Wednesday, December 14, 2016

December Delegate Assembly--Everyone Knows Resolution Is About Trump, But Let's Not Say So and Offend Anyone

President’s Report

National—Mulgrew says he’s not a therapist and is counseling people. Says he’s been to many meetings. Says he wants to calm people and we will come up with a plan. Says he can’t curse. Says cabinet of Trump, everyone put in charge hates what he’s put in charge of. Says Putz, in charge of DOL doesn’t believe in minimum wage or worker’s right. EPA head doesn’t believe in global warning and thinks his agency impedes business.

Exxon is Sec. of State. “Our own beauty,” Miss DeVos. Ridicules pronunciation of her name. Her life about privatizing ed. minimizing worker’s rights, but she’s not worst. Glad we are laughing so I don’t have to do therapy.

Are members getting this in their schools, what’s happening? Says those who voted for Trump are now coming to him saying they were mistaken.

Shows slides, Moskowitz got 300K from DeVos. Says Eva turned down ed. post because of pay cut, picked DeVos. Gave 400K to Campbell Brown. 100K alliance school choice. 4.8 million to right wing super PACS.

Says you know what’s coming. We have done analysis. Will they incentivize by holding Title One hostage? Would require dismantling of last spring’s law. Is infighting among GOP. Will not be top agenda item.

Says majority GOP Congress have been pissed off about using incentive to influence state policy. Will they continue to not believe in it? We don’t know. We think we have 18-24 months before Friedrichs-like case hits SCOTUS.

We will be defunded or under attack. If not policy, then defunding.

Activities around inauguration day—no permits around mall for days, unprecedented. They will issue permits, we don’t know where. There may be demos in NYC. We will get people to DC, but will be more activity in NYC.

State—Governor continues to support us at this moment. Who thought we’d be saying that two years ago? He’s criticized Trump a lot now. Union has created research paper on DeVos, we want it on their radar her main goal dismantle public ed. We are starting to strategize, are talking to everyone. Want a positive piece on public ed. and a negative attack against DeVos. People love their own public schools countrywide. Will use that.

Civil rights community say NYC schools moving forward. Now people want to get rid of it and they are upset. Revenues for state slightly down. Will see where that goes.

We know we will get a bag of crap monthly from DC. We cannot, while that is happening, afford a Constitutional Convention. Our members don’t understand what it means. Will be inundated with money coming into this state. Must educate members.

Says they will sell CC with greater environmental protections.

Shows PowerPoint, will attack workers, rights, pensions, education and environment. Speaks of NJ and IL and that they are in crisis because state didn’t make payments, though workers did. This is because they don’t have a constitutional protection.

Billionaires, reformies, corporate interests, and right wing pols want CC. Some small groups won’t understand implications, motivation might be good. They are wrong.

Must be put to vote every 20 years, with yes, every aspect up for possible change. Strategy is we vote no.

With yes vote, State senate districts would get delegates, with staff and 80K each. 100 million dollars minimum. Could run for six months, two years, whatever. Will set own rules. This would drag our our fight.

Amendments would go to statewide vote.

Says we can’t fight feds and state at same time. Vouchers illegal in NY. Could change. Won’t say vouchers, will call it choice. Says fact-less reporting is rule of thumb. Would like to know if they teach that in college.

Last in 1967, wasteful and harmful. 77, 97, rejected. Asks we speak to all to reject it. We just saw what happened when misinformed people vote against own interests.

Will not dismantle ESSA now, doesn’t mean they won’t get to it. Great flexibility, test scores not mandated. Working in Albany, have concerns, NYS needs to take advantage of flexibility in ESSA law. Very close to finalizing evaluation agreement.

If we have an agreement now that no longer uses test scores, what happens when school lives and dies by test scores? Only in our evaluation for two years, but Bloomberg made it sole factor, schools were all about tests. We fought to get changes and are moving it where we want it. Moving in positive place. If state system based on test scores we are back in crazy world.

