Friday, April 03, 2015

Punchy Mike Explains It All

Watch out teachers, it's me again, "Punchy" Mike Mulgrew, and I'm swingin' wild! You'll take my Common Core out of my cold dead arms, baby! But I'm not here today to punch your face out. I'm here to explain the new legislation, and why we told legislators it was okay if they voted for it.

First of all, there's been a lot of bitching about the expedited 3020a process. Why should there be only one arbitrator instead of three? The fact is it's been that way in New York City for a while, so why shouldn't the rest of the state have that too? You see, this way, while other people may have lost something, we haven't lost anything. So that's a win for us. Well, anyway, it's not a loss for us. Why should we worry about everyone else? Not our job, man.

And fer cryin' out loud, while there may be one or two items that suck in the budget, we got more money, and more money is always a good thing. Sure, you won't get any of it, and your class sizes won't be reduced, but you don't think outside evaluators grow on trees, do you? Someone has to pay for supervisors to drive back and forth to schools and observe classes about which they know nothing whatsoever. It's always good to get a fresh perspective on why you suck how you can better deliver instruction.

And hey, we have a very friendly chancellor. Sure she talks about getting rid of teachers, but I'm sure she doesn't have you in mind when she says stuff like that. She's talking about those other teachers, you know, the ones who are not you, so you don't have to worry.  A lot of people don't understand the importance of union. Union means we stand together and do whatever I tell you to do. That's why we have a loyalty oath, and that's why every single person who represents you in NYSUT and AFT votes any damn way I tell them. That's democracy. Let me tell you, it isn't easy to get an organization this large to not oppose the likes of Andrew Cuomo when he runs for re-election.

We also trust that our friendly chancellor will make fair deals with us on receivership, so that if your school gets taken over and you have to reapply for your job it won't be so bad. We've got a great record with school closings. Just ask any ATR how they like traveling school to school week to week, fighting for bathroom keys. And make no mistake, we support your right to have a bathroom key. 

And don't worry if you get an ineffective rating or two. Sure they can end your career and all, but we've arranged it so that 13% of you can actually get a fair hearing. In fact we've already won one of those hearings, and what's better than that? You only have to worry if you're one of the 87% who faces a kangaroo court and doesn't get a fair hearing, so chin up and all that. Remember, in union we stand together, and we the leadership will decide which 13% of you get a fair hearing. What could be better than that? You trust us, don't you?

Please don't go reading stuff like this that says the mayor did indeed get his 50%. I mean, that's just simple math. I'm just a regular guy, an ex-carpenter. It's all I can do to not spout a stream of obscenities right now for no reason. And don't get all in a lather over Merryl Tisch talking about exempting high performing districts. There's no way New York will be included, and a fundamental facet of unionism is that we care only about ourselves.

In fact, it's a good thing if Tisch is trying to shut up those yammering Long Island parents always going on about opting out. Maybe if their districts aren't affected they will stop screaming. After all, the highest body in the UFT, the delegate assembly, just killed two opt-out resolutions, and failed even to bring up our own watered down and meaningless resolution, the one that reaffirmed our faith in teachers being evaluated with junk science. As a UFT member, you should be happy that there's a possibility these folks will stop making me look bad.

So, in summary, trust us, don't read the blogs, don't listen to Carol Burris or Diane Ravitch or any of those other loudmouths out there, a thousand points of light, and ask yourself this--under my leadership, are you better off than you were a year ago? If the answer is no, ask yourself this--under my leadership, is Mike Mulgrew any better than he was a year ago?

Whatever the answers are, remember, as a unionist, it's your duty to sit down, shut up, and do whatever I say. And if I say things don't suck, that should be good enough for anyone.
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