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Burying a story – UFT on AFT on tenure

February 28, 2010 am28 4:02 am

January 12, 2010, the president of the AFT gave a speech offering up an attitude favorable to giving back tenure rights across the country. That same day the president of the UFT wrote a letter to members distancing the UFT from Weingarten’s proposals.

Mulgrew wrote, in part: “Her proposals would require a climate of collaboration and trust that simply does not exist here.” and “We also have no interest in teachers languishing in rubber rooms for years on end waiting for their cases to be heard, but the DOE has repeatedly ignored the UFT’s substantive suggestions to speed up the discipline process.”

I wrote about this, New Action had a statement, all well and good. And then, a few days later, I noticed that the letter, really a fairly remarkable letter, had not been covered by the usual gaggle of ICE bloggers, nor by Gotham Schools. What’s happened with those two since?

A Gotham Schools reporter, Elizabeth Green, commented on this blog, saying “Don’t read into our silence. We will be covering the letter.” So the speech was January 12. This was already 5 days later (Gotham Schools posts Monday – Friday, at least five times each day). And generally GothamS publishes what it gets, as it gets it (same day, next day). But it wasn’t until February 4, over three weeks later, under the fairly innocuous headline On linking test scores to tenure, a teachers union stands divided that GothamS buried the story in plain sight. (It’s what I did here, as well. I wanted to draw attention to GothamS, not the presidents, so I intentionally left their names out of the title.)  I don’t have a good guess about what their motivation was. I do wonder.

Easier to explain is ICE. If they are running on “Mulgrew’s not tough” and if Mulgrew looks tough, they are better off ignoring him. Which they seem to have done. Funny thing, over on one of NS’s blogs (no links from here), a correspondent wrote:

Nevertheless, I see that current prez Mike Mulgrew seems to oppose Weingarten on this. The jd2718 link above gives Mulgrew’s response, and the New Action NAC position can be found here. It says…

And then she quotes extensively from New Action. And then she finishes with a prediction –

I am sure ICE and TJC will have an opinion on this, but haven’t spoken with them, so I can’t elaborate. Some of those people are far more knowledgeable of union history than I am, so I am sometimes hesitant to write about new issues without talking to them first. Coraggio.

– a prediction yet to be fulfilled. Seven weeks of silence.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 28, 2010 pm28 2:00 pm 2:00 pm

    Wait I don’t see what lead we buried. The actual lead is, “Local teachers union president Michael Mulgrew appears to be at odds with his old boss, national union president Randi Weingarten, over the question of whether to link students’ test scores to teacher evaluations.”

    Maybe I am missing what you think the real story is, or maybe you are just referring to the headline?

    Re: timing: It’s kind of flattering to be close-read like this. I wish there were some fascinating secret reason for our timing. In truth, you just scooped us.

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