Over the last week I've been approached by multiple members who've received a mailing from UFT offering jobs at "University Prep" charter school, formerly "Green Dot New York" charter school. They want to know whether or not their dues money is being used to send out these mailings. I don't know, but I've got issues with it regardless.
How many times has UFT leadership sent out advertisements for your school? And why does this fabulous school, which pays "a very competitive salary well above the DOE-UFT pay scale" need administrators, teachers of English, math, science, social studies, special ed., Spanish, PE, and SAT prep? Why do they need counselors, secretaries, and teacher's aides?
What sort of workplace is it that has that many openings at one time? Why are so many people leaving?
After all, they have, "significant collegiality" at their school. It must be a fantastic place to work. So maybe it's the "extended school day." Perhaps people tire of working 200 hours a week. Who knows? Or perhaps they don't go for the contract. Oddly, this mailing made no mention of the fact they have an entirely different contract than that of public school teachers. Can you imagine going to work and finding you no longer had tenure, or that dismissal for just cause meant dismissal "just cause" they felt like it?
I've inquired at multiple levels of UFT to ask how many Green Dot teachers kept their jobs as a result of just cause provisions, and thus far have gotten a straight answer from absolutely no one. In fact, a very reformy friend of mine, several years ago, assured me that teachers were quietly "counseled out" of Green Dot, and that they never needed to use their just cause procedures.
Back when it was Green Dot, they boasted of how their teachers didn't have tenure or seniority protections. Of course they had a union contract, but calling it that does not make me jump up and down to work there, no matter how many times they label it as such.
And then there are the typical charter boasts of 100% graduation and 100% college acceptance. I've read so many stories of charters getting these stats that I find them ridiculous. What percentage of their freshman class made it to their senior class? How many local high schools got bad grades or faced closure, at least in part, due to the test scores of Green Dot's castaway students?
And while the school boasts of 30% special ed. or ESL students, what level were they? My school takes everyone, and I teach new arrivals. How many beginning ESL students are at this charter school? What kind of special education students do they take? Are they kids who simply get extra time on tests, or are they alternate assessment students? Actually we know they aren't alternate assessment students, because these students do not graduate with Regents diplomas. But my school takes them all.
Again, I can't be sure whether or not the union paid for this mailing, but even if it didn't, placing the UFT logo on the envelope implies an endorsement of this school's leadership, its co-location, and its advertising claims.
The last time UFT leadership sends out ads for my school, one of the largest in the city, was never. And we don't have dozens of openings, but rather dozens of applicants for each and any opening.
Why do you suppose that is? And why do you suppose we're urging teachers to work at this other place?
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