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Should we talk about blended learning? Some in the UFT do not think so

November 18, 2020 pm30 6:58 pm

I submitted a resolution to this month’s Delegate Assembly – to move away from Blended Learning. I am attaching the text at the bottom. I submitted as late as possible – five minutes before the deadline – assuming that I would be #14 on the list and it would not come up. I was a bit surprised – there were only two submissions. The Stop Blended Learning reso would come up.

However, with today’s closure, no one is teaching blended tomorrow. And the agenda included a dozen resolutions, and #1 and #12 I really want to vote on (#1, Black Lives Matter, has already passed).

So I was prepared to withdraw the resolution for today. I drafted what I would say:

Jonathan Halabi, Chapter Leader, High School of American Studies at Lehman College. – bear with me for a moment. We really do need to talk about blended learning. All of our members need to be part of that conversation. But we have a dozen important resolutions coming up; I want to get to them all. And, with today’s announcement, no one is teaching “blended” tomorrow. Michael, I’m not making a motion today. Let’s move the agenda.

But I didn’t get a chance to graciously withdraw the reso. The leadership of the United Federation of Teachers filibustered. Mulgrew dragged out the first motion, and added three minutes of commentary after, until the motion period had run out. I cannot recall another time when they killed so much time that only one motion came up during the ten minute motion period. Why is the UFT Leadership unwilling to discuss “blended learning”? We really do need to talk about it. There could have been honest disagreement in July. But today we have experience, and we should be discussing that experience (and probably concluding that “blended” is the worst option for most students, teachers, classes, and schools.

A Call to End Blended Learning

Whereas the pandemic has caused a crisis in our schools, and

Whereas it was incumbent upon New York City to examine ways to open schools, and

Whereas New York City attempted to implement “blended learning” and

Whereas “blended learning” has not proved to be a viable model for most of our students and schools;

Therefore be it resolved that the United Federation of Teachers recognizes that “Blended Learning” has not worked and will communicate this understanding to our partners in the New York City Department of Educaiton and

Be it further resolved that the United Federation of Teachers will explore models other than “blended learning” for our schools, including fully in person for certain groups of students and fully remote for all others, and also including fully remote for everyone, and

Be it further resolved that the United Federation of Teachers will negotiate with the Department of Education to implement models other than “blended learning” in our schools.


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