Wednesday, March 31, 2021

As 25% of UFT Disapprove of Carranza, 75% Must Be Asleep

That's about the only conclusion I can reach when I read that 25% of us disapprove of former Chancellor Carranza. It's sad, really, because he had a lot of potential. He came in talking racism in the DOE, and I'm sure he was absolutely right. In fact, he was sued for so-called reverse racism after firing just a few people. Maybe that's why, in one of his greatest failures, he failed to rid Tweed of all of Bloomberg's leftovers.

This particular disappointment was not just a sign that Carranza wasn't doing his job, but also a sign that the mayor was not doing what he elected to do. And as Bill de Blasio bumbled through eight years as mayor, we had abundant notice that he was not the alternative to Bloomberg we'd all hoped for. Sure, he wasn't outright hostile to us for even existing, as was Bloomie. Sure, he didn't try to wow us with his 9th grade Spanish. But he didn't work to make the DOE something that helped rather than impeded us.

In lots of ways, Carranza failed us even more. If you saw him speak early in his tenure, he was impressive. He was super smart, clearly in control when he spoke. He had a great memory for figures, and he could defend his ideas well. Of course, he didn't always do so. But when he came to UFT, he showed great empathy for those of us who did the work. He spoke glowingly of teachers, and said he wanted to end his career as one.

He seemed to have something none of his recent predecessors did--a vision. He seemed to care greatly for our kids, and there was nothing about him trying to pit teachers against children. This is the despicable tactic of Bloomberg, Giuliani, Cuomo, and Spawn of Trump. It was great to see that gone.

The pandemic, unfortunately, changed everything. With de Blasio's rep swirling the bowl, the mayor saw opening the buildings as his chance to be the hero he envisioned himself as. He would keep them open no matter what. The buildings would close over his dead body. Alas, the dead bodies that did result were not his. He stubbornly kept schools open longer than he should have, even as Broadway closed.

Where was Carranza? Evidently he was told to stay on message, and complied. I will never forget, when we handed him 108,000 signatures asking that he close the buildings, he asked for 108,000 signatures of epidemiologists. That's a ridiculous and insulting ask. It revealed, however, that all his happy talk about us meant little or nothing. Rather than represent the interests of NYC's 1.1 million children (let alone the teachers), Richard Carranza was going to spout whatever his boss told him to.

I now think the position of chancellor is not all that important. When push comes to shove, the chancellor is not an advocate, but rather a lackey. I'd be happy fpr the new chancellor to prove me wrong.

However, I shall sit while waiting for that to happen.

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