If this doesn’t work we will get on social media. I’ve been meeting with parents across state, we want eval. based on whole child, what we do. If eval is test score that says that’s all we care about. Says no one does programs in great way because we get no credit for it. If we put it in system we will get real action at school level instead of lip service from bunch of hacks.

City—Evaluation—31st headed right at us. DOE, CSA, and us, We have stuck through giving teachers real voice in this process. Flexibility in observations, not too much. What does student learning mean? If you want to measure real student learning tie it to what we are actually teaching, do each day. Not to outside assessment we have to prep for. Not authentic.

Want members to feel good about focusing on what’s actual taught. That is basis for “authentic student measurements.” Says we are sick of tests. Measuring growth of what student has learned. Says schools that use portfolios and project-based learning base things on what’s being taught.

Says if it’s tied to real curriculum we will get it passed. Says people ask “What are teachers gonna do, grade their own papers?” Mulgrew says as long as kids are in classroom they will learn. Says tests based on what we teach are fine. Some subjects lend themselves toward portfolio, like music art. Must have standardized practice on how to collect these things.

Piece not up for negotiation, in state law, is matrix. Says you will be very thankful it is in state law. Fairest thing ever. When done right it is teacher performance. Says we will do borough based trainings. If not done next week I will walk away. Will say I don’t care if we lose the money because you’re all a joke.

Principals don’t like matrix because it takes their discretion away. Every principal knows how many points they can mess with you on. Magic number is 24. Will be no score anymore. If student learning isn’t ineffective neither are you.

Very late in year for agreement. No changes to whatever observations you picked for this year. Will figure out guidance for MOSL committees. Will be different.

Exec. Board putting together a committee, a task force, looking at next mayoral race. Many unions have already endorsed de Blasio, including sanitation. Got rid of crap equipment and bought right stuff for them. Barr and Schoor will handle. 5:09 ends.

Staff Director’s Report

LeRoy Barr—Teacher’s Choice deadline Jan. 15, forms 20th. School lunch cards push free lunch for all program. Stigma to free lunch. Bill will go from 11 to 20 billion remove stigma. Want universal free and healthy meals.

Coalition for homeless event, kids from around city came. Saturday partnering to help homeless women and families. Next DA Jan. 18th. Wishes us happy holidays and new year.


Mulgrew asks if they have horrible green peas at lunch.

CL—CTLE credits—will DOE get approval?

Not yet. We don’t run DOE. Our responsibility is to members, so we became approved. Can call teacher center or Evelyn de Jesus for approved hours. They aren’t doing their job. 5 years to get hours.

With our contract, we get PD. We agreed teachers should give some. Why should people go if they aren’t certified?

Remember when we had no time for training? We now have less time in classroom so we get training. If a group of schools would like people trained by us, could we do that?

DeJesus—We are doing it now for Ls. Building it out.

Mulgrew—Would you send someone from your staff for training for certification?

Yes, says crowd.

CL—Cuomo did about face, what can UFT do to influence him to reign in independent dems who function as GOP?

Not sure. They can do what they like. Says they were played as marks by DeVos. Says we aren’t happy with dem performance and he’ll probably get this on a blog somewhere. Will get some phone calls later probably.

Q—Portability—Can they do that without ESSA, and will opt-out movement hinder us?

Opt-out now really dangerous, they will enforce 5% provision. They want to defund us. If we give them a reason….ESSA says we still must give standardized test and info must be public. Said civil rights community was very strong on that. Says feds have right to withhold Title one funding.

Q—Can they tie funding to child and bypass school?

That’s how they argue for vouchers. Not something we want to even discuss. Would violate state constitution. You clearly read up on this.

CL Bryant—Concerned about eval. Why can’t teacher have choice of evaluations. Why can’t we have choice of whether we use test or not?

Especially doesn’t work with principal like yours. We need to shine light on bad admin. Other side has to agree to flexibility. But there will be some if we do it right. Trying to give more definitive voice to MOSL committee. We don’t believe standardized test scores should be used but some teachers like it better than administrators. Would like to make Regents optional standard. Says some schools would want to use test scores, they’ve treated them well. Warned that test scores can vary. If you choose them, test becomes entire focus.


