I sent an email to the writer of this piece in Chalkbeat NY, but she has not seen fit to respond. Here's what I said:
Fascinating though it was to learn what Educators4Excellence thought about the UFT election, I saw no mention that MORE/ New Action, a group of real, non-Gates-funded working teachers, took the high school seats on the UFT Executive Board.
This is significant to me because I won one of those seats, and ought to be significant to UFT members, who now have opposition voices at 52 Broadway.
Color me disappointed.
Arthur Goldstein, UFT Chapter Leader/ ESL teacher
Francis Lewis High School
Of course it was important to note that Mulgrew got 76% of the vote, such as it was. They got that right. As you can see, I found other factors significant as well. Perhaps Chalkbeat did not notice. But it's kind of their job to notice, isn't it? I mean, they are reporters, at least ostensibly. In fairness, the Daily News didn't seem to notice either.
But Chalkbeat took it a step further by going to E4E for their opinion. Why anyone who doesn't actually take Gates money should care about their opinion is a mystery to me. But Chalkbeat values E4E opinion so much it once ran an piece about E4E garnering 100 signatures for something or other, perhaps more work for less pay. I can gather 100 signatures in half an hour, so when Chalkbeat promised to run a piece in which I did that, I sent them something in support of ESL students. Of course, I'm not E4E, so evidently keeping their word wasn't important, and they never bothered writing about that.
Another issue that bears looking at, another issue neglected by Chalkbeat, is the outrageously low turnout. While it's up from last time, we still have three out of four members failing to vote. This should concern us all, and both Unity and MORE/ New Action should work to activate membership. Voting takes a moment, and perhaps a walk to a mailbox. If we can't rouse our members to do that, we are absolutely doing something wrong. Apathy ought not to win the election.
If you read this, you'll also note that among working teachers Jia Lee scored one third of the vote. That's very significant to me, at least. While Mulgrew can hop on a plane pretty much any time to go to Boca, or wherever UFT Florida is, Jia has to show up and work each day. She can't campaign to retirees.
But that's okay in a way. Retirees ought to have a voice on retiree matters, but ought not to be determining who negotiates contracts that do not affect them. To me, that's common sense.
Of course, they say common sense is the least common of all the senses.