Monday, December 26, 2016

UFT Leadership--We Don't Teach, but We Know What's Best for Teachers

Someone sent me the following passage, in reference to something or other I posted in Facebook about Trump:
"On the sixth day of Hate Week, after the processions, the speeches, the shouting, the singing, the banners, the posters, the films, the rolling of drums and squealing of trumpets, the tramp of marching feet--after six days of this, when the great orgasm was quivering to its climax and the general hatred of Eurasia had boiled up--at just this moment it had been announced that Oceania was not after all at war with Eurasia. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Eurasia was an ally.

"There was, of course, no admission that any change had taken place. Merely it became known, with extreme suddenness and everywhere at once, that Eastasia and not Eurasia was the enemy."

That's an amazing image, isn't it? And yet, here we are, in version three of an evaluation system firmly rooted in junk science. Our newest version allows non-test-based ratings, but they themselves have never been tested, they have never been studied, they have never been proven, and there is absolutely zero evidence of their validity. Will they help teachers? Who knows? And as James Eterno so ably pointed out, the state requires only two annual observations, yet we largely have a minimum of four. Why? UFT can't be bothered to tell us. Who are we, anyway? Why should we get a vote in UFT deals if we haven't agreed to like them in advance?

Of course, that doesn't sway the loyalty-oath signers on the UFT Facebook page. They, in fact, have agreed, in writing no less, to like whatever leadership tells them to. As usual, though it's never, ever been tested or used, it's a great victory. These are the same people who stood up to fight crediting Donald Trump with being Donald Trump. These are the same people who stood against enforcing class size regulations and instead embraced a ridiculous non-action from the grievance department. And make no mistake, they have no core convictions or beliefs beyond doing whatever the hell Leroy Barr says. Mulgrew? Who knows? He can't even sit through a meeting attended by anyone who hasn't signed the oath.

And make no mistake, Mulgrew and Barr won't be evaluated via junk science. They won't have oversized classes because they don't teach at all. Nor will the "special representatives," whatever the hell that title means. And while the UFT VPs and district reps will say they're teachers just like you, they are not. They teach one class per day, and as such are exempt from Danielson. They are rated S or U, just as we were before the changes they tout as improvements. If they really wanted to walk the walk, they'd insist to be rated just as we are. Better sit while you wait for that to happen.

And regarding the quote above, remember that UFT declared its seniority transfer program to be a great victory. It was, too, and I was able to use it to escape from a vindictive and short-sighted AP.  Yet they've replaced it with a system that creates ATRs, and Mulgrew has no problem telling the DA it's a great victory because more transfers take place.

Don't look at those thousands of ATRs behind that curtain. 

Then there are the ever-shifting stories about the components in Danielson. We won because we got all 22 of them and Bloomberg only wanted seven or eight. We won because we got only seven or eight and there used to be 22. So what if there are hundreds or thousands of oversized classes and we won't even reveal the number? We won a process in which 19 of 1800 schools can sit around and talk about them, and if that doesn't work we can always go back to the idiot arbitrators who let this system fester and rot in the first place. Plus oath-signing several chapter leaders on UFT payroll think it's a fabulous idea so what more are you gonna want?

UFT leadership is excellent at doublespeak. They're fabulous at excluding high schools utterly from all decisions.

As for leadership itself, they haven't got a clue. They don't do this job, they haven't done it in years, and there's no evidence they give a golly gosh darn about those of us who do.
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