Kevin tells me I only have 700 words, and I better hurry. Here’s the skinny: Deadline for teacher evaluation agreement based on test scores between UFT and DOE: January 17th, an artificial deadline imposed by thug governor Cuomo using extortion/ threat of loss of $250 million in state aid (much of which will not go into classrooms but into the pockets of high priced consultants) with additional loss of $200 million in grants. Result: no agreement and bye, bye, $birdie. Now State Ed Department head junior thug John King, who earned his thug spurs during the few years he spent managing a charter school chain known for thug-like harsh punishment of mostly African- American students – threatens the loss of another billion bucks if there is no agreement by February 14th, King’s Happy Valentine Day to the children and parents of New York City. Ahhhh, King loves the smell of jumbo class sizes in the morning.
It was wonderful to see the Daily News crying about high class size if the money is lost given the DN never gave a fig that under Bloomberg NYC schools have amongst the highest class sizes. Read the thug-supporting tabloids and the NY Times it is clear the UFT is totally irresponsible for wanting to avoid having teachers be held accountable for (fill in the blank) with anything you choose to blame a teacher for and then charge every teacher as an accessory responsible for all crimes committed by former students – using some holy data like former student test scores. If only those teachers did not make excuses or if they stayed after school until midnight to tutor the future criminal, the crime might have been averted.
Well, it turns out as the story emerged regarding the failure of the negotiations there were just a few twists and turns. As I was heading over to a rally outside the UFT building at 52 Broadway where a Delegate Assembly was taking place on the afternoon of the 17th, a meeting where I expected UFT President Michael Muldrow to cave to pressure and have an agreement ratified – I was loaded with almost 2000 leaflets urging people to vote NO on ANY agreement – word came through that there was no agreement. Oh, da trees murdered in the noble attempt of myself and my colleagues in the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE) UFT caucus to deflect the union leadership from folly of agreeing to use the failed model known as “Value-Added Measures” (VAM) to rate teachers. VAM has been so discredited in so many quarters it has been termed “junk science.”
So I dumped the leaflets and someone quickly created and printed another with the headline: RANK AND FILE MUST HAVE A SAY IN ANY AGREEMENT! END TO “COLLABORATION” with REFORMERS! You see, UFT leaders denied a MORE attempt in December to require them to hold a membership vote on a change in the contract claiming changing the way teachers are rated is not a contract change. Huh? (Mulgrew spent the entire meeting trying to convince everyone that the junk science of VAM was good medicine for them – liar, liar, pants on fire.)
So anyway, Mulgrew, painting himself ahero,helda3p.m.pressconference calling Bloomberg a liar, one of the few truthful things Mulgrew said. In fact, Mulgrew and Tweed made a deal the night before – though Chancellor Walcott (liar, liar….) echoed his liar, liar…boss and said there was no deal —- in other words, Mulgrew was willing to sacrifice teachers and their protections on the altar of faulty high stakes tests but was saved by Bloomberg. It seems that one of the provisions of the deal, not only in NYC, but in 90 percent of NY State was a one year sunset provision where this vast experiment bound to fail would be given another look. But Mulgrew, being generous, gave Bloomberg two years to get rid of high salaried teachers. But here comes Bloomberg to save Muldrow’s ass from himself – TLJ kills the deal – he not liking the sunset on deal given the real intention is not to get better teachers, just cheaper ones. TLJ claims Mulgrew is a liar, liar… but turns out the principals had the same deal with a one year sunset and TLJ blew that off too. They back the UFT story – Bloomberg rechristened TLLJ - The Little Lying Jerk.
You can read more Norm – who wishes his lovely wife a Happy Birthday today - if you can stomach it – at his blog, ednotesonline.org.