% in favor-60% against.

For this month: Motion for the UFT to support tax the rich and invest in NY coalition. Raise $50 million.

70% in favor-30% against.

Daniel Alecia to move up item 6 to item 1 on mayoral control. Must address this immediately. Time-sensitive before mayoral town halls.

A false start on the vote. Mulgrew reset.

59% for-41% Against. It didn't get 2/3 vote so it didn't move up.

Special Orders of Business

City Council endorsements. 

15 endorsements. Brooklyn Borough Rep goes over process for UFT endorsements. Focus is what is best for our union, our profession, and our livelihood.

Mulgrew asks if someone wants to pull the endorsements to pull someone out.

One Delegate asks for D14 candidate to be pulled out.

One asks for D18 candidate to be pulled out.

Another asks for D18 candidate to be pulled out.

Another again asks for D18 to be pulled out. 

Leroy asks for motion to suspend the rules to pull people out. Mulgrew as chair says Parliamentarian will say rules were approved. No ability to pull out individual candidates because that is an amendment. No right to amend this. Pulling candidates out would be an amendment. Working under these rules, it doesn't work that way. Resolution has to be voted on as a whole.

Bronx Borough Rep speaks in favor of all the endorsements. Says essentially what the Brooklyn Borough Rep said. 

UFT retiree exec bd member speaks next to speak in favor of endorsements. Says the same thing as the first two  but this time for Staten Island. 

Mulgrew and Leroy then speak of Robert's Rules. Need a motion from the body to suspend the rules to allow single candidates to be considered separately.

Motion to suspend the rules come from Delegate. Mulgrew says it's a majority. Parliamentarian says it is 2/3 (after probably looking it up as he didn't seem too sure.)

66% Yes-34% No. Mulgrew suspends rules so there can be an amendment. (Note: 67% is 2/3.)

Jonathan Halabi says no endorsement for D18. 

Someone speaks in favor of amendment for no endorsement for D18. Wants someone who UFT didn't pick. 

Someone else speaks against the amendment and for the UFT's process. He trusts the people in the district.

Someone on the Bronx committee speaks against the amendment and in favor of the UFT process. Says it was fair and equitable. Stand by committee recommendations.

Mulgrew then makes his own motion to call the question.

 69% in favor of calling the question (ending debate on amendment).

Mulgrew reports that chancellor just said nobody can opt in for in-person learning now.

45% yes-55% No on amendment to pull D 18 endorsement resolution.

Motion to extend meeting to vote on endorsements.

60% in favor-40% Against. (That's not 2/3 needed to suspend the rules but Mulgrew suspended them anyway and kept it going.)

Mulgrew says he's trying to figure out a hybrid model for next year for DAs.

Someone calls the question to end debate.

86% in favor-14% opposed.

80 Yes-20% No on all of the endorsements.

Thanks Delegates God bless and be safe.