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UFT Elections – Retirees

April 26, 2019 am30 11:33 am

I might follow this post with a little analysis.

I’ve delayed reporting the retiree numbers, because I have problems with the historic numbers. Retiree votes are constitutionally capped. The cap used to be 18,000. Now it’s more. My variety of sources include:

  • Capped numbers (official and unofficial)
  • Raw numbers (official and unofficial)
  • Back-calculated numbers

The totals I am reporting are inconsistently calculated. I don’t know if there’s any sense using them to compare year to year, except as percentages between caucuses. If anyone can help me puzzle this out, I would work with you.

Anyway, imperfect as they are, here are my numbers.

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UFT Elections – Functionals

April 23, 2019 am30 10:28 am

“Functional” as a division requires some explanation. I’ll get some of it right, but I find it complicated. Functional Chapters are organized across schools, by members’ function – or job. Guidance Counselors, Paraprofessionals, Secretaries, Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Nurses, etc.

Are non-DoE chapters “functional chapters”? I don’t know. I do know that when I say “our contract” I am excluding functional chapters – there are separate contracts for other titles.

In any case, since “functional” actually covers a range of titles and locations, lumped together, the votes there are more of a composite, giving guesswork a larger role in analysis.

These numbers look different from the teacher divisions. The total number of votes has not consistently declined. Unity’s totals have not consistently declined. There’s a significant unexplained blip from 2007 to 2010 in raw opposition vote.

UFT Elections – Middle Schools and Elementary Schools

April 21, 2019 pm30 7:19 pm

New Action for over a decade won the High School Division in UFT elections. Since 2000 that has changed, with ICE/TJC winning once, New Action winning in coalition with Unity, then in coalition with MORE, and this election Unity winning the seats outright (though running with two independents).

No other division has been in play – except for the Middle Schools. New Action won them once, long ago. But after the last election some thought it might be possible to put the Middle Schools into play.

Elementary schools have been a Unity stronghold. No one expected anything different this time.

I don’t have actual results, but backed into the numbers by looking at minimum vote by caucus by division in Exec Board At Large voting, In other words, I am confident that the following numbers are at least partially wrong, but definitely close. With that caveat, the results in these two divisions:

UFT Elections – Totals

April 20, 2019 pm30 1:00 pm

It was a bad election for the UFT. Vote totals were down across the board. My caucus, New Action, did particularly poorly

Unity did sweep the seats. But the group that has a monopoly on power has a growing inability to turn out votes, even after turning a popular chapter leader of a huge school, and a prominent Bernie Sanders supporter, with following.

Anyway, here’s the numbers for this time (back-estimated based on minimum vote on Exec Board At-Large, by Division by Slate) and the numbers for the previous five elections.

I’m holding historic retiree numbers until I have a better way of handling the weighting/non-weighting/change in weighting.

UFT Elections – High Schools

April 20, 2019 am30 12:25 am

It was a bad election for my caucus, New Action. And in the high schools, it was a bad election for the UFT. Vote totals were down across the board.

Unity can claim a victory – they took an absolute majority of the high school votes for the first time since I’ve been a teacher… but with their second lowest vote total in years, perhaps ever.

I’ve seen speculation about who came in second overall. These results make me think Unity came in second – and those with an interest in promoting distance between the members and the union – our enemies – came in first.

And who’s next? High schools are the only (for now) winnable division, and no one was remotely close.

Anyways, here’s the numbers (I used the minimum candidate vote in the division for each slate as the slate vote. I could be off by a dozen or so)

Accountability

March 23, 2019 am31 9:03 am

Should every school district be measured with the same ruler? Should they be measured at all? Should the measuring be done by state governments and the US government, none of which (except, I guess, the DoD) actually teach kids?

Monticello, in Sullivan County, has a small school district. Bronxville, in Westchester, has a similarly-sized district. But the circumstances of those living in those districts is dissimilar. Education, which in the abstract might equalize, instead is used to threaten one district, while leaving the other alone. (median family income in Bronxville is almost 10 times greater than in Monticello. The Black and Hispanic population makes up over 40% of Monticello, and about 4% of Bronxville.)

Is each district doing a good job educating its children, given its resources and situation?  What is the state doing to improve resources in Monticello? That’s a question that deserves a QUALITATIVE answer, followed by a challenge to Cuomo. You know what those questions don’t do? They don’t threaten the people who are educating kids, especially those doing so under difficult circumstances.

In the late 90’s, under the cover of developing state “accountability” systems, the Bronx superintendent moved struggling kids into schools he, Gates, and other conspirators had slated for closure. Graduation numbers, test scores, measures of safety – all plummeted, and THOSE SCHOOLS were held accountable for decisions made by THE SUPERINTENDENT. The schools have been closed; the superintendent continued to work as a consultant.

Fifteen years ago the Department of Education started sending our vocational high schools students who were not interested in the careers those schools prepared young people for. The vocational schools were held accountable – and were broken up or shut down – often replaced by schools with no CTE status.

Today the Office of Student Enrollment sends some high schools too many students, or too few, or students without interest in the school’s “special programs.” Who is held accountable? The schools.

We need a real discussion of special education in high schools, where many schools are too small to realistically provide a full range of services, but OSEPO sends them kids who need a wide range of services, and the DoE staff advise them to alter IEPs to match what services they have available. The petty bureaucrats who are cheating the kids, I pity and abhor them – they are trying to cope with an impossible situation. Hang them all, and what would that accomplish? The accountability system still nails the school, the schools large enough to provide the full range of services still don’t get put back together, and those in charge still walk scot free. More on this another day.

At a minimum, those who supervise a group of schools should be held responsible (I refuse to say “accountable”, see above) for their schools. Schools should not be held “accountable” for intentional mismanagement or plain incompetence of their office-based supervisors. We need a way to ask the question “Is this school doing a good job, in its specific circumstances, with its specific resources, and with its actual population?” that does not generate “accountability reports.”

We need real educators in charge. We need to remove the data people and their punitive tests from our system. Asking, “Is this school doing a good job?” should not carry an implicit threat.

Time to resume blogging

February 22, 2019 pm28 2:55 pm

I used to blog a lot.

In 2009 the Department of Education subpoenaed me to testify in a special complaint. When I finally appeared in 2010, the union gave me a strong warning that my blogging might not be protected by the First Amendment.

I thought I ignored the warning, but I became cautious. Too cautious. I wrote less and less. And got used to not writing.

It’s time to get back to business.

jd