NYC Schools should be sanctuaries for all students, resolution. UFT will not allow ICE on campus. Will defend those threatened. Will set up committees for rapid response and outreach. Committees will assemble to shut down affected schools, mobilize mass actions.

Dave Pecoraro—last paragraph violation of Taylor Law.

Pro—We need rapid response, we are biggest and most powerful union, need to do what we need to do. We know what it means when people are loaded onto buses and taken away.

Howard Schoor—asks we vote against this. Says we’re pushing for immigrant liaison in every school. Want to see if this works. Have to give them chance. Also some resolveds not “doable.” We don’t control police and one violates Taylor Law. Would put members in jeopardy.

Does not pass.

Mulgrew—spoke to mayor and governor, and says if this happens there will be arrests of UFT members and president. Says individual must make decision.

Rich Mantel
—Middle school VP—About DeVos. Opposition to her appointment. We will work with partners to press her rejection.



Resolution in support of Meaningful Teacher Induction—Carmen Alvarez—thousands of teachers come and go, many special ed. Mentor teachers can help. Let’s institute something already required by law and make it work also toward retention. UFT will urge principals to give an additional year of mentorship.

Delegate—speaks in favor. Knows we lose many in first 3-5 years. Vital we do all we can to support newest teachers, those not quite ready. Mulgrew calls another, does not seek voice against.

Delegate—Moves to amend—add “ensuring time for a mentor.”

Questions called.

Amendment, resolution pass.

Resolution in support of Consent Ed.—Janella Hinds—Refers to Access Hollywood conversation, thinking about sexual violence—We can think differently about how to engage and support our students to prevent sexual violence and support survivors. Expands DOE respect for all initiative. Wants conversations about relationships in healthy and respectful manner.

Question called.


Resolution in Opposition to a Constitutional Convention

Mel Aaronson
—I voted against them since 57, urges every person to vote against CC. Simple referendum. Dangerous to public employees.  Not only about us. Only 24% of working people belong to unions. If only they vote our way, we can’t win. Now, 60% of public support this and we must overcome it. Tell your family tonight to vote no in November. Tell colleagues tomorrow. You know why.

CL—Says teachers are unaware. Says we must let them know.

Passes unanimously

Resolution Calling for Respect for All Peopl

Sterling Roberson
—Impact of recent election, rhetoric of “one of our candidates” based on race, religion, etc,, goes against what we believe in. We understand in NYC impact it has had on schools, crime. violence. We need to recognize, regardless of political affiliations that we have to respect each and every one of us. Fighting privatization, vouchers. We have history of ensuring we meet those obligations. Asks for support.

Peter Lamphere—MORE—Moves to amend.

Replace “presidential election campaign” with Donald Trump’s election campaign. Resolution originally presented as I proposed. After exec. board voted to approve, was changed. We have a fight on our hands. Sterling is right, we need to educate members. We should specify source of this rhetoric. We need to be clear where it’s coming from and what we need to do to fight it. If we shy away we’re doing a disservice to our members. We know GOP alone doesn’t attack ed. but shying away from confronting Trump is a mistake, wrong foot to start four year battle.

CL—Rises in opposition to amendment. Important we don’t focus on man Thinks it’s obvious. You have to remember many of our members voted for Trump. Must focus on issues, not man.

CL—Stands in opposition to amendment. We need to have respect for all, Need to not alienate our own members. We don’t want his name on it. Everyone knows what that is and we don’t need to be blatantly insulting.

LeRoy Barr—speaks against amendment. Says we voted several times and debated based on his motion. Another vote took place. There were three votes. There was full democracy. Says it’s position of strength to respect members voice and vote. Says we need all our troops behind us. Is it important enough to alienate our people. Says something Trump said resonated. Says if we disrespect it again we will lose every battle.

Much applause for LeRoy.

Dave Pecoraro moves that DA be extended.


Moves debate be closed.

Amendement fails.

Resolution passes.

Mulgrew says we have a lot of work ahead of us. Wishes us a great break. Says when we come back, we are going to war.
blog comments powered by Disqus