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Maybe a typo

March 21, 2009 pm31 7:58 pm

In a recent letter to the Wall Street Journal, a UFT leader wrote:

Unfortunately, there are people who are so entrenched in the old battles between policy makers and labor that they fail to see that we have moved beyond past skirmishes and are working together for our city’s kids.

Perhaps that’s a typo? It turns reality on its head. My take is that some of our union leaders deal with DoE Central, legal, etc, on a day to day basis, make agreements, sit down the next month and make new agreements. They don’t see or don’t notice that the DoE systematically violates the spirit and letter of its own agreements. They are at war with us, and anyone who is too close to see should take a step back and take a far more careful look.

We have recently witnessed:

  • The surge in abusive principals. Iris Blige is one of many.
  • School closings without community input. Neighborhoods left with no neighborhood elementary school.
  • ATRs: a large and growing number of ATRs. The November deal has led to fewer than 20 placements so far.
  • RTRs: the first teacher lay offs in years.
  • CFE $ for reducing class sizes misdirected and used for everything but.
  • A massive increase in paper work. Individual student goals that must be typed and retyped. “Accountability” loads on teachers and counselors through the roof.
  • A mindless, slavish tracking of data, at the expense of education. Progress reports that measure nothing, but are rigged to generate fear (and busy work).
  • Off the scale test prep.
  • Parking rearranged not to reduce parking spaces, but to reduce the number of teachers who have access to them.
  • Credit recovery – off the scale, often with almost no work required, making a mockery of our work, and graduating kids without high school level skills.

This is a DoE that violates agreements at will. A DoE that decentralizes with the intent of making it impossible to track who is violating or abusing the system. A DoE that is trying to turn teaching into a temp job. A DoE that shows no respect for students, parents, or teachers.

If we sit down with the DoE, and we take them at their word, we are selling our members short. If we sign an agreement, and we believe that they intend to honor it, we are selling our members short. This is a vicious, nasty, lying, cheating, dishonorable DoE. And they are at war with us.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Chaz permalink
    March 22, 2009 am31 2:42 am 2:42 am

    You left out a few.

    crowded “rubber rooms”
    A one million dollar “gotcha squad” to fire teachers.

    • March 22, 2009 am31 2:43 am 2:43 am

      Yes, yes, and yes. And there’s more should be added. The message is clear.

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