I'd like to publicly congratulate Michael Mulgrew on his election to UFT President. The rank and file has spoken, and spoken decisively.
It's clear Mr. Mulgrew has his work cut out for him. These are the most challenging times I've seen in my 25 years as a teacher. We are under attack from all sides. Not only are the usual suspects after us, but there's now a Democratic President who thinks firing the entire staff of a high school is perfectly acceptable, a step in the right direction.
There are all sorts of people drinking the "reform" Kool-Aid, and few if any of them have the remotest notion what it means to be a teacher. In fact, there are teachers who've bought into the Klein-Bloomberg myth, and they're too shortsighted to know what they're headed for. We need someone to lead us through these times, and I sincerely hope Mulgrew is up to the task.
The lawsuit that stopped the school closings was an encouraging sign. I hope we follow up, and it's imperative we not allow Klein and Bloomberg to paint a happy face on the whole thing and start from scratch. I hope we will protect our most vulnerable members, the ATRs, the denizens of the rubber room, and new teachers facing a very uncertain future. We need to keep this job a good one for our members, our children, and for their children as well.
I also hope we will endeavor mightily to get the truth out to everyone. I hope we can find effective ways to counter the nonsense that passes for commentary in the local papers. We need to be resourceful, tenacious, and tireless. Turning teachers into the latest incarnation of Willie Horton benefits no one, including schoolchildren. We need to fight back.
I'm willing to take a fresh and hopeful look at our new President. I wish him the very best of luck, and I'm sure I need not remind him that in these times, we all need all the luck we can get.
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