Friday, June 17, 2016

Opt-out Answers UFT Unity

UFT Unity really managed to put its foot in its mouth with its Delegate Assembly handout. I kind of suspected some opt-out activists would not care for that particular message, laughable and poorly thought out though it  was. Here's one commenter, for example, who found little to love about it:

Oh Michael, Michael, Michael. Now you went and did it. You stayed in the closet for four long years, pretending that you were respectful of the work of 250,000 parents and educators to save your profession and protect public schools. Out of fear of your regime beginning to crumble, you have decided to come out and proclaim in all your glory that you despise the opt out movement and all it represents. Let me be the first to let out a sigh of relief that the pretense is over. Now you can come at us with fists flying in typical Mulgrew fashion. Thank you for being you.

~Jeanette Brunelle Deutermann, Opt-out parent activist 

Others are struck by the idiosyncracies in UFT Unity behavior:

What's actually funny is, the UFT UNITY delegates voted unanimously at last year's RA to support opt out. Leroy made a big production of going to the microphone with Beth Dimino. Wait, I'm sorry, it's not funny, it's sad.

~Michael Lillis, President, Lakeland Federation of Teachers

Evidently they were for it before they were against it. But not everyone is familiar with the Unity philosophy that everything they do is right, and it makes no difference whatsoever if what they say today contradicts what they did yesterday. Thus, whatever they do is right. Of course it sounds odd, but there are precedents for that sort of thinking.

Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal

~Richard Nixon

Alas, not everyone can accept the premise that just because Mulgrew, another President, says it's so, that it is. That notion has not gained wide acceptance outside the Unity bubble.   

Also, the logic of "we have to test 95% or more of our students to get grant money" is the same logic that led to "we have to adopt Common Core so we get Race to the Top money." Just administering all these tests every year costs far more than the grant money this flyer points to as the reward for testing our students

~Eric Severson, UFT Chapter Leader, Clara Barton High School

The grant money, of course, is up to $75,000 for 6% of applicants, who may or may not get the 75K, or way less, since we haven't got an "as little as" figure just yet. Of course others are outraged There is an opt-out movement out there, and they're tired of being talked down to. If they wanted that, they could go to John King, Andy Cuomo or Bill Gates rather than the people whose jobs, ostensibly, entail representing them. 

Now this is how Unity hopes people will react:. 

How dare MORE fight for professional autonomy and against a corporate driven agenda! Who do you think you are?

~Leonie Haimson, Class Size Matters

OK, well not really. That's what's known as "irony." While Unity deems themselves clever to call us "feckless and reckless," and make puns about MORE, other people are actually thinking about this stuff. Unfortunately for UFT Unity, none of them have signed that loyalty oath. The thing about Unity folk is they hang around people who've signed oaths all the time and aren't very well-equipped to deal with those who have not. And some who haven't signed the oath get right to the point:

Unity leaders aren't used to having to listen to people like that. Maybe we need to forgive them. They know not what they do. Sadly, it's kind of their job to know what they do, and that places the UFT in a precarious situation. It's my inclination to work with them rather than against them. But I won't be silent when attacked. Neither I nor MORE/ New Action nor opt-out is stupid enough to accept strawman arguments and ad hominem nonsense. 

This propaganda piece by the UFT's re-elected Unity leadership is really a disgrace and seeks to undermine the teachers who have stood by NYC parents to support our choice to refuse to have our children be subjected to these inferior test and punish policies. This needs to be called out as the smear campaign that does not respect the decision those 240,000 children's parents across the state made on their child's behalf. So is Mulgrew saying we parents are reckless and feckless too?? Please share widely and support MORE Caucus teachers. The election may be over, but the movement is not!

~Janine Sopp, NYC Opt-out parent activist

UFT Unity now has a choice. They can climb down from that high horse and work with us to help students, teachers and communities. Or they can tell the idiots who write for them to get to work developing more pompous, disingenuous, logic-free nonsense. 

I hope they at least give it a little thought.
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