Friday, October 22, 2010

Weingarten's Folly

It appears yet another of former part-time UFT President Randi Weingarten's deals has gone awry.  Ms. Weingarten agreed to have value-added grades used privately, yet the DOE, on the heels of the propaganda film,  decided to make them public.   This would certainly lessen the odds of first-year teachers from becoming second-year teachers, as the infinitely wise Tweedies plan to fire them based on these metrics.

Apparently Ms. Weingarten did not learn anything when the DOE routinely denied sabbaticals one year, necessitating a lawsuit to compel them to follow their own contract.  Nor did the botched ATR deal suggest bad faith to this leader.  The abysmal experience with mayoral control and failure to amend it in any significant fashion led Ms. Weingarten to demand its renewal.  The awful 05 contract was supposed to earn us 25/55, but Ms. Weingarten decided to throw Mayor Bloomberg not only 27/55, but also 17 extra years of 3% salary deductions for new teachers.

Sadly, current UFT President Michael Mulgrew appears to be following in her footsteps.  After having won a lawsuit to block the closing of 19 schools, Mulgrew agreed to the co-location of several schools which will surely hasten the demise of the ostensibly "saved" schools--rendering the UFT's lawsuit largely pointless.  As a follow-up, he helped bring "value-added" to all NY State teachers.  Never mind that "value-added" has not been demonstrated to have any validity whatsoever.

The latest wrinkle in this revolting situation is the city's agreement to postpone releasing names.  Yet that brings to mind the school-closing lawsuit, which simply delayed the city's doing whatever the hell it wanted to do.

How many times does the DOE have to lie to us before the UFT realizes they cannot be trusted?  Postponement is not good enough.  The UFT has to stop this.    Yet even if the UFT should win the lawsuit, the DOE will turn it into a PR triumph demonizing teachers yet again--one that could have been avoided if we'd refrained from making this preposterous and pointless agreement in the first place.

It's time to start learning from our mistakes.  It's time to stand up for our members.  If our union doesn't do it, it's a good bet no one else ever will.  Do or die time, Mr. Mulgrew.
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