2010-11-26 / School News

School Scope

Break-In At UFT Headquarters: Spine Gone
Commentary By Norman Scott

Norman Scott Norman Scott Insider sources at the UFT have informed Ed Notes that an unknown party broke into UFT headquarters. So far the only item that is known to have been taken is UFT President Michael Mulgrew’s spine.

While there has been some suspicion that something was amiss from the day Mulgrew took office, the clincher came with this item in the NY Times: ...Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, the city teachers’ union, said, “All of these people have heavy-duty backgrounds and success in education, so obviously David Steiner is clearly looking at this from the educational side, as he should be.” - NY Times, Nov. 19, 2010 - Panel on Pick for Schools Has Close Ties to Bloomberg

The reporters from the Times, having analyzed the panel and interviewed numerous people who raised issues with the members of the Steiner panel to review Cathie Black’s waiver, were so incredulous at Mulgrew’s comment, one of the lone voices in the article supporting the panel, they immediately called 911 suspecting something was amiss.

An all-points bulletin has been issued in an attempt to recover Mulgrew’s spine. This may turn out to be a wild goose chase as some doubt there ever was a break-in in the first place.

Inside UFT sources claim that former UFT president took Mulgrew’s spine and other parts of Mulgrew’s anatomy when she left to go to the AFT, along with her stapler.

Excerpts from the NY Times article: New York State’s top education official on Friday named an advisory panel of eight experts, at least half of them with strong connections to the Bloomberg administration,

to help him decide whether to approve Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s controversial choice to run the city’s school system.

Three panelists selected by David M. Steiner, the state education commissioner, worked as senior officials at the city’s Department of Education.

One of those three now works at a foundation that was, for many years, the vehicle for Mr. Bloomberg’s personal charitable donations.

A fourth panelist is the head of a museum that has received almost half a million dollars in donations from Mr. Bloomberg since he took office.

Three panelists are in charge of sizable urban school districts: Andrés A. Alonso, the chief executive of the Baltimore school system and a former deputy chancellor under Mr. Klein; Jean-Claude Brizard, the superintendent in Rochester and a New York City native who has been a teacher and principal and was a top aide to Mr. Klein;

The other panelists are: Ronald F. Ferguson, a Harvard economist who focuses on the achievement gap between minority students and white students; Kenneth G. Slentz, a top aide to Mr. Steiner at the State Education Department; Louise Mirrer, president and chief executive of the New York Historical Society, which has received regular donations from Mr. Bloomberg, and a former top official at the City University of New York; and Michele Cahill, a vice president at the Carnegie Corporation of New York and a former senior educational policy adviser to Mr. Klein.

Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, a Brooklyn Democrat who has long been critical of Mr. Bloomberg’s education policies, questioned the panel’s makeup, saying, “It appears that the deck has been stacked in favor of granting the waiver in a manner that will further undermine public confidence in the appointment of Ms. Black.”

So kiddies, let’s review the panel: Brizzard, Alonso and Cahill all worked for Klein, plus Louise Mirrer who heads a museum receiving donations from Bloomberg. Hmmm. Let’s do the math. 4 is half of 8 and that makes - gee, only one more and Unchatty Cathie gets her waiver.

And let’s review Mulgrew’s comment:

“All of these people have heavy-duty backgrounds and success in education, so obviously David Steiner is clearly looking at this from the educational side, as he should be.”

The clincher that Mulgrew was missing something was his classification of Michele Cahill as “having a heavy-duty background and success in education.“ The Times piece has this to say:

As one of Mr. Klein’s most trusted aides from 2002 to 2006, she played a crucial role in reorganizing the school system and developing new schools, and was the driving force behind new programs for students most at risk of dropping out. But in 2004, she was denied a state waiver to serve as deputy chancellor, because while she had a dozen years of teaching experience and a master’s degree in urban affairs, she lacked traditional education supervisory credentials.

Cahill was the much maligned agent of Klein’s first deputy chancellor, Diane Lam, and was much vilified by many teachers over her rigid micro-management policies of force feeding the workshop model.

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