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How will the UFT advise Steiner?

November 23, 2010 am30 8:37 am

Secretly, or not at all (as of today).

At last Wednesday’s Delegate Assembly the question on many delegates minds was: “will the UFT advise Steiner to reject Cathie Black’s waiver?”

That question was not answered by the delegates. In fact, it never really came up.

Instead, a resolution from the Exec Board laid out the case for opposing Black, and drew the wrong conclusion: that we trust Steiner’s panel and process

RESOLVED that the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) support the process established by State Education Commissioner David Steiner as a credible and fair procedure for deciding on the request for a waiver from the qualifications for chancellor of New York City public schools promulgated in state education law.

(this was before the membership of the panel was announced). The Exec Board had adopted the resolution the previous day, by e-mail ballot. I voted no:

I vote no on the attached resolution. This is a solid resolution, down to the resolved. There is a missing “Resolved… ” statement. We should be calling on Steiner to reject the waiver for Black, and we should be calling on our members to add their voices to the thousands who have already called, written, e-mailed and signed.

At the DA, the leadership called for an amendment from the floor – they added a resolved, not against Black, but for amending the law. Amending the law to do away with waivers?  That would have been good. While Weingarten was still here, when it was clear we were going to support an extension of mayoral control, New Action had tried to get us behind “no waiver.” But no, this amendment was for the search for chancellor to be an open process (fine, but beside the point).

The motivator insulted the intelligence of the assembly by implying that if Black didn’t get approved we could get Rhee instead. Way to appeal to fear and not the merits. Mulgrew had earlier spoken to his positive opinion of Steiner.

And the discussion?  One delegate from Andrew Jackson, no Beach Channel, no, nowhere, tried to connect our position on Black to some guarantees on school closings. He offered a second amendment. A Unity Exec Board member spoke against that amendment. A Unity Chapter Leader said almost the exact same thing. And Steve Q. called the question. That was it. No debate on the UFT attitude towards the selection of schools chancellor.

The leadership was clever to frame the resolution away from the question:  “will the UFT advise Steiner to reject Cathie Black’s waiver?”  The discussion was cut dramatically short, before the issue could come from the floor.

– – — — —– ——– —– — — – –

Once Steiner announced the panel on Friday there was additional recoil. Everyone immediately noted that Alonso, Brizard and Cahill had worked under Klein. The papers are picking up possible conflicts for Mirrer and even Fuhrman. Looks to all the world like the fix is in.

At last night’s Exec Board a New Action supporter asked if we would reconsider our stance, based on this “odd” panel. The question was answered gently, but no.

 

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Chaz permalink
    November 23, 2010 pm30 4:50 pm 4:50 pm

    it does not surprise me one bit.

    As for Michelle Rhee getting the job? That is a union red herring since Bloomberg does not want another Joel Klein clone but somebody who will blindly follow his agenda in ruthlessly cutting budgets and that is Cathie Black’s strong suit.

  2. saison1 permalink
    December 1, 2010 pm31 11:07 pm 11:07 pm

    No wonder unions have such a bad rap the forces of privatization f ully taking advantage of how it kowtows to the ruling elites a is they bulldoze public education in the inner cities.

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